Hmm Lobster! My favorite food in the whole world. I can eat it any which way – lobster bisque, lobster salad, lobster and eggs, lobster mac and cheese, lobster mashpos, you get the ideas, but my favorite way to dine on this bottom feeder is to savor it the way I did growing up in Connecticut. COLD or HOT! Either major chunks of lobster with little mayo mixture on a toasted hot dog bun or heaping chunks of fresh warm lobster with butter poured on top on a nice toasted hot dog roll. That’s the way it is done on the east coast. Simple.
Finding lobster rolls in LA has become a foodie sport these last 7 years, from sampling lobsta from food trucks to fancy restaurants to my former boyfriend driving to Santa Monica Seafood to buy the lobsters and make them for me. I have tried and tested countless establishments in LA for lobster rolls – and the best I have found that come close to an east coast roll are from the Lobsta Truck and the Water Grill (but they aren’t on the menu; a date requested they make them for me).
Now the most authentic lobster roll I have found to date just opened in Silver Lake called Knuckle and Claw, an east coast vibe in an uber hipster neighborhood. I always save the tail for last when I am eating a boiled lobster. However, you are not going to get chunks of tail meat in a lobster spot called Knuckle and Claw. They toast the hotdog bun exactly like I remember it, but with a squirt of mayo on the bottom of the bun, a bit of butter I was told on top of the lobster, and sprinkled with a very ‘Old Bay-ish’ tasting seasoning created by the owner called Nikki’s Secret Seasoning. The 24 year old owners wanted to keep it simple, so you are enjoying the lobster. I started by pulling out and savoring some of the long strands of claw meat flown in from Maine before taking a nice flavorful bite with the bun. This lobster roll is definitely the best I have experienced in LA.
If you want to not go for an $18 lobster roll, you can do smaller half rolls of shrimp ($5), blue crab ($6), dungeness crab ($11.50), or lobster ($9.50). I still found the lobster the best with the crab coming in second. You may prefer to try to the grilled cheese with lobster ($8). Zagat just voted Knuckle & Claw Ten Best New Sandwiches Around LA.
Knuckle Claw has only been open a few weeks and they are doing extremely well, often out of menu items. The first time I ventured to Knuckle & Claw was the first Sunday of their weekend opening, and most items excepts lobster rolls were out. This week they were out of the bacon clam chowdah, which leads me to believe it is ridiculously good. I sampled the chipotle corn chowder ($7), which was creamy, spicy, and darn right delicious.
Perhaps Knuckle & Claw’s quick success has to do with Chloe Dahl, the great granddaughter of my all time favorite children’s book author Raold Dahl (James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Twits, etc). Chloe grew up in Martha’s Vineyard and LA. She wanted to bring back what she loved about the Vineyard and her childhood to LA. Chloe and her partner Nikki Booth live across the street from this cool little east coast joint where rumor has it their white dog, an English bulldog mix named Bonnie frequents the restaurant (Think Black Dog in the Vineyard, White Dog at Knuckle & Claw in LA).
This casual quaint spot has seating in the front and a cute side porch donned with growing flowers. Hipster hotties in beards abound. Lobster pots and rustic decor make me wish I was home. Check out many old pictures of Martha’s Vineyard and Sophie growing up on the chill island on the walls.
Oh, and don’t leave without sampling a Hammond’s Whoopie Pie Bar, which consists of dark chocolate and marshmallow creme inside. New menu items coming soon include Ice Cream Bars with flavors like Sweet Corn and Sweet Corn & Blueberry.
I predict Knuckle & Claw will be open for many years to come giving us Angelenos a hint of east coast life. I wouldn’t be surprised if the crowds keep pouring in and a Westside lobsta shack opens in Venice in the near future. For now, we’ll make the drive from West Hollywood for the bountiful Maine Claws.
3112 W Sunset Blvd
Silver Lake, CA 90026