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Sep 25, 2013 02:45 PM

Blue Plate Oysterette last night

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.

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  1. 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.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Wayno

      I think I saw a permit application in window for bpo at luigis on third and crescent heights.

      Thx for report I'd like those raw clams.

    2. 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.

      4 Replies
      1. re: pizzafreak

        Having trouble opening/expanding the photo, but it looks like it puts the BPO roll to shame. Not surprisingly. And a veritable bargain for a Jackson.

          1. re: Dirtywextraolives

            I don't know how I can post the photo differently, suffice it to say that there is 1/2 lb of lobster meat (?) on that roll.

            1. re: pizzafreak

              I understand, you just needed to put something else in the shot to give us a point of reference.

        1. << If you’ve ever had the buttery, clammy chowder at Swan Oyster Depot in SF, you’ll know what I crave. >>

          Who ever doesn't know this craving needs to go there. NOW.

          4 Replies
            1. re: Ciao Bob

              So, you'll buy my ticket and watch my kids for me while I'm there, right??

              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                I'll meet you part way: when my kids are in town, your kids can come over. And you and Mr. Olives can then go to Swan.

            2. 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.)

              2 Replies
              1. re: foodiemahoodie

                I had lunch at Fishing with Dynamite in Manhattan Beach and the clam chowder was one of the best I've ever had. Creamy but not thick with fresh clams, potatoes and bacon. Very good.

                1. re: Baron

                  I can't speak to the clam chowder but Fishing With Dynamite was at the Alex Loves Lemonade Stand this weekend. The Vietnamese pork dish they offered was a true standout. Can't wait to go for a real meal.

              2. 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.