Blue Crab “Lettuce Cups” @ Carthay Circle Restaurant

Price: $19.00

When: July 2, 2016, 5:15 PM

Reservations: Recommended

Verdict? Recommended

The menus at the Carthay Circle Restaurant don’t provide much in the way of detailed descriptions. Each dish gets a small, single line of text, and a price. That’s it.

Sometimes, you know what you’re getting (for instance, the 8 oz. Angus Burger). But in other cases, the vague names make it feel like playing “Battleship”: you order, and hope for a hit.

The Blue Crab “Lettuce Cups” are just such a dish.

I honestly had no idea what to expect. In my mind, I suspected they’d be like the Chicken Lettuce Wraps at Trader Sams.

Turns out they’re pre-cut spring rolls, like you’d get in a Vietnamese restaurant.

It also turns out they’re delicious.

You get three individual portions on the plate, along with a small dish of red, Sriracha-ish hot sauce. Each portion is two or three bites, max.

These suckers are hard to eat. They fall apart at the slightest provocation. There’s no bottom on them, so just picking them up can cause them to disassemble.

For all that, they’re terrific. Incredibly fresh ingredients, and good variety, too: crab and fish eggs and radish and cashews, assisted with an Asian sauce. (As for the optional hot sauce: you don’t need it. Everything stands on its own.)

This is a nice, fresh pop of summer flavor. It exceeded my expectations. At nearly $20, there’s no question this is spendy, but we certainly enjoyed it. Recommended.