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Lobster rolls in SF?

Hey there,

I am desperate for some good, yummy, big lobster rolls. Call it the New Englander in me. I've been to Woodhouse Grill on Market, and found them to be a 7 out of 10. IS there anywhere else in SF worth checking out?

Thanks!

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  1. I wish I knew of a great place in San Francisco, but Old Port Lobster Shack in Redwood City has delicious lobster rolls. The "naked" lobster roll has about 4 ounces of semi-chilled lobster in a buttery, toasty Texas toast roll. $18.95, side of decent fries included.

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    Old Port Lobster Shack
    851 Veterans Blvd, Redwood City, CA 94063

    1 Reply
    1. re: betterbeheaven

      Oh thanks! I couldn't remember that place's name, I should mention I've been there before, too. Maybe I went on an off night, but I was really unimpressed when I went. I found their lobster rolls really small, too.

    2. I like the lobster roll at Sam's if you're willing to drive to Half Moon Bay. They really promote the lobster roll because it was featured on some TV show but it's actually really good. Their chowder is nice, too.

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      Sam's Chowder House
      4210 Cabrillo Hwy, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

      6 Replies
      1. re: coledudley

        Sam's has a food truck that often parks in Golden Gate Park, by the Japanese Tea Garden, on Sat & Sun.

        http://www.samschowdermobile.com/

        They make a pretty decent lobster roll. Chowder is nothing out of the ordinary though.

        1. re: coledudley

          I had Sam's lobster roll 2 years ago at the truck festival in Jack London Sq...it was tasty. Have no idea how it stacks up to a NE version but it was good.

          1. re: ML8000

            The lobster roll at Old Port Lobster Shack is much better than the one from Sam's Chowder House truck. Everyone I know who has had both agrees with me. Sam's truck is more convenient, I guess, but OPLS will be launching its own soon ShackMobile, according to its FB page.

            I noticed that Anchor & Hope has a lobster roll on the menu. Anyone tried it?

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            Old Port Lobster Shack
            851 Veterans Blvd, Redwood City, CA 94063

            Sam's Chowder House
            4210 Cabrillo Hwy, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              The lobster roll is much better at Lobster Shack than at Sam's Chowder House (i.e. the restaurant). LS has more chunks of meat, Sam's has more scraps. Lobster is well dressed at LS but over dressed at Sam's which causes the brioche to be very soggy in the middle. Finally - and most importantly - the lobster meat is fresher at LS and has the requisite "bounce" which is absent at Sam's.

              I do think you get a bit more lobster at Sam's, but for me it's always quality over quantity. Can't beat the ocean view on a nice day at Sam's though.

              1. re: hong_kong_foodie

                Will definitely try the Lobster Shack next time we're in the mood for lobster rolls.

              2. re: Melanie Wong

                Anchor and Hopes service is spotty at best....but their lobster roll are wonderful!

          2. Woodhouse has nice ones...

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

            Woodhouse Fish Company
            1914 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA

            1 Reply
            1. re: NoeMan

              Woodhouse serves the mayo dressed chilled style of roll. The lobster is fine but I prefer the warm buttery ones at Sams and Old Port.

            2. The one at Sea Salt in Berkeley is great. They poach the lobster in butter.

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              Sea Salt
              2512 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702

              10 Replies
              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                If they poach it in butter, how does it work to make it with mayo? To me a lobster roll is mayo and lobster. 'course no chance for the proper bun :(

                1. re: c oliver

                  It's the other kind of lobster roll, drenched in butter. If you're a mayo person, go elsewhere.

                  K2 has its own bakery, so could make any kind of bun.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    The lobster rolls I've had out here use split-top rolls made under special contract with local bakeries.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      Ah, "Back East" CHs consider that a Connecticut lobster roll. The traditional New England one, I gather, is the mayo type.

                      That's excellent about the buns.

                      1. re: c oliver

                        Red Eat's in Wicasset, Maine, maybe the most famous and popular lobster roll in New England, serves there's warm on a toasted roll drizzled with warm butter as does Neptune Oyster in Boston's North End. My preference also.

                        1. re: bakerboyz

                          Good Neptune Oyster is on my Boston itinerary based on its inclusion in Dennis Lehane's latest book.

                          1. re: wolfe

                            Popular and crowded, highly regarded for their warm lobster rolls, fried clams and burger with fried oysters on top but do a search of Boston board for what more frequent visitors recommend there. Also, if looking for great seafood and shellfish, try a new restaurant in Kenmore Sq, Island Creek Oyster Company, very highly recommended on Boston board.

                            1. re: bakerboyz

                              Not looking for great seafood but want to go because Patrick and Angie ate there. Don't rain on my fantasy parade.

                              1. re: wolfe

                                I hope that you didn't misunderstand, Neptune is still one of the tops for seafood in Boston!

                            2. re: wolfe

                              Don't miss the razor clams at Neptune if they have them.

                  2. I've been on this quest for some time and I have tried all of the LR mentioned here except Sea Salt in Berkeley. I would not waste your money on any of them they just don't come close and you will be disappointed. I would just settle for a decent crab sandwich until someone someday can gets it right.

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                    Sea Salt
                    2512 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: Lori SF

                      I haven't eaten here in a few years but Nick's in Rockaway/Pacifica had GREAT crab sandwiches.

                      http://www.nicksrestaurant.net/menu.html

                      1. re: c oliver

                        I had their crab sandwich about four months ago on my way down for orchid shopping. I would say its pretty good worth ordering if you are there. I like the crab sandwich better at Spud Point Crab in Bodega, only because of the bun and crab ratio.

                        1. re: Lori SF

                          I'm betting it's changed. What we had seemed to have the meat of at least half a good-sized crab. On grilled sourdough. We shared one and it was plenty to eat. But we'll check out spud Point Crab if we're in the area.

                        2. re: c oliver

                          +1 Nick's crab sandwich. Can't recommend anything else in the restaurant though.

                          1. re: hong_kong_foodie

                            Well their burgers are OK, and the view is great.

                            I have enjoyed Nick's crab sandwiches in the past. I recently had the crab sandwich at Duarte's in Pescadero and it was so much better.

                            If I am going to spend almost $20 and that many calories I will drive the extra 30 miles to go to Duarte's.

                              1. re: hong_kong_foodie

                                Primarily better quality and more crab meat, less mayo.

                      2. If you try the lobster roll on Fifth Floor's new lounge menu for summer, let us know.
                        http://www.thefeast.com/sanfrancisco/...

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                        Fifth Floor Restaurant
                        12 Fourth St., San Francisco, CA 94103

                        Firebrand Artisan Breads
                        1552 Beach St, Oakland, CA

                        1. Wow...I'm glad someone just updated this thread. I'm a HUGE fan of lobster rolls (my dad is from Mass) and I knew there was no place in the Bay Area that made them properly, even though a co-worker who has never been outside the state swears that Sam's makes an "authentic" one. Thank you for this!

                          18 Replies
                          1. re: isewinsf

                            Don't know if you have access to reasonably priced Maine lobsters in SF but here is what I did last night and I highly recommend: I picked up mine already steamed at a local supermarket ($6.99 lb), melted a touch of butter in a pan and browned a hot dog roll, melted about 1 tb of butter, took the meat of the entire lobster, cut up in large chunks, placed in roll and drizzled butter on top. Amazing!!

                            1. re: bakerboyz

                              We don't. Hence no lobster rolls.

                              1. re: bakerboyz

                                Hahahahahaha $6.99 a pound for lobsters hahahahahahaahahahah

                                1. re: SouthToTheLeft

                                  Actually if I traveled 5 miles further (10 back and forth), I could have gotten for $5.99/lb but figured with the gas prices being what they are, I would opt for $6.99/lb. Looking forward to my trip to SF, Oakland and Sonoma in 3 weeks to try your dim sum (Yank Sing), super pollo burrito (Papalote), Modern Vietnamese (Slanted Door), Bahn Mi Sandwich, and much more!

                                  1. re: bakerboyz

                                    Who pointed you towards Slanted Door?

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                                    Slanted Door
                                    Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                    1. re: SouthToTheLeft

                                      Although touristy, I still thought that Slanted Door received very good reviews for their food and I was looking for something that we couldn't get in the Boston area. We also right now have reservations at Perbacco, and in Oakland at Plum and Wood Tavern. I am open to suggestions other than Slanted Door for anything unique to SF or California.

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                                      Slanted Door
                                      Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                      Perbacco
                                      230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                      Wood Tavern
                                      6317 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

                                      1. re: bakerboyz

                                        Don't listen to the naysayers, eat at SD. It gets a surly reception because you can go to other places and get more authentic hole in the wall vietnamese for 1/5 of the price, but SD uses high quality ingredients, the food is good, and the atmosphere is gorgeous overlooking the water - about the only restaurant with a view that has food. For some reason, new yorkers love it, I bet you will too. Just be sure to eat at plum as well.

                                        1. re: bakerboyz

                                          I don't know if I'm a naysayer, because my only SD experience comes from their Out The Door spinoff where I've had lunch a few times in the Ferry Building. I have been seriously, seriously not impressed each and every time I've been. The food was just not that good.

                                          1. re: SouthToTheLeft

                                            I describe Slanted Door as $$ Vietnamese food for people who won't go to Vietnamese restaurants. I don't think it's bad, but there's better at a fraction of the prices.

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                                            Slanted Door
                                            Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                            1. re: Windy

                                              Agreed. I'd rather send people to the TL.

                                              1. re: SouthToTheLeft

                                                I had pretty good food at Slanted Door... not authentic, but still really good.
                                                I haven't tried Out the Door, but wouldn't be surprised if there is a quality difference.

                                                Also, I would not send visitors to the TL lightly; I don't feel comfortable walking around there at night (even not alone).

                                                1. re: lrealml

                                                  Really? I've not once had any issues, and I've spent a lot of time there. And I'm not a big person.

                                                  1. re: SouthToTheLeft

                                                    I haven't had any issues either; however, raving crack addicts, hookers, bums sleeping on mattresses... not the most pleasant side of SF. I stick out like a sore thumb walking through the TL, so I try not have meals that would involve me walking through the bad parts after dark. That being said, I wouldn't recommend visitors go there unless they understand what they will walk through...

                                                  2. re: lrealml

                                                    For what you save in dining costs, take a cab both ways to Bodega Bistro.

                                                    The Tenderloin has some nasty blocks, especially walking from Union Square (southern end of Leavenworth is especially bad).

                                                    And while the best Vietnamese is in the Tenderloin, there's a lot of great modestly priced Vietnamese in other neighborhoods (La Vie, Yummy Yummy, Golden Star to name a few).

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                                                    Bodega Bistro
                                                    607 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                                                    Yummy Yummy
                                                    1015 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

                                                  3. re: SouthToTheLeft

                                                    SF newbie here. TL is short for ...?

                                                      1. re: jacquesf

                                                        The French Laundry, the middle "F" is silent.;-)

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                                                        The French Laundry
                                                        6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

                                      2. re: isewinsf

                                        Just curious, but what is unproper with the ones at Old Port Lobster shack? I find the Naked Lobster roll there comparable to the buttered one I had at Neptune in Boston.
                                        They recently entered a competition on the East Coast and while they didn't win, they were cited as a favorite by some of the press covering the event.

                                        The best Lobster roll I have ever had by far was at brunch at Ad Hoc. I think it was because the Brioche was to die for and the lobster was perfect... I wish it was something I could easily get again.

                                      3. Sea Salt's changing hands, so last chance to get their lobster roll. I'm not sure what their last day is.

                                        1. Try Prime Dip. One at 1515 Fillmore, a block or so below Geary. Was, surprisngly, much better than Woodhouse's -although I haven't tried Woodhouse 's for years. Not so big but yummy and more filled than Woodhouse's.