Buffets Serving Raw Oysters on the Strip
This is a pretty simple question. I have a relative who insists that on an upcoming trip to Vegas in July he wants to eat at a buffet where he can eat 4-5 plates of raw oysters. He's not even specifying good oysters. He is so dead set on it I'm not even going to try arguing that we should go anywhere else. Money is not a huge constraint, although I appreciate recommendations for different price points, but due to weekend family activities, we will probably be dining on a weekday. Bonus points if the the buffet also has above-average crab legs ("above-average" graded on a curve that compares it only to other buffets".
I have higher standards, so I wouldn't mind if responses in this thread get sidetracked into also discussing other places that serve better oysters that I would go with or without him.
As far as I know, there are no buffets that serve freshly shucked oysters. But please let me know if I'm wrong! I'd love to sit at a buffet and eat a couple dozen if they were flown in alive and shucked on-site.
Most places that have to turn out tray after tray of oysters and have them safely sit on ice use ICF (Individually Quick Frozen) oysters on the half shell. They are fresh oysters that are shucked at the factory, frozen, boxed, and shipped. The buffets then unpack and line up the oysters on baking sheets to thaw before putting them out. While they're perfectly safe to eat, the texture changes and there is no liquor at all. They look a bit beat up (freezing and thawing will do that), are chewy, and do not taste at all of the sea. They simply taste like whatever sauce you add to them. Any "liquor" you might see is simply melted ice.
Maybe take that $30 buffet price and go to P.J. Clarke's during happy hour and buy 30 freshly shucked oysters.
My research turns up that the website for the Village Seafood Buffet at the Rio claims to have "fresh shucked oysters". That's a short cab ride away if he doesn't want to take the shuttle to Gold Coast.
P.J. Clarke's is already on list of places I might go, especially if I hit the daily 7pm poker tournament at Caesars. Perfect timing because happy hour ends at 6pm.
I've also considered Todai. I've never been hugely impressed by other locations, but I would never turn down a free meal at the place. I am aware that it is considered overpriced but I also know that coupons/discounts can be found (and I am not the one paying for it). I also know that there are supposed to be better AYCE sushi places in town, so you're paying extra for a convenient location.
I'm not a big strip buffet type, but the last time I ate at the Mirage buffet for dinner, they had raw oysters. I actually ate a few of them with no ill effects. I've had worse. The relevant fact is that "your relative" can get their 4-5 plates of oysters, and then go and get more if they so please. They also had chilled king crab legs. They were split through the shell lengthwise and were on the small/skinny side, but were decent. The fact that they were split in half lengthwise made them pretty easy to eat.
Bouchon at the Venetian has a pretty decent raw bar. I like the platter of chilled seafood to share when I'm in the mood.