Fish Grill Factory in Santa Ana Goes Belly Up; Kickin' Crab Moves In

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Edwin Goei

This week marks almost exactly one year to the day that I posted on the opening of Fish Grill Factory on this blog, a hopeful new entrant a block away from South Coast Plaza in Santa Ana that tried to copy the success of California Fish Grill by doing pretty much exactly what it did: grilled fish at reasonable rates.

To refresh your memory here's what I wrote about Fish Grill Factory on October 20th, 2009:

"Well, a week ago I checked in for the Grand Opening, and it was exactly as I had imagined, but in a grand scale that I did not expect. The room seemed like it could hold three California Fish Grills (and one Malibu Fish Grill). The menu? Ambitious. The appetizers number nine items, and include something called a guacamole egg roll. Garlic butter and Cajun are saucing options, but also mango. There's white roughy, but also giant scallop."
A month later I reviewed the restaurant on print and found them, well, a bit wobbly, having not earned sea legs yet. Since then, it seemed to slowly sink deeper and deeper, never getting its head above water, especially with the Yelpers.

Then, a few weeks ago Fish Grill Factory gasped its final breath, went belly up, and disappeared for good.

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Edwin Goei

It seems apt then that the vacated shell of the restaurant has now been taken over by a crab, or more exactly, a Cajun seafood joint inspired by the likes of The Boiling Crab called The Kickin' Crab. Why do I think it's cribbing Boiling Crab and its other Little Saigon competitors? Look at the menu and see for yourself.

I peeked in and saw that they've done little to the old Fish Grill Factory dining room, and are even repurposing their giant chalkboard for their own menu.

Will I be writing about the next seafood eatery come October 2011? Aside from a morbid curiosity on what new sea critter-themed restaurant might take over the space should the Kickin' Crab kick the bucket (so far that location has been home to a sushi-joint named Bluefin, Fish Grill Factory, and now this) I'm hoping this concept sticks like a barnacle.

The Kickin' Crab, 3611 S. Bristol St. #C, Santa Ana, (714)754-8888; www.thekickincrab.com


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