Why is all of Oakland's Chinatown descending on Gourmet Delight, which opened in the old Tin's Teahouse space this year? If you can thread through the crowds, you'll find the answers at the back, swimming languidly around their aquariums as if they had all the time left in the world. You'll see crabs and lobsters crawling over each other like the hosts at an orgy, frilly pink spot prawns fluttering about, and two-foot-long sturgeons sizing you up from their tank. Every now and again, a net descends, someone disappears, and the rest of the sea creatures pretend it never happened. Chinatown is flocking to Gourmet Delight because it charges crazy low prices for its Cantonese seafood. A live crab fried with ginger and green onion or a whole sea bass steamed with black bean sauce will set you back about $15, almost half what it would cost at some of the tonier nearby competitors. The true guarantee of Gourmet Delight's freshness is the high turnover: None of the seafood stays around long enough to foul its tank.
Scott's Seafood Grill & Bar
2 Broadway, Oakland, 510-444-3456
1333 N. California Blvd., Walnut Creek, 925-934-1300