How a viral $72 crab fried rice became one restaurant’s nightmare

The $72 crab fried rice at the Vietnamese restaurant Lily—studded with A4 Miyazaki Wagyu sirloin, golden trout and white sturgeon caviar, uni and crab sourced from Japan, and black truffle trimmings—started with a simple question: What if you had a hedge fund-level corporate expense account to throw everything but the kitchen sink into a limited-time, gimmick of a dish? According to The San Francisco Chronicle, you’d get all the trappings for the runaway nightmare that was the #1 Dac Biet Fried Rice—or, as chef Rob Lam dubbed it, “the #1 douchebag fried rice.” Soon after the dish went viral, Lily’s kitchen staffers found themselves hunched over every night, plucking the meat from king, snow, and Dungeness crabs for 20 orders. But despite being chock-full of luxe ingredients, the fried rice didn’t make any money, and those who ordered it got little else off the menu. After two prior attempts to nix the dish, the rice is finally dead. And although people still try to order it, such an effort, Soleil Ho writes, “feels to me like yelling ‘Free Bird!’ at a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert.” 

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