Lobsterfest begins Friday in San Pedro
By Donna Littlejohn Daily Breeze Staff Writer Posted: 09/13/2010 07:08:56 PM PDT
The annual Port of Los Angeles Lobsterfest runs through Sunday in San Pedro. 2008 file photo. (Chuck Bennett / Staff Photographer)
Electric guitars, gourmet food trucks and pirates, oh my: The 12th annual Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival kicks off Friday and runs through the weekend in San Pedro.
A waterfront tradition, the festival draws tens of thousands of people each year for Maine lobster dinners, rides, music and other entertainment.
And new this year: some of the stars from the Food Network's "The Great Food Truck Race."
The Ragin' Cajun truck will be parked at the festival all weekend. The restaurant, currently based in Hermosa Beach, was on the show, but has been eliminated.
On Friday night, the Nom Nom Truck - one of two finalists in the reality show's contest - rolls with Vietnamese Ban Mi sandwiches and other specialties.
Nana Queen's will serve up hot wings and banana pudding and the Coolhaus truck will offer gourmet ice cream sandwiches.
The gourmet food truck trend has taken off in recent years.
"Most of the owners are young and entrepreneurial types," said festival producer Jim Hall. "They're offering different and better foods and they change their menus very quickly, using very fresh ingredients. It's hard to get tired of their food."
The competition among the trucks is often intense.
"It's really kind of a guerilla thing, it's a bit anti-establishment," Hall said. "For us, it really gives us a chance to focus on food."
But the festival also continues to major in music, he said, with this year's lineup offering even more variety.
"We really are a `music' weekend," Hall said. "We listen carefully to all our surveys and suggestions from our guests. We're staying with the cutting edge of the new bands but we've expanded this year with more variety, from folk to country western - we had a lot of requests for country western - and rock 'n' roll."
Four of this year's bands especially stand out, he said: Fitz & the Tantrums, Dengue Fever, John Doe and Exene Cervenka of X, and Miss Derringer.
Also performing - Saturday and Sunday - will be Arthur Nakane the One Man Band, a fan favorite from "America's Got Talent."
And it wouldn't be a lobster festival without pirates.
While many from previous years are busy being extras in the new Pirates of the Caribbean film now being shot in and around San Pedro and Rancho Palos Verdes, the Red Swan Pirates will be on hand with "daredevil" acrobatics and fire shows at night.
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