If you are a lover of oysters, or any type of seafood for that matter, mark your calendars for National Oyster Day, celebrated this year on Saturday, Aug 5.
The history of mankind’s relationship with oysters goes way way back to Roman times. By the 19th century, New York harbor was the largest producer of oysters in the world and today, these slipper little suckers are considered a delicacy.
While every oyster is unique, here on the West Coast, our oysters often have a sweetness about them. Farmed from Baja up the coast to Washington, they tend to be creamier in taste and texture and less briny than the East Coast varieties. And their most noteworthy distinction is their deeply cupped shell.
Not only are oysters refreshing and rich in nutrients like vitamin B12, vitamin A, selenium, iron, calcium and zinc, but they pair well with wine, rosé, beer and just about any kind of cocktail. They are also famously aphrodisiacs, serving up a boost of dopamine, a hormone that increases libido in both men and women.
So if you are feeling frisky, head over to one of these standout spots in Los Angeles serving up all kinds of oysters, from sea to shining sea.
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Some of the best oysters on the Eastside of L.A. are found at L & E Oyster Bar. Opened in 2012, this bi-level neighborhood restaurant in Silver Lake offers an ultra-fresh seafood focused menu, including a fresh variety of East and West oysters at the raw bar. L & E hosts happy hour upstairs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. every Monday through Thursday, offering discounted snacks and drinks. We definitely recommend getting the early though. The place tends to pack up and it’s walk-ins only, no reservations.
1637 Silver Lake Blvd., Los Angeles, @leoysterbar
Nestled among the exposes wood and concrete interiors of ROW DTLA’s historic produce terminals is Rappahannock Oyster Bar. With an emphasis on sustainability, as well as locally sourced and ethically fished fare, the bustling indoor/outdoor restaurant gets its name from the sweet variety of oysters it serves from the Virginia’s Rappahannock River (in addition to the farm’s Olde Salts, which are salty and clean). The rest of the menu draws inspiration from the people of L.A. and the bounty of fresh produce, fish, and meat sourced in Southern California. Happy hour takes place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, offering up at $2 oysters of all varieties.
777 South Alameda St., Los Angeles @rroyster
Seafood lovers, if you are searching for a new friendly go-to, we found the perfect place. Found Oyster is cozy little spot in the heart of East Hollywood. Inspired by the blue-collar oyster bars in New England, Found Oyster intersects classic east coast seafood shacks with west coast flavors. The jewel box space offers seafood-focused fare, including crudos, lobster rolls, and, of course, a full raw bar with oysters from general manager Joe Laraja’s family oyster farm in Orleans, Massachusetts. Found Oyster doesn’t take reservations, but hey, there is wine while you wait.
4880 Fountain Ave., Los Angeles@foundoyster
Just steps from the ocean in Manhattan Beach, Fishing With Dynamite is a self-described celebration of summers spent on Virginia’s Eastern Shore and SoCal’s vibrant beach communities. The cheerful, 32-seat restaurant is anchored by a lively oyster bar and features a menu of “old school” traditional seafood fare and “new school” dishes highlighting flavors from around the globe. Definitely a South Bay standout.
41148 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach@eat_fwd
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Run, don’t walk to ETA in Highland Park, one of the few spots left in Los Angeles you can still find $1 oysters daily (from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., with an extra hour on Sundays). In addition to spot-on wine pairings, the chic, yet inviting, long and narrow bar serves up creative cocktails and elevated bar snacks that you can enjoy alongside live jazz. Walk-ins only.
5630 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles@etahlp
Another Eastside standout is The Lonely Oyster in Echo Park. Watch the experts shucks those sustainably-sourced bad boys right behind the bar before slurping them down in their small dining room or back patio. The Lonely Oyster is open for brunch, lunch, dinner and even late nights on the weekend. Along with oysters, don’t miss the fun seaside-inspired cocktails, like the rum-based Black Pearl or pisco-based White Squall.
1320 Echo Park Ave., Los Angeles@the_lonely_oyster
It’s West Coast, Best Coast vibes over at The Jolly Oyster. The small family-run business sources directly from their own oyster farm in Baja California, growing both Kumamotos and Pacific varieties of oysters. In addition to its weekly appearance at Smorgasburg food market at ROW DTLA and weekend shuck shack on San Buenaventura Beach in Ventura, The Jolly Oyster has a permanent bar in Culver City, located inside the bustling Citizen Public Market. On the menu, guests will find the family’s signature bivalves, rotating specials, fresh crudo, sustainable prawns and more, along with draft beer and a fabulous selection of natural wines.
9355 Culver Blvd., Culver City@jollyoyster
What began as a simple pop-up, is now a favorited permanent seafood destination Malibu. Founded by Christopher Tompkins as a mobile raw bar, Broad Street Oyster Co. established its first restaurant along the PCH during the summer of 2019. A little bit coastal and a whole lot of a party, Tompkins’s seafood shack is tucked inside the Malibu Village strip mall and is the perfect setting to grab a beer or some natural wine to accompany their seaside snacks. While Broad Street Co mat be most famous for their to-die for Lobster Roll, their oysters are not to be slept on. Broad Street Oyster Co. also has a funky location in Santa Barbara, a Sunday pop-up at Smorgasburg and a Huntington Beach Pier outpost in the works.
23359 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu @broadstreetoysterco
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