Eat This Now: Extra Spicy Shack-Style Sauce at The Seafood Shack
Photo by Kristine Hoang Om nom nom
On a dull, unassuming corner of Westminster Boulevard, a bright yellow umbrella highlights a dinky building that houses a Vietnamese-Cajun seafood joint called The Seafood Shack. The inside of the building is a far cry from the kind-of-dreary neighborhood, full of more energy than anyone could guess.
The restaurant is staffed by waiters as upbeat as the EDM playing in the background. One wall is lined by a fake aquarium; an opposite wall features a neon sign listing oyster varietals. Drawings of sea creatures and names signed by customers long-forgotten (or sitting 10 feet away) crowd any wooden surface.
Energy aside, the star of the show is the Shack-style sauce (a combination of Cajun sauce and garlic butter), which goes flawlessly with shrimp (or, really, anything else on the menu). This hybrid sauce is available in most Vietnamese-Cajun seafood restaurants around Orange County, but the Shack Sauce is different. For one, it's sweeter and comparably less oily. For two, The Seafood Shack uses twice the amount of garlic, and the spice has a tendency to strike the tongue and go straight for the sinuses afterward, activating every major sweat gland at once.
As if the Shack-style sauce didn't set The Seafood Shack apart enough already, the shrimp is served in bowls instead of the typical plastic bags you normally get, helping customers keep sauce from getting up to their elbows. Hey, it might seem inconsequential, but you need all the help you can get when you're sweating from every part of your face.