The RGB Knocks Off Marché Modèrne | King Crab and Avocado with Yuzu Aioli

Today’s RGB photo: A California Poppy taken in Santa Barbara while visiting with family over the weekend.

Marché Modèrne in Costa Mesa is self-described as a “modern French bistro.” We love it because the chef is creative, the dishes are beautiful and the food is delicious. Their 30-tap wine bar is pretty fantastic, too.

On a recent (New Years Eve) visit to the bistro, we lunched on a Dungeness crab and avocado appetizer with yuzu aioli… which came with a side of mango jalapeno sorbet. Later in the afternoon, while cruising through the local Crate and Barrel, we happened across the same martini glass and bowl that the crab appetizer was served on. And it was on clearance. SCORE!

Fast forward to New Years Day. While shopping for sushi ingredients, we discovered that King crab legs were on sale for $12.99 / lb and resolved to re-create the Marché Modèrne crab appetizer. Because have this thing for knocking off restaurant items.

Pardon me, but damn, it was good. Nothing better than a little yuzu juice to highlight the fresh crab meat. And while we didn’t have any micro cilantro (but are working to fix that), we think the “older, sage cilantro” we had in the garden sufficed. It was the perfect appetizer to Mr. RGBistro’s hand-made and home-prepared sushi dinner.

Mr. RGBistro’s version of a Salmon Skin Roll – Otherwise called, “I’m a lucky girl.”

Note on Differences: We didn’t use Dungeness crab; because King crab was on sale. The restaurant used micro cilantro; we used the standard leaves (but made an effort to pick the smaller, younger ones). The restaurant most likely tossed the cucumber and avocado in a vinaigrette; we incorporated kewpie yuzu mayonnaise (because we had a lot to use up). Also… we didn’t serve ours with a side of mango jalapeno sorbet. Because we aren’t fancy… Other than that, it was pretty close. And pretty awesome.


What’s your favorite dish to knock off?

King Crab and Avocado with Yuzu Aioli


King Crab and Avocado with Yuzu Aioli

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Serving Size: Serves 2

Calories per serving: Nutrition content per serving: 194calories, 2g car

This beautiful appetizer is quick to prepare. Just fill a glass bowl with seasoned crab meat, diced cucumber, fresh avocado, and finish with cilantro.


  • • 2 ounces lump King crab meat
  • • 3 tablespoons kewpie mayonnaise
  • • 1 yuzu (yield 1 teaspoon juice)
  • • ½ small cucumber (yield ¼ cup finely diced)
  • • ¼ small avocado (yield ¼ cup diced)
  • • Fine sea salt
  • • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • • 2-3 stems of cilantro leaves
  • • Optional: 1 cup crushed ice


  1. Minute 1: If you have the Crate and Barrel Cleo martini glass, fill it with ice.
  2. Minute 2: Juice yuzu. In a 1-quart bowl, mix together 3 tablespoons of kewpie mayonnaise with 1 teaspoon yuzu juice. Scoop out one tablespoon of mixture and set aside.
  3. Minute 5: Finely dice cucumber and avocado. Add to mayonnaise mixture and toss to combine.
  4. Minute 10: Scoop cucumber and avocado mixture into martini glass, then top with crab meat. Sprinkle with a pinch of fine sea salt and coarse grind of black pepper.
  5. Minute 15: Ladle 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture crab meat and top with cilantro leaves.


Cost per serving: $1.76- $3.18

Source: Rustic Garden Bistro

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King Crab and Avocado with Yuzu Aioli - Marche Moderne - King Crab and Avocado with Yuzu Aioli - Square


  1. says

    That is one beautious dish! I think it is awesome to re-create a dish you’ve had out. You can control the flavors, the salt, etc. when you do it at home! I always prefer my own short ribs to those I order out. Can’t wait to see that micro cilantro!!

  2. says

    Happy New Year to you! John and I tried Marché Modèrne for lunch last October, before seeing Young Frankenstein at the OC Performing Arts Center, and LOVED the food. John ordered the Short Rib specialty of the house, and I had a scallop dish. We also frequently try to “reinvent” dishes we’ve enjoyed out. Your crab salad is stunning!

  3. says

    WOW! Love everything about this and seems I need to hit Crate and Barrel. We used to be such good friends I would just say I was going to the Crate, but I’ve been remiss in the relationship and so now have to make amends!

    I actually have a Pear, Gorgonzola and Candied Walnut salad I’m publishing tomorrow…my knockoff of one I love at Nordstrom’s Cafe!

  4. says

    Oh my…such stunning photographs, as always! That poppy was just the perfect amount of color…it turned my drab morning into something bright and beautiful. I love to recreate baked goods and desserts that I try at restaurants. There is an amazing fruit tart at Marigolds in Colorado Springs that I’m still working on recreating. So very good! You did an excellent job with your king crab and avocado. How beautiful and tasty too! Thank you so much for the lemons…I can hardly wait, my friend!

  5. says

    I’ve seen those martini glasses before… love the design, and love even more the idea of using them to serve food. I could see a sundae or a sorbet going perfectly in one of those =)

  6. says

    I love trying to recreate restaurant dishes, though I admit the restaurant we mimic the most is the one whose cookbook we have, so that’s not really the same.

    This looks SO GOOD. We don’t get crab often but the next time it looks particularly good I’m going to suggest making this.

  7. says

    Hi Kim. I found my way here through Liam’s blog. Man, you take really gorgeous pics – everything looks so fresh and colorful. I’m willing to bet your knockoff was just as good if not better than Marche Modernes (I had to look up “yuzu” on wiki, though :D)

  8. says

    Ding,ding, ding!! Total home run – out of the park!!

    I will happily be “borrowing” this recipe AND the presentation – gorgeous!!!

    Love Marche Moderne… hmm… think we need to do a blogger lunch there…

  9. says

    Hi Kim, I stopped by from Monet’s site to say hello and take a look around. You have a lovely site here and this dish looks delightful.
    I am really loving that yuzu aioli :)

  10. says

    Wow! This looks amazing. I only like crab sometimes, but I’m quite confident that this is something I will love!

    A couple years ago, I had this pecan crusted chicken with a cream sauce on it that I recreated at home. I love trying to “knock off” restaurant foods. Its fun. :)

  11. says

    I love crab! I love sushi! I love to be “the lucky girl”. But I can sit here and stare for hours at your photos! Especially that poppy! It is so dramatic, and I am smitten:)
    We are still to go to MM (and it is marked as a “HAVE TO VISIT” place) – we do not go out too often, but when we do, we try to pick a really extraordinary restaurant.
    Thanks, Kim!

  12. says

    Hi there. Loved meeting you at the FBLA this past Saturday and now I’ve had a ball getting to know your beautiful and hunger-provoking blog. AND Marche Moderne is one of my husband and my favs when we go to South Coast Plaza! We love to have the cheese plate, salumi plate and wine to break up the trip and shopping time. I agree w/Nancy (above) that having a blogger lunch there would be fantastic! Great looking recipe and gorgeous pics!