La Villa Basque
2801 Leonis Blvd.
Vernon, a city that used to have the Vernon Tigers, of the old Pacific Coast League. Don't know about the Vernon Tigers? Maybe you heard of the Hollywood Stars, who played at Gilmore Field? Well, the Vernon Tigers are their "grandfather." Follow me now. The Vernon Tigers started in 1909 and stayed until 1912, moving to Venice for the 1912 and 1914 seasons. But then moved back to Vernon until 1925, when they moved to San Fransisco, to become the Mission Reds. The Reds would spend twelve seasons in San Fransisco, before coming back to Los Angeles, to become the Hollywood Stars!!!
Why did Vernon, a very small city, even back then, get a PCL team? They were not a "dry" town, meaning they served alcohol. Why did Venice get the Tigers for two seasons, you got it, Venice was able to serve alcohol.
Anyways, in keeping with my theme of reviewing restaurants in new cities, I go to La Villa Basque, for their $11 lobster roll and whole lobster. Yes, that's right a whole Maine lobster for $11.
During the month of September, La Villa Basque has a lobster special. They bring in live lobster from back east and sells them for a great price.
La Villa Basque is an interesting restaurant. I walked in and the dining room is closed. But the bar is fairly busy. I sit down, order a drink and then order a lobster roll.
Lobster roll, $11. I tried the lobster roll first. The lobster was in a hot dog bun, that was almost burnt. Not a good start. But the lobster, mostly tail meat, was pretty tasty, it was mostly lobster tail, mixed with some mayo. The lobster was well cooked, not tough or chewy.
I loved the wasbi aioli, which added a nice kick to the lobster roll. That kick worked well with the coolness of the mayo.
But I really came here for the whole lobster, $11. But this wasn't the whole lobster, I was expecting. I wasn't expecting to get down and dirty, cracking lobster and everything. From the pictures of the lobsters served before, the lobsters were prepared, much differently the the just plain steamed. I thought the lobsters were prepared Basque style but they are just steamed.
The lobster was pretty good, but served luke warm. They need to turn up the warmer, because eating luke warm lobster isn't my thing. But, the lobster was tender and well cooked.
Service at the bar was pretty good.
I would not go back to La Villa Basque for the lobster special. The lobster special isn't anything special. It's the samething as Quality Seafood, for a few bucks less.