Rock Lobster had replaced the old Watusi on Ossington. I was there on two consecutive weeknights and both nights were packed! Beautiful interior, very friendly and cheerful staff (the owner Matt was there and was very informative and fun to chat with), and very reasonably priced for the neighbourhood.
Lobster Caesar: served with a sizable 1/2 lobster tail
Lobster Cappuccino: delicious stock. Although I was hoping they'd top it with foam instead of sour cream.
Lobster Roll: Just like I had remember from the popup. Definitely my favorite dish.
Many patrons ordered the steamed dungeness crab - looks delicious! We will definitely try them next time.
The not so good:
Lobster poutine: luke warm, chewy fries. meh.
Lobster mac n' cheese: under-salted, and again, not served piping hot like it should be.
I really like the vibe. It's a good addition to the Ossington Strip.
Caesar salad has multiple issues. Loved the lobster roll and flank steak.
Speakers are incredibly clear, I thought there was a band! But too loud I found it annoying to keep asking my partner to speak up when the place wasn't even busy.
I like the place overall.
Went for first time last night at 6:55 with a group of 4. Hostess said wait was 30 mins. but were seated at 7:50. (I know it's not an exact science.) Decent vibe, really busy Saturday night, and they kept cranking the retro music louder and louder. Fun atmosphere. Staff at the bar/raw bar were friendly and even comp'd a non-alc cocktail for a pregnant woman.
Dinner Highlight: Cappuccino ($6) topped with foam and lobster pieces. Heavenly. Flavourful, delicious, memorable.
Happy: Creamy cold lobster roll ($14) medium-sized but good amount of filling for the low price. Nice buttery perfect bun. Served with house made overcooked, overseasoned chips - really disappointing and inedible. Wasted most of our chips. Just use store-bought kettle chips! The pickle was perfect, however. Textbook crunchy huge tasty pickle.
Decent: cocktails. Ribbons and Swallows (passionfruit) and famous House Caesars. Nothing extraordinary, just a reasonably well-mixed recipe. Bit difficult to get the meat out of the tail so it's not ideal to get the caesar during the pre-dinner wait unless you have utensils and a plate. Reasonably priced though not sure how many ounces of alcohol in each recipe. Neither seemed very strong. Flavour first.
Mediocre: lobster macaroni and cheese seemed to be missing the lobster. Smelled great, looked great; maybe too much salt, however.
Worst: beet salad. Beets are naturally sweet and should never be drowned in that much salt. Goat cheese actually provided respite for tastebuds.
Questionable: table service. Server was too rushed throughout and basically ignored us. I know it's a casual place and it's Saturday night, but at least listen to your table's responses to questions such as "Do you want dessert/coffee?" before walking away. And if you say you're going to bring a divided-up bill, then do so. Math may not be the customers' strong point. It's often to a server's advantage (gratuity-wise) to help with the math by dividing up a party's bill. She told us up front that she couldn't provide "separate cheques" which is totally fine, but she did promise to provide separate subtotals which didn't happen. The way the bill arrived, extra math was required as similar items were grouped together. I realize this sounds petty but the longer the math takes, the longer it takes to seat your next party of 4 paying customers hungrily waiting at the door.
Overall, I would go back for sure - for the soup and roll. We saw the meat dishes on the next table - I was dying to ask them what they thought of their food, but refrained.
By the way, why does the server say "it's a tapas-style menu"? Most of what we ordered wasn't sharing-friendly.
re: Food Tourist
Agree. They can't handle fresh greens properly. The two salads offered (caesar & beet), as pointed out by szw, are both horrible.
You should give their Sunday Lobster Dinner a try. Regularly priced at ~$40, on Sundays it's $25. You get a BIG lobster plus trimmings (ps they do an old fashion creamed spinach that I love). For a party of two, order the lobster roll and the dinner. A very good deal.