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BP Oysterette - very disappointed

Finally went to BP Oysterette in Santa Monica for the first time. I don't plan on going back.

We started with an oyster sampler. Oysters were not cold, and poorly shucked, pieces of shell in several of them. Many of them also had a sort of green slime coating the inside of the shells. No idea what was up with that.

Next was sea bass ceviche, Peruvian style. The dressing was very very spicy, completely overpowered the fish. I've had ceviche in Peru, but nothing like this. I think they were going for a "leche de tigre" kind of sauce, but missed the mark with too much heat. Only plus was it was a large portion. A large portion of substandard ceviche.

Then came what I had been waiting for! An order of steamers and an order of friend clams. What a huge disappointment. the steamers were terrible. Each one just a pile of mush - you could not pull them from the shell. Not particularly surprising, as I saw our bowl of steamers sitting for a good 10 minutes before it was brought to us (we were sitting at the bar - there was no reason for it to sit for any amount of time). they took these off the bill. And the fried clams were also terrible. Tiny tiny clams - there must have been 20-25 tiny clams on the plate. They tasted of stale oil. I love love love steamers and fried clams. I'll have to try Connie and Teds next.

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  1. That's too bad....

    Did you detail your complaints to management?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

      Yes - and they took the steamers off the bill. We were starving and did not have time to grab more to eat afterwards, so we ate most of the other stuff. The steamers were gross and truly inedible.

    2. BP is on bucket list since they hooked up with Open Table. They are good about honoring "sit on patio requests, etc." at the Ocean Avenue location.
      I am still of the old school who doesn't order oysters in the summertime. It may be an urban legend, but I don't order fresh oysters in those non "R" months.
      Too bad about the steamers. That is one dish I generally order and it has always been good.

      1. Love steamers and fried whole belly clam (RI expat). I've only had horrible steamers in LA until Littlefork's, which were excellent, but I haven't been to C&T yet.

        5 Replies
        1. re: TheOffalo

          I'm also an RI native. I haven't been to BP in a few years, but I recall their fried clams being spot on at the time. The lack of coffee milk, however, was inexcusable.

          1. re: jdwdeville

            That's why I try to bring back a bottle of Autocrat whenever I visit.

            I really haven't found great fried whole-belly clams in LA. I think I tried it at BPO but they weren't very good when I had them.

              1. re: jessejames

                Malibu Seafood has the best I've had in the Southland

                1. re: jmkRacquetball

                  ive always found their fried food "off" in a sort of chicken mcnugget battery kind of way but between crappy fried seafood them and neptunes net, it's close...but I think it like neptunes clam strips the best of the bunch there.

                  I haven't had the other grilled fish etc at MS tho

        2. Go to Connie & Ted's. I live close to BP Oysterette and haven't been there in years. Because, well, it's underwhelming. C & T's is always a treat.

          1. I have been to Connie & Ted several times now and found their fried clams and lobster roll very good. Stay away from the steamers. Insofar as their hard shell clams are concerned, they have a clam that is smaller than a Littleneck and larger than a Manila. I prefer their oysters.

            1. I've had a better experience than you at BPO but I hear you I hate sloppy oysters like that. The ones at Connie have been cold clean full of liquor every time for me.

              1. I wonder if this is a downhill report in disguise? I recall BPO's fired clams being heavenly about 3 years ago...

                1 Reply
                1. re: jdwdeville

                  the one on 3d street was just fine a few weeks back ... the poor man's connie and teds but still good...I enjoyed the fried clams and oysters were generally well prepared (tho not as good as C&T)...I haven't seen good steamers in LA yet but if I have lobster and oysters IDGAF.

                2. Was just there last week and had a similarly poor experience with the food. I had the scallops - oily. My friend had fish tacos - oily. We shared brussel sprouts - oily. Definitely a pattern there of not cooking food well.

                  1. Considering what BP did in the Gulf of Mexico, I cannot understand why a place selling oysters would be called BP. Or, am I missing something?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Tripeler

                      It stands for blue plate not British Petroleum, jeez.... Why does everything have to be controversial???

                    2. Their red curry mussels may be my favorite food in Santa Monica. I agree their ceviche isn't my fave.

                      1. Connie and Teds is WAAAAY too loud, almost to the point of
                        mental chaos; the best food cannot compete with the pain of 105 decibels and rising.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: VenusCafe

                          I found the patio to be quite pleasant and not loud in the least. Perhaps it helps to go off peak hours.....

                          1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                            I didn't have a problem with it...then again, we're not whisperers either. I love C&T, best spot for straight up american non foo foo seafood in town.

                        2. BP can be hit or miss, even with the same dishes. I've always liked the oysters, though. TBH, this review seems a bit odd. Steamers aren't going to turn mushy by sitting for 10 minutes after being cooked, and I find it more than a bit unlikely that there was "green slime" coating the inside of live oysters (and you would know if they were dead).