Feb 2015

Boston Lobster – San Gabriel

Boston Lobster - San Gabriel

If imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery, than the folks at Newport Tan Cang Seafood must be absolutely tickled about the opening of Boston Lobster.

While the restaurant’s name might lead one to expect lobster rolls served on split top buns and towers of gloriously fresh oysters, the focus here is seafood prepared with a Vietnamese-Chinese bent. From what I hear through the grapevine, a former cook from Newport opened the restaurant, hence the similar bill of fare.

Boston Lobster - San Gabriel

The Astronomer and I, along with the Astronomer’s fabulous sister Rosalind, dropped in for dinner on a recent Friday night. While the wait at nearby Newport would’ve been painfully long, we were seated straightaway at the peak of dinner hour. Score one for Boston Lobster.

Boston Lobster - San Gabriel

To compare apples to apples, we selected a slew of dishes that we would normally order at Newport. The clams with Thai basil ($11.95) were just as good as their Newport counterparts, brilliantly briny and fragrant from plenty of fresh herbs and garlic.

Boston Lobster - San Gabriel

The bo luc lac ($12.95), tender cubes of steak marinated in salt, pepper, and garlic, delighted us as well. While The Astronomer preferred his “shaking beef” taken straight, I quite liked dipping mine in fresh lime juice with salt and pepper—a classic Vietnamese accompaniment. We both agreed that this dish was comparable to Newport’s version as well.

Boston Lobster - San Gabriel

Next up was the canh chua ca ($11.95), a Vietnamese “sour soup” with a tangy broth brimming with catfish, pineapples, tomatoes, bean sprouts, and my favorite, upright elephant ears. We ate this with steamed white rice and found the seasonings balanced just right.

Boston Lobster - San Gabriel

The pièce de résistance was the “Boston House Special Lobster.” Priced at $15.95 per pound, this four and a quarter pound beast of the sea rang in at $67.79. We added on a bed of garlicky noodles for an additional $5.

It must be noted that while the original Newport in Santa Ana offers noodles with the lobster, the San Gabriel outlet does not.

Boston Lobster - San Gabriel

Fried in jalapeños, scallions, and garlic, the lobster soaked up the savory seasonings fantastically. Quite possibly even better were the noodles, tangled in ruby red roe and heaps of aromatics. Taken together…finger lickin’ magnificent. As a certifiable noodle fiend, I declare Boston Lobster the winner of this round.

When you’re in the mood for Newport noms minus the staggering waits, head to Boston Lobster for a low-key alternative. The dining room isn’t nearly as pretty, but the food is just as solid.

Boston Lobster Seafood Restaurant
727 East Valley Boulevard
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Phone: 626-288-4388

One year ago: HomeState – Los Angeles (Hollywood)
Two years ago: 
Dominique Ansel Bakery – New York City
Three years ago: Shaanxi Gourmet – Rosemead
Four years ago: Torihei – Los Angeles (Torrance)
Five years ago: Pa-Ord Noodle – Los Angeles (Hollywood)
Six years ago: Yun Chuan Garden – Monterey Park
Seven years ago: Eating in Cambodia
Eight years ago: Mini Apple Pies

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8 thoughts on “Boston Lobster – San Gabriel

  1. As an old New Englander I have eaten many a lobster cooked many different styles. One of the ways in New England we judge if the lobster is fresh and recently caught is by looking at the antennae. Lobsters are cannibalistic by nature and the longer they are in a holding tank the more they will feast on each other. Their antennae are one of the first to go! I never accept lobster being served to me with no or short antennae because they are old, not fresh and been in the holding tank way too long! I tell my servers when I order lobster, short or no antennae I am not paying and rejecting my meal so they can inform the chef beforehand.

  2. Oh Snap! Looks like Newport does indeed have some competition! Too bad it’s just a copy cat menu though. Do they have any original dishes?

  3. I wants the precious sea critter 0.0 all to myself. none of this sharing nonsense. Also, Ken – that is an interesting factoid! I will be sure to keep a keen eye on the antennae of my lobsters from now on.

  4. Ken – Fascinating! Due to the hacking and woking that the lobster goes through, I don’t think the antennae would survive the kitchen. I will ask to see my lobster live next time.

    Kaila – I hear the Newport in Beverly Hills is only 75% as tasty as the one in the SGV…let me know what you think!

    Amy – Probably! But I stuck to ordering my Newport faves.

  5. And it’s opened exactly in Newport’s former location. This is like a revamp of the whole Vietnam Restaurant/ Vietnam House/ Golden Deli competition.

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