Cajun seafood eatery opens in Holtsville by Island 16 movie theater


There’s a new restaurant option for those looking to grab a bite to eat before or after a movie by Island 16 Cinema de Lux.

The Monster Crab, located at 173 Morris Ave. in Holtsville, is bringing an authentic Cajun-style seafood boil to the area. 

“I have been doing sushi and Japanese hibachi for over 13 years,” said owner Tom Chen. “The first time I tasted Cajun food, I immediately fell in love with the flavor. It was delicious, from that moment on I knew I wanted to do something like that.” 

Chen has over 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry under his belt, including now five restaurants he operates on Long Island.  He currently owns Asian fusion spot Xaga in Hewlett and Merrick, a hibachi/sushi place called Lumix in Lynbrook, and Fire Hibachi in Carle Place.

Wanting to expand into the Suffolk area, Chen found the “perfect” location right next to the Long Island Expressway and Nicolls Road. 

Now, the restaurateur is venturing out into the Cajun seafood space. 

“I am very excited for this new brand, and I also feel blessed in a way that I was fortunate enough to make it through the pandemic,” he said. 

He opened up The Monster Crab this month in the spot that last held La Capannina Ristorante & Pizzeria.

Chen’s mission is to keep the experience as genuine as possible — a variety of fishes, crustaceans, and shellfish mixed together with sauce and spice in a plastic bag. 

“The menu is influenced by Southern-style cuisine,” he said. “The customer can enjoy a family-friendly atmosphere while taking in the complex flavors that Cajun food is known for.” 

The Monster Crab is now open in Holtsville seven days a week, Sunday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. They offer takeout and delivery services. 

For more information, visit their website or Facebook page

Top: A seafood boil from The Monster Crab. All photos courtesy of the restaurant.