Connie & Ted’s opened in West Hollywood in 2013. But if you lived in LA then, you already knew that. Even if your scope of LA restaurants in 2013 was Mendocino Farms after a good audition, you knew about “the lobster roll place in Weho.” Maybe it was because you saw it on PerezHilton or because its four-block-long valet line on Santa Monica Blvd. wreaked havoc on your commute before you found out about Fountain Ave. But you definitely knew about Connie & Ted’s.
For a solid year, Connie & Ted’s was the most popular restaurant in the city. It was also kind of a mess. The place was loud, crowded, and you had to wait a month just to eat a lobster roll next to Fergie.
But a lot has changed since then. The swarms of A, B, C, and D-listers have subsided, and the lobster roll place in Weho has finally settled into what it was meant to be: a neighborhood restaurant. And it’s so much better because of it.
Walking into Connie & Ted’s feels like a relief. Instead of an overwhelmed waitstaff dealing with the fact that David Guetta and Hayden Panettiere just shared a crab cake, the bright space is full of neighborhood people going on dates, eating early dinners with their kids, and having solo lunches at the bar because they woke up craving beer and oysters. The place is always full, but you can usually sneak in day-of. And while the food has always been good, it’s gotten even better.
Connie & Ted’s seafood is the kind of seafood that shows up at a family potluck in Cape Cod. If you’ve never been to one of those, expect a lot of fresh lobster, clam chowder, corn on the cob, oysters, and the glorious breadcrumb-stuffed clams known as “stuffies." Don’t come here looking for the panko-crusted hell dishes of the La Cienega seafood graveyards. This is the kind of buttery, messy seafood that if you spill on your shirt, you know you’re doing right. Prices are on the steeper side (that $29 lobster roll still hurts every time we open the menu), but when you’re in the market for seafood flown in daily across the country, that’s simply a pill you have to swallow. And trust us, you will want to.
Connie & Ted’s has had a long journey, but this is the version we’ve been waiting for. Just make sure you take Fountain to get there.
Getting one clam chowder isn’t nearly as fun as getting three different clam chowders and then fighting with your friends over which one is better. The sampler gives you New England, Manhattan, and Rhode Island clear. They’re all good, but there’s one easy winner - New England. Let the games begin.
The only issue we have with this dish is we wish there was more of it. The one good-sized patty goes quick, so putting two on the table for big groups is a smart move.
These sausage and breadcrumb-stuffed clams don’t have the greatest curb appeal in the world, but they’re one of the best things on the menu. Order multiple for the table - they won’t stick around long.
Go to a seafood spot and order the burger? At Connie & Ted’s, the answer is yes. This thing is massive and topped with aged cheddar, thousand island, pickles, onion, and lettuce. They aren’t reinventing the wheel here, but it’s a classic, and a top 10 burger in the city.
Yes, the $29 sticker price is tough. But they pack this with enough fresh lobster to soften the blow of spending a monthly utility bill’s worth on a sandwich.
Filled with mussels, steamers, lobster, pork sausage, potatoes, and corn on the cob, this is the dish that best encompasses what Connie & Ted’s does well. Yes, it’s also at $29, but the difference is the portion size. It’s massive and easily shareable with several people.