Summer is on the way, and what better way to celebrate than with some of L.A.’s best lobster dishes? From green curry lobster rolls to lobster with fresh pasta, you can have your pick of inventive plates that highlight the glamorous crustacean.
Hinoki & the Bird’s Green Curry Lobster Roll
Lobster is the star at modern Cali-Asian restaurant Hinoki & the Bird. “We built the Hinoki & the Bird restaurant concept around this dish,” says General Manager Nick Moore about the green curry lobster roll served on a black-as-night charcoal brioche roll, which is made in-house daily. Served with a generous amount of lobster meat at market price, Hinoki’s lobster roll is, indeed, a dish compelling enough to build an entire restaurant concept around. The chunks of lobster are lightly tossed in the green curry aioli, and the light sprinkling of purple and white Thai basil complement the flavor and texture of the meat.
Hinoki & the Bird 10 Century Drive, 310-552-1200
Union’s Squid Ink Garganelli
“This is the fan favorite,” says Bruce Kalman, co-owner and chef of Union restaurant in Old Town Pasadena. His squid ink garganelli with lobster combines fennel, Meyer lemon, truffle butter, and bits of lobster. The ridges of Kalman’s house-made squid ink garganelli serve as the perfect vehicles for catching all the exquisite sauce. It’s easy to understand why his customers protest at the mere suggestion that this dish might disappear from the menu.
Union 37 E Union St., Pasadena 626-795-5841
Little Sister’s Salt and Pepper Lobster
The prima donna dish at Manhattan Beach’s Little Sister is chef Tin Vuong’s Salt and Pepper Lobster. For it, a whole lobster is liberally doused with salt and pepper and deep fried with a mixture of shallots and chilies. The strong peppery profile makes a great foil for the sweetness of the lobster meat. When you’re finished, they’ll use what’s left on your plate to whip up their house special lobster fried rice, which you can eat at the restaurant or take home with you. With strong influences from the Korean kitchen, the lobster fried rice comes studded with gems of sweet Chinese sausage, bits of Dungeness crab meat, and a nestled yolk to mix into this pan-Asian hybrid.
Little Sister 1131 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach, 310-545-2096