We've Found the Most Scrumptious Lobster Roll in the West
Located in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles, Knuckle & Claw is the lovechild of restaurateurs Chloe Dahl and Nikki Booth. The lobster gurus have a serious passion for seafood and a special knack for creating a summer aesthetic—Chloe grew up summering on Martha’s Vineyard, and Nikki spent years in Hawaii. Last year the lobster queens of the West Coast started serving their summer rolls at the Brentwood Farmers Market, and they became so popular that the duo decided to open up a permanent location. Lucky for Los Angeles locals, these lobster delicacies are now available every day of the week.
Knuckle & Claw offers an expertly edited menu of grilled cheese sandwiches and “split tops” with your preference of freshwater Maine lobster, Dungeness crab, blue crab, or Maine shrimp. We recommend ordering a collection of mini split tops so you can taste all of Knuckle & Claw’s melt-in-your-mouth seafood.
The Knuckle Sandwich (aka grilled cheese with lobster) is the eatery’s signature dish and is heart-stoppingly delicious. But we must say, Knuckle & Claw’s simple lobster roll is the definition of summer bliss. With an almost undetectable smear of mayonnaise and a generous portion of lightly seasoned lobster (see K&C’s secret seasoning recipe below), delivered overnight from Maine, this no-nonsense concoction is irresistible. And, not to take away from the star ingredient, but the porter house roll is beyond mouthwatering. We had to ask the owners where they purchase that buttery goodness.
Nikki describes her collaboration with Röckenwagner Bakery as a fortunate coincidence. She was in the lurch to find a local bakery partner for the restaurant, and thanks to a friend at Fritzi Dog, Nikki was introduced to the team at Röckenwagner. She calls the bakers “bread fairies” because they come in the wee hours of the morning and leave freshly baked rolls in the kitchen. Chloe hinted that seasonal flavour varieties might be coming soon. “We’re thinking something along the lines of rosemary sea salt,” said the lobster connoisseur.
The food is positively delicious, but Knuckle & Claw’s indoor/outdoor setting is pretty awesome in its own right. Nautical knickknacks and photographs cover the dark blue walls, and a large parchment menu hangs from the back wall, lending the space a playful summer vibe. Architects Stephanie and Ben Ragle of Office42 designed the structure, but Chloe is responsible for the unique charm of this little oasis. Walking into Knuckle & Claw is like being transported from its concrete parking lot on Sunset Boulevard to the tranquil waters of her East Coast childhood.
If you leave without trying the Whoopie Pie Bar, you’re missing out. The ladies ship these in from Martha’s Vineyard, and they are the cherry on top of your decedent dining experience.
Bonus—we’ve heard a liquor licence is in the works, so this little pocket of heaven is going to get even better. Who’s in for happy hour lobster rolls and a cold brew?
If you’re in L.A., lucky you! Head over to Knuckle & Claw for an utterly life-changing experience. If you’re not local, Chloe and Nikki have been generous enough to share their top-secret seasoning blend and after-hours crab roll recipe with MyDomaine. The following recipe serves two.
2 split top brioche buns
1 tbsp. butter
8 oz. Dungeness crabmeat
K&C secret seasoning blend
Seasoning blend ingredients
2 tbsp. celery salt
2 tbsp. ground oregano
1 tbsp. ground basil
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Melt butter in a cast-iron skillet or panini press, and toast the bun on each side until golden brown.
Add a small amount of mayo to the inside of the bun.
Fill each roll with 4 ounces of crabmeat.
Drizzle lemon butter on top of the crab, and add a dash of seasoning.
Are you a lobster-lover? Shop some of our lobster favourites on Mined and share your favourite summer lobster recipes below!