The Monster spent many summers in his youth in Maine at camp. He remembers vividly the lobster shacks dotting the picturesque coastline and the excitement of picking out your lobster and watching as the fresh catch is cooked to order. Now, at that time a lobster may have cost $8 to $10 dollars total for a couple pounds of meaty lobster heaven.
Los Angeles is nowhere near the left coast but that doesn’t mean LA hasn’t imported a bit of the atmosphere for all our enjoyment. Enter BP Oysterette. A little slice of New England seafood with views of the Pacific Ocean. The Monster loves it. BP Oysterette is a sliver of a restaurant on Ocean Boulevard with a handful of seats outside and a narrow run of seats and a raw bar comprising the total of the restaurant. It’s festively appointed in blue and white with a seashell meets Poseidon motif. The one nod to being on the West Coast is the ever-present surf movies playing above the door. Since no reservations are taken it can get crowded, be incredibly loud and you may find yourself in conversation (and on the lap of) your neighbors. Who cares? The food is delicious.
Having been many times, The Monster has run his way through the menu. The baked clams with fresh herbs, bread crumbs and California olive oil are fantastic, the crab dip with baguette toasts is unbelievably rich and the bouillabaisse is filled with seafood in a nicely composed broth. The only drawback to the menu is only one soup is on offer (New England clam chowder) and BP ruins it with some filthy bacon.
On this day The Monster decides on the cornmeal crusted fried calamari with homemade cocktail sauce (awesome), tartar sauce (ugh) and pickled peppers (delicious). Calamari with peppers always excites The Monster. And for the main course, the default order, the lobster roll with fries (subbed in for the chips).
The calamari are wonderful, a bit of lemon and the peppers combined with the seafood pack a wallop of taste. It’s a good sized portion too, perfect for sharing (though The Monster admits he would gladly eat an order by himself).
And then comes the lobster roll. BP was recently voted one of the top five lobster rolls in the country (hard to believe that is true but it’s a tremendous feather in the cap nonetheless). It is a great lobster roll, served either in the traditional manner or buttered. Where many lobster rolls become disgustingly creamy affairs that mask the sweat meat, this one is balanced and served on a lovely roll. The fries are quite tasty too. One thing about BP, the portions tend to be good sized so ordering for a group and mixing and matching is a good route to go. The Monster however does not share his lobster roll. Ever.
On the menu is a key lime pie. The Monster has tried it before and found it to be one of the few missteps here. Perhaps a better order is the brown butter apple tart or warm peach cobbler, both more in keeping with the New England vibe the restaurant has conjured up.
Why go? Beach vibe with New England eats makes for happy campers.
Monster rating: 4/5 Monsters
1355 Ocean Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90401