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Best Lobster

David W Feb 10, 2008 02:27 PM

I haven't been to SF in ages (I know-I should come back) so I was unable to help when my wife's Aunt asked me this question-
Her 20-something grandson and wife live in SF and both love lobster. She wants to get them a gift certificate for a restaurant that serves terrific lobster. So I need a place that always serves it. And I'm thinking she'd like something a little above a fish-shack kind of place. They travel a lot and could deal with any level restaurant.
Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

  1. Cynsa Jul 10, 2013 02:14 PM

    Butter Poached Lobster at La Folie

    1. v
      vulber Jul 10, 2013 08:28 AM

      sauce does a pretty good lobster roll, though understandably expensive.

      as a new englander who just got back from cape cod though where i bought lobster at $5/pound, brought it home and cooked it myself, and had somethign better than anything i've had at any restaurant on the west coast, i too am hard-pressed to want to get lobster out here :)

      that being said, bar crudo does do a good lobster salad. have also heard good things, but never tried, the legendary michael mina lobster pot pie.

      4 Replies
      1. re: vulber
        Robert Lauriston Jul 10, 2013 08:42 AM

        I had a bite of Mina's lobster pot pie, it was very good, which it ought to be given the price (I think it was $49 that night).

        1. re: Robert Lauriston
          walker Jul 10, 2013 10:45 AM

          I met a server who told me it was $75; with a stretch, I could afford it for half that price.

          1. re: walker
            Robert Lauriston Jul 10, 2013 11:39 AM

            The price varies according to the market price of lobster.

        2. re: vulber
          Dustin_E Jul 10, 2013 10:53 AM

          mina's lobster pot pie is excellent.

          i had it at bourbon steak a year or two ago.

          it was ~$80 at that point.

        3. s
          sundeck sue Jul 10, 2013 05:40 AM

          Not the answer you're looking for:

          I've never had a lobster I much liked on the West Coast (including eating it @ French Laundry and purchasing it live from a tank and cooking it myself).

          Full disclosure: born/bred in New England. :)

          1 Reply
          1. re: sundeck sue
            Cynsa Jul 10, 2013 10:43 AM

            Friends went home to Maine to visit family and returned to SFO with live lobsters - what a feast! much better than 'tanked' lobsters here.

          2. n
            NicoleSF Jul 8, 2013 07:47 PM

            Bob's Steak N' Chopphouse

            1 Reply
            1. re: NicoleSF
              Cynsa Jul 10, 2013 02:45 AM


              I'd steam or broil it at home
              or order lobster lo mein for $12.99 at

              Brother Seafood Restaurant
              1830 Irving Street

            2. l
              lizaw Feb 13, 2008 10:54 AM

              I live in Sausalito, and every winter, to boost their off-season business, Scoma's (right on the water with a superb view of Angel Island, the Bay Bridge and San Francisco waterfront) has a Lobster Monday Night special. A friend and I just had the dinner last Monday. It's $29.00 for a huge caesar salad or clam chowder, a good-sized lobster (a little tough, but flavorful), rice pilaf, sauteed carrots and zucchini, and a good creme brulee for desert, all inclusive. Reservations are a must, and ask to be seated in the back of the restaurant overlooking the water. Be forewarned: if you take the Golden Gate ferry, the last boat out of Sausalito for the Ferry Building in the winter is 7:20pm, so make it an early dinner for a trip and a meal to remember.


              1 Reply
              1. re: lizaw
                rworange Feb 13, 2008 11:36 AM

                Thanks for the great tip

                Scoma's Sausalito
                588 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965

              2. d
                David W Feb 11, 2008 02:37 PM

                Thanks all-I'll pass along the advice and leave it up to her...I really appreciate your help.
                May all your seafood be fresh.

                1. wolfe Feb 11, 2008 09:36 AM

                  They are alive and you have to cook them yourself.
                  I am reminded of Bill Cosby's old monologue about Noah.
                  God,I want you to build an Ark

                  1. c
                    chemchef Feb 11, 2008 08:54 AM

                    If it were me, I'd get it at either Woodhouse Fish Co. or Swan Oyster Depot. Not upscale, but good.

                    1. w
                      waldrons Feb 11, 2008 08:37 AM

                      As ML8000 says, lobster isn't a local item, so tends to show up as whole lobster only on raw bar menus, tourist restaurants at the Wharf, or high-end seafood places. In addition to Bar Crudo, I believe Farallon's raw bar frequently has lobster. Scoma's and many of the Wharf restaurants have it (although it may not be Maine lobster).

                      Many local restaurants will have lobster as a part of a dish, like lobster ravioli or a lobster bisque or sauce.

                      I think whole, cracked shellfish are almost always better at home than in restaurants anyway, so maybe she can have live lobster shipped to them for their own candle-lit lobster dinner!


                      6 Replies
                      1. re: waldrons
                        Robert Lauriston Feb 11, 2008 08:52 AM

                        Lobster's not just at high-end places and tourist traps. Vietnamese and Hong Kong-style Chinese places with live tanks often have it.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                          ML8000 Feb 11, 2008 01:08 PM

                          Chinese and VN places definitely have live lobster but usually only in the crab off-season and usually on the small size. I had a lobster at Chef Lau's in Oakland Chinatown during the delayed crab season due to the oil spill. It was good but was tiny.

                        2. re: waldrons
                          rworange Feb 11, 2008 12:46 PM

                          The price of Scoma's lobster (and a few other Fisherman's Wharf Restaurants) was over $60 each ...and then you have to put up with Fisherman's Wharf, at best, average sides, appetizers and desserts.

                          General question. What's the name of that place on Union Street that has the weekly lobster special? They are lobsters that might have a claw missing, but the price is great. If the people receiving the gift like lobster and want a reasonable fix now and then, they might appreciate knowing it is there. However, I go to one of the North Beach Lobster Shacks for a top quality lobster though little ambiance. Don't know if they have gift certificates either.

                          1. re: rworange
                            chutney Feb 11, 2008 01:46 PM

                            are you maybe thinking of Perry's - i know the one downtown has a lobster special every wednesday - not high end dining but seems to attract a good crowd and is very reasonable...

                            1. re: chutney
                              rworange Feb 11, 2008 03:52 PM

                              Yes, Perry's. Thanks

                              1. re: chutney
                                stanbee Jul 8, 2013 09:22 PM

                                Perry's serves a small "chicken lobster" (1.25 lbs). Just a tease for this lobster lover. Maybe the right size for a small appetite.

                                Tadich has a huge broiled Australian lobster tail that is perfect if ordered medium even if the server looks askance at the request. Epesnive, about $45 for the tail last year.

                                Have never tried it at Woodhouse but they are as likely to overcook as Tadich.

                          2. Robert Lauriston Feb 11, 2008 08:20 AM

                            Bar Crudo, if cold is okay. Yabbie's offers both hot and cold.

                            North Beach Lobster Shack is a fish-shack kind of place. Woodhouse Fish Company has a similar menu but is a bit nicer.

                            Tadich Grill always has lobster tail on the menu, but I believe (like most things they have every day) it's frozen, it's ridiculously expensive, and they probably overcook it.

                            The brand-new Waterbar has both spiny and Maine lobster on the "live" section of their menu.

                            Bar Crudo
                            655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

                            North Beach Lobster Shack
                            532 Green St, San Francisco, CA 94133

                            Woodhouse Fish Company
                            2073 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114

                            399 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA

                            Yabbies Coastal Kitchen
                            2237 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Robert Lauriston
                              ChowFun_derek Feb 11, 2008 09:40 AM

                              Here's the dinner menu from WATERBAR with prices for lobster


                              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                Dustin_E Jul 10, 2013 10:56 AM

                                i like the crab + lobster thermidor at tadich a lot.

                              2. m
                                ML8000 Feb 10, 2008 11:21 PM

                                DW, asking SF'ers where to get lobster is sort of like going to Brooklyn and asking where to get a Montreal bagel. Not impossible but you'll probably get an odd look since SF is about crab.

                                Any way, you can get lobster in SF just not a culinary tradition and it's flown in. Many nice places serve it...just not consistently to be notable. Lobster tends to show up when crabs are out of season...or hotels where luxury is expected.

                                1. Morton the Mousse Feb 10, 2008 10:49 PM

                                  Bar Crudo.

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