That a crab Louis is a West Coast classic is about all that can be agreed on about the popular salad. At last count, the recipe was credited to at least three different chefs named Louis in three different cities — San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle — at the turn of the 20th century. The dish is essentially cooked fresh crabmeat mixed with a creamy dressing flavored with onion, chile sauce, and cayenne. Use Dungeness crab if you can get it; otherwise, jumbo lump or peekytoe crabmeat works just fine. Although not as traditional, the salad can also be made with an equal amount of baby shrimp for similar delicious results. Whichever version you make, be sure to serve it the way they do out West: scooped onto a bed of crisp iceberg lettuce, with hard-cooked eggs, celery, and tomato served alongside.
In a bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, onion, chile sauce, relish, lemon juice, and cayenne. Season with salt, to taste. (The dressing can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 days; stir before using.)
Place the eggs in a small saucepan and fill with enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn off the heat. Cover and let stand for 11 minutes.
Transfer to a small bowl and cover with cold water. Let cool and peel. Slice the eggs in half lengthwise.
Divde the lettuce among 4 plates. Scoop the crabmeat on top of the lettuce and sprinkle with parsley. Arrange the tomato wedges, celery stalks, egg halves, and lemon wedges around the crab. Spoon the dressing on top or serve on the side.