True to its name, Crustacean offers many a shelled sea creature, but the menu also seems to include everything else, too, from sashimi and satays on down to rack of lamb and braised short ribs. And then there are the options from the “secret kitchen,” a concealed cuisine that’s off-limits to everybody except owners Helene An and her daughter, Elizabeth (as well as employees with 10 years of service), where the really exciting specials are concocted away from prying eyes, including such dishes as drunken crab and “Colossal” tiger prawns. Elizabeth designed Crustacean to look like their grandfather’s estate in Vietnam, with a dramatic central courtyard ringed with balcony seats and a transparent aquarium walkway with koi underfoot. And what better place for a culinary estate than smack in the middle of Beverly Hills?

sweet seats

The pair of round elevated booths seem to be the unofficial VIP area, with views of the often fashionable (and sometimes kooky) Beverly Hills crowd. If you’re looking for a more relaxed experience, sit in the lounge and nibble on small plates.

chew on this

In 1975, Helene An fled war-torn Saigon and opened a diner in San Francisco with her mother-in-law. Twenty years later, the An family moved to LA and started Crustacean. They also own Anqi, in Costa Mesa, and a fourth restaurant, Tiato, is opening this year in Santa Monica.


lunch: Mon.–Fri. 11:30 AM–2:30 PM
dinner: Mon.–Thurs. 5:30 PM–10:30 PM;
Fri.–Sun. 5:30 PM–11:30 PM
happy hour: Mon.–Fri. 4 PM–8 PM

price range

$19.95 (rice ho-fun ravioli) to $45.95 (whole Maine lobster)