Skip to main content

Lobster has become an enduring culinary symbol of summer while the lobster roll – with its few, simple ingredients – might be the most polarising of dishes in the world.

Some eaters prefer their seafood served cold, dressed with mayonnaise (Maine style, also called a lobster salad roll), and stuffed between a hot dog bun with lettuce and tomato. Meanwhile, others prefer lobster served hot, dressed simply with butter, and packed into a warm, buttered New England-style hot dog bun. Today, this style of sandwich is typically considered a “Connecticut style” lobster roll.

Lobster & Beer restaurant in Santa Monica prove that there’s no wrong way to eat your lobster roll.

Hot or cold?

Rock band Puddle of Mudd bassist Michael Anthony Grajewski is behind the project, having spent years working in restaurants from Ventura to West Hollywood. He also  owns other restaurants such as Lobster-Guys and Taproom Pizza Co with the similar concept.

The extensive menu of Lobster & Beer consists of multiple seafood rolls, appetisers, sides, beers and homemade lemonades. Fresh, generous chunks of lobster meat come either hot and drenched in melted butter or chilled with lemon and herb mayo (we’re partial to the hot).

Lobster roll history

The origin of Maine lobster sandwiches is murkier than the Atlantic one. Historical records maintain that the first documented warm lobster roll was served to traveling customers in 1929 at Perry’s, a restaurant in Milford, Connecticut. But the practice of making seafood sandwiches may have originated earlier than that, when New England and Canadian fishermen would stuff leftover lobster or meat from broken claws into bread and call it a meal. Interestingly enough, lobster was historically seen as a poor man’s protein – these critters were so plentiful that they were even used as fertiliser.

Only around the 1950s through to 1970s, it has grown from a staple on a shack menu to a national culinary fascination, all over the menus across the USA. The best thing about it is that it lets you enjoy the wonder of fresh lobster without all the mess and hassle of eating it from the shell.

Rocking design

Lobster & Beer has a laid back casual vibe. You can opt to sit outside on the terrace or inside the cosy bar-restaurant. Its rock-chic meets kitschy-cool modern theme was created with a design aesthetic reminiscent of the late 1970′s and early 1980′s rock n’ roll era. Michael’s guitar and memorabilia from concerts can be found on the walls.

While Michael is on tour his partner Tony Carlino is in charge and according to him the Connecticut Roll is by far the most popular thing on the menu. The Maine Style Lobster Roll is also absolutely delicious so you can’t go wrong with either.

Brioche beauty

Sandwiched in between a soft and slightly charred brioche bun, the meatiness of the lobster is married to the sweetness of the crayfish, especially with the lemon. Old Bay Cheese Fries is made with the restaurant’s house-made cheese sauce and the crispy coconut shrimp with sweet chilli sauce on the side was a nice addition.

Savor these few bites – it’ll be gone before you know it. If you feel particularly adventurous try the Clobster Roll – crab and lobster blended together and cooked Maine or Connecticut style. Alternatively go for Crab Roll which is Lump crab in lemon herb mayo with thin sliced celery topped with green onions and old bay.

Wash it all down with a craft beer (or two) or home-made lemonade for a perfectly satisfying afternoon meal or a relaxing evening.

Lobster & Beer has two locations: one in Santa Monica at 530 Wilshire Blvd, CA 90401 and another one at 3456 Motor Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034. More information can be found here.


Image credits: © Lobster & Beer and Travel With Style