So, I’ve been away from my blog and online life for a bit, reconnecting with the real world. It’s a balancing act, negotiating between the online and the real world. It’s something I am still trying to learn. But, I know that I will in time, if I keep at it.
That aside, I want to talk about a delightful little gem – or two – that I happened upon while on an outing with my sister and a couple of friends. It all started with puppies. Yes, you read that correctly, puppies. A litter of 5 puppies to be exact, and my mission to find them a home. My sister put me in contact with a potential candidate for a new forever home for one of them, and when everything worked out, we all decided to sort of solidify our new bond by having dinner together at the infamous Boiling Crab, a seafood restaurant.
Now, if you are familiar with this establishment, then you are also well acquainted with the long wait to get in. We decided to visit the Koreatown Location here in the lovely city of Los Angeles, and as to be expected in K-town, space is a precious commodity. Parking is a challenge, and once you find parking then be prepared to wait.I have noticed that while there are a plethora of eateries to chose from in K-Town many of them are not extremely large in terms of occupant capacity.
In a way that works for business, the large crowds waiting outside attract the eye of onlookers and passersby. You see them and you think, “Wow, that place must be amazing! I’ve got to eat there.” So, you make it a point to go there one balmy weekday evening. You walk in, put your name on that intimidatingly long list of names, then you look up and take a long look around the restaurant, when it hits you… its not very big on the inside. They cannot seat that many people. So, the crowds of people waiting are there because the occupancy level is lower than demand can meet. But your name is on the list?!?!?! You’ve already invested. By the time you find another place you want to eat at, you will already be that much closer to being seated anyway. And what if the food really is amazing? So, you buckle down, and you wait. This was us… or our story at least.
However, we found a reprieve from our situation in the way of the Home Café sitting just across the way from The Boiling Crab in the same shopping center. We went there to grab a drink while we began our 1 hour and 45 minute wait to eat, and so we made our way in. However, while we were there we noticed several tables with bags from Boiling Crab. This was surely an oddity because – as is the American way – many restaurants discourage bringing outside food into their own places. So, how could this be?
While in the middle of a quickly escalating, competitive game of Jenga – also provided at the café – we inquired about what we had observed. That’s when we learned that:
- The Boiling Crab has a separate To-Go Orders vendor right next door. Literally, it was the next door over.
- Home Café will allow you to bring those to-go orders into their establishment, however you must meet two stipulations:
A. Request wax paper to cover the tables and lots of napkins.
B. Every person at your table must order at least one drink while in the café
Nothing unreasonable, and the best part is that the wait time for a to-go order was only 30 minutes at the most. By all accounts, it was just more logical to go with this route. So, we did, quickly removing our names from that ever growing wait list, and placing our orders to-go. While, deciding from a large variety of drink choices from the café menu.
In my opinion, it was a brilliant display of two restaurants working together to improve the profits and business of both. I was impressed by this concept alone, as it something that is rarely if ever seen. It truly is a bit of innovative, business savvy that just made the most logical of sense. One has space, the other draws the customer, one has food, the other has the drinks. They complimented one another, and filled in for each other’s weaknesses. It’s like the idea of the perfect marriage. I loved it!
However, Home Café is delightful enough to maintain its own, and to encourage repeat customers and a following. The décor was open, stylish, and inviting, with a lot of natural wood giving it a warm glow and comfort. Lighting was low and intimate, but not dark or cavernous. The overall feel is eclectic and inspired enough to make one appreciate the overall aesthetic eye of the decorator. Furthermore, the depth and breadth of the drink selections alone are enough to keep one coming back. Their choices range from floats, coffees, teas, bobas, and juices to alcoholic beverages such as beers and wines. There are desserts, pastries, and soft serves. They even have a popcorn machine, and place bowls of popcorn as a complimentary snack – that’s right, get the customer good and thirsty.
With a choice of board games to play while you wait or just hang out and large televisions to watch, its a wonder this place is not just as popular as the Boiling Crab its self.
As much as I love seafood, I was more excited about Home Café. Happening upon it that night was one of those unexpected lucky moments you just do not plan on, but are deeply appreciative when it does happen! I would highly recommend it!
As for The Boiling Crab, was it worth the wait? Yes, I have to say it was. If you are a seafood lover and you do not mind getting a little messy, then its a perfect place for you! Shrimp, crab, oysters, mussels, and your choice of seasonings, spiciness, and sides. It was a wonderful evening, with good food, drinks, comfort, and company. So, in other words, as perfect as life can get.
May we all be sweetly inspired.
The Boiling Crab
3377 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. #115
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Monday – Friday 3pm – 10pm
Saturday – Sunday 12pm – 10pm
3377 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. #108
Los Angeles, CA 90010
11am – 12am (Midnight)/ 7 days a week
All photos were taken by A. Reneé for Darling Afflatus, 2015. They may not be reused without permission.