Leading up to this year's Best of L.A. issue (coming out Oct. 3), we'll be bringing you periodic lists of some of the best things we've found to eat and drink around town. Ice cream sandwiches and bowls of tsukemen, fish tacos and dan dan mian, cups of boba and glasses of booze. Read on.
The lobster roll is a sandwich that should be easy to make delicious. All of its classic components — lobster, brioche, mayonnaise — are delicious on their own, so why shouldn't the combination of all three be magical? Somehow, it doesn't always work out that way, and the sum of its parts often turn out not as good as its individual components.
Luckily, there are a number of spots around town that get the lobster roll right — and now, at the height of beach season, is when we crave them most. Turn the page for five great lobster rolls in L.A.
Purists will argue that the Hungry Cat's lobster roll is more of a lobster salad sandwich than a true lobster roll. Penny-pinchers will argue that, at $25, it's too expensive. We'd argue that, regardless of these things, it's damn delicious. 1535 N. Vine St., Hlywd.; 323-462-2155.
Michael Cimarusti's new West Hollywood seafood restaurant serves its lobster rolls either hot or cold, and both are paragons of simplicity. Huge chunks of perfectly cooked lobster are very lightly dressed — with mayo on the cold version, butter on the hot — and served on a fantastically buttery and light brioche roll. A half-lemon comes alongside to provide extra acid if desired, along with as a heaping serving of very good french fries. 8171 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood; 323-460-4170.
3. Son of a Gun
This teeny lobster roll is just enough to make you wish you had more, about one and a half bites of classic, mayo-rich lobster goodness. The balance of sweet and savory is perfect, and the cute presentation is fun, too. Just don't try to share it — in fact, perhaps order two just for yourself. 8370 W. Third St., Los Angeles; 323-782-9033.
Littlefork's chef Jason Travi gets the classics right. It's one hell of a lobster roll he's serving, the balance of bouncy lobster meat to creamy dressing exactly right, with the nice touch of a parsley salad on the side. Servers instruct you to top the lobster roll with the salad, “like chef did it when he was growing up.” 1600 Wilcox Ave., Los Angeles; 323-465-3675.
Chef David Myers' new restaurant, which celebrates Japan, Los Angeles and the intermingling of their two cuisines, has a lot of standout dishes. But vying for top spot is the lobster roll, a dish that is as nontraditional as it is delicious, an exciting ode to the original with enough modern twists to take it to a whole other level. The lobster meat has a light citrus tang and a hint of green curry and Thai basil. The roll is made black as soot with Japanese charcoal. The freshness of the lobster set against the bread's sweet grit is nothing short of revelatory. 10 W. Century Drive, Los Angeles; 310-552-1200.
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