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Native Bostonian dying for LOBSTER!!!

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Hey all -

Even though I've been in L.A. for more than a decade, when the mercury tops 88 my genetic inheritance leaves me aching for lobster, not spiny, not Australian tails, no composed in a flurry of foam or ginger and green onion or Newberg style, but straight up, crack your own shell Maine lobster a little drawn butter, lemon and a bib.

Any ideas on where to either sit down and do this thing or who has a decent tank where they aren't 20 bucks a pound? Both are appreciated, I gotta feed this crustacean jones!

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  1. When jonesing for crustaceans on a budget, one gets the most bang for the buck at the Chinese seafood places in SGV. I haven't ordered lobster in quite a while as I'm more drawn to crab but the supermarkets and live seafood tanks are usually brimming with lobsters. I couldn't tell you the current supply of Maines or their prices but I am sure others on this site intimately know the stats.

    1. The Palm has a summertime lobster special going on -- I think about $80 for 2 for 4 lb lobster plus salad & 2 sides...I guess that adds up to $20 lb (inlcuding the sides). Believe it or not, I bought lobsters at a Fresh Fare Ralph's for Father's Day and they were about $10/lb and very tasty. You could also check out Fish King in Glendale --- slightly more expensive than Ralph's (but not $20/lb).

      2 Replies
      1. re: Obessed

        Which Ralphs has a tank? That could be a good source. As are all these suggestions. Thanks!

        1. re: PinotPlease

          We bought them at the Ralph's in Woodland Hills, but I believe the one on La Brea and Fountain also has a lobster tank.

      2. For affordable Maine Lobster today, go to Malibu Seafood (BYOB) for $21.95/lb:

        http://www.malibuefishandseafood.com

        If you can wait till Wednesday, than I strongly suggest the Summer Lobster Bake at Mark's for:

        1 & 1/2 lb. Maine Lobster, soup or salad, & corn on the cob for $23.95!! (under specials..

        )

        http://www.marksrestaurant.com

        The Palm - A good deal: however, it's not Maine Lobster but Australian or ????

        3 Replies
        1. re: JBC

          The Palm in fact serves "Maine" lobster (homarus americanus); however, the Palm purchases it from Nova Scotia, Maine's Canadian cousin.

          1. re: New Trial

            Thanks for the correction, as after I posted I went to their website & Nova Scotia it is (s/b close enough). So technically right, but in substance - wrong. I think last year's summer special they bought from somewhere else, and it was a place not generally known for Lobster, which was what I was originally thinking.

            1. re: JBC

              I love their Summer lobster deals and my friends and I take full advantage every year. The lobsters on the special, and the regular menu, were from Nova Scotia last year as well (in fact, I can't recall a time the West Hollywood Palm hasn't offered Nova Scotia lobster, and I've been going since that branch opened). This year, though, the lobster part of the special ends this month instead of going through the end of Summer; next month (and in September), the Palm will be doing a crab-leg and sliced steak duo instead. Timing being everything, I just received an e-mail reminder (while typing this) of my upcoming reservation for one last crack at the lobster special.

        2. Enterprise Fish Co has a $19.99 lobster special on Mondays and Tuesdays, James Beach has the same on Fridays.

          5 Replies
          1. re: hrhboo

            $29.95

            http://www.enterprisefishco.com/

            1. re: Servorg

              Thanks for the clarification! James Beach is $19.99 and comes with a baked potato, corn on the cob, bread and salad. The website says "AQ" but I've had it many times.

              1. re: hrhboo

                Not that long ago Enterprise had it at $24.95. I didn't know about James Beach having a special on lobster, so thanks for that tip.

                1. re: hrhboo

                  wow, under 20 bucks for the lobster at Jame's Beach, i've always seen that
                  AQ for the beach lobster on fridays, but that it was going to be the most expensive item on the menu.

                  1. re: kevin

                    The last time I had it was over a year ago so it's possible that the price has gone up. I still go there a lot on Friday nights and 90% of the tables have the lobster special!

            2. Sonny McLean's, a Boston bar, on 26th and Wilshire in Santa Monica does a Lobster Dinner one night a week. My fuzzy memory doesn't recall the day/price, but I do remember it sounded reasonable.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Hello_Katty

                Katty - you were correct; however, it's not on their website anymore, I called and asked and they've not doing that anymore......

                http://www.sonnymcleans.com

              2. Under the Redondo Beach pier and at San Pedro's Ports O' Call Village, you pick the food up and take it to some beat up table on the pier, along with everyone else beating the bejesus out of their crustaceans with little wooden mallets, on the cheap. Lifted this from the Ports website:
                The Village is home to the annual Lobster Festival and other fun events. A short walk away is the Los Angeles Maritime Museum. Don't miss the new The Port of Los Angeles Waterfront Red Car Line. There is a Red Car station right across the street from Ports O'Call.
                Haven't been to either one in years hopefully someone here can speak to the cost and quality.

                1. For sit-down, the recs for the SGV are good but it can get pricey. If you don't want to drive that far, The Palms in West Hollywood and downtown can't be beat. Note that unless you request your bug steamed they'll split and broil it. For at-home, I suggest 99 Ranch Markets. They're live in the tanks and the prices are the best I've seen. A possible drawback is, at least at the one on Sepulveda, the lobsters start at about 4-5 pounds and go up from there. They have a rapid turnover. It was a while back when prices were higher, but then they were $9.95 a pound.

                  1. Having grown up near New Bedford I've made due in LA. We get Lobster from the 99 Ranches in the area $7.99-1399 lb Find the biggest Tamale Pot you can for the huge lobsters from 99 Ranch none smaller than 4-5lbs. We import New England style hot dog rolls Closest source is Redwood City Nor-Cal at Old Port Lobster Shack. Make our own Mayo and have salad.

                    My one note to you is if you are used to cooking smaller lobsters it is easy to overcook the big ones from 99 Ranch. I think we did 35-40 minutes of steaming for 5lbs and turned off the heat and let it sit in the pot for another 5. then cooled it down in the sink filled with ice water

                    Dealing with these big Lobsters allowed us to go back to MA this summer and have the fishmonger steam and crack a 15, 10 and 8 Lbers so Dommy and I could make Lobster Salad for 40.

                    Here are Dommy!s posts about our first time with 99 Ranch Lobsters

                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/316513
                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/317509

                    Good Luck and take care

                    - P.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                      Thank you thank you thank you Mattapoisett! We went to the 99 Ranch in Van Nuys last night. You're correct, the lobsters were HUGE! 8.99/lb. We got a 4.5 lb-er and took your Aunt's steaming advice. It was heaven! We had some leftover, and figuring we would, I got the fixin's for the lobster salad which we just finished. YUM. While I don't have the hook up on the New England rolls, we did get the Golden Bakery Pan De Sal rolls at the 99 Ranch in their bakery department. Slathered with melted butter and toasted, they had the correct sweet, soft insipidness that I remember from the New England hot dog buns tempered with the crunchy bit of the toasted buttery outside. This is a great option in my humble opinion if you want the one stop shopping. The lobster jones has been tamed...for now.

                      BTW, does anyone know why regular supermarkets don't seem to have lobster tanks anymore? Was it PETA? Was it a money loser? Just wondering, seemed like every Ralphs had them a few years back, now nothing.

                      1. re: PinotPlease

                        I think most who don't have crustaceans in their culture, blood, tend to be leary and a bit squeemish about dealing with live ones in particular. I would think that alot of markets that opted to try the tanks in their seafood section have lost money - it's a pretty big commitment. But at least you now know where you can get the live ones, that are huge, and that are probably as inexpensive as they come around here.

                        You might enquire about the Lobster Festival at the Redondo Beach Pier as well. That's been an annual event that most look very forward to.

                        1. re: PinotPlease

                          I've always been curious what kind of local alternatives a Bostonian would deem acceptable for the rolls.

                          And is it turns out, it's the Filipino ones. I'm thinking back to all the times growing up with pandesal in the house, alongside all the various kinds of shellfish, and never did it occur to me to put the two of them together.

                          Hunger, it seems, is the mother of all culinary invention.

                          1. re: SauceSupreme

                            We happen to be in Diamond Bar when I saw your post and we headed over to Green Hills Filippino Market to try Pandesal. I am sorry to say they are not a subsitute for New England Style Top Split hot dog Buns. The design of the bun allows for grilling the outside which Pandesal does not have. But we took some home and will try them later.

                            Take Care
                            - P.

                            1. re: Dommy

                              FYI, the above post was me, not Dommy!

                          2. re: PinotPlease

                            Thank You! I'm glad I was able to support a fellow New Englander deal with the pain of a lobsterless summer in Southern California

                            Take Care

                            - P.

                        2. It;s so easy to do it yourself
                          http://www.thelobsternet.com/

                          1. what is that place by Malibu on PCH- they had very similar to what I had in Legal Seafood style lobster- cannot remember the price but I thought it was reasonable