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Best Oysters....Where??

I had exquisite melt in my mouth oysters at O'Reilly's last New Year's Eve; equally good cider mignonette.

O'Reilly's aside, where can I dine on the very best?

The kind of place that'd go to the trouble to have Bluff oysters from Invercargill in season, heaven be....

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  1. Tony's Seafood on Highway 1 in Marshall for a funkier setting.
    Hog Island in the Ferry Building.

    1. Many will point to Swan Oyster bar (and I am heading there myself on Friday) but I also frequently enjoy oysters at Cafe Monaco which I think is highly under-rated for their seafood bar.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Carrie 218

        If by Cafe Monaco you mean the bar in the Hotel Monaco (I thought it is called Petite Cafe?), then yes, I agree, I had some very nice oysters there. Not as good as Hog Island though...Two other spots I've enjoyed in the City: Oola: I am not fond of most of their food but they have a great mignonette, and Scott Howard, which has $1 oysters every night during happy hour.

        On Monday nights I do find myself being drawn to Luka's after work for their $1 oysters. To answer another poster's question: in my experience, no, most are not imported, but given the quality of local oysters, does it really matter (at that price point)?

        1. re: susancinsf

          Yes, thank you, Susan. I didn't realize it had a different name (if it does) -- it has always just been Cafe Monaco to me.

          I'm not a Hog Island fan only because I despise cilantro which is the main ingredient in their Hog Wash and they don't have a basic mignonette available. Other than that, their oysters are fine...

          1. re: Carrie 218

            I hate that hogwash crap too. I ask them to give me extra lemon and hold the hogwash. The view on a nice day is really something.

      2. If you happen to be in Napa Valley, Bouchon in Yountville normally has outstanding oysters plus great pomme frites to have with them.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rtmonty

          Except for when they haven't changed the oil in the fryer and it's headed toward rancid. We liked TFL, but Bouchon was a huge let down.

          There was the most revolting rancid oil smell coming from the area of the kitchen that opens onto the hallway to the bathrooms at Bouchon, and our fries tasted off. We were their first customers for the day, so perhaps they hadn't yet changed the oil for the day but we expected the converse to be true.

          That said, my oysters were pretty good. I like Zuni better, which hits a similar price point but hasn't ever given me yucky fries and the oysters have always been wonderful.

        2. Zuni has one of the best fruits de mer selection I know. In addition to those places already mentioned (especially Hog Island) good oysters also at
          Lulu
          Foreign Cinema
          Market Bar
          Grand Cafe/Petit Cafe

          Write up on Farallon's new oyster bar in SF Chronicle today.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Joan Kureczka

            Second on Zuni.

            Cafe Rouge and Sea Salt in Berkeley.

            1. re: Joan Kureczka

              Write up on Farallon's new oyster bar in SF Chronicle today.
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              The very idea of sea urchin bar stools tightens my nuggets....

              Sounds like my kind o'place, but evidently the reviewer had no food.

              Anyone been to the new oyster bar?

            2. Try Luka's in Oakland - Broadway and Grand ---- $1.00 a piece on Mondays

              4 Replies
              1. re: bkaufman

                Try Luka's in Oakland - Broadway and Grand ---- $1.00 a piece on Mondays
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                I had a 1/4" thick 'ribeye' there a while back - $22. Yow!

                Funk factor was high - somewhat grimy.

                Thank you, but no.

                1. re: Waterboy

                  Luka always seems perfectly clean to me.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    Maybe hard to tell when I dined - not brightly lit in the evening. But....grimy in appearance, that place is in need of renovation.

                    Maybe it's the Yuppie in me - I prefer more comfortable surroundings. The flat board bench seat didn't improve my mood.

                2. re: bkaufman

                  Will the OP find uncommon imported oysters at that price at Luka's or the more commonly available hog island/tomales bay selections? I've seen deviations from the locally produced oyster selection at Zuni, Bouchon, Foreign Cinema, and Anchor Oyster Bar. Swan's probably has some good imports too. Bouchon and Foreign Cinema weren't as good as Zuni. Anchor Oyster Bar doesn't carry a wide selection, but what they have on the specials board is always nice and fresh.

                3. Fish in Sausalito often has Wellfleet Oysters - the best!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: jennyc

                    Fish in Sausalito often has Wellfleet Oysters - the best!
                    ----------------------

                    Fish has a good rep - do they take credit cards - I've heard not?

                    FRESH seafood is the only good seafood - how's Fish stack up?

                    1. re: Waterboy

                      For freshness, it's hard to beat Fish. The only complaint I have is their preparation is sometimes a little off for my taste -- there's usually just one extra herb or seasoning I could do without. BTW, they serve a great hamburger as well.

                      1. re: TerriL

                        Pan fried in a little butter's good enough for my catch, as soon as back on dry land.

                        Report on Fish scheduled for Sunday.

                  2. cash only unfortunately, and it ain't cheap.
                    being from cape cod, i'm pretty picky about my seafood - i have yet to be disappointed at Fish.