Walking into the nautical themed lobby of the new Cajun dining experience, Crawdaddy’s, instantly transports the average west coaster to a land where the food is just the right kind of spicy and tables are lined with butcher paper waiting to catch the scraps of a po’boy sandwich.
Former owner of Kai Lana sushi bar in Atascadero and current owner and head chef of Crawdaddy’s SLO, Jon Kim, wanted to bring something to the county that it was lacking: Cajun seafood cuisine.
“I wanted to bring something new,” Kim said. “I didn’t wanna bring another sushi bar. I didn’t wanna do another taqueria. I just wanted to offer something new.”
The dining style is like that of, say, Panera Bread, where guests order from a cashier, choose a seat and are delivered their orders. The cashiers are readily available to answer any inquiries a possible Cajun foreigner may have, including what the hell a crawdad is.
For diners wanting a full southern seafood experience, shooting for one of the Seafood Specialty options will keep all parties occupied. Your choice of shellfish—ranging from shrimp to, you guessed it, crawdads—is seasoned and spiced to your liking then cooked and served in a plastic bag.
For the dainty and refined, bibs and gloves are happily provided for shelling their desired prey while fearless messy eaters have full access to entire rolls of paper towels at all times.
According to Kim, what makes the six-week-old Crawdaddy’s different from SLO’s only other Cajun joint, Bon Temps, is that his restaurant specializes in seafood whereas his competitor caters to all forms of traditional Cajun cuisine.
The dedication that Kim puts into his business to satisfy his guests by physically being in the kitchen seven days a week shows genuine pride in his brand.
“I love what I do,” Kim said. “I want to be here and I want to be the one that is actually making food.”
Crawdaddy’s is located at 1761 Monterey St. in SLO and offers $2 pints and $1 fish and crawdad tacos on Mondays and Tuesdays. Their business hours run from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. everyday, closing at 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, call 547-1620.
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