The East Coast clam shack, oyster house, and fish house trend keeps growing which means the lobster roll is here to stay. Today you can find lobster rolls in Los Angeles in every venue from food trucks to fine dining. And while the purist debate rages on how much mayo should be in a cold lobster roll, or how buttery a Connecticut-style hot lobster roll should be, and whether to seek out split buns from the East Coast or find a local roll, Angelenos are tearing through a ton of lobsters each day without a care. Here are great spots around L.A. to get a lobster roll.
Blue Plate Oysterette
Jenny Morton’s casual American oyster bar on Ocean Avenue - with a view of the Pacific Ocean - is a most enlightened and irresistible proposition. There is always a great selection of oysters, and when it comes to their lobster roll, a willingness to enter the great lobster roll debate: how much mayo is enough? The standard lobster roll has a light mayo with a bit of sweetness from relish and shallots, but you can request it wet to satisfy your mayo fix, or hot and dripping in butter. If you don’t like those options and are a purist, they are sure to accommodate you here.
Connie and Ted's
It’s hard to get a table these days at chef Michael Cimarusti’s bright, modern clam shack with a striking Jetsons-by-the-sea design that draws a crowd seeking the freshest seafood cooked by a culinary master. The restaurant is named after Cimarusti’s maternal grandparents, and is a tribute to his childhood memories of fishing trips and fish house fare in Narragansett, Rhode Island, which gives him major lobster roll cred. Cimarusti’s hearty, vital lobsters are cooked live and either chilled and lightly dressed for cold sandwiches, or mixed with butter for their hot lobster roll right from the pot. The soft bread is made in house, and toasted to order for the finest expression of tender lobster on a roll in town.
Hinoki & The Bird
In this spacious open dining room located on the ground floor of a Century City luxury condo building, a sense of romance pulsates through the hinoki scented air, from the reclaimed oak walls to executive chef Kuniko Yagi’s exposed kitchen. Created by the David Myers Group, the restaurant prepares understated California cuisine spiced by way of the Silk Road, as exemplified by their innovative lobster roll. The roll is tinted black by charcoal powder, then stuffed with Maine lobster that’s mixed with garlic aioli and green curry paste decorated with Thai basil and flowers for a dish that’s as impressive as the room itself.
Santa Monica Seafood Market and Café
At this upscale and relaxed Santa Monica seafood market, you can pick up everything you need for a seafood extravaganza: shellfish, caviar, live lobsters, line-caught fish, fine cheeses, seafood-friendly wine and all the fixings. There’s a small oyster bar, a deli counter, and a cafe serving all the greatest hits under the sea, including an affordable Maine lobster roll with a side of good fries. The lobster is tossed in a lemon aioli with chives in a no frills presentation on a regular bun. The lobster roll will keep you in good company while the fish monger fills your order.
Son of a Gun Restaurant
The menu at Vinny Datolo and Jon Shook’s Florida-themed seafood restaurant includes a few items that have attained cult status, including the lobster roll. There are shared plates on the menu, but this petite lobster roll isn’t one of them - it’s just enough to make you eager to plan your next visit to this hot spot. The cold lobster is coated with a celery and lime aioli tinted light pink from a mixture of Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco, then finished with a final sprinkle of chives that delivers a memorable bite served on a buttery brioche.