The Wishing Crab at the Streets of Brentwood serves Southern Cajun-style meals in an artful, comfortable dining room, and aims to use its profits and popularity to better the community.
Restaurant owner Stan Le chatted cheerfully with customers as his smiling staff served dishes such as garlic butter shrimp ($10.50 per pound) and oven-roasted Steak and Lobster ($29.75). One of the most popular dishes is designed for two to share: The Wishing Classic, a Steampot Combo, contains two clusters of snow crab, half of a Dungeness crab, one pound of shrimp, plus sausage, potatoes and corn in a garlic butter sauce ($37.95). Popular appetizers include the restaurant’s special recipe for Garlic Noodles ($8.95), one of Le’s personal favorites, and deep-fried Soft Shell Crabs, hand-breaded ($7.95).
Diners can order from a full bar, and new menu items are regularly added, such as the new Crab Cake and Crab Louie. Le and his family run the restaurant, ensuring prompt responses to customer needs and requests.
The Wishing Crab’s signature item is the Whole Dungeness Crab (Market Price). Cooked fresh, the crab can be prepared in a spicy Cajun style or a garlic butter style, and is one of the restaurant’s bestselling dishes. This dish offers guests the chance to give back to their community while enjoying fine dining; for every Dungeness Crab purchased at the restaurant, The Wishing Crab donates one dollar to a local high school scholarship fund. “My goal is to raise anywhere between $5,000 and $6,000 every year,” said Le. The funds will be distributed as $1,000 scholarships to five or six students in the community.
Le, who also owns the popular Brentwood restaurant Shirasoni, places a high priority on education. He requires his employees to attend college, schedules their work hours to accommodate their classes, and strives to help them grow and improve themselves through their work experience at his restaurants.
These efforts pay off; the staff sported enormous smiles and cheerful demeanors. “The only way we know to get ahead is to get an education,” Le said. “College always opens an opportunity.” The Wishing Crab’s focus is not only on high schoolers and college students. The restaurant gets its name from the enormous crab attached to a blackboard wall, on which younger diners are encouraged to write their wishes and dreams for the future.
The Wishing Crab and Shirasoni offer a Rewards Club for regular diners. Members receive 5-percent back on their purchases, and may designate 2 percent of their meal cost toward local organizations of their choice, such as the animal shelter or local schools. They also eat for free on birthdays, anniversaries and graduations.
Le’s community-focused efforts and The Wishing Crab’s attention to detail have paid off. Customers waved and smiled as they left, and one customer voiced authoritative satisfaction with his meal: “I go to every crab feed in the county. This crab is delicious.”
The Wishing Crab, located at 2505 Sand Creek Road, Suite 108 in Brentwood, is open Sundays through Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Call 925-634-3888 or visit www.thewishingcrab.com. Reservations may be made online.