We're not in Maine, but we can still eat damn good lobster in Los Angeles. June 15 is National Lobster Day, and as an ode to the divine crustacean, we offer lobster seven ways -- via a food truck, a bowling alley and a lazy Susan.
The Spare Room: Conquering bespoke Scrabble boards, $100 bowling games and erudite libations called Evelyn Waugh's Noonday Reviver -- yeah, you've done it. But to eat lobster at The Spare Room ... let's discuss: Every Wednesday night this summer (6pm to 9pm), The Roosevelt's upper-level bar will transform into an East Coast escape. Expect to pair a $7 Nantucket Sound gin cocktail with attractive lil' lobster rolls to be eaten with a raised pinky. (And the bowling is 50% off!) The Spare Room, 7000 Hollywood Boulevard, at North Orange Avenue (323-769-7296 or spareroomhollywood.com)
Lobsta Truck: Claws crossed that this bright red truck is roaming through your neighborhood. Lobsta Truck serves lobster rolls two ways: the Connecticut way (slathered in butter) or the Massachusetts way (slathered in mayonnaise). We prefer the latter -- and we dare admit that we prefer it to The Hungry Cat's. And since we're bringing the truth, we prefer to eat two in one standing -- with a cup of clam chowder and a bag of Cape Cod chips. Lobsta Truck (lobstatruck.com or Twitter)
Hatfield's: The lunch crowd at Hatfield's is all business. While its lobster club sandwich means business taste-wise, it's the only entree you're required to eat with your hands, and therefore, this is the equivalent of getting naughty at Quinn and Karen Hatfield's buttoned-up restaurant. The pickled shallots tucked away in the crevices of creamy lobster give it a welcome zing. Hatfield's, 6703 Melrose Avenue, at North Citrus Avenue (323-935-2977 or hatfieldsrestaurant.com)
Newport Seafood: The lobster you'll soon feast upon is lurking behind you in a dismal tank. If you're, say, a two-top, the smallest lobster available might be a ferocious four-pounder -- but really, just get it. You'll see your server pull your dinner out of the aforementioned tank, and some 15 minutes later, your lobster arrives on your lazy Susan broken into pieces, and hotly sauteed in green onions, basil and chiles. This is get-down, hands-dirty, mood-altering lobster. Newport Seafood, 518 West Las Tunas Drive, at Rosemont Boulevard (626-289-5998 or newportseafood.com)
Culina: So you went to the Four Seasons, and all you ate was pizza. No biggie -- we assume you ate the Pizza Arlecchino at the wondrous Culina, which is topped with rock lobster, burrata cheese, basil and tomato sauce. And you thought you'd already paired everything with burrata already … Culina, 300 South Doheny Drive, at Burton Way (310-860-4000 or culinarestaurant.com)
WP24: Unlike slapdash rice-paper jobs, the spring rolls at WP24 are fried sculptures that stand upright on your plate like miniature champagne bottles wrapped in (fried) cellophane. Pop one into your mouth and through its crunch, you'll discover a medley of Maine lobster and prawns seasoned with 10-spice honey. WP24, 900 West Olympic Boulevard, at Georgia Street (213-743-8824 or wolfgangpuck.com/restaurants/fine-dining/57129)
Providence: Save lobster at Providence for an exceptional occasion. Chef Michael Cimarusti's honors the sea's royal member twice on the Michelin-starred dinner menu: as a starter served with buckwheat noodles and watermelon radish, and of course, as a steamed 1.5-pounder female served with English peas, baby carrots and Maitake mushrooms. What she said -- this is Providence. Providence, 5955 Melrose Avenue, at Cole Avenue (323-460-4170 or providencela.com)