Luke's Lobster Opens in SoMa (Release the Lobstah Rolls!)

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The trio of half-rolls and seasoned fries at Luke’s Lobster. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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A shrimp roll and slaw. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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The back wall at Luke’s Lobster, complete with buoys and the historic building’s exposed lathe. Photo: Isabel Baer.

Last week, I attended a preview of ~LUKE’S LOBSTER~, an import from the East Coast (the founders are third-generation lobsterman Luke Holden and partner Ben Conniff). It’s a fast-casual spot, focused on lobster, crab, and shrimp rolls in buttered, split-top rolls, plus clam chowder, lobster-corn chowder, Patagonia Provisions’ smoked mussels, and more.

Luke’s Lobster is a vertically integrated seafood company, which means they oversee every step of the supply chain (“from dock to table”), and are committed to serving high-quality and responsibly sourced seafood. The chalkboard in the shop lists the harbors where the seafood is from, and is updated daily. One interesting thing they do is after lobster is purchased from their fishermen partners in Maine and Canada, it’s brought immediately to Luke’s Lobster Seafood Company in Saco, Maine, where it’s separated, size-graded, steamed, picked, and packed, and then distributed to Luke’s Lobster’s shacks nationwide. Luke’s Lobster Seafood Company is the only seafood company in North America to be both Marine Stewardship Council [MSC] certified for sustainability and Safe Quality Food [SQF] Level 3-certified for quality and safety.

I recommend trying their trio of half-rolls to start ($19), but if you know you want to hit the lobster, go for it—you get a 1/4 lb. of chilled, wild-caught lobster in a buttery split-top bun with lemon melted butter, mayo, and their secret seasoning (it’s $16). I like how lightly dressed it was, and because of the way they sort and prepare the lobster meat separately, none of the pieces were over-cooked. You can also trade out the bun for salad ($1 extra). A side of their poppyseed slaw ($2) and seasoned fries ($3) complete the picture. Here’s the current menu, which also includes calories (it’s not as bad as you may think) and their full happy hour offering (check out the Jonah crab claw platter!).

There are craft beers and wines as well, and there’s a unique beer they’re pouring in collaboration with Black Hammer Brewing—the limited-run beer was brewed with lobster shells and kelp!

The corner location in SoMa has a lot of historic touches, from the vintage terrazzo floor to the brick and exposed lathe walls, with large windows and outdoor seating. It’s in the Bourdette Building, which was the only commercial downtown building to survive the 1906 earthquake and fire (she’s tough like that). And you don’t want to miss the lobster boat soundtrack in the bathroom, complete with seagull squawks.

According to Yelp posts, the opening has been a little hectic, so think about giving them a little time, and then pre-ordering via their app would be the move. Open Mon-Fri 11am-9pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-7pm. There’s also a happy hour every day from 4pm-7pm, with $2 off all beer and wine, plus mini lobster rolls, and a special on a lobster roll and a beer for $19. 92 2nd St. at Mission, 415-483-1580.