Saturday, January 9, 2010

You say Oysters...

I hate to say it, but I think the moment I knew it wouldn't last with my former flame was when he made a face as I slurped down a freshly shucked oyster at the Hollywood farmers market. I knew if he wasn't brave enough to dive into the succulent sensual raw goodness of Vancouver's best, then it most likely wouldn't work out between us.

Maybe my initial oyster encounter is not as prophetic and life changing as Anthony Bourdain's. But I still feel best when immersed in the sweetness and brine, the feeling of the ocean covering my head, my entire being awash in some sea that lingers in my memory. And if you love oysters, dear reader, you know I am not being dramatic.

Blue Plate Oysterette, the sister restaurant to the un-extraordinary diner Blue Plate on Montana avenue, is a fish haven. They carry oysters on the half shell, usually 6 choices from both the west and east coasts. About 5 catches of the day are written on the chalkboard, simply pan sauteed and served with a choice of sauce, such as lemon caper or roasted garlic pesto. I fell for the black bean chutney, a jammy intense concoction which played off well with the lightness of the Hake special.

A friend claimed the fish and chips to be the best in town, which is why on every visit to the Blue Plate it is the only thing he orders. He proved himself right; the ling cod is succulent and light; the crisp shell serves its purpose adding crunch and texture to the fish, never overriding or becoming soggy.

There is a generic list of about 5 beers on tap, which is surprising with all the great micro brews that are currently coming out of California. The wine list is not too adventurous but suitable and affordable. Heavy on the whites with a few choices of red. A Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand impressed us all.

While the fish tacos are not the best in town they are still incredibly tasty. I loved a recent appetizer special of Peruvian ceviche served with steamed baby potatoes, spicy paprika aioli and house-made tortilla chips.

The Lobster Roll, artichoke, and Lobster Mac n' cheese are the crowd favorites.
And don't miss desserts. I tend to always go for the coconut ice cream sandwich with a side of macaroon but I am a sucker for coconut ANYTHING.

What has also made me fall hard for the Oysterette is the awesome, friendly and efficient service.

When we called 15 minutes ahead to get our name on the list we were told a 30-45 minute wait. When we walked up 10 minutes later, we were seated right away. The place is jumping, gleaming and very friendly. One can sit and dine at the counter or get cozy in the banquet against the wall of mirrors.

On my first visit, while I pondered the wines, our waitress brought a bottle to the table so we could taste before choosing. She was not afraid to cite her favorite dishes and why, which is always a turn on. The manager will no doubt stop by your table and check on you as if you are regulars. It is sincere and consistent and makes you come back.
1355 Ocean Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 576-3474