LAGuide

The Best Places To Eat Oysters In LA

Head to one of these 14 spots whenever the mollusk mood strikes.
The Best Places To Eat Oysters In LA image

photo credit: Jakob Layman

Sometimes we want cold, plump, alarmingly fresh, briny-sweet oysters and nothing else. And for those occasions, we have a few ground rules. We're looking for restaurants and bars with a legitimate selection of oysters (ideally, the server should tell you where they’re from), a cold beverage, and a setting where you can order a dozen or more for yourself and no one will bat an eye. In short, you'll want to spend all day at these 14 LA spots.


THE SPOTS

photo credit: Allison Zaucha

Seafood

Eagle Rock

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Picture, for a moment, an elegant bar from the 1940s: marble countertops, stained glass panels, stools under a U-shaped counter. Queen St., from the Found Oyster team, is the place you’re imagining. While there are certainly other charming raw bars like it around LA, this is our favorite version in Eagle Rock. All of the action happens at the walk-in-only bar, where Kumamotos chill on ice and servers never let a glass of beaujolais go empty. You'll always find a bunch of daily oyster specials on a chalkboard. If you're feeling fancy with a date, order two topped with uni and caviar.


Dudley Market catches most of the seafood they serve at their Venice restaurant on the team's very own fishing boat. That’s a little bit tougher with oysters, but you'll still predominantly see West Coast varieties on the menu. These come with a really pepper-lime mignonette and go great with their long list of natural wines. This place is bright and airy, and remains shockingly tourist-free for how close it is to the beach (if you’re sitting in the right seat, you can see the water). They’ve also got some of the friendliest staff around.


As one would expect, this Los Feliz seafood shop is one the best places in LA to find oysters. They’ve moved operations from their tight, disco ball-lit space and expanded into the patio on the street, where you’ll have room to enjoy their excellent Little Namskaket oysters and bask in the glow of the neighboring Scientology building. Many come from their enigmatic general manager’s family farm in Maine, and are sweet, salty bites that taste so clean, you’d think the kitchen installed a pipeline to the ocean. Order twice as many as you think you’ll want.


At this seafood market/restaurant in Santa Monica, the focus is on sustainable sourcing and minimal waste. That means herbs and vegetables come from farmers markets, there's no plastic used, and the kitchen works with local fisheries to source seafood that’s right for them. Which, on paper, sounds as much like a book report as it does a place to bliss out on seafood. But Crudo e Nudo knows how to deliver a good time: you’ll eat amazing oysters served with woven kelp strands, purple wildflowers, and a pink peppercorn limoncello mignonette that’s bright and floral. It’s fun, casual, and entirely cool—the kind of experience we usually just hope to manifest, rather than actually live.


A lot of places that call themselves “oyster bars” are anything but. Not L&E in Silver Lake. They have an actual oyster bar upstairs, and they’re shucking a wide variety of excellent oysters from both coasts. It’s one of the more pricey spots on here, but you’re guaranteed the highest quality of oysters from Wellfleet, Hood Island, and more. They’ve also got great cocktails (our preference with oysters is a French 75) and offer a dozen or a half-dozen oysters at a discount during Happy Hour.


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This oyster bar in Long Beach has a little something for everyone. From platters of sweet and briny mollusks on ice and a fried oyster caesar salad to a mountain of fries covered in creamy seafood chowder, Liv’s in Belmont Shore isn’t afraid to let shellfish be the star. The sidewalk patio has so many string lights, you’ll feel like you’re eating under an old theater marquee. But if you’d rather sit inside, there's a long wooden bar where you can bring a date. If you can, stop by on a Monday night to take advantage of Liv’s half-off oyster deal.


Not many people know this, but the oysters at Mariscos Jalisco are incredible. Of course, no visit is complete without their signature tacos or ceviches, but next time you’re here, add an oyster or two to whatever you order. They sell them for a dollar or two a pop, but our favorite way to enjoy them is just ordering the campechana—a rich, tomato-based cocktail packed with an ocean’s-worth of shrimp, abalone, baby octopus, and one raw oyster floating on top. Perfection.



Broad Street Oyster Company is a fantastic seafood shack in Malibu that’s filled with so many oysters, mussels, shrimp, and uni you’ll wonder if their “local source” is actually the Aquarium of the Pacific. Here, the sunny Malibu coast glistens, the salty sea air kisses your skin in a way that feels like it’s hitting on you, and Broad Street will hook you up with a world-class selection of fresh oysters served over crushed ice.


From the outside, Connie & Ted’s looks like a futuristic restaurant set amid Boystown. But on the inside, it’s a classic New England seafood shack. This place is good for a lot of things (including one of the best burgers in LA), but their bar is also a great place to eat top-tier oysters while you watch the Dodgers–they’ve got an avid fanbase, including some seriously high-profile celebrities, so you can tell your friends that you technically ate oysters with Charlize Theron yesterday.


Close your eyes at Rappahannock Oyster Bar, and you can practically hear the boats and birds of the Chesapeake Bay. They’ve got a great patio at the Row in DTLA that’s shaded by a huge tree, making it the ideal place to eat the absolutely fantastic Virginia oysters grown at the restaurant’s own farm east of Richmond. They have three different kinds–our favorites are the Rochambeau, which are a bit sweet, but still have the brininess associated with East Coast oysters. Their kimchi mignonette is one of our favorites in the city, too.


As the name might imply, this spot on the Redondo Pier takes seafood very seriously. It’s basically a fish market with a huge, multi-level dining room, and when you want to order oysters, you grab a sheet of paper, mark what you want, and hand it over for them to shuck. They source their oysters from all over the globe, including both coasts of the US, New Zealand, and Scotland. If you really want to taste oysters from around the world, but don’t feel like dusting off your passport, this is the best place to do it.


Ceviche Project is the Silver Lake destination for all things raw seafood, and you can see why: their kanpachi and shrimp tostadas are inventive and fantastic, and if we go too long without having their scallop shooters, we start to have extremely weird shellfish-related dreams. And even though we recommend having a full meal here, the oysters live up to the rest of the menu: the house-made mignonette is spicy, but still lets the briny Bajas shine. Throw in a clammy, excellent michelada and you're in for a good time.


An awesome Manhattan Beach seafood spot the size of a studio apartment, Fishing With Dynamite is the best place to go in the South Bay for oysters and a beer. They’ve got a great selection, from a few different Cape Cod varieties to ones from Baja and Morro Bay. The raw scallops with grapefruit are also highly worth your time, if you’re in need of even more things served on the half shell.


Set amid the crowds and the urban commotion of Grand Central Market, The Oyster Gourmet is an unusual-looking, vaguely steampunk-y small wooden stand designed to look like a giant open oyster shell. And as you might expect, they’ve really only got three things on the menu besides wine, and the one most worth your time is the plate of oysters. The selection constantly changes, and the shuckers are super knowledgeable–so even if you don’t know the difference between a Blue Point and a Wellfleet, they’re always happy to help you figure out what you’ll like.

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