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Get Ready for Da Lobsta, With Consultant Michael Taus

There might not be a better location for a new lobster concept than mere steps from Rush Street. There might not be a lobster concept like this anywhere. Da Lobsta, the new quick-service Gold Coast lobster eatery in the former Ashkenaz Deli space, is ready to open Friday. It's hard to miss with the cartoon lobster in various outfits smirking at amused pedestrians from the front window. People keep stopping to take pictures with him, owner J Wolf says.

While the character is amusing, the food is unique. Inspired by LA's Lobsta Truck, Wolf expands upon their menu, attempting to set his new restaurant apart. While still offering a traditional simple lobster roll, Da Lobsta will offer four ethnic-themed rolls: Southwest, Asian, Greek and Indian, all for around $12 each and available with either lobster, crab or shrimp. There's also a surf and turf roll (drizzled with maple syrup and topped with bacon) and a lighter skinny roll (on pita, veggies, no mayo or butter.) Other items include lobster mac and cheese, lobster salads, and clam chowder.

For those wondering what concept the former Zealous chef and owner Michael Taus is consulting on, it's Da Lobsta. Taus said he'd embark on a European vacation after closing Zealous. When asked about that vacation, Wolf said "I've got him busy." Taus helped Wolf develop the menu and perfect the dishes.

The 1100 square-foot, 12-seat space will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. to start, with Wolf contemplating a 3-4 a.m. closing time on summer weekends to capitalize on the upscale Rush Street party crowd. Wolf's 10 years of experience in event planning taught him to create a brand, and his work at LA's The Glendon made him want a small footprint and a small staff. Beginning Friday, they're both coming together. Look for the cartoon lobster in the window.

·Da Lobsta [Official Site]

Da Lobsta

12 E. Cedar St., Chicago, IL