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Lobsta Truck - there's a new truck in town...

WildSwede Nov 22, 2010 12:20 PM

On Friday, I was notified by our own wonderful Professor Salt that the Lobsta Truck would be in my 'hood after work. So what else is any Chowhound worth her salt to do but go check it out? They have Lobsta Rolls $11, Crab Rolls $9, Clam Chowder $3.75/$5.75 (or something like that), Ice Cream Sandwiches, Whoopie Pies (made by a company called Bakin Whoopie) $4, drinks and Cape Cod (I believe) chips. Their truck is so new that they have not even had it "wrapped" yet.
I got there a few minutes past 6pm when they posted they would start serving. There were about 15 people in line ahead of me at that time and they had not started serving yet. It took about an hour once all was said and done to stand in line, order and get my food.
I ordered the Lobsta Roll (with butter - you also had the choice of mayo) and a Whoopie Pie. Total came to a little over $16. I got my order and then made a detour to get some of those delicous buns (I think they are called Pappa Riche's or something like that at the place across the street from Buca di Beppo). Went into the parking structure, got in my car and drove down Green and pulled over where there was room.
I was a little nervous that the roll would be be soggy but it was not. The roll (looks like a piece of bread folded in half and toasted - this is authentic, I have heard) and chunks - read CHUNKS - of lobster. I had several claw-meat chunks. Cool, sweet, moist lobster that had been tossed with melted butter and a sprinkling of sea salt. That's it. Pure, sweet, simple and oh so good!
I think I even may have moaned while I was eating it. I know for sure that I was wishing I had had more cash so I could have also gotten the Crab Roll. The Whoopie Pie was good, but rather small. About 2" round. Cute little thing, but for $4...
All in all, I would search out this truck. Their Lobster Roll is off the hook. I am sure their Crab Roll is not far behind. Enjoy!

http://lobstatruck.com/

Tomorrow for lunch, they will be at the Hulu Offices at Olympic & Bundy and Friday, Dec 3 they will be at First Friday in Venice and Hollywood and Miracle Mile the week of Dec 6. Using their link above, you can sign up to become a Facebook fan or Twitter follower.

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  1. n
    ns1 Nov 22, 2010 01:14 PM

    obligatory an hour to eat at a lunch truck should be criminal

    1. Professor Salt Nov 22, 2010 01:43 PM

      Thanks for the recon. Glad one of us made it. I couldn't.

      1. DrBruin Nov 22, 2010 08:24 PM

        I agree the wait was unreasonable... but I'm salivating. I look forward to trying it.

        3 Replies
        1. re: DrBruin
          Chowpatty Nov 22, 2010 09:30 PM

          Well, it was the very first time they had ever served so I'm sure the wait won't be as bad once they get a bit more experienced. I enjoyed the lobster rolls, especially the one with mayonaise. At $11 it's more than the average food truck but the lobster was good quality, they say they fly it out from the East Coast.

          1. re: Chowpatty
            j
            Johnny L Nov 22, 2010 09:42 PM

            I'm very excited to give this truck a try. I'm pretty sure I'll it see while working eventually.

            1. re: Chowpatty
              Peripatetic Nov 22, 2010 10:58 PM

              "I'm sure the wait won't be as bad once they get a bit more experienced."

              Unless it's offset by overwhelming popularity. (q.v. Kogi et al.)

          2. J.L. Nov 22, 2010 11:44 PM

            Thanks for the 411... How was their chowdah?

            4 Replies
            1. re: J.L.
              WildSwede Nov 23, 2010 11:07 AM

              I didn't have it. I saw other people ordering it, though. Next time, definitely.
              Also, regarding the wait, I think that the fact that one of their windows was not available (they had parked where there was a pole and they could not open the right side and had to use one window for both order placing and order receiving) had a lot to do with it. By the time the car that was parked behind them moved and he was able to move the truck so he could open it, I was already waiting for my food so I was unable to gauge whether or not this was the culprit. Either way, I think that waiting an hour is not horrible considering the quality of their product.
              I just hope they do not start skimping on quality once they become overwhelmingly popular by getting a lesser quality product. That would make me sad.

              1. re: WildSwede
                k
                kevin Nov 26, 2010 04:28 PM

                What r some of the other dates... I can't seem to get on Twitter. Cough it up to old age. It sounds amazing. Way better than the sit down restaurants around LA

                1. re: kevin
                  WildSwede Nov 26, 2010 05:15 PM

                  Can you get onto their website? I have it in my original post. All the info should be there. They only had those dates I posted above so far. I think they post them as they know the date and place.

                  1. re: WildSwede
                    k
                    kevin Nov 26, 2010 07:17 PM

                    cool thanks.

            2. b
              Beach Chick Dec 6, 2010 06:12 PM

              Can't wait to try the rolls and chowder...thanks for the report!
              Wish they'd bring one of those trucks down to SD..

              www.lobstatruck.com

              1. Phurstluv Dec 7, 2010 11:14 AM

                Hey WildSwede, thanks for the report. If it is an authentic roll, it would be a New England style hot dog roll, which is a split top with exposed sides that are buttered & grilled, not dry toasted.

                Either way, sounds really good.

                30 Replies
                1. re: Phurstluv
                  WildSwede Dec 7, 2010 03:40 PM

                  I am not sure if it was dry toasted or buttered and grilled since it was wrapped and bagged for the first half-hour it was in my possession, so I could not really tell. But they were pretty buttery-tasting so I would not be surprised if they were indeed buttered and grilled.
                  However, I am about 99.9% certain the bun is authentic since they get them flown in from the east coast 2-3 times a week (along with the lobsters). And they look like that bread folded in half that I have seen in pictures of the "real" ones that I have seen. Definitely had exposed sides.
                  They were featured on Channel 5 Morning News yesterday. Frank Buckley almost swooned when he tasted the Clam Chowder, so that is definitely on my to-try list next time. They said they were going to be in Downtown at Artisinal LA on Saturday and Sunday and in North Hollywood on Friday during lunch this week. Enjoy!!

                  1. re: WildSwede
                    Phurstluv Dec 7, 2010 03:54 PM

                    If they are flying the rolls in, they are probably the right ones! I get Sunbeam brand from Famous Foods online, when I want one of those type of rolls. The pack is for a dozen rolls, but about $6, IIRC. I bought two packs, used one and froze the other, they freeze great.

                    I will have to search out the truck next time they are on the westside, but I gotta say, I really like the Blue Plate Oysterette, now that I can have my fried clam fix so close to my house, and they have nice wines to go with!!

                    1. re: Phurstluv
                      Servorg Dec 7, 2010 03:58 PM

                      You get a pretty good look at the roll in the pic's here: http://lobstatruck.com/

                      1. re: Servorg
                        Phurstluv Dec 7, 2010 04:07 PM

                        Yup, those look pretty authentic to me.

                      2. re: Phurstluv
                        Dommy Dec 8, 2010 08:12 AM

                        It's going to be at Chait today in Mar Vista... Going for lunch!

                        --Dommy!

                        1. re: Dommy
                          LA Buckeye Fan Dec 8, 2010 08:35 AM

                          Dommy, the website said their lobster missed their flight so today's lunch is cancelled. They will be doing dinner.

                          1. re: LA Buckeye Fan
                            Dommy Dec 8, 2010 08:37 AM

                            Thank you for the heads up!! I had this on calendar for the last couple of days. Sad Dommy. Sad Ad Execs... We'll guess I'll catch them at Arisanal LA then...

                            --Dommy!

                            1. re: Dommy
                              Mr Taster Dec 8, 2010 10:09 AM

                              Ah, but they will be near my work at Miracle Mile tomorrow!! I've already gotten several of my colleagues unreasonably excited about this.

                              Mr Taster

                              1. re: Mr Taster
                                Mr Taster Dec 9, 2010 01:31 PM

                                OK, well 5 colleagues and I ventured out for a Miracle Mile LOBSTA TRUCK lunch. Of course by the time they saw the line wrapping around the corner, everyone bailed except for me.

                                I braved the line, knowing full well that this would likely be the only time I would put myself through this inconvenience.

                                It took about 50 minutes to make it to the front, though I received my food after only about 5 minutes of waiting.

                                I ordered:

                                1 lobster roll with butter.
                                1 crab roll with mayo (shades of Nozawa...)
                                1 pint of clam chowder (new england style)

                                The clam chowder was of the flour thickened variety, not of the more refined (and more difficult to make and maintain) light, cream thickened kind which are all but nonexistent outside of a handful of places in New England (Kelly's Roast Beef, I'm looking at you...) I tasted a pungent punch of clam flavor, a hit of pepper, nice chunks of potato and clam (though not as big as when I chop up mine at home) and nicely cooked. It was too salty and a little too thick, but not bad. $6

                                The crab roll w/ mayo was a bit of a disappointment. Thin strands of shredded crab in a mostly flavorless mayonnaise-based sauce (I verified that this is the same sauce they toss the lobster with if you choose your lobster roll with mayo). No pronounced crab flavor, and a monotonous, shredded texture. The primary flavor vehicle was the New England style grilled bread, (the funny "folded Texas toast" shape) which was nicely browned with butter. $9

                                As for the lobster roll with butter, WOW. Fantastic! So simple, and so delicious. HUGE irregularly shaped chunks of lobster meat, with a giant tip of claw meat thrusting victoriously skyward. Butter. Lobster. Crunchy buttered grilled bread. A little salt. What's not to like? Only criticism is that the roll was a little small... more of an appetizer than a meal. $11

                                I certainly was not enthralled by the 50 minute wait, but I have to say that I might just brave it again, though I think I'd prefer to hit them up during a less busy lunch crowd.

                                By the way, sorry for taking a bite of each before taking the pics. I couldn't wait.

                                Mr Taster

                                 
                                 
                                1. re: Mr Taster
                                  n
                                  ns1 Dec 9, 2010 01:38 PM

                                  Thanks for the report MT!

                                  Others-

                                  Is this something easily recreateable at home, save for the bread?

                                  1. re: ns1
                                    Mattapoisett in LA Dec 9, 2010 03:48 PM

                                    That is like asking "Can I make tacos without tortillas?" You can, but it won't be what it is supposed to be.

                                    1. re: ns1
                                      l
                                      LisaN Dec 9, 2010 04:24 PM

                                      Yes, you can do this at home,

                                      You can get your own lobsters, and steam them take out the meat and mix with mayo or butter. the rolls can be ordered online, or you can try making your own, King Arthur Flour sells a specific pan to shape them.

                                      1. re: LisaN
                                        Mattapoisett in LA Dec 9, 2010 04:28 PM

                                        Though I have the pans from KA, the buns never seem to be close enough. I end up bringing a dozen or two back after flying east.

                                      2. re: ns1
                                        Phurstluv Dec 10, 2010 07:12 AM

                                        You can order the Sunbeam brand of NE style hot dog rolls at FamousFoods.com.

                                      3. re: Mr Taster
                                        b
                                        Beach Chick Dec 9, 2010 03:16 PM

                                        Thanks Mr. Taster for the great report!
                                        That lobster roll looks so frigging delicious!

                                        1. re: Beach Chick
                                          k
                                          kevin Dec 9, 2010 06:12 PM

                                          the one dish i tried, the lobster roll (was it last nite?) is great.

                                        2. re: Mr Taster
                                          j
                                          Jerome Dec 13, 2010 04:55 PM

                                          Hey Taster.
                                          just fyi (and corrections are welcome) there is another style of New England CC where it is thickened by cooking with a type of potato that disintegrates with time and the potato starch(and bits) thicken the broth. I've had this kind in Rhode Island.
                                          just saying.

                                          1. re: Jerome
                                            Mr Taster Dec 13, 2010 08:58 PM

                                            Hi Jerome, yes I have heard of this type of chowder... saw it on some food special somewhere, somehow. Although when I make New England chowder at home (cream thickened) I do the truck of smashing some of the semi-cooked potatoes against the side of the french oven to help thicken as well rather than add corn starch or flour.

                                            Personally I prefer the tomato based, cioppino-like Manhattan clam chowder, but it's relatively difficult to find out here. I chop up my own cherrystones which are very often reasonably priced on sale at the Asian markets around town. When steamed, the clams release much of their own juice which forms the basis of the soup. Delicious!

                                            Mr Taster

                                      4. re: Dommy
                                        b
                                        baloney Dec 8, 2010 12:51 PM

                                        My plan exactly! I hope they're a little faster this time, they were moving like snails last weekend for seemingly no reason...

                                        1. re: baloney
                                          r
                                          reality check Dec 8, 2010 01:04 PM

                                          Have you found any truck, where service is fast? Almost every truck I've been to, the service is slow, very slow.

                                          1. re: reality check
                                            n
                                            ns1 Dec 8, 2010 01:10 PM

                                            real taco trucks.

                                            1. re: ns1
                                              b
                                              baloney Dec 8, 2010 02:13 PM

                                              Yes, real taco trucks! But the guys on the South Philly truck(and a few other trucks) at least look like they're TRYING to move fast, the Lobsta people didn't look particularly motivated to get the line of 3 people served within 30 minutes.

                                              1. re: baloney
                                                n
                                                ns1 Dec 8, 2010 02:29 PM

                                                that's why I don't go to gourmet trucks.

                                                that said, LFC was pretty quick. Waited less than 10 minutes, at least 10+ people in line before me.

                                                1. re: ns1
                                                  b
                                                  baloney Dec 9, 2010 06:07 AM

                                                  If you mean Ludo's fried chicken truck, yes, I agree they were surprisingly quick the time I went. And I had some medium rare chicken to show for it...but what bothered me even more than that was the overwhelming sodium content of everything.

                                        2. re: Dommy
                                          Dommy Dec 12, 2010 07:42 PM

                                          Sad... they weren't there on Sunday. :( So we missed them again... :( We WILL track them down though! ;D

                                          1. re: Dommy
                                            k
                                            kevin Dec 13, 2010 09:38 AM

                                            i think it's the best lobster roll by far I've had in LA. Got it with just butter, and the top loading bun roll they load the lobster chunks on is superb. i just happened to drive by sawtelle, saw it incidentally, made a Uturn, and there was no line, i believe they were closing up shop almost for the evening. Great stuff. Though not cheap for truck standards at least.

                                            1. re: kevin
                                              Mr Taster Dec 13, 2010 10:03 AM

                                              I'm noticing a trend here..

                                              After my 50 minute Miracle Mile lunchtime wait from 12:00-12:50pm (they were only scheduled to be open 12:00-2:00), a colleague showed up right around 2 when then were closing, and got a roll from them after waiting only about 10 minutes.

                                              So, if you don't want to wait, go when there's no crowd, or go right at closing time.

                                              Mr Taster

                                      5. re: Dommy
                                        trojans Dec 8, 2010 08:36 AM

                                        They cancelled today's call at Chait. No lobsta

                                        1. re: trojans
                                          Foodandwine Dec 9, 2010 04:44 PM

                                          http://www.ktla.com/videobeta/8bad784...

                                          good video cant wait to try it.. had shredders end of september in new jersey $2.99/lb they were fantastic..

                                          1. re: trojans
                                            s
                                            SarahM Jan 24, 2011 05:41 PM

                                            Sorry, but have to make a correction - it's Chiat - NOT Chait.

                                  2. j
                                    jackattack Dec 10, 2010 11:06 AM

                                    Maybe they'll survive if they sell a ton of 2 inch whoopie pies for $4.00 each, but my guess would be that you'll see the price of the lobster roll going up a few bucks as soon as they realize they're not making any profit.

                                    1. m
                                      maiweezy Dec 12, 2010 05:48 PM

                                      Had the lobsta roll with mayo and MAN oh man... SUPER delicious and so worth $11! It kicks the daylights out of the BP Oysterette's, and though I have mad love for the Hungry Cat's it trumps based on value ($11 vs $23) and in my opinion edges it out on taste as well since I like that the chunks of lobster are much bigger and more lightly dressed. And I had lobster roe in mine! Bonus!

                                      I agree they need to show some more hustle but for an $11 lobster roll, I'll wait.

                                      -----
                                      The Hungry Cat
                                      1535 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028

                                      1. c
                                        Clyde Jan 24, 2011 01:00 PM

                                        went today and there was only one person in front of me when i ordered my lobster roll. i was undecided between the mayo or butter and they let me do half & half! i liked the flavor of the lobster in butter more, however overall as a sandwich i liked it with more with mayo. anyway, i got my sandwich in about a minute and it was really good. glad for the experience and also for not having to wait in a long line or long for my food.

                                        1. s
                                          SarahM Jan 24, 2011 06:12 PM

                                          What's the consensus on ordering a lobster roll with butter vs mayo? Any preferences?
                                          The website menu says with one or the other... want to make an informed decision! :)

                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: SarahM
                                            Mattapoisett in LA Jan 24, 2011 06:13 PM

                                            They are so small, I tend to order one of each.

                                            1. re: Mattapoisett in LA
                                              s
                                              sel Jan 24, 2011 06:23 PM

                                              Ya beat me to it P! I have only been to The Lobsta Truck once and really enjoyed my roll (wit butta) but people should note that they are really small! Very good but small! This isn't a dollar taco bargain truck......

                                              -----
                                              Lobsta Truck
                                              , Los Angeles, CA

                                              1. re: sel
                                                Mr Taster Jan 24, 2011 09:19 PM

                                                But, it's lobster... and lobster ain't cheap. Roadside shacks in New England charge upwards of $15-$18 for them. More like $25+ if you eat at a restaurant. So $11 is really not so bad for a really high quality (if small) taste that's impossible to get elsewhere in this area-- and certainly not for this price.

                                                Mr Taster

                                            2. re: SarahM
                                              Mr Taster Jan 24, 2011 09:19 PM

                                              Butter. Definitely butter.

                                              Mr Taster

                                              1. re: Mr Taster
                                                WildSwede Jan 24, 2011 09:40 PM

                                                Absolutely agree. Although they will do half and half. I really like their crab rolls (maybe more than the lobster ones - gasp!).

                                                1. re: WildSwede
                                                  Mr Taster Jan 24, 2011 09:48 PM

                                                  The one and only time I tried it, I got the lobster with butter and the crab with mayo. I found the crab kind of ordinary. It was primarily shredded crabmeat, not lump crab whereas the lobster had these magnificent, large chunks of meat sticking out (including a large claw tip thrusting vertically out as if making a desperate attempt to pull itself out of the sandwich) which made for a wonderful visual and textural contrast. The crab/mayo was sort of the same thing all the way through.

                                                  Mr Taster

                                                  1. re: Mr Taster
                                                    WildSwede Jan 26, 2011 09:00 AM

                                                    I emailed Justin asking what kind of crab they used and he said they usually use Peekytoe but occasionally, as with the day I had it, they were using dungeness.
                                                    I had a couple with the claw meat, too. It is impressive that they give such big chunks of lobster. So good!
                                                    The only difference I noticed between the first time I had it and the second time is that the first time they were sprinkled with salt. The most recent, they were not. I prefer it with a sprinkle of salt. Brings out the sweetness of the meat.

                                            3. s
                                              SarahM Jan 26, 2011 07:59 AM

                                              Went last night at the Ocean Park/Main food truck lot. Not a bad wait to order or receive food.
                                              Got a half butter/half may lobster roll....and the winner is... butter!
                                              While they both had their merits, I think (for me anyways) the butter was a better compliment to the fresh lobster meat and the deliciously simple, yeasty and grilled white bread. But hey, maybe I'm just a butter girl...
                                              I was also impressed with the quality and amount of lobster meat. It was fresh tasting, and not over dressed with either butter or mayo. $11 is a steal considering quality and convenience for a lobster fix east coast style. Hoping they don't raise prices or begin to skimp on quality in the future... success does have a way of making one lazy.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: SarahM
                                                WildSwede Jan 26, 2011 09:01 AM

                                                I hope not, too. I know they ship in their supplies from the east coast. When I was there last time, the box in the window said "bread" and came from Ipswich!

                                                1. re: WildSwede
                                                  r
                                                  reality check Jan 26, 2011 10:49 AM

                                                  I went the other week. Waited in line for about 15 mins, 4-5 people ahead of me in line. Got the lobster roll with butter. It was OK, nothing great and I wouldn't go out of my way or wait longer than 15 mins for it. I did think it was small and not really worth the $11 price.

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