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Lobster Salad

IN THE MOOD

July 22, 1999

What's the luxury salad of summer? Luscious lobster, of course, on greens, with summer vegetables and fruit.

* Cicada: For a lobster salad in downtown Los Angeles, head to this splendid Art Deco landmark. At dinner, chef Christian Shaffer complements plump steamed lobster with braised leeks, red oak lettuce, grilled lemon and an aged Sherry vinaigrette dressing. (Lobster salad, $16.) Cicada, 617 S. Olive St., Los Angeles, (213) 488-9488.

* Mille Fleurs: The menu changes daily at this worth-a-trip French restaurant in San Diego County, so keep an eye out for the frequently appearing lobster salad, which has been made lately with Maine lobster, garden greens, avocado and papaya (or, some days, mango) and served with a bright lemon dressing. (Lobster salad, around $19.) Mille Fleurs, 6009 Paseo Delicias, Rancho Santa Fe, (619) 756-3085.

* La Cachette: This classic French restaurant offers a warm lobster salad made with steamed Maine lobster, asparagus, artichoke hearts and chef Jean Francois Meteigner's own warm white truffle oil dressing. (Lobster salad, $17.) La Cachette, 10506 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 470-4992.

* One Pico: It seems especially appropriate to eat a juicy lobster salad gazing out at the sand and surf. One Pico, the strategically placed restaurant in Shutters Hotel, makes a warm lobster and mango salad with a tarragon vinaigrette, perfect for surf viewing at lunch or brunch. (Lobster salad, $20.50.) One Pico, Shutters on the Beach Hotel, 1 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 587-1717.

* Dominick's: The most un-square chef in L.A., Fred Eric, gives us a chopped lobster salad, more or less, with bacon, greens, eggs and ranch dressing--and it's shaped into a clean-cornered square. Eat it in the bar area, which feels like the inside of a fine postmodern yacht. (Lobster salad, $18.) Dominick's, 8715 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood, (310) 652-7272.

* Vincenti: At this quietly elegant bastion of haute Italian cooking, chef Gino Angelini prepares a refreshing composed salad of mixed greens, lobster, mushrooms, artichokes and apples in a citrus dressing. (Lobster salad, $18.) Vincenti Ristorante, 11930 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood, (310) 207-0127.

* Granita: A variety of salads rotates on and off the menu here, such as a salad of Maine lobster with lemon-infused farro (spelt), fava beans, spring onions and green garlic. Or there's a Louisiana crawfish and lobster salad with papayas and avocado in a curry coriander vinaigrette. (Lobster salads, around $18.) Granita, Malibu Colony Plaza, 23725 W. Malibu Road, Malibu, (310) 456-0488.

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