At the end of the Santa Barbara pier is a seafood shack that is the Santa Barbara Shellfish Company. This is the spot for great shellfish as I watched fresh crabs dropped into the giant tank as I ate my dinner. Considering that I was there by myself and waited about 20mins to grab a seat at the half bar (with a great view of the ocean), this is clearly a local favorite.
The value is clear as well. For $25, I enjoyed a 1.5lb local rock crab (which has some similarities to the stone crab in Florida) served with a cup of clam chowder and a salad. The chowder was fork-thick with a savory herb blend which I washed down with a Kona lager. The crab, easily the star of my dinner was so fresh and flavorful. Chances are that it was in the water that morning. It took me a good 30 minutes to systematically decimate the meat from each section of the crab sitting in front of me. While this was served with clarified butter and cocktail sauce, neither was needed at any point. The claw meat, which most prize was sweet, not to be outdone by the knuckles and the legs. The clusters took some doing, but provided a very clean flavor with each bite. I made a complete mess of myself as no bib was offered, but enjoyed it thoroughly. If I make it back to SB anytime soon, this will most certainly require a repeat-visit.