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Sep 25, 2011 10:00 AM

Hog Island Oysters - buyer beware...

I've been a little depressed lately for a variety of reasons.

Business took me to Oxbow Market in Napa yesterday afternoon and spying an empty seat at Hog island Oyster's bar, I thought I would treat myself to a quick snack.

The guy behind the bar was really great in letting me taste the difference between an Albariño and a Verdicchio as they currently did not have a Muscadet by the glass.

So I ordered my assorted dozen and the Albariño and settled in for 20 minutes of joy.

Then the bill came: $46.87.

$32 for oysters, $11.50 for the Albariño, and $3.37 tax. I should have looked that oysters were more than $2.50 each and I should have asked if the Albariño was in the same price range as their other whites by the glass (around $8), so I am completely and totally at fault.

But - dang - $50+ for twenty minutes was totally not worth it. I'm back to finding the $1 oyster nights and dealing with crowds...

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  1. Yesterday , we enjoyed fabulously plump little oysters -- 6 for $6 at Farallon's happy hour. Along with a glass of Gloria Ferrer bubbly for $6.

    Highly recommended.

    450 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

    1. Its not buyer beware.. It is you were not paying attention to what you were doing.. That being said, frankly what do you expect in a place made to cater to the rich?

      1. "buyer beware" makes it sound like they're doing something sneaky or underhanded. If you had asked the bartender how much an assorted dozen was, or looked at a menu, perhaps we wouldn't be here. I understand how you feel, sometimes I like to pretend I'm one of the snooty "if you have to ask, you can't afford it" crowd, and in this case, you got a sense of what it's like to be part of that club.

        1. Your title implies they did something underhanded. They didnt. You just didnt pay attention to the price. Its a shame you let it spoil what sounds like an otherwise enjoyable respite.

          1. I feel for (and with) you. Oysters and muscadet are my favorite antidote to winter blues (as if I needed an excuse). But the prices charged on this side of the Pacific for shucked oysters seem pretty steep to me, so I content myself with either driving up to Marshall with like-minded shuckers for an oyster picnic or buying a pile of rocks and shucking them solo, to the strains of my favorite opera and accompanied by a well-chilled muscadet. . . Some of us tried the Hog Island $1 Happy Hour at the Ferry Plaza and didn't save much money--the oysters were soooo tiny that we needed a couple of dozen (each) just to take the edge off our craving.

            2 Replies
            1. re: pilinut

              the size of the oysters has to do with which species is on special; often but not always it is Kumamotos, which are small, but delicious.

              1. re: susancinsf

                I adore HI's Kumamotos! I can never walk away without buying some whenever they are available. Yes, they are small, but so sweet and very easy to shuck. The ones we got at the $1 Happy Hour were about half the size of HI's regular Kumamotos--don't know if they usually serve the runts or if we were just unlucky.