Monday, September 20, 2010

Santa Barbara Shellfish Company

Lobster. The mere mention instantly connotes images of kicking back on an East Coast shore with a claw in hand while clad in a Polo shirt, plaid shorts and loafers. But why should those who "summer" as a verb have all of the fun? We Californians also have 1) ocean, 2) piers and 3) shabby chic-esque restaurants that sit on those piers and should, therefore, also relish in shellfish goodness.

Recently, J and I visited Santa Barbara on a day trip with my visiting best friend, giving us all some much-needed change of scenery. As this was our first trip to the coastal town since I discovered my affinity for lobster and crab (and as J and my friend are both seafood fanatics), a seafood dinner was decidedly in order.

Santa Barbara Shellfish Company sits at the end of Stearns Wharf, a one hundred thirty year-old Santa Barbara landmark. We noticed that, despite the close proximity of several other seafood restaurants, only Santa Barbara Shellfish Company had a crowd of (presumably) hungry people gathered outside. Good sign. We wrote our names on the clipboard posted outside the entrance and within 30 minutes scored an outdoor table with a view of the ocean and the setting sun.
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The view of the crabs while we wait for a table

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The interior of Santa Barbara Shellfish Company

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Although the evening quickly became unexpectedly chilly, the setting was too perfect to pass on ordering ice cold beer, and we began with a pitcher of Kona Lager ($16.50).
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Because we came for one thing, all three of us ordered one thing: lobster. Although the whole lobster special sounded appealing, we all opted for the half lobster with a salad and side ($23.95).

When our plates arrived, we immediately dug in, cracking and snapping away at our half lobster, which was neatly cut right down the middle. I first tackled my lobster's tail of which each bite was meaty, sweet and succulent and downright heavenly when dipped in butter. We all noted with some surprise that the claw, which usually plays second fiddle to the tail, was just as delicious as its aft counterpart. After these larger pieces were devoured, a silence fell over the table as we intently focused on digging every last bit of meat out of the spindly legs.
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We finished our meal (i.e. looked up from our plates) just in time to watch the sunset with contented bellies full of beer and lobster and bask in the sheer perfection of the moment.

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The impending arrival of fall means that, soon, lobster season will be no more. Do yourself a favor prolong your summer-- cram in one more lobster.

Santa Barbara Shellfish Company
230 Stearns Wharf
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 966-6676

Santa Barbara Shellfish Company on Urbanspoon

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