The Shrimp Lover in East Hollywood (there are two other locations: one at Redondo Beach and one on Melrose Avenue), is a shellfish aficionado’s fast food dream.
Situated in a mini shopping complex off Hollywood Boulevard, the Shrimp Lover is a very reasonable Cajun/Thai fusion kitsch shack-like eatery, where scribbles on the walls plaudit the secret signature sauces with the odd declarations of friendship mixed in. There is a definite scruffiness to it all, which injects the atmosphere with elements of youth and rebellion.
Tables are covered with ready to throw out paper table cloths, plastic bibs with a large shrimp emblazoned across them signals the start of the battle: conscripts in armour ready to finger and strip the juicy garlicky crustaceans. It is the steamed shellfish, specifically the shrimp, smothered in one of the four different signature sauces (you can choose how hot you want the sauce), which creates the frenzy and draws people back here time and time again. It is an excuse to eat primitively. It is a place where manners leave through the front door and sucking on armies of shrimp heads and dismembered crab claws is encouraged.
Warning, this is definitely not a first date venue and you won’t want to be kissing anybody after.