Pretty? Heavens no. Tasty? Definitely.

What: The twosome dinner

Where: Mr. Claws, 67555 E. Palm Canyon Drive, No. F120, Cathedral City

How much: $40

Contact: 760-424-8844;

Why: It’s messy and marvelous.

I always counsel inexperienced journalists to avoid absolutes—using words like “best” or “only” to describe something. Why? You can only say for sure that, for example, your favorite restaurant hamburger is the best in the Coachella Valley if you’ve tried every restaurant hamburger in the area.

Keep this in mind when I say: Mr. Claws offers the messiest dining experience in the Coachella Valley. It’s possible another dining experience offers an experience that’s just as messy, but there’s no way for the messiness on offer at Mr. Claws to be surpassed.

Mr. Claws opened last year in the space previously occupied by New Fortune Asian Cuisine, and the restaurant’s specialty is the seafood boil. Before the food arrives at the table in a plastic bag (delivered, interestingly enough, by a robot kitty on wheels), plastic bibs are handed out. I strongly encourage wearing that bib.

On our recent visit, we ordered the twosome dinner—a two-pound seafood boil meant for two. You pick two seafood offerings (we went with crawfish and head-on shrimp over mussels and clams), the seasoning (we went with the house-special Crazy Claw sauce) and the spiciness level (we picked medium). The meal also includes two half-cobs of corn, potatoes, sausage and eggs.

Your only option is to eat with your hands. Let the mess begin!

It was definitely a delicious mess. The Crazy Claw sauce was tangy and just a bit sweet, and all of the seafood was cooked perfectly. Our one quibble: The food was not at all spicy, but it was so tasty that we didn’t mind much.

If you like seafood, I highly recommend Mr. Claws. Just make sure you don’t wear fancy clothes—and be prepared for a delicious mess.

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Jimmy Boegle

Jimmy Boegle is the founding editor and publisher of the Coachella Valley Independent. He is also the executive editor and publisher of the Reno News & Review in Reno, Nev. A native of Reno, the Dodgers...