LAReview

Broad Street Oyster Co. review image
8.0

Broad Street Oyster Co.

When a pop-up converts to a full restaurant, anything can happen. Some open, realize too late they were better off in that backyard, and then disappear into the abyss. Others are like Broad Street Oyster Company. After a few years criss-crossing LA, this pop-up has grown up with a permanent space in Malibu, a near-flawless menu, and an atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re hanging out with Jimmy Buffett’s roadies.

Broad Street Oyster Co. review image

Photos by Jakob Layman, Andrea D'Agosto

You wouldn’t know any of that when you pull up to Broad Street. You might not even know it’s a restaurant. It’s tucked down a corridor in Malibu Village—a mall on PCH where you’re more likely to be run-over by a drunk Mel Gibson than find a kick-ass seafood shack. They converted their dining room into a full-on drive through, a place where you can actually hear the phrase, “Please pull through to the second window.” 

Here, you'll order from a long list of oysters, mussels, poached shrimp, uni, and whatever else that day. We won’t go into each dish, because some—like tiny river crabs from Japan, grilled spiny lobsters, live spot prawns, an entire box crab, and, our favorite, the ominously named “fish bits” (fantastic, fried, fatty hunks of salmon head and fin)—are only available in-season, but just trust us that you can’t go wrong with anything on this portion of the menu.

Broad Street Oyster Co. review image

The same can be said about most of the permanent menu, starting with the seafood tower. The standard version includes a dozen oysters, live uni, and six massive poached shrimp. It gives you a taste of all their best raw dishes and can easily be split three ways. You’ll want the anchovy duo, as well—two kinds of anchovies served with grilled bread and butter—and the clever highbrow/lowbrow pairing of caviar and Cape Cod potato chips. Ordering a hot lobster roll is also non-negotiable. Like all the best versions, its success lies in its simplicity: Broad Street’s is nothing more than big hunks of lobster and hot drawn butter on a perfectly toasted hot dog bun.

If you enjoy a party—or ever wondered “What would happen if Spicoli from Fast Times At Ridgemont High was really into seafood?”—beat a path directly to Broad Street.


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Food Rundown

Seafood Tower

If there’s anything more satisfying than scraping the meat out of a still-moving sea urchin, we don’t know what it is. OK, it’s also a bit terrifying. Either way, there’s urchin on this tower, in addition to everything else Broad Street does well. The regular version’s $150, with various caviar add-ons. We usually go for the cheaper one, but if you want to splurge, or feel like transforming into Jack Nicholson in The Departed, go for the big boy.

Broad Street Oyster Co. review image

Hot Lobster Roll

You won’t find many $22 lobster rolls in Maine, let alone Los Angeles. And that price—along with the massive hunks of lobster claw and tail—is why we love this hot buttered one so much.

Broad Street Oyster Co. review image

Spiny Lobster

Served seasonally, this is a damn fine grilled lobster. As good as it is though, it’s probably too expensive to justify ordering ($95), unless you’re a One Percenter who emerged from your castle in Carbon Canyon specifically for this meal.

Broad Street Oyster Co. review image

Fish & Chips

Sure, it’s basically a big fish stick (made from lightly breaded halibut). But it’s the best fish stick, especially with the accompanying house-made, caper-filled tartar sauce.

Broad Street Oyster Co. review image

Clam Chowder

Anytime you can find both massive hunks of pancetta and massive, whole littleneck clams in your bowl, you know you’re eating some good chowder.

Broad Street Oyster Co. review image

Beach Burger

Just because you’re not coming here for the burger doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it. And we’d probably tell you to come here just for this burger, anyway—it’s simple, with American cheese and shio kombu, seaweed that gives it a tiny hint of ocean-y flavor.

Caesar Salad

You’re going to need vegetables sooner or later, so you might as well have them covered in anchovies, lemon breadcrumbs, and cheese in this great version of a Caesar.

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