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Jan 1, 2014 09:51 AM

oysters in vegas

Hi. I was wondering if anyone had some recent honest thoughts on the oyster scene in Vegas. We have our US home here, but our reliable go-to PJ Clarke's has closed. After living years in Japan and Seattle, trying all the typical oyster "hits" in Vegas has been, bluntly, disappointing, if not upsetting, from two ends. Sen of Japan and Nobu are good, but without selection and typically pre-sauced; we like larger sized oysters. Palace Station was quite frankly not fresh. Joe's was not good. Bouchon was very off. Aquaknox was ok, as was Comme Ca. Robuchon Atelier had a great oyster, but my wife and I really just want to sit and eat a few dozen oysters, not enjoy French kappo; similar hats off to Michael Mina, Guy Savoy, Pierre Gagniere. Many years ago we went to Morel's, which has a vague memory of being good. I have not been to RM. Any thoughts on the local oyster gurus? My wife and I would be very grateful. Best and thanks in advance. Looking forward to a great honest lead!

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  1. I have tried oysters at about half the places you mention above, and share your disappointment. I know exactly what you are after, and I haven't found it in Las Vegas, either. I've found no LV place comparable to Acme in N.O. or Pearl Oyster Bar in NYC (it may not be a coincidence that both of these places have no choice over types of oysters selected -- in general, I've had bad experiences with places that offer a big selection of raw oysters, even in dedicated oyster bars).

    I don't usually like mucking with raw oysters in any way, but my favorite place in Las Vegas for them is Chada Thai and Wine, where I'm addicted to the raw oysters with roasted chili, lime, garlic and cilantro. The oysters, themselves, are nothing special, but this is the only alteration of a raw oyster I've ever eaten that ranks with just downing them unadorned. You can ask for them at any degree of hotness. I'm a chili-head, but this is one case where I prefer only a moderate amount of heat, because the flavor of the oyster and its liquor are not overpowered.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Dave Feldman

      Looking for the equivalent of the Acme Oyster House in Las Vegas is like trying to find Russ & Daughters (NYC's historic home of lox and other Jewish style "appetizing") in Salt Lake City.

      1. re: josephnl

        I don't think I was clear. What I meant, and have a feeling that usagi meant, was it's fun to just sit at a bar (or a table) and order nothing but oysters. The closest I've felt to this is the bar at Bouchon, but I haven't been that impressed with the oysters there, or at R&M downstairs. I don't expect the boisterous, roadhouse atmosphere of Acme.

        I just saw QAW's post below - I've never tried McCormick & Shmick's in LV.

        1. re: Dave Feldman

          I too think that Bouchon really is pretty decent for raw oysters, and may be as good as you'll get in LV…but it sure ain't the Acme Oyster House!

          1. re: josephnl

            Concur that Bouchon is probably the best out of the bunch and have had just oysters and champagne at the bar but LV could really use a place like Acme.

            1. re: Beach Chick

              Agreed . . . Bouchon is, iMHO, the best option.

    2. We hope that we do not lose any of our "street creed", because it is a chain and can be mediocre on across the board offerings, but if someone is in Las Vegas and has oysters at the top of their list, McCormick & Schmick's can be worth a try. They do a pretty good job of sourcing from the Pacific northwest, and I believe the current menu can be found on-line before venturing over, to see what they are featuring on a given day.

      The fact that they get a recommendation is also a full agreement with Usagi that Las Vegas has been lacking in this particular area.

      1. It's a shame that NYNY is too low-rent to host a Grand-Central themed oyster bar.

        1 Reply
        1. re: kagemusha49

          Agreed, although as a New Yorker, it would please me even more if the Grand Central Oyster Bar got its act together and improved it's food!

        2. Thanks to you all. We had a recent bit of adventuresome and re-tried our beloved Carnevino. It..sucked...(not shucked)... So I guess, we are all, back to shuck zero. Truly crestfallen and without a shell in to which to lie...

          3 Replies
          1. re: usagi

            For just oysters or overall?

            1. re: LVI

              Definitely just oysters! Everything else was fab as always. I have forgotten to mention, Morel's does good oysters. If you're on the Strip, please give them a try and let us all know; no relationship, but these are trying oyster times in Vegas and sharing knowledge is key

              1. re: usagi

                Good to know about Morel's. I will give it a try when I am in Vegas next week. In the past, I was underwhelmed by Bouchon and RM.