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May 7, 2001 03:56 PM

Need help for good oysters

  • m

i am actually looking for a nice seafood place. I have been to Swans oysters depot for lunch and i must say that that place was great too bad its not open for dinner. Is there any other place in SF that is comparable to Swan's? All feedback is aprreciated Thanks!

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  1. PJ oysterbed on irving next to Jamba Juice

    1 Reply
    1. re: KP
      Dominique Buda

      Although not a full seafood restaurant, I would recommend Absinthe in Hayes Valley for its Oysters. They have a selection of about 5 or 6 kinds, their freshness is unbeatable. Absinthe accompanies its oysters with a mignonette dressing and thinly sliced, lightly toasted walnut bread- the flavor of which serves as a lovely compliment.

    2. The Hyde Street Seafood House on Hyde at Jackson has a great oyster happy hour - a dozen oysters for $10 and $2 pints. It's right on the cable car line and on nice days you can sit outside and watch the tourists go by while slurping the juice left in the shells. It's not the fanciest place I've ever been but it doesn't sound like that is required considering the request for an evening Swans Oyster Depot. Great oysters, good atmosphere, fun for all.

      1. Two places that come to mind right away are Zuni's and Belon. Both are several steps above Swans. Zuni's is not entirely seafood, but they do have the most consistent choice of great oysters. I love to go there and sit in the triangle seat in front, slurpping oysters and sipping champagne. (And if they have thier ricotta "pillows" on the menu that night, so much the better.) Belon is relevitely newer. It's close to Union Square and also has a pretty good selection of oysters, including it's namesake the belon.

        PJ Oyserbed is also a good, casual place. And if I recall correctly, there is one night a week when the oysters are half off. I never knew if I should be excited or nervous about that prospect.

        Happy Slurpping.


        2 Replies
        1. re: Melissa

          My friends and I like to frequent PJ's for group get togethers...birthday's, etc. I like their oysters just fine...and their mussels are fantastic. It's not so much a sip champagne and slurp oysters kinda place though. The New Orleans theme leads to a more casual atmostphere. You can even order crawfish...which the serve with a big sheet of newspaper for taking away the discarded parts.

          Last time we went, we made my friend order the alligator for her birthday. Now she can always say she did it, which I guess is why you would order it...because I can't say it was my favorite meat was sweet...and sort of a wierd, rubbery cross between chicken and fish. Served with plain mashed potatos and broccoli, the dish definitley relied more on its novelty than its flavors.

          1. re: Melissa

            Just went to Belon last night and have to second the oyster recommendation! Very clean, well shucked with nice fresh grated horseradish and a simple mignonette. The Belon oysters (namesake) were outstanding, and the other selections (Hog Island, Kumamoto, Fanny Bay, and I believe Malpeque) were great as well. The food here is very good - tried the roast asparagus appetizer, a foie gras torchon appetizer, and the lamb noisettes as a main course. Everything was prepared well, all in all a very good experience. However, the wine list is not deep (we brought a bottle) and the dessert we tried (souffle) wasnt the best, but I would return knowing the kitchen's limitations. My only real caveat is the location; Mason and Turk is a rough-edged area. Let's just say you dont want to take a nice leisurely after-dinner stroll there. However, we will return if just to sit at the bar and have a glass of Gosset and some of those yummy oysters.

          2. Glow in North Beach has a full raw bar, with great, fresh oysters, bloody mary oyster shooters, as well as clams, shrimp, dungeness crab, new england lobster, etc. etc. Plus a cool, candlelit atmosphere, groovy music and excellent service!