Crab Shoot

San Francisco's favorite shellfish, East Coast style

We admit it: We can't escape our West Coast roots.

At Tasting Table's annual Lobster Roll Rumble in New York every June, we taste our fair share of the Maine specialty.

But when Los Angeles' Lobsta Truck rolled into San Francisco for the first time two weeks ago, we were there stuffing our face with Dungeness crab.

Owner Justin Mi worked in seafood distribution for six years before a trip to New England got him hooked on lobster rolls. The Cal grad already has two trucks rolling around Los Angeles and Orange County, and has now sent a third up north.

The truck serves chowder, and fish and chips are in the works, but when you step up to the truck's window you take the shortest poll: Lobster or crab? Butter or mayo?

Lobsta Truck's crab roll, left, and lobster roll

If we had a complaint with the buttered lobster roll we tried ($14), it's that it needed more butter. But the crab roll with mayo ($13) made a San Franciscan proud.

The soft, square-edged roll–like the lobster, flown in from Boston–is heavily buttered, griddled until golden brown, and stuffed with Oregon coast Dungeness. The meat benefits from the subtle acidity of the mayonnaise, which is hardly heavy enough to taste.

That's just how Mi likes it, too. "We want the seafood to speak for itself," he says. "After all, that's what you're paying for."