8/11/05 | L.A. Lobster Festival
[ Currently Eating: Much Needed Nectarine ]
Why hello there… we haven’t visited the infamous Cheap Eats Hall of Shame lately, thought I’ve been meaning to put a few entries in. A friend sent me a bunch of food links the other day in L.A. (including the local Tofu Festival in J-town). I took one look at the link for the Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival and knew I had a good candidate for the Hall of Shame.
First off, I’ll have you know that when I can afford it (read: when it is provided for free through hook or crook or maybe scavenging off an unsuspecting yuppie’s plate) I really do like lobster. I’m very partial to it, especially when it is stir fried with massive quantities of garlic, onions, scallions at any of the multitudes of Chinese restaurants around me. And actually, when a restaurant is having a promotion or sale, it can be phenomenally cheap. Same with crab, shrimp, fish, squid or any number of other ocean creepy crawlies. Yum.
But I have to give “un-props” to whoever came up with this Lobster Festival. First, “Port of Los Angeles”? What a joke. They must mean “Ecologically Unfriendly Ocean Dump of Los Angeles”. Actually, I know they mean San Pedro, but still. I live here, so I’ve seen the beach closures and know about the high PCB and heavy metals levels in locally caught fish. This is just some spinster trying to put a shiny happy face on L.A. in order to lift a couple more dollars off the Beverly Hillites.
Second, you will note that not only do the lobsters NOT come from the Port of Los Angeles, but they go to great pains to advertise that “The Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival proudly serves only lobsters from the Great State of Maine.” In other words, these are ALL Maine Lobsters. This is just weird… I mean I totally understand the tradition of lobster festivals from the New England area because that’s where the durned lobsters come from right? So why does L.A. feel the need to make their OWN lobster festival that features lobster caught on the other side of the continent? They actually have to ship that 12 tons of Maine lobster here.
The reason I’m going off on it, is because that what most people don’t know is that California HAS their own lobsters. Anyone with a fishing license can go out in a boat during the lobster season and catch them with sanctioned traps. It’s not like we’re in the Midwest and importing lobsters from Maine. They’re right in our backyard, but the festival ONLY uses Maine Lobster.
Well, I suspect this is sort of like getting fish and chips at a seaside resort on the east coast when almost all of the fish in Fish and Chips comes from Alaska (I believe it is pollock fillets but might also be something else). I also don’t know about the availability of commercial caught California Lobster, so maybe I’m talking out of my ass here. I know I HAVE had california lobster and while it’s smaller and maybe less tasty, it’ll do.
But even if they were using California Lobster, the final nail in Davy Jones Locker is the price. Sixteen dollars for a lobster dinner at a Lobster Festival just don’t seem right. “Shell-a-bration ” indeed. Shell out your dollars now so whatever company is behind this travesty can make a quick buck. If the price of lobster wasn’t enough, there’s also an ADMISSION fee of six dollars. So jack the actual price of a lobster dinner up to twenty two bucks. The entertainment is free though. But it sure does look sucky. For instance, “Fantastic Diamond” – a Tribute to Neil Diamond, is one of the main acts? Ugh times three.
I am trying to think of other points to bring up to rip them a new one, but I’m getting agitated here. I’m not even going to give out the URL because I don’t want to give them the traffic. I’ll just give them the lowest possible score that Cheap Eats has ever given, how’s that?
Cheap Eats Score: 0/10