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Best place to gorge on raw oysters in LA?

Where can I find fresh, delicious, and relatively inexpensive raw oysters in the Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley area?

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  1. The Wednesday Santa Monica farmer's market has them from Oceanside. Lula's and blondes IIRC, $2 per. Superb!

    1. FYI - Enterprise Fish Co. - Santa Monica
      Happy Hour - $1.00 apiece - Any Good ? Don't Know, I don't eat Oysters anymore.

      http://santamonica.enterprisefishco.c...

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      Enterprise Fish Co
      174 Kinney St., Santa Monica, CA 90405

      1. At Ocean Ave Seafood in Santa Monica they have Oyster Hour from 4 pm-6 pm. Monday through Friday, featuring very good oysters at $1.50 each and an "Oyster Wine Sampler" that includes six oysters with three 2-oz glasses of the restaurant's wines.

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        Ocean Avenue Seafood
        1401 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

        1. Hungry Cat in Hollywood is great. And the oyster bar at Water Grill downtown is superb. Great old wooden bar too. And I just found last week that the Hollywood Farmer's market on Sunday has them - I didn't try them but they looked fresh. Now I want some.

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          Water Grill
          544 South Grand, Los Angeles, CA 90071

          The Hungry Cat
          100 W Channel Rd, Santa Monica, CA 90402

          11 Replies
          1. re: Louisiana Mouth

            In my experience both Hungry Cat and Water Grill are pricier than 'relatively inexpensive.'

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            Water Grill
            544 South Grand, Los Angeles, CA 90071

            The Hungry Cat
            100 W Channel Rd, Santa Monica, CA 90402

            1. re: cls

              very true cls - missed that part of the initial post. I honestly haven't had a good & cheap oyster in LA. They have nickle oyster nights where I'm from and I always regale my hometown friends & family with stories of how much an oyster costs in LA. They just think it's nuts. But when you want one, you want one.

              1. re: Louisiana Mouth

                Ocean Ave Seafood happy hour sounds like a good option. They are owned by Water Grill.
                I used to go to happy hour at Mirabelle in West Hollywood where the oysters were fine to good, but cheap.
                Sadly, there's no Acme here.

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                Water Grill
                544 South Grand, Los Angeles, CA 90071

              2. re: cls

                Your right, but on Mondays The Hungry Cat in Santa Monica Canyon has oysters for 1/2 price. At that price they're almost reasonable.

                1. re: foodiemahoodie

                  Is the Hungry Cat deal available in the dining room or only at the oyster bar (I haven't been but assume there's an oyster bar)?

                1. re: Thor123

                  For the raw sea food. Don't care for their cooked dishes.

                  1. re: Thor123

                    For delicious seafood, tanas is the place.

                    Though at happy hours, little fork is forking out $1 oysters at the bar only.

                    1. re: kevin

                      Kevin: you are the Tana's man. Though I am a huge fan too. For seafood the whitefish is excellent. What else do you get seafood at Tana's?

                      PS: I am pretty sure they don't have oysters.

                      1. re: Thor123

                        My bad.

                        I should have mentioned for delicious parmigiana influenced seafood. My fucking bad.

                        And the bar scene at Tanas is beyond great.

                        1. re: kevin

                          My bro likes the lobster fra diavolo. I think ok but better stuff there. Clams casino also just ok.

              3. last thursday, when dining at the Mariscos Chente Inglewood location, the person at the next table was eating a HUGE platter of terrific-looking oysters.
                i didn't ask the price, and i'd call before going to make sure that they are available when you go, but i'd bet the price there is very reasonable.

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                Mariscos Chente
                10020 Inglewood Ave, Lennox, CA 90304

                9 Replies
                1. re: westsidegal

                  I've only had the oysters at MC in their ceviche mixto once, and wasn't impressed with them. But again, that was only one try in a form slightly different but critical when it comes to consuming oysters in a relatively pristine form. Considering how fresh their seafood is in general, I'd agree that it's worth a go...

                  1. re: bulavinaka

                    at which location did you have them?
                    who was cooking at the time?

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      This was long ago (in Chow time) at the Centinela location when Maestro Sergio was at the helm. I don't know the variety of oyster, but it was pretty big. I am more used to the colder water specimens from up in NorCal, so I should have qualified my above statement with this info...

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                      Centinela Cafe
                      4800 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                      1. re: bulavinaka

                        thank you for the alert.
                        if i ever should decide to order them i will be sure to ask before i order.
                        btw, at the inglewood location, he served us the marlin tacos last thursday. . . . .

                        1. re: westsidegal

                          You know them well enough that I'm sure they'd let you sample before getting a platter.

                          1. re: westsidegal

                            the thing is that, as much as i love oysters, i can get them at a number of restaurants in town, so they don't seem as rare or as special to me.
                            on the other hand, there are about ten other menu items at MC that simply aren't available (at that quality) anywhere else, so oysters are relatively low on the list when i'm dininig at MC.

                    2. re: westsidegal

                      If you garner the price, please holler at me Westside.

                      Also, what did you personally experience in your own taste buds in that particular occasion ?

                      1. re: kevin

                        those posts were made in 2011.
                        i've had so much food at Coni'Seafood since then that i can't recall what i had on any particular night.

                        normally i try to come with enough people to justify ordering:
                        pescada zarandeado
                        camarones ala diabla
                        mojarra frita
                        ceviche (the type made with brown sauce that is topped with mango)

                        if i have a large group with me i'll add a couple more shrimp dishes with red sauces.

                    3. Boiling Crab has dozen oysters for something like 12 or 13 dollars.

                      http://www.theboilingcrab.com/

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Just had an assorted dozen at "Seafood Shack", a B.C. competitor in Westminster, for $19. Depending on what you select, some dozens are as little as $14. Pretty good, too.

                      2. had some super fresh oysters at Oyster House in Studio City the other night. $10/half dozen.
                        Can't recommend the rest of their food, though.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: MissCast

                          I had a horrible oyster debacle at the Oyster House. Glad to hear you had a different experience but I will never eat them there again. It's a cool little place and I really wanted to like it but did not.

                        2. Daphne's at the W Hotel has $1 and $2 oysters during their happy hour.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: TailbackU

                            Correction, Tailback. The restaaurant's name is "Delphine." This is my favorite inexpensive oyster gorge in town. Happy hour is 4-7 on weekdays, but on Monday it's Raw Bar Night, and they have $1 West Coast (usually Fanny Bay, but sometimes a Kumamoto slipped in) oysters or $2 East Coast (PEI) oysters all night long. During happy hour they also have a nice $5.00 glass of Pinot Grigio to wash 'em down with. Note that the bar menu is, IMHO better than the French bistro-style restaurant dinner menu (separate kitchens, I'm told). They also do a nice $6.00 cheeseburger on a brioche bun; and the macaroni au gratin from the restaurant menu, at $9.00, makes a nice finish to a meal if need something besides oysters to call it a meal.

                            1. re: jesstifer

                              ha sorry...totally meant Delphine, not Daphnes. duh, i knew that.

                          2. Parker's Lighthouse in Long Beach. Happy hour, 1 doz for $14. Service is poor, but the oysters are delicious.

                            1. I dont think you can beat the Carlsbad Aquafarm oysters available at some of the local farmers markets (sat & sun in Santa Monica). They are $10/dozen and the oysters come out of the water the night before.

                              11 Replies
                              1. re: carln

                                The one and only time in LA I've had oysters both good and cheap was at Redondo Live Seafood (the Korean place on the 'dondo pier that apparently A-Frame is modeled after). Since it was just once I can't speak to consistent quality but they were huge tasty oysters and if memory serves were in the $1-$1.5/oyster range.

                                It would be helpful if someone could chime in with the actual Korean name of the place because there is a copycat resto on the 2nd floor above the pier with a similar name. Be warned, the place I'm talking about is ON the pier and has a crab sign out front.

                                1. re: mrgreenbeenz

                                  I went on Yelp and it seems the place is now named Pacific Fish Center and Restaurant. I swear that wasn't the name a year ago though....

                                  -----
                                  Pacific Fish Center & Restaurant
                                  131 Fishermans Wharf, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

                                  1. re: mrgreenbeenz

                                    Been that name (Pacific Fish Center...) for a loooong time now.

                                2. re: carln

                                  They are also at the farmers market in the City of Orange on Saturday mornings - great oysters and mussels and nice people!

                                  1. re: OCEllen

                                    I might hit up the City of Orange farmers market this weekend in that case. Do you remember any additional details- price, type, quality?

                                    1. re: chowwerred

                                      Usually they have two varieties of oysters, Lunas and ..., it's $5 for three shucked in front of you. A whole bag of either oysters or mussels, about a dozen, I believe, is $10. Everything's really fresh, harvested in the early morning before the market. And nice people who will talk about the 'farm'!

                                        1. re: OCEllen

                                          I know! I made my way out there and didn't see them. One of the other vendors said the dudes were prob out fishing. I might try again next week.

                                          1. re: chowwerred

                                            I know the guy who is usually there, Patrick, had knee surgery and a young woman was manning the booth the week before - but keep trying, it's worth it!

                                            1. re: OCEllen

                                              Stopped by the Orange Farmers Market again this week, finally, had a chance to sample the oyster stand. Great recommendation. Patrick is back from his knee surgery. Ended up going home with two dozen oysters.

                                              A side note, I had trouble opening some of the lunas once back at home. Some of the oysters didn't have much of a groove for me to get my knife into. And because the shells are so thin I ended up cracking a few shells. I guess I need to practice opening a few more dozen oysters. Sweet assignment to myself.

                                              1. re: chowwerred

                                                So glad you persisted and liked! I had some this morning and bought a bag of mussels to have for dinner!
                                                I've never tried shucking but those shells are a bit thin.

                                3. Chaya Downtown has some good ones for $1 each during happy hour.

                                  -----
                                  Chaya Downtown
                                  525 S. Flower Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: DarinDines

                                    Chaya Downtown no longer has oysters available during happy hour.

                                  2. Had really good oysters (and mussels) at Hungry Cat Santa Monica.

                                    8 Replies
                                    1. re: BSW6490

                                      Fantastic oysters at Hungry Cat. In celebration of their 1st anniversary in Santa Monica, the Santa Monica location will be offering 1/2 price oysters next week. I think it is on the 25th. Reservations essential..1/2 price cocktails, too. Check their website for more info. I have a reservation.

                                          1. re: maudies5

                                            There's also an oyster bar reviewed by Sherry V. In the times but the name of which now escapes me.

                                            Supposedly it's pretty darn good and located in Silver Lake.

                                            1. re: kevin

                                              Here's the review that Kevin's referring to:

                                              http://articles.latimes.com/2012/apr/...

                                              (Alas, he provides less information than he's always asking us to provide!)

                                              1. re: Peripatetic

                                                Has anyone eaten at the L&E Oyster Bar? I'd like to check it out. Like the review says, it sounds like oyster nirvana.

                                                1. re: DoogDoof

                                                  Hello, DoogDoof...more than a year after your inquiry about L&E Oyster Bar.

                                                  We had their sample platter of a dozen last night. At the beginning of the year, they opened just an oyster bar upstairs. Their intention was to serve a drink or three and some oysters to some of those waiting in line downstairs to secure a table for dinner.

                                                  We arrived right when they opened at 5:00pm and took a seat at the bar upstairs. For the next hour, we were the only ones upstairs at the bar, while the downstairs restaurant was filling quickly. Several diners downstairs were having oysters as well.

                                                  The hand-written menu for oysters was up on the wall, divided into two boards: Atlantic and Pacific. The prices varied from about $2per to $3.50per; the sample platter of a dozen was about $28. We were served 4each of 3 different kinds, with 3 sauces (their house mixture, a tarragon oil and vinegar mix and some freshly-shredded horseradish). There were also lemons on the plate and we requested some hot sauce.

                                                  All of the oysters were quite good...very cold and fresh. The service was bar-basic with no fluff; no coasters under the drinks or crackers or bread. The space is very pleasant, although we had the entire area to ourselves. I do not know how it would feel if it were packed with friendly chatter.

                                                  I would return for another platter of oysters, but next time I might opt to eat downstairs and add in one of their salads; the salads looked very good!

                                                  1. re: liu

                                                    I consistently like L&E oysters too - and their regular menu is also very creative and constantly changing.

                                    2. King's Fish House in Calabasa if you're in the Valley.

                                      1. Blue Plate Oysterette is another place to check out in Santa Monica.

                                        i agree with going to either the Saturday or Sunday SM Farmers' Market and getting them from Carlsbad Aquafarms/Aquaculture. They are freshly shucked right in front out you.

                                        1. Kings Harbor in Redondo Beach has a stand which sells many many different kinds of oysters. We go for the crab feast eating outside with butcher paper, hammers and lots of lemon water to wipe fingers but always the starter is an oyster plate - most recently we had 17 different kinds of oysters - stunning and extremely inexpensive. Favorite time is saturday morning before the crowds are out so its an early lunch.

                                          1. Had a dozen oysters @$22 a dozen from LA Ports of Call on Saturday. Very fresh and tasty along with stone crab claws, deep fried calamari and oysters plus buttered baby octopi and a loaf of garlic bread. Not cheap but dang good especially with a large pitcher of cold Mexican beer!

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: Clinton

                                              I love those loafs of garlic bread at the San Pedro market. Also, they got some swell fish that they will deep-fry for you.

                                              1. re: Clinton

                                                Hungry Cat, Santa Monica Canyon has $1.00 oysters every Monday night. They are delicious and beautifully served.

                                                1. re: Clinton

                                                  BTW, if you want to shuck your own, I just returned from a Mexican supermarket in Lawandale called Northgate Supermarket on Rosecrans and Prairie Aves where they had fresh small oysters on ice @42 cents apiece. Kinda briny but full of flavor.

                                                2. Oyster are $1 each during Happy Hour at Hachi (Wilshire Blvd near Bundy).

                                                  1. The iced seafood platters at Fishing With Dynamite are wonderful. 3 different sizes starting at $39

                                                    1. I was just Googling this...apparently Lure Fish House (the closest location to LA is Westlake Village) has $1.50 oysters during their happy hour M - F 4 - 6, but on Sundays its all day til 6pm. From the reviews I've read it looks like they have a good variety of oysters too. Might make the trek this weekend and give it a try.

                                                      Anyone been?

                                                      6 Replies
                                                      1. re: cincodemayo1

                                                        I've been to the lure fish house in Ventura and we've enjoyed our meals there. However,if you've gone that far you might as well go a bit further and go to the Jolly Oyster.

                                                        1. re: trojans

                                                          Jolly Oyster sounds great. How's it work? Can you just buy and eat oysters there or do you participate in the harvesting and shucking?

                                                          1. re: cincodemayo1

                                                            You buy the oysters and clams by the dozens and shuck them yourselves. They sell some stuff like oyster knives and limes but you bring whatever else you need there are dozens if picnic tables and bbq's so you can even grill up the oysters and clams. They have recently added a food truck but I haven't tried it yet. The Jolly Oyster makes for a GREAT summer picnic day.

                                                            1. re: trojans

                                                              Sounds great. Not sure we'll have time to stay and shuck but they're food truck could be good for lunch. Couldn't find what they serve online. Hopefully they'll post it soon. Know if it's officially open?

                                                            2. re: cincodemayo1

                                                              http://www.thejollyoyster.com/#!prett...

                                                              They're great. You can buy and shuck your own but on Fri-Sun they have what they call their food truck and serve them many different ways - raw, fried, grilled. They we all great.

                                                              1. re: cincodemayo1

                                                                Salt Air in Venice is new and their oysters were excellent Monday. http://www.saltairvenice.com/

                                                                $14 for half doz, $26 full. 3 different kinds - east coast. Excellent. Rest of menu great too - griled octopus, pea taost, whole branzino.

                                                          2. the viagra.com oysters: oysters topped with shrimp, soy, hot sauce. chili flakes : http://sinosoul.com/wp-content/upload...

                                                            half dozen $11 which I think is very reasonable. The spicy drowned "ostiones ahogadas" -- the only rendition of this dish in LA -- is $10 for half dozen.

                                                            El Coraloense, Bell Gardens, by the Curie Clan of Mariscos.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                                1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                  I hope your dog likes this place better - no rice for him...

                                                              1. Littlefork. ... $13/6 or $25 for 12 with good selection.

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                1. re: chewbacca

                                                                  And less than a year later $16/6 or $29/12. I must have missed my 20% cost of living increase at work.

                                                                  1. re: PommeDeGuerre

                                                                    see: rising costs of food worldwide

                                                                    1. re: ns1

                                                                      Because oysters suddenly became rare and the folks harvesting them got big raises, right? Or worldwide demand for oysters went up 20% and the supply stayed completely flat? Or everyone in the restaurant got a 20% raise and more benefits? Or just the owners of each step along the way decided to increase their profit by an aggregate 20%? Ding, ding, ding...

                                                                      1. re: PommeDeGuerre

                                                                        All valid scenarios and since none of us has access to their books we can just pick the scenario which advances our viewpoint.

                                                                        1. re: ns1

                                                                          Some are valid. Some are provably incorrect. I wonder which those are?

                                                                2. Any good places with an oyster-centric happy hour (or any kind of deal) on a Saturday afternoon/early evening?

                                                                  13 Replies
                                                                  1. re: PeterCC

                                                                    I think Littlefork which someone mentioned above used to have $1 oysters during it's happy hours.

                                                                    1. re: kevin

                                                                      Littlefork is on my radar, but I didn't know if they ran the happy hour deal on weekends.

                                                                      Edit: This FB post seems to indicate they do have happy hour discount on weekends:

                                                                      https://www.facebook.com/littleforkla...

                                                                        1. re: jessejames

                                                                          Yeah, I remember them mentioning that they had two happy hours.

                                                                          The maple onion rings are pretty fucking good too.

                                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                                            i agree! i liked the oyster sliders -- they kindly omitted the mayo-tard and brought me some tabasco! they get such a nice crunch on those badboys!

                                                                            1. re: jessejames

                                                                              But to me the oyster sliders were all crunch and relatively little oyster meat. I got it sans mayo too.

                                                                              Their buttermilk pie is quite good too.

                                                                              1. re: kevin

                                                                                maybe they were small that day who knows i didn't experience that...but i agree mayo is the fucking enemy!

                                                                              2. re: jessejames

                                                                                The oyster sliders are 10/10 for me. Like 3 orgasms in my mouth for $11.

                                                                                  1. re: ns1

                                                                                    calling James Oseland from top chef!

                                                                            2. re: PeterCC

                                                                              EMC Seafood:
                                                                              http://www.emcseafood.com/

                                                                              But you're guaranteed to hate yourself afterwards.

                                                                              Better stick to Little Fork, then.

                                                                              1. re: TonyC

                                                                                I'd only be going for oysters. I read your review (http://sinosoul.com/2013/08/emc-seafo...)... It's that bad, eh? Though I've got plenty of self-hate already so why risk adding to it?

                                                                                Maybe I'll try El Coraloense.

                                                                                1. re: PeterCC

                                                                                  FWIW Dommy really liked it...but TonyC's review is pretty damning.

                                                                        2. Not LA / SFV, but Plate 38 in Pasadena is advertising $1.50 each oysters between 4 and 6 PM and then from 9 PM to closing. (Caveat: I've had middlin' experiences at Plate 38 and cannot comment on the oysters, having never had them. On the other hand, every time we walk by, the place appears to be bustling.)

                                                                          1. a new spot, Tipple & Brine, by Vantage Restaurant Group just opened up in Sherman Oaks. really cool spot - modern rustic design w/ patio. most importantly, very high-level seafood approach - right now, a dozen types of oysters and two good deals (upon which to gorge):
                                                                            1) happy hour every day, dozen oysters for $24
                                                                            -and-
                                                                            2) all Monday, $1/oyster. seriously.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: MagnoliaGardens

                                                                              Good call. I just found out about this place from a Besha Rodell review in the current LA Weekly. I'll have to check it out.

                                                                            2. Discover LA just updated their list of Oyster Happy Hours.
                                                                              http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/blo...
                                                                              The only ones I have been to are Hungry Cat and Chaya, but I should mention that happy hour applies to all of their locations.