South Bay: Claw Shack

Claw Shack opened by my house quite a while ago, but we were so loyal to Boiling Crab back then that we never bothered to give it a try.  Then we were tempted away by Kickin' Crab and the gates were busted wide open.  All of a sudden, we wanted to try all the Cajun seafood places in the area.

So to Claw Shack we went:

The restaurant was nowhere as busy as either Boiling Crab or Kickin' Crab, which meant we were seated immediately:

First things first.  We were brought styrofoam plates and plastic bibs:

Like Kickin' Crab, Claw Shack offers garlic noodles ($7.99):

The garlic noodles at Kickin' Crab had way more garlic, but the noodles at Claw Shack were cooked better.

Like Kickin' Crab, Claw Shack offers a couple combo options.  All came with two corn, two potatoes, and five pieces of Cajun sausage.  Combo 1 consists of 1 lb of crawfish and 1 lb of shrimp with the heads attached.  Combo 2 includes 1 lb of crawfish and 1 lb of shrimp without their heads attached.  The price difference is just three bucks, with the decapitated shrimp costing more.

We went with combo 1 ($26.99), but substituted  the crawfish with clams:

My family has just never been fond of crawfish.  Lots of work for minimal payoff.  Clams are much tastier.  And the point of eating whole shrimp is to suck out the head juices, right?  So combo 1 all the way.

You can choose what type of sauce you want your seafood to come in and also how spicy.  We got the shambalang, which is a mix of all the other sauces (house, garlicky, spcial, casian, carlic-butter, lemon pepper, and Shackie's).  My family is a bit weak when it comes to spiciness, so we got mild.

T was with us and she loves to attempt to burn her tongue off.  When we joked about it with our waitress, she offered to bring T a side of Claw Shack's spiciest sauce:

T barely flinched.  In fact, even my sister was able to eat it without feeling the burn.  Apparently Claw Shack's spiciest isn't really all that spicy.  I would't no.  I wasn't taking any chances.

For my mother, we got the clam chowder ($4.99):

Which, unfortunately, tasted like it came out of a can.

I'm a lazy eater.  I prefer not to peel shrimp, so the seafood sampler ($14.99) was really for me:

It included deep fried shrimp, calamari, and fish.

We'd heard a lot about Claw Shack's chicken wings, so we got a batch ($8.99), which came with eight fried wings and Cajun fries:

There are a bunch of flavors to change from.  We decided on half garlic honey and half lemon pepper.  I liked the garlic honey, but while the flavor was good, the chicken itself was rather dry.

Our conclusion at the end of the meal was that in all aspects, Claw Shacks loses to Boiling Crab and Kickin' Crab.  In terms of sauce, Kickin' Crab has the most garlicky, which we love, and both Boiling Crab and Kickin' Crab give much more of it than Claw Shack does.  The best fried fish still goes to Boiling Crab.  And even the Cajun fries are better at both Boiling Crab and Kickin' Crab.

Sorry, Claw Shack.  Though your service was great, it looks like we won't be back.

Claw Shack
1696 Berryessa Rd
San Jose, CA 95133
(408) 649-6741


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