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oysters for Xmas Eve

would love to serve oysters on the half shell on Xmas Eve to 20 or so guests. where should i get them? thanks!

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  1. i should say that we are up in Laurel Canyon and would love something hollywood or perhaps downtown...

    has anyone tried the oysters at Farmer's Market on 3rd?

    1. At this point, probably Bristol Farm…but order them today.

      I always have mine flown.

        1. re: jessejames

          I was at S.M. Seafood yesterday. The market was so packed that they closed the cafe. Oysters were plentiful; good variety and folks were lined up to get them. S.M Seafood is closing at 5:00 today. Suggest going as early as possible. I had the oysters at the seafood bar on Saturday. Absolutely pristine and delicious.

          1. re: maudies5

            had the kumomotos recently there -- tasty!

            1. re: jessejames

              agree those Kumomotos were fabulous

        2. Fisherman's Outlet Downtown LA
          529 S Central Ave
          Los Angeles, CA 90013
          Phone number (213) 627-7231

          1. Tusquellas Seafood at the Original
            farmers Market @ 3rd and Fairfax

            1. I was looking for an answer to the same question.

              Fisherman's Outlet we called and they don't sell oysters.

              Tusquella's sells only fried oysters from the stand, do they sell raw oysters in bulk or something?

              Bristol Farm ONLY has Fanny Bays...not my fave.

              Los Angeles Fish Company, downtown, might be able to help but they're not open till Monday. Likewise Pacific Fresh Fish.

              If your Christmas Eve is flexible, the best deal I found was to order from Giovanni's Fish Market in Morro Bay. They can do next-day delivery, and have good prices, a variety of oysters, and $10 shipping. But you're at the whim of UPS delivering on Xmas Eve, so they could arrive late-ish. Depends on your dinnertime.


              1 Reply
              1. re: jesstifer

                so helpful! thank you. will call Giovanni's and see what they can do. LA Fish Co is great backup.

              2. Quality Seafood on the Redondo Pier has all kinds of live shell fish and oysters. Not cheap but best quality.


                1. Live oysters at 99 Ranch markets for 99 cents apiece. Seafood City also has them on Carson and Main Sts. Northgate Supermarkets carry them occasionally.

                  1. Yes, I have obtained Fanny Bay oysters from the Farmer's Market. It has been a couple of months. Ask to see the bag tag and make sure they have not been sitting around for a long time. At this time of year, they are probably pretty fresh. Demand is high. Markets usually sell the oldest ones first. The biggest risk is that they have not been stored properly and have dehydrated. You can tell this by simply picking them up one by one. A dehydrated oyster sounds hollow and is significantly lighter in weight. Ask for ice in the bag for the way home and/or take a cooler in the car. Don't seal the bag tight. Store them cupside down in your refrigerator with a damp rag on top. (As to mailed oysters. All of the above problems exist. I prefer an on-site purchase. You can often taste the oyster before you buy.) Enjoy!

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: OINews

                      Great tips on the purchase and storage. What kind of glove or knife do u use so u don't cut yourself. I like liquor with oysters. Both kinds.

                      1. re: jessejames

                        Your seafood place should sell knives, at least here in Texas they do. I've been on an oyster roll, my latest concoction, just eaten mere minutes ago, were oyster nachos, others in the last two days, fried of course, in a creole sauce, and broiled with bacon. Here is an oyster knife example, a little fancier than mine.


                        1. re: James Cristinian

                          Thanks. U wear special gloves? Ur menu sounds nice. Oyster nachos!

                          1. re: jessejames

                            I use two kitchen towels, one to put the oysters on and the other to grasp the oyster with. Oyster nachos, a variation on jumbo lump crab oysters at a Houston restaurant, My creation was a nacho, cheddar chest, and oyster, and jalapeno. It's a little extra on the basic Texas nacho of chips, cheese, and peppers.

                        2. re: jessejames

                          Knife? What appears like a simple question is actually pretty hard, if you answer it fully. Here goes. It depends on how you intend to open the oyster and what size and oyster variety or species you are trying to open. The universal way to open an oyster is through the hinge or ligament. It will succeed on most East Coast and West Coast oysters as well as Kumos.. You can also open an oyster through the "lips". Some oysters have such a thin or otherwise brittle shell so that they can only be opened cleanly through the "lips." Today's cultivated Chesapeakes sometimes fall in this category. When you go through the ligament, you need a stiffer, thicker blade that will accept a torque without bending or spoiling the blade tip. It is almost a screwdriver-like action. For going through the "lips" you want a sharp-pointed tip and a thinner blade. People who enter through the front of the oyster, the opposite end from the ligament, sometimes sacrifice a small "birds mouth" of the shell edges and actually purposely break the tip of the shell to accomplish it. The length of the oyster shell also tells you how long a blade you need. When you enter the oyster through the ligament, the blade must be long enough to reach and sever the adductor muscle. When entering from the side or front through the lips, you do not want the blade to extend beyond the shell edges at full penetration. You can cut your hand when it does. Therefore ... take a breath... a good home shucker needs at least three different knifes: one for entering through the ligament, one for entering through the lips, and a third "crusher Kawalski" that will open really large difficult to open oysters. The "crusher" is an easy inexpensive one. I am sure you have seen them. They cost less than ten bucks and are usually from France. The stubby blade is too short for many U.S. oysters and too wide to cleanly sever the adductor muscle of a good size East or West Coast oyster. It is too big and bulky for a Kumo. The blade has a sharp point and the wood handle usually has an oval metal guard on it. But it will open otherwise difficult to impossible really thick shelled oysters. Then you use a second knife to sever the adductor muscle. When you enter through the ligament, you have an additional option. The blade tip could be bent at the very end. The bend is intended to be used like a screwdriver opening a can of paint - benefit from the lever action and prying vertically. But when you sever the muscle with a knife that has a bend. it often takes a gouge out of the oyster. For this reason, I recommend a stiff straight blade with a sharpened but rounded tip. For entering through the "lips" you want a sharp pointed tip and a thin blade. These knives are often symmetrical about the axis of the blade. A sharp side of the blade also helps to enter from the side. The handle is the final important component. For a rotating motion, you want a handle that is round in cross-section. For a slicing motion the knife swivels at the junction of the blade and the handle. So the handle is often flattened on the sides - or a rectangular cross-section. Please see my collection of oyster knives below. Some are so beautiful as to be completely useless. They are for collector's only. Finally, the best way to learn how to shuck is to apprentice yourself to an accomplished shucker and then shuck as many oysters as you can. I prefer a towel to a glove. You can wipe your knife clean between oysters. Consult the America's Test Kitchen shucking video on youtube for how to hold the towel. Good luck with it. I apologize for the lengthy response. I hop you made it through.

                          1. re: jessejames

                            Great info in this thread. Regarding glove vs. towels. I'm a hack oyster shucker, and I found that towels slip off/shift too easily when I'm wrestling with a difficult animal. I bought a shucking glove at our local restaurant supply, which provides much greater security and dexterity.

                            That's another reason I don't love Fanny Bays, as mentioned above...aside from the fact that they can get too big for comfortable half-shell slurping (though great for cooking), I find their shells difficult and dangerous to penetrate, especially after a martini.

                            Gots me 3 doz Kumamotos chilling in my fridge waiting to be shucked in an hour or two. Much easier to open. BTW, I ended up going to LA Fish Market...$1.80 per for Kumamotos. :-))))

                        3. Whole Foods carries local oysters harvested in Carlsbad.

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: ebethsdad

                            when i checked last week, fish guy at WF said they were going to be $1.29 each ... seems like a very fair price for a convenient pickup. at least that's what i'm hoping.

                            1. re: FED

                              I use WFM all the time but I have some suggestions. First, call ahead of time and ask what oysters they have available and when they were delivered. Oysters lose a day in shipping to Southern California. If they sit for more than two days, they risk dehydration. You probably have two or three WFM's within your reach. You can choose the best one. The prices will probably be the same, but the freshness and knowledge of the staff can vary. Make sure the oysters are cupside down in the bin and there is ice present. Go early in the day so they will be as fresh from the cooler as possible. They sell the oldest ones first. Oysters will store indefinitely if the temperature AND humidity is present. Just putting a bag of oysters in the market cooler will not do the job for very long.. Watch carefully as your oysters are selected and bagged. A gaping shell is a dead oyster. You don't want it. Put them in a cooler in the car on the way home. Etc, Etc. Each WFM has a seafood manager. When you find a good WFM get to know the manager, Then you can call him/her directly in advance. Enjoy.

                            2. re: ebethsdad

                              What are those Carlsbad oysters like? I always assume the norther the better with oysters; don't think I've tried any from that far south.

                              1. re: jesstifer

                                I thought they were quite good. Not like Kumamotos from Hog Island, but they hit the spot.

                                1. re: jesstifer

                                  i thought they were good, too. they're definitely on the briny end of the scale. 3 doz went in like 5 minutes.

                                  1. re: FED

                                    That's fast knife work. I am a bit slower.

                                    1. re: ebethsdad

                                      ha! that's how long it took to eat them. not to shuck them. though they were pretty easy to open ... it probably took 10 minutes to shuck 3 dozen.

                              2. whole foods will shuck them for you, no charge.. then pack them on ice wrapped in plastic wrap.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: dyippie

                                  Having anyone shuck your oysters for you is of course convenient and perhaps necessary. But if you love oysters, there really is no substitute for learning to shuck. Each oyster is different and part of the pleasure is the challenge of shucking an oyster perfectly - that means shucking it so cleanly that the body is still intact and in fact the oyster is still alive. If you do it correctly, you can see the heart beating. When you move the tip of the knife blade along the edge, you will see the tiny fibers quiver in response. Eating a live oyster has a whole different poetic message. You become part of the animal kingdom - not just an observer. Unfortunately, it is one of those pleasures that you only get to know after you have done it. It is different than unwrapping a plastic wrapper. Trust me.

                                  1. re: dyippie

                                    i'm not a fan of this. in addition to what olnews says, very good points, there is the practical issue that so much of the flavor of a great oyster comes from the liquor. and unless they're going to open them very carefully and then wrap them individually, that's going to be lost.