Lobster roll lovers have had it rough in San Francisco. In search of hearty crustacean meat sandwiched between pillowy bread, there are those among us who've made the walk of shame to Fisherman's Wharf to get a fix.
But hallelujah! SoMa has caught the first West Coast location of Luke's Lobster, the popular Maine-based chain (with 30 restaurants in the U.S. and six in Japan and Taiwan) from third-generation lobsterman Luke Holden and his partner, Ben Conniff.
- Exposed brick walls depict a lobsterman's day, with drawings of New England nature and fishing boats.
First opened in 2009 in the East Village of New York City, Luke's Lobster is a certified B-Corporation devoted to sustainable practices; they've created their own supply chain that purchases lobsters straight from the lobstermen of Maine and Canada, cooks them to perfection in Luke's-owned facilities, and then freezes the meat before shipping it off to their various locations to be used in rolls, salads, and more.
The spot is fast-casual with order-at-the-counter service, but the interior has an inviting nautical theme with exposed brick walls illustrated with fishing boats, hanging buoys, and floor-to-ceiling windows to let the light in. A small bar area with high-top stools is well suited to happy hour, which serves up plenty of specials including a platter of lobster tails and discounts on wine and beer.
But the bottom line is this: The menu may be better than you'd expect. On offer are plump and juicy lobster, shrimp, and crab rolls on split buns that are lightly toasted and brushed with melted lemon butter, mayo, and secret spices. There's also chowder and a mix of sides, including fries and Cape Cod chips.
Lunch in SoMa? We're sold.
// Luke's Lobster, 92 2nd St. (SoMa), lukeslobster.com.