New Modesto CA Akitaca Crab Seafood Boil Restaurant Opens

Does food taste better when you’ve worked on it?

Modesto’s newest seafood restaurant puts that theory to the test with tasty results. Akitaca Crab opened on Prescott Road in mid-January and already has happy customers.

The restaurant specializes in seafood broths, hearty mixes of crab, shrimp, crawfish and more cooked in their shells with potatoes, corn and sausages, then served in a bag or dropped on butcher paper on your table. This is when the real work begins.

Seafood boils originated on the South and East Coast and have become a popular culinary trend across the country. Akitaca Crab joins a handful of Stanislaus County restaurants that offer seafood porridge, including Turlock’s Shrimpy’s, Modesto’s Crawfish Noodle & Grill, and the recently opened Bag O’ Crab in North Modesto’s former Tahoe Joe’s space.

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Akitaca Crab seafood restaurant in Modesto, Calif. on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. Andy Alfaro aalfaro@modbee.com

Modesto restaurateur Kevin Lin has spent the past two years renovating the former home of the Four Seasons Buffet, which has moved across the street. Now the 5,400 square foot building has a new kitchen, bar, and dining room with nautical touches. The open and contemporary space can accommodate approximately 250 people and a private party room is under construction.

Lin is no stranger to the Modesto restaurant scene. He opened Kobe Sushi Buffet in the McHenry Village mall in 2012 and has since owned the Asian-inspired restaurant with a sushi conveyor belt.

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Owner Kevin Lin prepares a seafood combo at Akitaca Crab Seafood Restaurant in Modesto, Calif., on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. Andy Alfaro aalfaro@modbee.com

But Akitaca manager Eden Rodriguez said he wanted to bring more seafood boil options to the valley so people don’t have to drive to the area from bay or Sacramento to get their fix. The restaurant was named after the Japanese city and prefecture of Akita, with “ca” added to the end to denote California, he said.

“It’s an experience we’ve brought to Modesto. You get the experience of a family meal that you put in a bag or on paper on the table,” Rodriguez said. “(Lin) wanted to bring this kind of food to Modesto, something new like he did with Kobe Sushi.”

The menu offers a variety of boiled seafood and shellfish options. You can create your own mix, choosing from shrimp, clams, crayfish, mussels, baby octopus, calamari, scallops, lobster tail and a variety of crabs (snow, king and Dungeness) served at half pound or full pound. Then you choose your spice level and sauce: Cajun, Garlic Butter, Lemon Pepper, or Akitaca Special (all three sauces combined). Then comes boiling time.

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Party for 2 is to be eaten on a paper covered table at Akitaca Crab Seafood Restaurant in Modesto, Calif., on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. Andy Alfaro aalfaro@modbee.com

Akitaca also offers premixed boil bag combos, which range from $24 to $65. For a less sassy option, the restaurant offers dry-rubbed family specialties, which are poured onto the table instead of served in a bag. These cost $75 for a group of two to $219 for a group of four.

Both options require that you are not afraid to get your hands dirty and that you are prepared for plenty of crunches. The restaurant provides shelling tools, bibs and hand wipes – and you’ll need them all. There are even gloves, which depending on how spiced you have prepared your mix, are also highly recommended. The highest heat level uses the scorpion pepper, which ranks just below the dreaded Carolina Reaper as the hottest pepper in the world.

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Owner Kevin Lin adds spices to a seafood dish at Akitaca Crab Seafood Restaurant in Modesto, Calif., Wednesday, March 16, 2022. Andy Alfaro aalfaro@modbee.com

For those interested in less mess for dinner, Akitaca also offers fried seafood, soups and salads, appetizers, and po boy sandwiches in seafood and non-seafood varieties, which range from $4. and $13. The restaurant has a full bar, so you can pair your seafood bonanza with a cocktail or a bucket of beer and more.

Akitaca currently offers takeout and takeout, but within the next month it should also be available on the DoorDash delivery app.

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Kristine and Jack Huerto have lunch at Akitaca Crab seafood restaurant with their daughter Maria, 5, in Modesto, Calif., on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. Andy Alfaro aalfaro@modbee.com

Akitaca Crab Seafood Restaurant, 1800 Prescott Road, Suite C, is open 12:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday through Monday, closed Tuesday. For more information, call 209-238-9518 or visit his page at Facebook.

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Owner Kevin Lin hosts a seafood combo at Akitaca Crab Seafood Restaurant in Modesto, Calif., on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. Andy Alfaro aalfaro@modbee.com

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Seafood Combo at Akitaca Crab in Modesto, Calif. on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. Andy Alfaro aalfaro@modbee.com

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Akitaca Crab restaurant in Modesto, Calif. on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. Andy Alfaro aalfaro@modbee.com

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Marijke Rowland writes about new commercial, restaurant and retail developments. She has worked with The Modesto Bee since 1997 and covers a variety of topics including arts and entertainment. His Business Beat column airs several times a week. And it’s pronounced Mar-eye-ke.
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