Tacoma’s newest seafood boil restaurant Krab Kingz now open
Tacoma’s newest seafood boil restaurant has opened in Parkland at 11814 Pacific Ave. S.
Krab Kingz is an outpost of a southern-based chain of crab boil restaurants. The Tacoma restaurant opened Nov. 27, 2021. The opening comes about a month after the opening of Crab King Cajun Boil and Bar near Tacoma Mall.
Krab Kingz is unlike our current crop of seafood boil restaurants, which all come with tableside service.
Krab Kingz is a fast-casual version of a crab boil restaurant. Diners order at the counter and find their own seat. Boil is shuttled to the table in plastic clamshell containers and fried fare is served in paper-lined styrofoam. As I told you last month in this story, the restaurant comes from Michael Mango and wife Karissa Mango, who grew up in University Place. Michael Mango is from Georgia.
Here’s what you need to know before you go.
MENU: This restaurant sells seafood in combination orders, not by-the-pound (but more about that down below).
SAUCES: Multiple styles here – original, Cajun, lemon pepper, honey garlic, spicy, extra spicy, Caribbean jerk and garlic jalapeno. For spice avoiders, the menu offers a handy description to tell you which ones are mild.
BOIL: Combos are offered in a multitude of sizes and are priced $18.99 to $225. Snow crab and shrimp dominate the combos, but there’s also lobster. Boils come with corn, sausage and potatoes, plus a surprise addition of an egg. That’s South Florida style boil. Said Michael Mango, “It’s served hard boiled and warm like the seafood.” The spices in the boil seep into the egg. Just break apart and eat.
ORDERING BOIL: Order at the counter and select your combo, then select your sauce.
BOIL ACCESSORIES: There was no bowl brimming with seafood and a discard bucket for the shells. No plates or bowls, either. No crab crackers, no scissors for cutting shells, no pickers for digging deep into the crab shells and yanking out a piece of meat. And no bibs! What gives?
ACCESSORIES COMING: “Normally, we don’t carry crab crackers or crab pickers,” said co-owner Karissa Mango who opened Krab Kingz with husband Michael about three weeks ago. She added, “We have been listening to some feedback and have noticed many more people requesting them here compared to our other locations so we have placed an order to get some in. We also have plates in stock as well. The bibs are still under discussion.”
ARE WE JUST DELICATE FLOWERS HERE? Maybe? Every boil place in the area – and I’ve written about them all! – offers bowls, plates, crab crackers, pickers, scissors, bibs and even plastic gloves. I appreciate that Krab Kingz is bending to our ways. Those accessories certainly make eating seafood-in-a-shell easier.
BEYOND BOIL: Beyond seafood boil, the restaurant has kids meals, pasta dishes and fried fare, including fried fish, shrimp, lobster and crab cakes.
GET THIS ON A FIRST VISIT: Be sure to order the excellent crab cakes. I was floored by the value of those. For $6.35, I got two crunchy crab cakes with a zippy remoulade-style sauce.
COMING NEXT: “We will continue to add new dishes, specifically dishes that you may not find in this area. Dishes that will be coming soon will include gumbo, smothered turkey legs, loaded fries and many more. Many of these dishes are already being offered at our other locations. We will also be offering an al a carte menu where customers can design their own platter and order food by the pound if they desire to do so,” said Mango.
WHAT ABOUT BEER? Their liquor license has been applied for. Watch for that next, too.
DINING ROOM: Simple, but Seahawks centric with vivid blue and green. Huge television screen in the corner. Come-as-you-are vibe. Kids are welcome.
PARKING: It’s a hot mess. Be careful driving down the narrow alley behind the building. You’re better off parking on the street a block over.
ACCESS: Rollers might have trouble navigating the bumpy parking lot and sidewalk. Inside, no barriers noted.
KRAB KINGZ TACOMA
Where: 11814 Pacific Ave. S., Tacoma
MORE BOIL TO CHECK OUT
Crab King Cajun Boil and Bar: Read my first-bite review of newly opened Crab King here. They opened in late October and have a giant menu and roomy dining room. It’s built into the former Outback Steakhouse on 38th near Tacoma Mall. 3111 S. 38th St., Tacoma; 253-301-1688
Dragon’s Crawfish: This tiny hole-in-the-wall nestled into Tacoma’s Lincoln neighborhood was the first seafood boil restaurant to open in Tacoma in the modern era. For six years, chef-owner Minh Phan has specialized in a delicious garlic broth tweaked with heat. Also offering fried fish, fried chicken, garlic fries and noodle dishes. 750 S. 38th St., Tacoma; 253-301-0020
Boiling Crawfish: South Hill’s Boiling Crawfish opened in 2018 and has a bigger menu and more seafood choices than any other boil restaurant aside from Crab King in Tacoma. This South Hill restaurant is tucked away in the middle of a strip mall. Five sauce and seasoning choices – ranging from mild to defcon level aaaaghhh – include a house special sauce, cajun, butter-garlic, lemon pepper and traditional boil style. Also serving fried fish, fried rice, chicken wings, po’ boy sandwiches and cocktails. 4301 S. Meridian, Puyallup; 253-256-7423; boilingcrawfishwa.com
Cravin’ Crawfish: This newcomer opened near Tacoma Mall in a small storefront at the beginning of the pandemic. The mix-and-match menu makes for easy ordering. Sauce choices include house, garlic butter, lemon pepper and a hodgepodge seasoning made from the three sauce choices listed here. Also serving fried fish and Vietnamese chicken wings. Read more about this restaurant here. 5015 Tacoma Mall Boulevard, Tacoma; 253-300-8130; https://www.instagram.com/cravincrawfishtacoma/
Captain Crab: This new seafood boil restaurant in Lakewood is temporarily closed as the restaurant expands into the space next door that formerly held AAA Buffet, said Manager Coco Teng. They’ll reopen in January. Read more about this restaurant here.