I did not have very high hopes for 938 Crawfish when I first walked in and saw paper tablecloths, a roll of paper towels on every table. But my attitude improved a little when I saw the happy hour special, which includes dollar oysters, beers for $3.50, Margaritas for $5, and Long Islands for $6.
We got there a little after 4 pm, and the restaurant was empty. The same guy who showed us to our table made us our drinks, took our orders, and brought out the plates. This host/server/bartender/runner was dressed casually in jeans and a t-shirt. The server was laid back, and the service at 938 Crawfish was all the better for it.
I started my meal with a beer and a half dozen oysters, which were only $1 each. Then on to the main meal, a "Seafood Boil”, a dish that included king crab legs, crawfish, potatoes and corn, all cooked in a medium spicy Cajun sauce with a spicier Cajun sauce on the side for dipping. All of this was cooked served up in a clear plastic bag and was as flavorful as it sounds. The waiter brought out gloves and bibs with the food, because you eat with your hands at 938, and the sauce makes a mess. This is when I learned why they need the paper tablecloths and paper towels.
The king crab legs had a buttery texture that went well with the Cajun sauce, which was made from a variety of different seasonings including onion, garlic, cayenne, and more. The crawfish, had a strong flavor that is difficult to describe, sort of like oyster mixed with lobster mixed with something really bitter.
We left 938 Crawfish around 5:30, and the dinner rush was already in full swing. The restaurant was filled with families, couples, and groups of friends. It is obviously a popular spot, so maybe make a reservation (unless you want to eat dinner at 4:15 on a weeknight like I did). I highly recommend 938 Crawfish to anyone looking for a hearty, flavorful crawfish meal.
938 San Pablo Ave., Albany
Tel. (510) 525-2722
Monday-Friday: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday: 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
View their Yelp page here.