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San Francisco Bay Area

Old Port Lobster Shack, not too good


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Restaurants & Bars San Francisco Bay Area

Old Port Lobster Shack, not too good

donaldkhr | | Sep 2, 2006 03:45 AM

I went to OPLS for the first time today with my partner and a friend. I wanted to have a special dinner to celebrate a birthday. The place is pleasant, casual and rustic, as close as you can get to a lobstah pound in a strip mall in Redwood City, with a parking lot view. The staff was young, friendly and energetic.

We ordered a Maine lobster roll, fish and chips, the larger fried fish platter and clam chowdah. According to our friend, the fish and chips were very good. They had a light golden batter with moist, properly cooked haddock inside. We all liked the fries/chips and the kettle chips. The coleslaw was good but barely more than a thimble sized serving.

Here's where things started to go down hill. The batter on the fried fish platter was so overseasoned with herbs and spices that it overwhelmed the excellent scallops, fish, shrimps and clams. The lobster roll was disappointing. Not a very generous serving for $17+. Other reviewers have described it as 'overflowing' with lobster. In mine, the lobster was not even filled to the top edge of the roll, let alone overflowing. The meat was entirely claw meat with a large proportion of the dark red tip meat that is bland and mealy while being rubbery at the same time.

The clam chowder had a nicely flavored thin creamy broth, but I only found four or five small pieces of clams. The potatoes were cooked away to a puree and no flavor of salt pork or bacon was apparent. I don't know where or how celery and red bell pepper have sneaked into chowder, I've never had chowder with these ingredients in Maine.

I ended up having dessert, bread pudding with ice cream. The strawberry coulis was wonderful, sweet, tart and flavorful. The generous serving of pudding was dry and not the least bit custardlike.

A woman seated near us was having the Cioppino. It looked generous and appealing. She said it was the best thing there at $26+. It would be worth a try, but I doubt we will return.

So here's the bottom line, mediocre food, overpriced and not very close to what one can get in Maine. Go for the fries and the fish and chips (and maybe the cioppino). What we had isn't worth the price or the trip. Perhaps the restaurant's kitchen is inconsistent, which may explain why others have had a better experience.