The weathered-looking sign out front evokes the salt air-battered shacks of New England, but the architecturally-intriguing restaurant is all LA.
The stars of the menu at Connie and Ted's-- lobsters and oysters
Chef Cimarusti himself was in the kitchen slinging seafood during our visit.
Unsurprisingly, reservations here are a tough to come by, so we decided to go the walk-in route and arrive early, hoping to beat the dinner rush. Our plan worked perfectly; we put our name down at 6:30 and, within 20 minutes, were seated on the outdoor patio.
In terms of drinks, Connie and Ted's offers an impressive array of craft beers (bottled and on tap) as well as a rockin' cocktail list.
In fact, so rockin' is the cocktail menu that ordering took some serious deliberation. I decided to go with the Catalina Eddy ($12.00), a refreshing blend of Jamaican rum, white demerara rum, housemade banana cordial, honey, and lime whose pure banana flavor was pretty remarkable. Tropical paradise in a glass.
I'm not much for shucking, but my two dining partners both enjoyed slurping down some oysters from the expansive raw bar (market price). The two of them oohed and aahed the most over the fresh, salty finish of the Luna oyster.
The Peeky Toe Crab Cake ($11.00) played perfectly to my crustacean-loving tastes. I was delighted to find this version positively jam-packed with crab meat rather than filler.
All three of us ordered a lobster roll, and it was a thing of beauty when they all hit the table.
Cold lobster roll served with a side of fries ($20.00)
Warm lobster roll served with a side of fries ($20.00)
Lobster roll enthusiasts are divided into two camps-- those who contend that the best preparation is cold with mayonnaise and those who staunchly defend the warm version with drawn butter. In the interest of peace between the factions, Connie and Ted's offers both. Both versions featured a hearty serving of plump and juicy chunks of lobster in a toasty roll, but, in the end, it was the buttery goodness of my warm roll that stole my heart. The crispy, extra salty fries were also standouts and would be a more than worthy counterpart to even the best burgers in the city.
As with choosing a cocktail, zeroing in on just one dessert proved to be a formidable task. In the end, my sweet tooth opted for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie a la mode ($9.00) and was absolutely bowled over by its tart filling and crumbly crust. Bad things would happen if ever I sat down with this whole pie.
Connie and Ted's is a place that I can't wait to visit over and over again. I just can't say whether I will actually try new things or heed the siren song of these same outstanding plates.
Connie and Ted's
8171 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90046