Going back a few weeks to photos I took during a day at the Port of Los Angeles’ annual Lobster Festival, held September 16-18 at the San Pedro Fish Market in Long Beach, California. I typically don’t eat shellfish aside from shrimp, so this was a nice experience for me to quite literally break out of my shell of food I usually stick to and try something new.
What else can you expect for a place that serves Maine lobsters for about half the price you would typically pay at any other seafood joint! Depending on whether you wanted one or two lobsters on your plate, you would either pay $19 or as much as $33. Considering the cost of lobster in sit-down restaurants, you can’t go wrong with either plate (and you’re probably better off getting two for appetite’s sake).
After you obtain your lobster, you must take it to the other end of the main booth to have the shells cut open. I think some people may have missed this step and just walked off to find a table, only to realize that they can’t eat their catch! The people who do the cutting even yelled out to the man we saw walk away and he still didn’t hear them.
The lobster staff worked diligently for three days (and even more for prep) to make this festival happen. They were all very nice and full of joy, so it would be a shame if that jar wasn’t filled by the end of each day. Do you give tips at places like this, even though you already paid a lot of money to get in?
On your way to snag a seat at the many tables, be sure to grab a refreshing drink. We selected this lemonade stand that had strawberry and blueberry flavors in addition to their classic lemonade drinks. The blueberry lemonade was really good!
The seats were filled with festival-goers and the table sheets soaked with lobster juices, bits and pieces of side dish crumbs, and the pungent smell of lemon. Tran and I snagged a seat at the edge of one table that overlooked several carnival attractions, a Ford music stage, and a few food trucks that had more lobster dishes for those unwilling to shell out at least $19 for a whole lobster. We even got to sit next to a family that brought a whole thermos full of their own butter. Apparently, the house butter wasn’t real butter (and didn’t taste too much like it either). If you ever consider going to one of these events, you might want to bring your own condiments so that you can enjoy your dish more. Just watch out for any hungry pirates lurking about the festival in case they attempt to rob you of your catch!
Togame decided to come along because the other Nendo are afraid of getting too dirty. And with her long hair cut off, she can take a closer look at the lobster without getting her own hair dirty ^_^;;
People like me who don’t eat much shellfish out of their shells but still enjoy it in other forms can still find food all around the festival like this lobster kabob being grilled at another one of the food booths.
After eating some lobsters (or its numerous variations), you may want to check out the booths and various vendors around the festival for items and services you can snag up as souvenirs or gifts. We stumbled upon this elaborate collection of gold-coated foliage charms that you can combine to create a necklace, bracelet, or any other type of jewelry you wish to create. And ironically, it’s Fall now, so I felt this particular photo was fitting to share. =)
When you’ve just about looked at all you could or spent all you could spend on goods, what else is there to do? Lobsterfest had a big stage set up in the rear of the festival near the water to showcase some great talent. First up: Taiko Project. I was delighted to see some more Japanese cultural festivities, especially after being exposed to so many festivals just in Little Tokyo alone. I’m glad the culture seems to be following me wherever I go!
Based in their studio in Long Beach, Taiko Project is a group of taiko drummers that effortlessly blend traditional Japanese culture and musical heritage with newer, more dynamic sounds and rhythms commonly associated with music themes relevant to the past few decades. Their choreography was mesmerizing to watch, and their rhythmic jungle of deep percussion sounds; just look at one of the performers in the above photo!
I joked about wanting to attend their studio to get some lessons, but I actually might consider it in the near future. Perhaps when I get back from Japan next year, I can get reacquainted with my percussion roots and join their team (or at least be an apprentice, haha).
The band Tran wanted to see that night was Vaud & The Villains. And boy, did they not disappoint! Their 1930s sound swept the stage for a good hour and a half, taking us through several classic American music styles ranging from jazz to folk, gospel, and parlour music. Even dancers who went on stage during certain sequences added to the flair and panache of the sounds that seemed to captivate them.
For attending just a single day of the three, we had a lot of fun and saw a lot of new things. There’s something for everyone of all ages here, and the lobster dishes were prepared pretty well. And despite my claims of not being a big shellfish fan, I would still go again next year.