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I heard on NPR that now is oyster season at its best. Where is the best oyster restaurant in LA?
Love those beasties

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  1. Quality Seafood, on the Redondo Beach pier, is a good choice. Zero atmosphere, but they have a nice selection at a good value. My only gripe is that they tend to end up being served a little warmer than I like.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bob Brooks

      Bob... I have been there many times before and think the selection is second to none. Yes, it's not posh or fancy, but that's the beauty. It's just seafood. The oysters are warmer because they aren't stored out of the water in the refrigerator, like most restaurants. I'm sure if you ask, they could put them on a bed or ice or something. Just a thought.

    2. Water Grill is darn good but pricey, much better to go there on someone else's dime if possible.

      1. I've had delicious, fresh oysters at Anisette in Santa Monica.

        8 Replies
        1. re: brandygirl

          Kings Fish House in Calabassas has a great selection of oysters at the oyster bar. They usually carry Totten Virginicas, my favorite. Same owner as the water grill.

          1. re: trojans

            I strongly second the Totten Virginicas recommendation.

            As you eat them, close your eyes and think about this quote from Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast:

            "As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans."

            1. re: creamfinger

              I'll second the King's rec. I had a trio of shooters as an app last week and it has me wanting to return for a full-on oyster experience. This was at the King's in Laguna Hills.

            2. re: trojans

              King's is a great recommendation. They generally have 6 varieties, and I have always had great oysters there. (Go with a friend; order a dozen, and wash them down with a dry Beefeater martini, up, with 3 olives -- that way you don't have to order a salad.) Totten Virginicas are wonderful, as are Canada Cups when they have them, as are Fanny Bays.

              Last night Ms. Dr. Oz and I shared half a dozen Fanny Bays at Pinot Bistro, and they were excellent. That was the only time I've ever had oysters there, though, so can't vouch for consistency.

              1. re: ozhead

                I second the King's suggestion as well. The Totten Virginicas are great. I also love the Kumamotos from the Northwest. Avoid their cocktail sauce and shredded horseradish IMHO.

                My father, who was a chef. His favorite childhood memory, which he shared with me, involved oysters. When he was a kid, they used to get oysters, shuck them, and eat with cold with tequila, lemon and pepper juice. Since he introduced me to oysters, I've stuck with this method and have never cared for cocktail sauce to mask the flavor of the oysters.

                For a dozen oysters, order a shot of decent tequila. Drizzle 3/4 of the tequila over the dozen oysters. Add one or two drops Tabasco per oyster and squeeze some fresh lemon juice over them and enjoy. These flavors really compliment, rather than mask, the flavor of the oysters themselves. Also, these winter months, especially with the weather as cold as it has been in some regions with good oyster beds, should be perfect for oyster lovers.

                1. re: Uberfiend

                  Ever since I read this thread, I've been jonesing for oysters. Now that I've ready your reply, I've gotta try it. thanks for sharing.

            3. re: brandygirl

              Anissette does not have much variety, actually they don't even indicate what they have. One's I got a couple weeks ago were teeny-tiny. Sigh... wish we could get belons here in LA .

              1. re: Sgee

                It's true that the variety can be limited at Anisette, however they do indicate what oysters they have on the board at the front of the house. Along with brandygirl, I found the oysters to be very good. But I'd say that Anisette is a place where you can get oysters, not necessarily a place to go to for oysters.

                The last time I had them at Anisette they had 4 varieties. And they were all wonderfully fresh. And they have a huge variety of champagne if that's how you like to pair them.

            4. The oysters at Hungry Cat in Hollywood are consistently great. Cocktails are delicious too.

              1 Reply
              1. re: CaseyDiaz

                I ditto the oysters at Hungry Cat!

              2. Hungry Cat & Water Grill are the only reliable raw bars I've found in LA.

                1. My favorite are at Mirabelle on Sunset. Absolutely delicious. The Hama Hama are my favorites.

                  1. Water Grill is nice, but agreed, super pricey. Hungry Cat in Hollywood always seems to fresh and tasty. I've normally had good luck with Comme Ca on Melrose. Its close to where I live and they normally have a couple of good selections.

                    1. This is going to sound a little weird, but I really enjoy the oysters from Carlsbad Aquaculture at the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmer's Market.

                      The atmosphere is, however, somewhat lacking.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Bjartmarr

                        why is that weird? i think it's even more fun to have freshly shucked oysters at a place that typically sells fruits and vegetables. i just picked up 4 types on Sunday: catalinas, lunas, endless summers and carlsbad blondes. just wrote about it on eatdrinknbmerry.com .

                        i'll try out mirabelle and king's very soon. going to Quality Seafood this weekend! any recs besides oysters and live sea urchin?

                        1. re: eatdrinknbmerry

                          You might enjoy having them fry up some whitebait for you.

                        2. re: Bjartmarr

                          Oh man--I eat oysters with those ladies EVERY Sunday at the Hollywood Farmer's Market. I sort of like the no-frills aspect. They're just fresh and delicious! It is so nice to talk to the "farmers" about their oysters while you're slurping away. Wish they served bloody marys :-X

                        3. Ocean Seafood in SM,Hungry Cat and the Oyster stall in the Hollywood Farmers market on Sunday.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Faim

                            The oysters at the Wednesday Santa Monica farmers market and the Sunday Hollywood market are the same, as they both come from Carlsbad Aquafarm. I think they also go to the Saturday SM market.

                          2. Mirabelle on Sunset. Their oysters are always fresh and nicely shucked. You can go for happy hour too and its only 1.5$ each. They change their selection but usually have fanny bay and hama hamas on hand.

                            1. Big fan of Hungry Cat (get the sea urchin also!) and I've had some good oysters at Anisette. But last night I had a wonderful half dozen hama hamas at Jar in WeHo. A bit of fresh horseradish and a delightful black pepper ponzu was a nice change from my standby mignonette.

                              1. Actually I think what they were taking about on NPR was the Luna oysters. (Which is one of Jonathan gold's 10 best dishes of 2008). These are local oysters from Carlsbad that supposedly match up to the best of them. They're at the hollywood and santa monica farmer's markets.

                                1. i haven't tried them myself, but i saw streetgourmetla having a plate of terrific-looking pacific oysters at mariscos chente.
                                  dunno if they were special ordered or not. . . .

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                    I had the oysters at mariscos chente yesterday. They were very good and fresh, and I think very reasonably priced. They come with lime slices (I don't believe they have lemon) and are quite tasty with a squeeze of lime and a dash of hot sauce or with nothing at all. I'm not sure how much the oysters were, but our lunch of camarones a la pimienta, borracho, checo, a 1kg pescado zarandeado, a half order of oysters (6) and 4 sodas and 4 bottles of water came to $66.

                                  2. I love the Bluepoints at Arnie Morton's.