I was watching the Food Network recently and they did a piece on restaurant in Kittery, Maine, called Bob’s Clam Hut. Besides the plethora of fresh seafood, they put extra focus on the lobster rolls.
I almost booked a ticket to Maine on the spot, they were that tempting. But alas, reality kicked in and I filed the desire in my culinary lust vault, to be revisited at a later date.
The very next day I was walking in downtown Encinitas and came across a sign that read “Coming Soon — Lobster West, lobster rolls and more.”
OK then, time to pull that culinary desire out of the vault and add another notch on the Encinitas as a dining destination post.
I mean really, the variety of restaurants is impressive.
Lobster West is a family affair, a collaboration between Kim Locker, her husband Joel, brother Chad, mother Debbie, and friend Larry. Kim’s memories of lobster go way back to growing up on the East Coast.
“The first time I remember eating lobster, I was 5-years-old. We went to a famous restaurant in Boston and I decided to order a whole lobster.
My parents said it was too big for me and suggested that I share it, but no, I wanted to eat the whole thing myself … and I did. From that moment on, I was hooked. Years later, I had my first bite of a lobster roll while on vacation with my mom in Cape Cod, and it officially became my favorite food of all time.” It’s always good to have a passion for what you are serving and Kim certainly has that.
When Kim moved to Encinitas, there was that lingering question of where were they going go for East Coast-style seafood, and in particular, lobster rolls.
After a thorough search of the area, which uncovered very few places that would satisfy her craving, her family decided to take matters into their own hands and Lobster West took shape.
Before Lobster West opened, and as part of their commitment to quality and responsible sourcing, the family dedicated a substantial amount of time touring facilities up and down the coast of Maine.
They spent mornings on fishing boats, met with all the suppliers who personally ship their product and inspected their facilities, then chose the most delicious lobster they could find that adheres to the strict standards of the Maine lobster fishing industry regulations.
Lobster West takes pride in saying that they can trace each and every lobster back to the specific harbor from which it came. Their Maine lobster is 100 percent certified and sustainable.
While the focus is on Lobster Rolls, they are proud to offer fresh crab rolls, shrimp rolls, seafood chowders, locally grown organic salads and more. Maine lobster is known to have the sweetest, most tender meat and is easily recognizable by its claws and pinchers.
Their lobster rolls come in a Sadie Rose bun that is toasted on the outside and steaming soft on the inside, with the meat of a 1-pound lobster right out of its shell — so you don’t have to do the work! Nice choice going with local Sadie Rose.
The lobster roll combined with their delicious cole slaw, a cup of New England clam chowder, Maine Root Soda and some Cape Cod chips was a perfect lunch.
I went with the Maine style roll that is served chilled. If you like it warm, that’s Connecticut style. Their summer corn salad with fresh veggies, basil and feta cheese is a nice side option as well. They also offer a lobster tail salad, a colossal lump crab salad, and a grilled shrimp salad.
Lobster bisque and Maryland crab soup round out the soup offerings. I did not make it to desserts but they source local ice cream and gelato and Maine’s beloved Whoopie Pies, a New England dessert phenomenon that has gained popularity throughout the country in various forms.
They have also given the place an East Coast fish joint look and feel that adds to the authenticity of the experience. They are open for lunch and dinner so check them out at 765 South Coast Highway 101, visit lobsterwest.com or call (760) 634-1684.
Lick the Plate can now be heard on KPRi, 102.1 FM Monday-Friday during the 7pm hour.
David Boylan is founder of Artichoke Creative and Artichoke Apparel, an Encinitas based marketing firm and clothing line. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (858) 395-6905.