Seems California spiny lobster is scarce this season, so spots like Las Olas in Cardiff and Carlsbad, known for its fresh supply (you can hear the lobsters shuffling around the walk-in) September through December, are having a tough time keeping it stocked.
JoEllen Brown-Bieniek, Las Olas' longtime manager, advises to call ahead— whether they'll have it changes throughout the day, as does the market price. In fact, she says, the season may be over in just a few weeks, much to the chagrin of those of us who love lobster. (Hey, JoEllen, maybe you could do us a solid and fish for it yourself. It's going that extra mile that's so lacking these days.) Las Olas' famed lobster is offered whole or in half orders with tortillas and sides. lasolasmex.com
The Fish Market (locations in Del Mar and San Diego) is serving whole lobster Puerto Nuevo-style with sides and tortillas. Same deal: Call ahead. $33.95 for dinner and $29.95 for lunch, 'cause the oak of the bar doesn't sparkle as nicely under lunchtime lights. thefishmarket.com
Rimel's Rotisserie and Zenbu (Cardiff and La Jolla locations) offer a menu of local-lobster-centric fare. Rimel's is doing grilled lobster while Zenbu gets all Iron Chef with Lobster Dynamite and Lobster Sashimi. I wonder if they sneak into Las Olas and snag one or two of those live guys? rimelsrestaurants.com
BiCE Ristorante (425 Island Ave., Downtown) will celebrate its first anniversary on Oct. 27. Show up that day and get a complimentary glass of Champagne and a slice of homemade Nutella Profiterole. Not in conjunction with this oh-so-special occasion, the champs over there are lovin' up on their diners with a $5 happy-hour bar menu with good offerings like lobster pizza and beef Carpaccio served on a Himalayan salt rock. (True, the Himalayan salt rock is so end of September 2010, but it's worth a mention since rock beats scissors.)
Saffron (3731-B India St., Mission Hills) is about to celebrate a monumental milestone: its 25th anniversary (take that, BiCE!). A Pad Thai Throwdown, pitting chef / owner Su-Mei Yu, who says the restaurant was born of a mid-life crisis, against Ricardo Heredia of Alchemy and Craig Jimenez of Craft & Commerce, commences five days of celebratory shenanigans at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 18. On Tuesday, Oct. 19, you can win the chance to eat all you want at 1985 prices. The antics conclude Friday, Oct. 22, with Thai dancers and a special version of Saffron's Street Food Market. saffronsandiego.com
Though its opening is several months away, Craft Beer and Co. already has a presence on Facebook and Twitter (@craftbeerandco). Headed up by Donna McLoughlin of Slow Food Urban San Diego, the spot for craft beer and beer-friendly food will take over the Granada Building at the corner of University and Granada avenues in North Park.
But if you want your craft beer and beer-friendly food now, Urbn (3085 University Ave.), the vowel-challenged sister restaurant of Downtown pizza joint Basic, opened Monday, Oct. 12. The craft beer selection is almost as big as the warehouse-like space. urbnnorthpark.com
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