Santa Barbara Spiny Lobster runs from October to March, so Fall, Winter and Spring are the perfect seasons to celebrate this delicious local treat. Spiny lobsters don’t have claws like their northeastern lobster counterparts, and are instead prized for their sweeter tail meat.
In Santa Barbara County, eating this kind of lobster is also sustainable. Read more here about how healthy and well-managed this resource is.
Finding fresh spiny lobster at Santa Barbara County seafood markets is easy at the Saturday Fishermen’s Market at the Santa Barbara Harbor. (This market is also the place to find all kinds of fresh, local seafood from our waters.)
Easy until they run out. But after that, many markets and stores carry frozen traditional lobster from the North East as well as Australian spiny lobster tails.
If you don’t want to make them yourself, head out to Santa Barbara Shellfish Company, Longboard’s Grill, Bluewater Grill, Broad Street Oyster Company, or Lure Fish House in Santa Barbara. (If it’s April through September, it’s been frozen of course.)
We decided to make ours in the classic lobster roll style, which means you have a choice to make: the Maine style with lemony mayonnaise, or Connecticut style with melted butter. If you’re somewhat of a rebel, you can do a bit of both! (Adding more butter is always a good idea.) We chose mayonnaise, and spiced it up Caesar-style with a little Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, capers and lemon.
We bought long brioche sandwich rolls, stuffed them with the cold lobster mix and topped it all with chopped green onions. It was delicious.
And it paired perfectly with the crisp Everyday Rosé in a can from Alloy Wine Works (created in Paso Robles). Other wine-in-a-can in Santa Barbara County includes Margerum, Epiphany, Maker Albariño and The Paring. If you’re planning to eat outside, canned wine is the perfect wine-on-the-go!
If you want to cook the lobster tails and prepare the meat yourself, read all about how to do it in this article in Edible Magazine. Huzzah!