If you want to get decadent but eschew meat this holiday, Ascend Prime Steak and Sushi in Bellevue now offers a “King Crab Experience” for somewhere in the realm of $1,000 per crustacean. The red king crab is flown in live from the Barents Sea and sold within 72 hours of leaving the water.  

Chef Kevin Hee wanted to highlight something luxurious but also something sustainable (well, aside from the whole air shipment thing). Other crab varieties have suffered overfishing in the last decade, but Seafood Watch lists the red king crab as a best choice pick for consumers because it is fished responsibly and has the population numbers to keep up with demand. In many areas the red king crab has become an invasive species because of its lack of natural predators.

You can see your crab before purchase. Staff then steams your pick tableside and some of the cluster meat is flambeed and reduced to make a couple sauces. The crab is then taken away and broken down. Once the sauces are finished, the crab is brought back on a bed of steaming river rocks.

The current price for these crabs is $88 per pound and they run nine to 12 pounds—so you’re looking at an $800–$1050 meal. Ascend recommends one for groups of five to six people.

“Well, I mean like I love crab and I could probably smash like half of a 10-pound crab,” says Hee. “So it really depends on the guest.”

 The King Crab Experience runs through December, depending on fisher availability. Ascend also offers the kings on Christmas Eve, minus the tableside production—a (relative) steal at $68 per pound. 

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