Koreatown in Los Angeles is now home to a unique culinary gem–Hawaii’s Royal Lobster, known for its Maine-caught lobster rolls and salads. The brainchild of husband-and-wife team Justin Sok and Ashley Cho, this establishment originally launched in Waikiki and has now expanded to the mainland, spurred by the demands of enthusiastic vacationing customers.

Justin Sok said of the vision behind Royal Lobster, “We wanted to start something new,” highlighting their approach to crafting a purer, simpler lobster roll, distinct from overly seasoned rolls. Emphasizing quality, Sok and Cho have established a direct supply line from Maine. This ensures daily shipments of fresh lobster to their restaurants.

The menu features lobster rolls served in a classic style. Each roll is lightly drizzled with melted butter and presented on a toasted brioche roll accompanied by Old Bay seasoning, a slice of lemon, garlic aioli, chips, and slaw. The lobster salad option is equally tempting, featuring fresh greens, house-made balsamic vinaigrette, shaved Parmesan, and a generous portion of lobster.

Royal Lobster’s location only enhances its charm, situated in a restored 1940s Texaco gas station once occupied by Full Service Coffee Co. The transformation is marked by a striking change in signage from “COFFEE” to “LOBSTER.” Patrons can currently enjoy patio seating and parking, and plans are in the works for indoor seating and expansion into other areas of L.A., including Beverly Hills. This new location will also serve as a commercial kitchen, paving the way for menu additions like lobster bisque and lobster ramen.

“Simply the best lobster roll,” Royal Lobster’s slogan, illustrates its commitment to quality. They proudly proclaim their use of full tails, claws, and knuckles in every roll, eschewing fillers for pure lobster on brioche, lightly seasoned and finished with warm butter. The lobster salad is equally noteworthy, served chilled over mixed greens with a signature balsamic vinaigrette.

Royal Lobster’s popularity and customer satisfaction are evident in testimonials. Graham from Georgia expressed, “Literally the best lobster roll I’ve ever had. No close seconds. They only have 2 things on the menu: roll or salad.” Similarly, Shireen from Honolulu, who lived in New England for years, found Royal Lobster’s offering to be “the best lobster roll ever!”

Koreatown, a vibrant and diverse neighborhood, is known for its eclectic dining scene which blends traditional Korean cuisines with international flavors. Royal Lobster’s entry into this bustling area adds a new dimension to the culinary landscape, introducing coastal flair to a region celebrated for its urban palate.

Behind the scenes, Sok and Cho bring a wealth of experience from running Topped, a Korean restaurant in Waikiki. Their expertise in managing a dining establishment and understanding customer preferences have been instrumental in Royal Lobster’s success and expansion plans.

Royal Lobster is open Tuesday to Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sok and Cho invite locals and tourists to indulge in a taste of Maine in the heart of Koreatown. As it continues to expand and innovate, Royal Lobster stands as a testament to the simplicity of good food, made with the finest ingredients and a commitment to culinary authenticity. This new venture not only enriches the food scene in Koreatown but also bridges the culinary traditions of Hawaii and Los Angeles, creating a unique and memorable dining experience for all.