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INTERVIEW: Bringing A Taste of Singapore To LA

Lately I’ve been looking forward to going to street vendors and food trucks just as much as I would my favorite restaurants. With all the gourmet trucks rolling around the city who could blame me? But when it comes to the food vendor scene LA is far ahead of NYC which is why I was really excited to hear Smorgasburg would be heading to DTLA. Smorgasburg is a weekly food festival that started in 2011 as a spinoff to the “Brooklyn Flea” a vendors market in held in Fort Greene. With only a few months under its belt in DTLA Smorgasburg has already become a go to weekend destination for foodie and hipsters alike. Tucked inside the Alameda Farmers Market, Smorgasburg provides all the mouth watering treats any foodie could hope for.

While running through the list of vendors that would be in attendance the first name that caught my eye was “Summer Crab Co”. Anyone who knows me knows I love seafood especially crabs. I can sit at a table and pick crabs apart for hours. Then when I saw photos the soft shell Singapore chili crab sandwich aptly named “The Trap Queen” on their Instagram there was no way I could leave LA without sampling the sandwich of my dreams. So I jumped in an Über and headed downtown to Smorgasburg where I met up with Yuli one of the founders of Summer Crab Co to get my crab fix and learn a little about her company.

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Watermelon-Shiso “Singria”

Tell me a little about your team.

Summer Crab, a Singaporean chili crab concept from chef Stephen Trujillo and business partner Yuli Miller. Trujillo was with the Thomas Keller Group (Bouchon,French Laundry) for six years before working as the chef de cuisine at Tar & Roses; Miller is the co-founder of Kaya Street Kitchen on Fairfax.


What inspired you guys to start Summer Crab Co.?

Our love for Singaporean chili crab a dish that primarily uses mud crabs served in a thick tomato and chili sauce prompted the birth of Summer Crab, which will first offer crab sandwiches to the Smorgasburg crowd. We’d love to give an approachable taste to the folks in Los Angeles.

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“The Trap Queen” tempura soft shell crab sandwich

Who comes up with the cool names for the menu?

Stephen did :).


Smorgasburg is rapidly becoming a Sunday must in LA. What is the best part about being a vendor at such a carefully curated event. 

It’s an amazing experience to see the event grow and new vendors come. We are seeing new vendors every week and are excited to be part of this. 


Are you guys experimenting with new recipes?

Stephen is constantly thinking of new products to introduce and would love to do the authentic dish if people are interested!

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Have you had a chance to visit Smorgasburg in NYC?

Not yet, but we heard wonderful things. We would love to one day :).


Do you see Summer Crab Co popping up at different locations in the future?

It depends on the opportunities. Our goal was to spread this dish to LA, and if the chance comes up, we would love to.

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