Blue Plate Oysterette last night
- Wayno Sep 25, 2013 02:45 PM
My week of being solo is coming to a close and still hitting places that have been on “my list” for a while. Last night it was BPO, which I have wanted to try for quite a while despite the decidedly mixed (isn’t that an oxymoron?) reviews here. It is certainly a place that I so, so hoped would be good because I love the concept and the vibe. Haven’t been to Connie & Ted’s yet, but I love the idea of something derivative of a New England seafood shack (as I originate from Connecticut). Luckily, during the last few years of my 20 years in the Bay Area I lived down the street from The Yankee Pier in Larkspur (Marin County), and that was a very nice rendition of the concept. Last night, I enjoyed my solo meal at the bar, but the food was good but not great. I would return (in particular for the Ipswich clams that I did not try). I was jonesing for a lobster roll, and that’s where I started. It’s been reviewed here countless times already. It’s on the small side, esp for the price. The lobster could be more flavorful, but, while I usually choose warm butter, I went with the default salad style/mayo dressing this time; and, happily, true to their word, the dressing was lightly administered and didn’t overwhelm the lobster (but the lobster itself, while fine, could have been better – not sure why, maybe needed more of the succulent body meat with claw meat mixed in). Then again, I could draw an off-color analogy here and say that, like some other things, even a less-than-stellar lobster roll is still enjoyable. I could have done without the topping of chives, however. Then I tried the clam chowder. While it was not horrendously thick like some bad versions, it was still too a bit heavy in texture and too light on clams and clam flavor. If you’ve ever had the buttery, clammy chowder at Swan Oyster Depot in SF, you’ll know what I crave. Certainly not enough clams here, and the advertised bacon was undetectable. I also thought it could have done without the spicy heat; I would have preferred to add my own hot sauce. Again, though, it wasn’t great, I finished every drop and would probably order it again when I return. Finally, had a few raw clams (little necks) on the half shell, and they were super. Some nice selections of wine by the glass and the service was totally terrific – super friendly and attentive. Really good place to dine solo.
Forgot to mention in my excessively long report that i also had the key lime pie for dessert based on waitress' exuberant recommendation. Should have passed; it wasn't stellar. Better than many, but I think that KLP is a dish, like crab cakes, that, when made well is awesome, but all too often falls flat (and too dense and heavy). BPO's version was not better than just decent.
I was in Boston last Monday and Tuesday, and had a lobster roll at Belle Isle Seafood in Winthrop. This is rated in the top 5 by the Boston hounds. It is 1/2 lb of Lobster meat, tails and claws, lightly dressed with mayo, on a roll. The price is $20.00. Here is a photo I took of my roll.
Felt the same way about the clam chowder - except I wouldn't have it again. There are better places with better (but still mediocre-ish) clam chowder.
And then there's Connie & Ted's - which is very good clam chowder. Also a fun place to dine solo. (actually, a lot more fun in that the place is just hopping.)
Funny enough, I tried BPO for the first time last week when I saw some cousins who were staying at a nearby hotel. I loved the clam chowder, but I like heavy chowder. I also tried a special ceviche that they had that day -- a verde ceviche with poblano chiles, whitefish, and avocado. It was heavily sauced, but extremely tasty.
Other people in my group had the gazpacho, fish and chips, and linguine with clams -- and raved about the food. I only tried the fish and chips, which I thought were pretty good. I'm rarely in Santa Monica, but would definitely go back.