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Best Seattle Oyster Bar?

eatseverything Jun 11, 2008 06:41 PM

I'm looking for a place that has a variety of the freshest Pacific Northwest Oysters available to eat when I'm visiting Seattle next week. It would be a plus if the person shucking or serving is knowledgeable about the harvest. I know it's not the best time of the year but whatever is available is surely better than what we get in L.A.

  1. j
    jamesbra Jun 17, 2008 09:29 AM

    ai, I don't know if your still here, but in terms of great pac nwest oysters and knowledge, I've been going to Ama Ama for a bit now - they have $0.50 oysters at happy hour, their super fresh, their very northwest and the staff apparently just took a trip up to the oyster farms in the san juans / puget sound region for a day to learn about the oysters - so there you go for 'knowledgeable staff'. This place too is getting better and better...anyway, that's my two cents on some good local oysters (West Seattle)

    1 Reply
    1. re: jamesbra
      seahag Jun 20, 2008 09:22 PM

      Thanks for this tip! I will be visiting the family in WS this summer and will have to make Ama Ama a "must".

    2. f
      firecracker Jun 12, 2008 08:08 PM

      Whre are you visiting from, eats?

      3 Replies
      1. re: firecracker
        eatseverything Jun 13, 2008 09:40 AM

        When you live in LA as I do and have a passion for oysters, you have to go at least to San Francisco to get the great ones. I'm hoping that the TIV's in Seattle will be as memorable as the Irish Natives in Galway and the Belons in Paris I've been lucky enough to consume. Thanks to all the PNW Hounds for the above recommendations.

        1. re: eatseverything
          equinoise Jun 20, 2008 04:09 PM

          Can't comment on the European bivalves, but by way of comparison, I had some Tomales bay oysters when I was at a wedding in Marin Co. a couple weeks ago. The oysters were great off the BBQ (which appears to be a local specialty in Sonoma/marin) but raw I found them creamy and weird. There is no comparison to the Pac. NW varieties. The best I've ever had was the couple dozen Shigoku I bought in May from Taylor Shellfish's farm at Samish Bay in Bow, WA. They were like Kumamoto but larger and more briny. Amazing. Taylor advises they have just began cultivating this kind and they are only available from the farm. But Totten Virginicas, Kushis and Kumos are fantstic too, and even the standard Penn Cove in season are superior.

          1. re: equinoise
            barleywino Jun 20, 2008 09:17 PM

            i love those Tomales bay oysters! Tottens seem to be the closest we have around here to those..Hama Hama's can be good too

      2. b
        burritobelle Jun 12, 2008 07:05 PM

        Elliotts has an Oyster Happy hour - which is the reason I go! I think they start at a quarter, and go up in price every half hour. It's so nice sitting on the deck, drinking wine, eating delicious (but cheap!) oysters and other happy hour appetizers.

        1 Reply
        1. re: burritobelle
          GreenYoshi Jun 13, 2008 08:47 AM

          I usually go with a dozen of the "Happy Hour" oyster (which is usually something generic) and then a half dozen of whatever the shuckers recommend that day.

        2. m
          mrnelso Jun 12, 2008 05:27 PM

          Spawning (from wikipedia):
          A piece of folk wisdom concerning oysters is that they are best to eat in months containing the letter r, as illustrated by the famous phrase: "oysters 'r' in season." This is because oysters spawn in the warmer months, from roughly May to August in the Northern Hemisphere, and their flavor when eaten raw can be somewhat watery and bland during spawning season; additionally their meats are much reduced in size.

          1. SFO Jun 12, 2008 04:58 PM

            Ditto on the Brooklyn.
            You might want to try Ray's Boathouse. They have a great happy hour and great views!

            1. g
              GreenYoshi Jun 12, 2008 02:01 PM

              Elliot's has a great selection and great shuckers at the bar, always knowledgeable and friendly.
              I always have a great time when I'm there.

              3 Replies
              1. re: GreenYoshi
                bluedog67 Jun 12, 2008 02:58 PM

                you know, i forgot about elliots, but that is a great place for oysters, great service and has the view, etc. i think the remodel makes them the longest oyster bar in thew west or some random statistic. I would concur on that recommendation.

                1. re: GreenYoshi
                  akq Jun 12, 2008 07:54 PM

                  I dislike Elliots for everything except oysters - if you go, I'd just go for oysters and drinks and skip eating lunch/dinner there. They have a huge selection of fresh oysters and do know what they're talking about. They have a progressive oyster happy hour M-F 3-6pm (starts really cheap and gets progressively more expensive throughout the afternoon) that might be worth checking out. The make a mignonette that is excellent and doesn't overpower the oysters.

                  1. re: akq
                    mrnelso Jun 12, 2008 08:34 PM

                    Get there at 3:00 and order-up several dozens. Of course, you will get whatever the house has surplus, which may limit your choices, but I've never had a bad one there and have found conversation with the shucker entertaining and maybe beneficial. They do know their oyster stuff there, though I can't speak to the rest of the menu. I don't remember having thought so much of the martini I selected for my mandatory beverage, but it may also be that it kicked my memory's a** to the curb and moved on...

                2. terrier Jun 12, 2008 10:40 AM

                  The counter at Jack's Fish Spot in the market.

                  You're right, it's not the best time of year - but with our lovely Junuary weather you wouldn't know the summer solstice was next weekend.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: terrier
                    bluedog67 Jun 12, 2008 12:07 PM

                    Ditto on Jacks.
                    Emmet Watson's in the market for a dive type place.
                    Shuckers in the Farimount for upscale.
                    Boat St. has an oyster happy hour.

                    Try Totten Inlet Virginicas if you find them - I am newly converveted.

                    1. re: bluedog67
                      barleywino Jun 12, 2008 02:13 PM

                      Union usually has great Totten Virginicas although i think this time of year they are not quite as plump as during the winter. Had some of them at the Brooklyn the other day and they were disappointing.

                      1. re: barleywino
                        bluedog67 Jun 12, 2008 02:56 PM

                        In general i would concur, but i had some at boat st about a week ago that were great, and bought some at Wild Salmon that were delicious. Taylor seems to be the best source.

                        1. re: bluedog67
                          barleywino Jun 12, 2008 03:00 PM

                          thanks, i'll have to check it out!

                          1. re: bluedog67
                            GreenYoshi Jun 12, 2008 03:25 PM

                            Yeah, got some Totten Virginicas from the Taylor Shellfish guys last week, surprisingly big and plump for this time of year.

                            (well, most of 'em anyway... a couple were somewhat disappointing)

                          2. re: barleywino
                            eatseverything Jun 12, 2008 04:39 PM

                            l got a rez at Union so I will do a compare and contrast. Thanks.

                            1. re: eatseverything
                              dylinw Jun 13, 2008 09:46 AM

                              I could be wrong (and hopefully I am), but I dined at Union last week and I didn't see oysters on the menu. Perhaps it's a seasonality thing, or perhaps I had already consumed too much sparkling wine... ;)

                          3. re: bluedog67
                            eatseverything Jun 12, 2008 04:36 PM

                            Thanks for giving me a Seattle Oyster Grail to seek.

                        2. f
                          firecracker Jun 11, 2008 07:19 PM

                          Try those oysters at The Brooklyn. Wash them down with a flight of microbrews or a wine flight. Try the Kumomoto's if they have them!

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