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Celebrate National Lobster Day at Little Sister

Jun 12, 2015 09:58PM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Salt & Pepper Lobster from Little Sister

Love lobster? You won't find a more suitable splurge for National Lobster Day on June 15 than the Salt & Pepper Lobster at Manhattan Beach's Little Sister. This succulent dish is made even more attractive by the fact that it is actually served to you twice - first as buttery lobster in the shell; next as a rich and savory lobster fried rice.

The Salt & Pepper Lobster ($38), one of the signature items from the acclaimed Vietnamese "anti-fusion" restaurant, is prepared with butter-fried shallots, fried chilies, and garlic. If guests have leftover pieces of lobster at the end of a meal, the chefs carefully clean out the lobster meat and turn it into a new fried rice dish to for the diner to enjoy in the restaurant or to take home.

The lobster fried rice is made by combining the meat from the leftover lobster (including the flavorful body of the lobster, which is often overlooked by diners) with lobster roe, lap cheong (Chinese chicken and pork sausage), and sweet shrimp with jasmine rice. The dish is then finished with house curry powder, chilies, shaved onions, sweet soy, and a whole egg, along with the drippings from the original lobster dish. The result is a too-rich-to-be-true rice dish that could easily hold its own on any menu.

This resourceful head-to-tail approach, which ensures that every part of an ingredient or dish is utilized, is a common practice in Asia and reflective of the way Executive Chef-Owner Tin Vuong cooks at home.

"The best compliment I can get on my cooking is when an older Asian person comes in and says something I made is really good," said Vuong. "Or if someone comes in and says, 'This is even better than what my mom used to make."

Aside from encouraging diners to appreciate new twists on traditional Asian foods, Vuong has been busy expanding his restaurant empire across the culinary spectrum. Along with Blackhouse Hospitality partner Jed Sanford, he operates Little Sister, Abigaile, Wildcraft, Dia de Campo, and Steak & Whisky. He also has plans for a new Little Sister restaurant opening in downtown L.A. in August, and a new concept restaurant slated to open later this year in Redondo Beach.

The Manhattan Beach Little Sister, run by Vuong and Chef Mikey Segerstrom, was named to Los Angeles Times' “101 Best Restaurants of 2014” and LA Weekly's “99 Essential Restaurants.” Acclaimed local chef David LeFevre recently named Little Sister's lobster dish as one of his "top picks" of Manhattan Beach restaurant menu items.

Little Sister is located at 1131 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266. Phone 310-545-2096.

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