383 oyster bar & grill - mountain view : report + pics
Across from Shiva's Indian Cuisine on Castro St in Mountain View a week old restaurant sits. It's past a weinerschnitzel (sp?) and an oddly placed sports bar. The girl wanted oysters and I was wondering 'where does one go to find oysters in the south bay?!' if I'd known a day earlier I would of consulted you guys, but it was last minute and a search brought up "3 eight 3, oyster bar and grill"
So...with that in mind we set off and arrived to a bare restaurant, it looked like they were just getting their act together, and in some respect they are, however in my opinion they don't have the usual restaurant bugs to work out. Service is excellent, and attentive in every way, even though we choose to sit outside. A quick look over the menu and wow, this is not your usual Castro St. prices, an average order is $15, and the lack of choices worried me. Instead of Bodega Bay, Blue River, Hog Island, etc oysters, you got to choose from 1. half dozen and 2. full dozen. ugh...ok. A full dozen I guess. It was later told that the chef samples the oysters fresh that morning and buys whatever is the best tasting and freshest, so you'll never know what type of oysters you'll get but they'll always be fresh and delicious. Served with fresh grated horseradish, cocktail sauce, lemon wedges and tobasco they hit the spot. I now have an oyster spot in the South Bay. One warning though, the oyster sizes are not uniform. You'll get some small ones and some average sized ones. No super large ones, but they're all fresh, cold, shucked, and delicious.
Aside from the oysters we ordered steamed black mussels, flank steak salad, blackened scallop pasta, and of course beers. The black mussels were decent, steamed in what I believe to be a white wine shallot sauce, topped with fresh tomato's and served with baked cheese toast. I'll pass on the salad next time, it's better and cheaper at pluto's, but the blackened scallop pasta - if you're in the mood for a heavy pasta - this was good; 3 giant, tender, succulent scallops charred on either side but juicy, and just cooked on the inside was served with I believe fettuccine tossed in a tomato creme sauce along with strips of zucchini and topped with more fresh tomato and pesto. I truly did not expect this, quite the surprise and definitely a re-order.
So there you go. Oysters in the South Bay, no longer a myth.
pic of the oysters and scallop pasta here: (mods: please remove link if it violates anything)
I think you must be mistaken about this restaurant's age, wchane, because I tried it in April (both lunch and breakfast) a few days after it did actually open (with fanfare). Service was not very coherent at that time, but again it was a brand new business, I would try it again.
FYI certain places in south bay do offer good oysters in season. I've had them at Sundance steakhouse in Palo Alto (1921 El Camino, 650 321 6798, a respected local independent with brief but well-executed menu). The very high-end restaurants also offer them at times according to changing menus, sometimes in an unusual presentation or as part of a tasting menu.
thanks for the correction eatzalot, i made a blind assumption as we dined across the street at cascal not long ago and i swore it was still a sports bar. problem was we would of rather gone to the fish handler up el camino then sundance as you go to sundance for steaks. that was my dilemma.