“Lobsters mate for life” (just like wolves and gibbons), or so says the commonly believed axiom. Well, myth buster mates: unlike their furry friends, lobsters are more into one-time things if you catch our oceanic drift—which, no judgment, to each anthropoid their own. However, if we have any sign that these promiscuous crustaceans are on a path to retribution, it’s their delicious, fleshy bodies. Ain’t nobody ever tried to make a wolf-burger—except maybe in Wyoming.
On the other hand, if you’ve a lobster doused in butter, rolled up in a bun, and consumed as a “Lobster Roll,” you’ll be as shocked as we are that they’re not the ones on the endangered species list. They may not be able to manage fidelity, but this spiny siren will have you crawling on your hands and knees, begging for more of their good, sweet meat. And, hey, you need go no further than one of these tasty local lobster eateries to get a hold of one… unlike those pesky simian sliders. Herewith, your guide to the best lobster rolls in Los Angeles.
Part lobster roll, part sculptural masterpiece, chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo have outdone themselves again. They keep the mix classic with timeless flavors of celery, Worcestershire, lemon, and tabasco, all perfectly balanced to give these delectable buns just the right amount of tang. Potato chips jutting out of the fluffy white lobster salad like a delicious stegosaurus give it that extra crunch and panache that makes it stand out from the herd.
8370 West Third Street Los Angeles, CA 90048
Real talk: the Santa Monica Pier isn’t for everyone all of the time, but we recommend it for everyone once. If you find yourself up to the crowds and the parking, reward your efforts with a lobster roll at The Albright. This version goes light on the mayo and adds chives and celery for some brightness and crunch.
258 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401
David Myers, you crazy for this one. Taking home the prize for most inventive spin-off, Myers pushes the most visually striking rolls we’ve ever seen. Colored jet-black with charcoal powder, the smoky buns perfectly compliment taste bud bombshell number two: a green curry aioli and fresh Thai basil give the roll an exotic piquancy that’s put it at the top of the list for food critics and culinary adventurists. One thing is for sure, you won’t find a roll like this east of L.A. without passing the Greenwich meridian.
10 W Century Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90067
Some say simple is the best way to approach a lobster roll. Others, well, say otherwise. The Anchor in Venice is clearly of the adage “more is more” when it comes to what they stick in those rolls or, rather, atop them. Here, succulent lobster gets a dousing of shaved black truffles. Necessary? Probably not. Delicious? We’ll let you decide.
235 Main St, Venice, CA 90291
Michael Cimarusti knows fish. We mean, not personally, but professionally, and he’s got a pedigree from a not-so-short list of seafood paragons to prove it (you may have heard of Le Cirque, Spago, Watergrill). Accordingly, the stand-out feature of Connie & Ted’s lobster roll is the fish itself. All sustainable and locally sourced (USA, not Santa Monica, don’t worry), and expertly prepared, this stripped-down take on the much debated dish, served in baked-to-order, buttery clouds of dinner rolls, is a pillar to Old Spiny Red.
8171 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046
Another Santa Monica Pier option (who knew there would be so many?) is The Lobster. The nearly-century-old restaurant specializes in, as you might have already guessed, lobster, which they pull from the waters off the coasts of California and Maine. Their lobster roll is served on a toasted butter roll (oh, hello) with little gem lettuce and Japanese mayo. Fries and pickled cucumber on the side. Check, please.
1602 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Header image courtesy of Toa Heftiba