Set to go off tonight, tomorrow, and Sunday at Ports O' Call Village in San Pedro, the Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival is sure to be a polarizing affair. Committed locavores will lock up their bibs at the notion of celebrating New England's quintessential crustacean on the California coast. Others, unwilling to subsist on sand dabs and spot prawns alone, will join in the cracking of shells, squirting of lemon, and sucking of chartreuse tomalley. Our interest is as much academic as gastronomic, of course. After all, what could be more representative of the systems set in place to ensure diners access to luxury food items than the Maine lobster: fragile, coveted, overnighted via jet from the crisp waters of the northern Atlantic Ocean. We're interested in that sort of thing, at least as much as we're interested in hunks of quivering tail meat coated in drawn butter.

That said, even if you're ambivalent about dropping $18 for a big, brick-red bug and its proper accoutrements — sweet bread, potatoes, and cole slaw — the fest will offer non-edible delights to sweeten the deal. In addition to parades, pirate-themed street performances, and shops, some top-notch musical guests will be performing over the course of the weekend–including Dengue Fever, The Growlers, and John Doe and Exene Cervenka–all, we presume, for the love of the lobster.

The Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival: at Ports O' Call Village in San Pedro. Friday, September 17th from 5-11 p.m.; Saturday, September 18th from 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, September 19th from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Cost: $9 for adults ($7 with this coupon); kids under 12 get in free. Call 310-798-7478 for more information.

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