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Search for the Elusive Fried Clam, Part 4 - Found it!

Los Angeles has surprised me since here six years ago. First impressions were strong of a vast wasteland of strip malls and sprawl But some told me not only did one need a tour guide for LA but in order to succeed at LA I would need to go out of my way to seek out and shine lights in little corners and i might just find what I’m looking for.

I almost forgot that credo down in Long Beach the other day, and fortunately Dommy! was there to pick up the slack. We had a long filling day going to a church Food Fair and then to a friends Graduation party at Casa Vino. We hadn’t had Dinner but weren’t very hungry as we are walking around the Pike. We wanted to ride the Ferris Wheel but they were closed for a half hour for a break we went to the Gamespot to kill time, rode the Wheel and were heading home When Dommy noted the place with the big hot dog sign served Fried Clams and Lobster rolls. I had looked at it before and not really seen the sign. I thought it was a generic hot dog place. But Dommy! said Hey there are Clam and lobster rolls here.............

WHAT?!?!?!?!? I did an about face and went right in. Dommy! thought we’d come back sometime later to try it out, but as I explained it would be like finding a homemade Tortilla factory in Mattapoisett, we’d have to try it immediately.

Lawton’s is a place from Lawrence Massachusetts while not quite on the water, Its close enough to Ipswich that they should know what they are doing. They ship supplies including the proper buns to Long Beach. The menu consists of what you might typically find in a Summer Shack type of Place. Hamburgers, Hot dogs, Clams, lobster fish and Chips etc.

We only had room in our tummies for clams but through slight miscommunications we ended up with the large plate of Clams With Bellies, not the roll, plus an IBC Root Beer. We sat down and Dug in. They were the best I’ve had outside of New England. The batter was right the crispiness was right the taste was really good. Oooh and the tartar sauce was tangy and sweet all at once.

Well there it is. I think I’ve found everything need in LA plus a few extras. I’ve found serviceable east Coast style Pizza. I have had Awesome Dim Sum, there is a rail line coming to Culver City and now Fried Clams with Bellies. Well Los Angeles will never be perfect, but It has become a comfortable place for me to hang around, though I have given up any dreams of waking up and finding 3 feet of snow outside my door [sigh].

Take Care

- P.

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Lawton's Famous Frankfurters
110 Bay Street, Long Beach, CA 90802

 
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  1. I can't tell by the photo, but you're talking about belly clams?

    Real...
    belly on...
    steamers?

    First you discover good Chinese food in Culver City. Now this? You, sir, are a divining rod of chow.

    The map on the links page doesn't look right. This is down in the Pike shopping center, right?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Professor Salt

      Ipswich Clams. Belly on, no steamers.

      The place is right next to the Ferris Wheel at the Pike. The address is right, the map is wrong. It's not Bay Shore Ave but Bay St

      1. re: Professor Salt

        Good Chinese food in Culver City??! (please don't suggest searching this board - I gave up)

        1. re: cant talk...eating

          It is an Islamic Chinese and Thai restaurant and it is better than most things on the West Side though not quite up to SGV standards. Plus the folks that run it are Very nice.

          -----
          Marlar Restaurant
          10706 Jefferson Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230

      2. whoa!!! if it is the real deal with bellies, i'm all over it.

        1. they have fried clams with bellies at Bluewater Grill, which is in Redondo and also OC.
          They are fine. Not great. Will have to try Lawton's after hearing about it.

          1. Speaking of Culver City, Ford's Filling Station has fried Ipswich clams, too.

            5 Replies
                1. re: New Trial

                  Same response as above. For the same reason you don't go to Babita for their [if they made them] Al Pastor Tacos. You don't go to Jar which has clams but they aren't Ipswich or Ford's for their Ipswich Clams.

                  See Dommy!'s Post that explains it:
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/70785

                  1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                    I am sorry Dommy! did not enjoy them (I have had a few batches that were disappointing as well but most have been at least good--though I prefer the fried oysters Jar sometimes offers) but they are in fact described as Ipswich clams on the menu. See www.thejar.com

                    1. re: New Trial

                      No doubt they are Ipswich or at least Ipswich type... The server was so happy I ordered them too... "You'll love them!!" But they came out more like strips than bellies and they had NO flavor... Plus, a TINY cup there costs almost $20.... while that BIG carton in the photo above costs $13, was bellies, tasted wonderfully clammy, had a GREAT dipping sauce... and well were better in each way than Jars version...

                      Don't get me wrong... we ADORE Jar.... have been there numerous times for Dinner, Brunch and when Nancy was doing Moz night (Our First Anniversary Dinner as a matter of fact). But as P. pointed out in his posts... we go there for what they do well... steaks and chops... We leave the clams to the experts... ;D

                      --Dommy!

              1. Wow! My Thanks. One of my sons is leaving for Boston Sunday and has been teasing me about pizza, lobster rolls and deep fried claims all week. Now I will beat him to the lobster roll. Oh say, I wonder if I am hoping for too much when I crave the rings I once had in Ipswich and around Boston? Did you see a batch of rings in the place? You know the kind I am talking about. The batter seems to be more golden with smooth hard-but-thin crunchy bubbles like shrimp batter at some places here.

                Again, Thanks

                1 Reply
                1. re: JeetJet

                  They have onion rings which is normally on our list of must try. But we were truly not hungry so we limited ourselves to the clams.

                  Let me know what you think of the Lobster Roll when you have it