Lobster West: Maine Course

Eating Up And Down 101 #10

Summertime in a beach town can make you hungry for seafood. So this week we’re having a relaxing lunch at local favorite Lobster West.

Lobster West is a family-owned business run by husband and wife team Kim and Joel Locker, Kim’s brother Chad, and their mom Deborah. The Maine lobster rolls Kim found in San Diego weren’t quite up to the standards she grew up with back East, so she filled the void with with Lobster West.

Now, Coronado, La Jolla, and Encinitas (in the Lumber Yard) are all locations loving Kim’s passion for lobster rolls. And because it’s undeniably the best in the world, their lobster is sustainably caught in the cold waters of Maine.

Perfect Lobster Day

It’s a clear summer weekday, and the weather is hot. Downtown Encinitas is not quite back to the full summertime craziness that it usually is this time of year. We are able to walk right up, make our order, and find an outdoor table in the shade.

This is not our first visit to Lobster West. We stopped in for our first lobster rolls last fall during the street fair, and just a week ago got to sample their lobster bisque at the Taste Of Encinitas event. So we know we’re in for yum!

Know The Ropes

This is one of those places — just like Baked Bear — where you have to know how to order. It’s like there’s a password, a secret handshake, that kind of thing.

So here’s the Lobster West process:

First, select your roll: Lobster, crab, or shrimp.

And you can get that in sizes Classic, Boss, and Epic. Classic is the regular size, and they were plenty for us. Boss has 50% more meat, and Epic is double meat.

We did Boss lobster rolls on our last visit, and were both plenty stuffed.

They also have gluten-free rolls, if you prefer.

Next, select your sides. They have coleslaw, baked beans, and kettle-cooked chips. Pick two for one price.

Then select your drink, with a selection of soft drinks (including Maine-based sodas) iced tea, bottled water, or beer.

Lobster West posts their process!

How We Roll

I am going for the classic lobster roll with slaw, chips, and an iced tea. Andy gets the classic crab roll, picks slaw and baked beans for his sides, and iced tea.

It’s about 1:30, and the place about half full. We pick a table in the shade in a great spot for people-watching.

People-watching from our seats in the shade.

We don’t have to wait long for our food, about 10 minutes. Everything comes on a tray, including lemon and packets of wet wipes for easy clean up after handling the warm, buttery rolls! Nice touch!

Hot-Buttered Yum

My lobster roll is a buttery bun, toasted on the outside and soft on the inside. It’s filled with large chunks of lobster. Right away, you can taste why they go through the trouble of importing their lobster from Maine: it is tender, sweet, and juicy!

My lobster roll, slaw, and chips. That’s also my lobster roll at the top of this page!

The slaw is very refreshing, but I would add a tad more salt. I went for “Dirty Deli Style Jalapeno Heat” potato chips to share with Andy. Nice, thick chips! I love iced tea and never sweeten it. It’s very refreshing that way.

Andy went with a crab roll since we had the lobster in the fall.

Andy gives me a taste of his crab and his baked beans. Those baked beans are really yummy, and now I know where to get good crab! It’s not been easy to find good crab since we moved from the PNW. And now I know why: it’s the colder water.

Turns out, all of Lobster West’s seafood is flown in from North Atlantic waters. If you live in SD and haven’t tried legendary Maine lobster, Lobster West is your hot-buttered highway to heaven!

More Nor’Eastern Choices

As good as their rolls are, Lobster West does more. Try their soups: Lobster bisque, clam chowder, and Maryland crab. They’ll hook you up with a flight of all three for $10.

They also have salads. In fact, we are getting a crab cake salad to-go for dinner. It’s large enough to feed both of us. It comes with a decent-sized crab cake, and more flaked crab in the salad. They dress it with a nice citrus Dijon, and a tasty aioli for the crab cake.

Tonight, we’ll enjoy this at home with a cold glass of Pinot Grigio. Very nice!

Afternoon Delight

Our taste for seafood satisfied, we can’t resist a walk and window shopping downtown. And we usually give in to the call for some ice cream! Jojo’s cayenne-caramel ice cream is our favorite.

Bonus: hibiscus flowers are blooming beautifully today!