BEST PLACE TO GET CRABS - 2006
There are moments when you just know you've eaten one of the best somethings of your life -- the best chili dog, the best foie gras, the best what-have-you. From the first bite of a soft-shell crab at Chez Thuy, we knew it was the best we'd eat in our lives -- until we came back and had an even better one. The soft-shell crabs are deep-fried whole, and the beautiful golden batter, just a little spicy, comes crisp out of the oil. Inside that jacket, the shells are chewy, yielding and full of white meat that tastes like what clouds might taste like if they lived at the bottom of the sea. The accompanying nuoc cham is sharp as crystal, bright with flavors, and so astringent that a sniff of it is dizzying, like a toot of model-airplane glue. The only way to eat these crabs is to tear right into them with your hands and strip the meat right out of their fat little bodies with your teeth. Dignified? No. Delicious? You bet.