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Raw Oyster Bar

jesstifer May 12, 2008 01:49 PM

I'm on a crazy oyster binge. Suddenly can't get enough of 'em. I recently got back from NYC where I spent a couple of hours sampling some of the dozens of different varieties at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station. I'm desperate to find a similar experience in LA, preferably somewhere where I can knock back an icy martini or two while assessing the differences between Discovery Bay and Fanny Bay, Blue Point and Shinnecock. The closest I've come so far is McCormick and Schmick, a very pale imitation. I'd love to find somewhere in Hollywood. Ideas?


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  1. Chowpatty RE: jesstifer May 12, 2008 01:56 PM

    Hungry Cat would certainly be your best option, especially as far as good cocktails are concerned.
    BLT Steak in West Hollywood does a nice raw bar but I'm sure it comes at a price.
    On the other end of the spectrum, Sgt. Recruiter (next to Cobras and Matadors) has pretty good oysters but I think it's beer and wine only.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Chowpatty
      SauceSupreme RE: Chowpatty May 12, 2008 02:07 PM

      And Hungry Cat has a healthy selection of oysters, too, from Pacific Northwest to Chesapeake Bay to St. Lawrence River.

      Doesn't Comme Ca also serve oysters, or am I mistaken?

      1. re: SauceSupreme
        Chowpatty RE: SauceSupreme May 12, 2008 02:08 PM

        Yes, and good cocktails as well.

        1. re: Chowpatty
          Obessed RE: Chowpatty May 12, 2008 03:17 PM

          Agree with all the recos re: Hungry Cat. The best!

          Comme Ca does have oysters on their menu (was there Friday night)...I didn't order any so can't tell you if they are good or not, but everything else we had that night was great (esp the cheese plate - am still dreaming about it).

          1. re: Obessed
            bad nono RE: Obessed May 12, 2008 07:58 PM

            I had oysters there for my B-Day a couple weeks ago, and they were extremely good.
            I liked the cheese plate too, but I truly, truly enjoyed the charcuterie plate, especially the rillettes.

      2. re: Chowpatty
        jesstifer RE: Chowpatty Apr 28, 2009 01:22 PM

        Hungry Cat is awesome, but the selection of oysters tends to be tiny, two or three varieties. I will try Comme Ca, and I'd forgotten that Water Grill has a raw bar.

      3. c
        cls RE: jesstifer May 12, 2008 02:08 PM

        Add Water Grill downtown and Ocean Ave Seafood in Santa Monica.

        1. f
          FED RE: jesstifer May 12, 2008 02:21 PM

          as far as i'm concerned, water grill is the very best place. depending on where you live, you can get a more restricted selection at a lower price at King's Fish House, which is owned by the same folks. quality is very, very good.

          3 Replies
          1. re: FED
            carln RE: FED May 12, 2008 02:33 PM

            Its not in hollywood, but if you want a serious selection of oysters then Quality Seafood is the place for you. Go to Redondo Beach with a cooler, select from the 18 or so types of oysters, and then take them wherever you want to eat them.

            1. re: carln
              TomSwift RE: carln Apr 28, 2009 01:33 PM

              A strong second for Quality Seafood. The selection is usually closer to 25-30 than to 18. Alas, no martinis; but a good selection of beers on tap. It's hard to beat sitting under an umbrella with a frosty one and eating oysters fresh from the saltwater tank until you burst. By all means take a cooler as you might decide that you've just got to take something home, but bear in mind that you'll have to shuck the oysters yourself.

            2. re: FED
              vvconst RE: FED May 12, 2008 02:45 PM

              go with FED's suggestion. i've been to a couple of king's fish and they all have a decent selection of fresh oysters. can't go wrong if you don't know any dives

            3. OCAnn RE: jesstifer May 12, 2008 02:34 PM

              Taps in Brea has a nice oyster bar.

              Taps Fish House & Brewery
              101 E. Imperial Hwy., Brea, CA 92821

              1. e
                EclecticEater RE: jesstifer May 12, 2008 09:38 PM

                In OC Kings usually has an excellent variety of oysters on the half shell. Their fish is quite commendable, and they know how to cook it. I also had some really great oysters one night at the seafood restaurant bar in san clemente on the pier, and when I asked what type they were they told me they came from Baja. These were substantial, not thin, very fresh and very tasty, They were absolutely wonderful with a schooner of heifenweisen at 9:30 at night in this real California beachy bar.

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