While Boiling Crab may not necessarily be one of the first establishments that comes to mind when thinking of Koreatown, it is undeniably one of the busiest and most popular. Just pass by the corner of Wilshire Blvd and Alexandria Ave any day of the week, and you’ll see for yourself – massive crowds, all eagerly waiting for hours on end, some of the most coveted seats in the neighborhood. One could easily mistake the Boiling Crab’s waiting area for the entrance of some sold-out music concert.
In his LA Weekly piece on the establishment, Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold raved about the food, calling it “unprecedented in the complexity of its resonances: Southeast Asian seafood culture colliding head-on with Franco-Acadian cuisine, Tabasco running into the bird pepper, spicy Vietnamese-Chinese crabstyles bleeding into the swamp cooking of the American South.”
Yet, despite all the limelight, there is very little mention of the key individuals operating behind the curtains, without whom the success of Boiling Crab K-town wouldn’t have even been possible — Bach and Kirk Kimball. And so, we wanted to take a little time to introduce this dynamic, husband and wife duo, and share their story with you all.
Bach and Kirk both hail from Pass Christian, a small, quaint town in Harrison County, Mississippi. With a population of only 5,700, “The Pass,” as locals would call it, sheds some light onto the couple’s unassuming roots, with such humble beginnings likely helping to shape the couple into the warm, welcoming individuals we’ve come to know today. Though Bach likes to tease, calling Kirk, “a hillbilly from Mississippi,” perhaps it is precisely that Southern charm that makes the hard-working husband and wife team so endearing to everyone who meets them.
Even regarding the success of their Koreatown location up to now, they attribute practically all of it to their friends, Dada Ngo and Sinh Nguyen, the founders of the first Boiling Crab location out in Garden Grove, California. “We have very little to do with the success,” Bach told us. Speaking about the Boiling Crab brand, she added, “Dada and Sinh established the Boiling Crab in 2004, and worked hard to get it to where it is today. We were blessed to have something already in place and successful.”
When asked about what they’ve enjoyed the most while operating the business, they were quick to speak of the relationships they’ve developed over the last several years. “Much of our staff started out very young with us,” they answered, “we have relationships with many of them as if they are our kids or younger siblings.” Bach and Kirk noted how much they’ve all grown together, adding that, “it’s probably the best feeling to have people who work with us who have basically become our family.”
As for what they’ve most recently been up to, just this past May, the couple opened up a Southern Mississippi-style BBQ joint right next door. The restaurant concept was inspired by the backyard BBQ parties Kirk would throw for friends and neighbors during the summer. Over time, the neighborhood BBQs grew into massively popular 400+ person summer events, and it was at that point that they realized they were onto something. And thus, Boogie McGee’s Bayou Smokehouse BBQ was born. With quality meats smoked for several hours each and every day (14 hours for the brisket!), this is something you won’t want to miss.
At RushOrder, we’re huge fans of what Bach and Kirk have brought to the community, and count ourselves amongst the incredibly fortunate who have developed a relationship with such amazing individuals over the last few years.