The Lobster

4.5
3848 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$31 to $50
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
American
Sitting high on a bluff where Route 66 meets the Pacific Ocean overlooking the Santa Monica Pier, The Lobster is an internationally recognized seafood and fine dining establishment. As a landmark restaurant with nearly a century of quality service, The Lobster specializes in Maine and California spiny lobsters, in addition to entrees composed of fresh, seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients.

The Lobster is a popular destination for Los Angeles locals, visitors, families and groups looking for the ideal place to enjoy casual fine dining while celebrating special moments in true California style. We invite you to relax, take in the stunning ocean views from our beautifully appointed, glass-walled dining room, and enjoy an unparalleled seafood dining experience.

After many years of successful business, The Lobster has become a Santa Monica institution, serving as a cornerstone and internationally recognized landmark adjacent to the Santa Monica Pier.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Cuisines
American, Seafood
icon/ic_clockCreated with Sketch.
Hours of operation
Monday – Thursday: 11:30am – 9:30pm
Friday – Saturday: 11:30am – 10:30pm
Bar Menu available Monday - Friday: 4:30pm - 6:30pm
icon/ic_phoneCreated with Sketch.
Phone number
(310) 458-9294
icon/ic_new_windowCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_paymentCreated with Sketch.
Payment options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
icon/ic_dress_codeCreated with Sketch.
Dress code
Business Casual
icon/ic_chefCreated with Sketch.
Executive chef
Govind Armstrong
icon/ic_private_diningCreated with Sketch.
Private party facilities
We have several different private rooms.
Our private terrace seats up to 53 people.
Our inside dining room seats up to 100 people.
We have full buy-outs for seating up to 150 and 220 standing cocktail reception.
icon/ic_contactCreated with Sketch.
Private party contact
Lynne Thomas: (310) 458-9294
icon/ic_neighborhoodCreated with Sketch.
Neighborhood
icon/ic_cross_streetCreated with Sketch.
Cross street
Colorado Ave.
icon/ic_parking_detailsCreated with Sketch.
Parking details
$10-$12 with validation for 3 hours and then $15 after that.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 3848 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
RR
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 3

Nice big lobsters cooked well. Service left a little lacking and we were seated right next to a noisy table even though there were many others available. Our waitress was friendly but another staff members brought our plate of mixed oysters without identifying them (which he should have). Also, my water glass was empty for the entire meal.

Report
Helpful
AH
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I lived in Santa Monica for awhile before trying The Lobster. I assumed since it was right by the pier, it was probably an overpriced and mediocre tourist place. That was my mistake, it is an excellent restaurant, both innovative and consistent. Not cheap, but fairly priced for the location and quality. Last Sunday my boyfriend and I took my Dad for a celebration lunch. Everything we ordered was great, in particular we enjoyed the lobster corn chowder, arugula salad, yellowfin tuna with crab fried rice, day boat scallops, and strawberry cheesecake. I have eaten here many times over the years, and never been disappointed. The service is as great as the food.

Report
Helpful
L
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very good quality food but on the expensive side.

Report
Helpful
LF
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing steamed lobster and A very creative octopus as a starter. My husband loved his ouster’s and had the unique and very expensive grilled lobster (with no claws). He loved it (but my steamed was better;). Very nice staff and environment. A pricy choice but also one of the best dinners we ever had.

Report
Helpful
KD
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 2service 5ambience 5

The "Famous" Mojito was plain. The menu said there were crushed berries in it but there were not.

My wife and I got the Chitarra Pasta. Hers was extremely spicy to the point where she couldn't eat it and mine was bland with zero spice at all.

The Lobster and Corn Chowder was also very bland.

Cool place. Great Service. Disappointed with the foods/drinks.

Report
Helpful
M
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good all around.

Report
Helpful
S
Los Angeles
17 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a wonderful time.....Food was great....Employees were very helpful and very friendly.

Report
Helpful
GB
Palm Springs
14 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went there to celebrate my friend who just graduated from nursing school. I had asked for a table with a view and they sat us at a perfect table for 5. Aaron was are charming, intelligent and efficient server. The grilled lobster was awesome! All other meals were perfect as well. The chef and the manager both made sure to acknowledge us and we left feeling like regulars. The price is on the high side but life is short and it was well worth it!

Report
Helpful
s
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 3

Service was sketchy Probably because there were a couple of very large groups - looked like a work group having their holiday party.
Lobster/corn chowder needed a lot more lobster to justify it being called lobster chowder and it was too salty and way too thick for my taste. Redo the recipe is my recommendation. On the other hand my friend loved the crab cake.

Report
Helpful
n
Los Angeles
71 reviews
Dined on December 11, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Our server, Mark, was terrific and responsive. Corkage fee is excessive. My guest felt that the portion size of the gumbo was a little small. Nevertheless, it was delicious. Always reliably good food.

Report
Helpful
J
Los Angeles
9 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We ended up sitting by the bar, by choice, because David the bartender was so entertaining and created a wonderful atmosphere for us. He also makes a mean boulivardier!

Report
Helpful
MM
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

I'm sure this place gets tons of action because of their location...and to be honest, we visited because of said location. The views/sunsets are fantastic, even from the middle of the dining room. BUT--you can get the same views on Ocean Avenue, plus far better food from food trucks parked along it.

Our attentive and slightly pushy (in a good way) server tried to talk me into lobster or crab, but I did not want to be the only person in my party to order it. The seafood towers and crustaceans at other tables looked very tasty--but all 5 people in my party ordered other items.

Appetizers:
Crab cake: ONE per order. $18. Yes, $18. It was roughly 80% the size of a hockey puck plus a giant pile of greens that you only eat when there's not nearly enough of the main app--of course we ate it. The crab cake was extremely average.
Calamari: Had fried anchovy stuffed olives in the mix, thank goodness, because the actual calamari was the worst we've had in years. Portion size, again, similar to crab cake...not enough to make 5 people happy.
Luckily, I noticed another table had bread baskets...but no butter, only a slightly sour olive oil/herb mix.

Entrees:
Two people got gumbo, which they said was decent. I got king crab tagliatelle. Super average, hardly any crab, smallish portion. Daughter got crab cakes (didn't hear I got it for an app)--two crab cakes, $34 (huge break on two). Wife got salmon, which she said was very good. But any blind squirrel can cook salmon.

Desserts:
The best part of the meal, although my pineapple upside-down cake was smallish, roughly the size of the crab cake. The chocolate lava desserts were big hits.

I understand, nobody ordered lobster or crab at a place called the Lobster--but the other seafood items were subpar.

Service overall was excellent. Views amazing. Staff from host stand to bussers to valet very friendly.

Report
Helpful
OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Muy rico restaurante, la langosta increíble, lo único es que nos tocó una mesera que no sabía mucho de los productos que ofrecen

Report
Helpful
RG
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 4, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

I thought this restaurant was overpriced. My lobster was very chewy.

Report
Helpful
RB
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Not as good as my prior visits.

Report
Helpful
J
Milwaukee
87 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Modern structure and decor with great views of the Pacific Ocean.
Enjoyed the steamed clams as an appetizer, a healthy and tasty lobster salad and an amazing Barramundi fish fry. They were very kind to split the salad so we could have with the fish fry as shared entrees. Nice drink and wine selection.

Report
Helpful
DF
Las Vegas
6 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The lobster serves the best spiny lobster. The service was good , appreciated the server splitting up the salad amongst the three of us. Would have enjoyed a seat at the window.

Report
Helpful
h
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our youngest son (age 23) & I thoroughly enjoyed our meal together here! Fantastic food, ambience & service!

Report
Helpful
OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, we were not disappointed with this Santa Monica favorite. They had a few groups in, probably celebrating the holidays, but the staff always jumps in to cover tables and make sure everything is perfect.

I split a lobster and the pasta with a friend for a perfect dinner! I’ll do that again. Great wine selection and a heavy pour at the bar prior to dinner.

Love this place!

Report
Helpful
OA
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved The Lobster! Last time I ate there was 15 years ago, and they didnʻt disappoint when I went there to celebrate my friendʻs anniversary. Service was impeccable, and the food was stupendous. Enough said! Iʻll definitely keep this place in mind the next time Iʻm on the west side of LA.

Report
Helpful
M
1 review
Dined on November 26, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 2

We were celebrating our friend’s special birthday and I asked for a window table. We did not get the table and were treated not very pleasantly by the hostess. She told us that there were no 6 people tables by the window which apparently turned out not to be true. It is ok not to get the table but not ok to be lied to.
Otherwise though the food was very good and our waiter was lovely

Report
Helpful
PT
Los Angeles
86 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

No doubt best view of the pier and bay and the bar section outside is fun to watch people go by. Would have liked more lobster options other than the very expensive by the pound. The entree section has none! So basically you have your lobster roll or lobster salad. That's about it.

Report
Helpful
l
Los Angeles
19 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Delicious spiny lobster and lovely service!

Report
Helpful
N
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and seafoods! We had oyster sampler and it was amazingly great. I love the windows seat with a view of Santa Monica Pier. I would definitely return there!

Report
Helpful
DF
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Very good food, outstanding service. Lobster was excellent, salad and sides on per, and amazing desserts. Highly recommend

Report
Helpful
M
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is very nice. Great food, great staff. Valet parking!

Report
Helpful
A
New York Area
43 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

A nice location, but the dining room seriously lacks any atmosphere. Yes, the windows facing the Santa Monica pier and ocean are nice, but the finishes inside are cheap and the place feels more like a second tier diner. The food is alright, but the most interesting entrees (lobster or crab) are expensive and served without fanfare. The seared crab cakes were reheated, damp and dank. The best items are the side dishes (vegetables)....well prepared, interesting presentation and actually cooked well.

The servers were chatty and friendly....and moderately attentive. No complaints.

There are a number of more interesting places with far more charm in Santa Monica.d

Report
Helpful
NS
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is my fourth visit in less than 6 months. Every visit was beyond wonderful and beyond expectation. Service, food, ambience, outstanding. It is not within my usual dining budget but for everything you get it is a bargain. This visit I hosted my son and daughter-in-law and 3 teenage grandchildren. My son and grandson ordered steak and lobster and said it was the best steak they had ever eaten and the lobster as well. We sampled the chowder and the lobster potatoes and especially loved the chowder. The pineapple upside down cake and chocolate pudding were also fabulous. We all can't wait to return. Thank you, thank you.

Report
Helpful
c
Los Angeles
39 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

This was not my favorite experience at the Lobster— a restaurant that’s a family favorite for special occasions. Our guests loved it, but I felt something was off from the first moment when we were not warmly greeted at the front desk.
The receptionist literally walked to the bottom of the stairs up to the bar and YELLED to another seater.
Then they sat us at a four top next to the kitchen door. We refused that table in favor of one of the 3 empty booths.
The waiter was fine, but his recommendation of the arugula salad as a starter with the crab cake entree was a bit strange since the crab cake is on a bed of arugula too. Everyone else enjoyed their meals but the one other dish that was disappointing were my scallops. They were a bit too soft and the heirloom carrots weren’t presented in an a manner befitting a nice restaurant. They weren’t cut evenly or attractively. I had the same dish in August and it was picture perfect!
The seafood pasta dish, the grilled lobster , crab fried rice and the crab cake were fabulous. I hope this was just an off night.

Report
Helpful
SP
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 2

Very poor and slow service. Never refilled our water. Never asked how meal was.

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
23 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

You cannot have a better ocean view dining experience in LA area! Great food and welcoming wait staff! Enjoy!

Report
Helpful
OT
Miami
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Great location. Glad we went.

Report
Helpful
OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Great food, ambiance, and service!

Report
Helpful
DK
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful dinner at The Lobster. Food was great as were the drinks and ambiance. Really impressed with the level of service we received from our server and the manager. They were very attentive and happy to provide travel suggestions and even took the time to write out everything to help us plan the next leg of our trip. Really appreciate that and not something you see often. Would definitely come back next time we are in the area.

Report
Helpful
J
Tampa
13 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The location was superb! Food had great flavors but it was on the pricy side , just a bit high but it is Santa Monica!

Report
Helpful
K
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was incredible. Our waiter Frankie was the best!

Report
Helpful
C
Los Angeles
19 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great food!

Report
Helpful
OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was great until it came time for dessert. Earlier that day I had brought in a birthday cake for our party. It seemed to have been misplaced, as I was told by several staff members. Eventually, it was located. But it put a damper on the evening.

Report
Helpful
OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was perfect — experience atmosphere food drink and they gave us a good table with a view

Report
Helpful
MA
Orange County
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The staff was very kind to us.
And all food we ordered were excellent!

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
97