Whether you’re single and let your cats eat pringles off your stomach most nights, or you’re in a three-year relationship and saving for your 350-person wedding, successful date nights are something everyone strives for. And when the time comes to put on pants without elastic waistbands and go eat in public with someone you may or may not have a connection with, L&E Oyster remains one of the most reliable options in the city - no matter what number date this is.
Since it’s in a part of Silver Lake that feels like its own tiny town and not the probiotic social club you’ll find everywhere else in the neighborhood, eating at L&E is like escaping the city. Its location a few blocks down from the reservoir seems off the beaten path (even though it’s not) and is the kind of relaxing and low-key romantic setting you always imagine in your head, but rarely ever find.
The space is broken up into two parts: the more casual bar/lounge area upstairs and the full-service restaurant downstairs. Upstairs has a great happy hour, a smaller and shareable food menu, and a little balcony where you can take over a couch and watch the sunset before walking over to The Satellite to catch a concert. Downstairs is your more full-scale date night situation. The menu is larger, the atmosphere is slightly fancier, and slurping oysters while winking at your date is accepted sexual currency.
Speaking of, you shouldn’t come to L&E without housing at least a half dozen of their oysters - they’re excellent. But if either you or your date think oysters are slippery alien creatures from hell, there’s plenty of other good stuff too. The mussels on chorizo toast sounds like a mess, but it’s salty and savory and one our favorite things on the menu. Their clam chowder is great, and the fried oyster po’boy is big enough for two people. And if seafood just isn’t happening tonight, their burger is solid as well.
Nothing on L&E’s menu is going to make you rethink everything you thought you knew about seafood. That’s not the point of this place. L&E is a neighborhood spot you can always get into, with good food and an environment ideal for some after-dark extracurriculars. Sir Whiskers can get his pringles another night.
These are some of the best oysters you’ll find on the Eastside. They’re massive and fresh and half-off during happy hour (every day, 5 - 7pm).
This is secretly one of the better clam chowders around. It’s rich, creamy, and big enough to share with two people.
The smokiness of the mussels combined with the spiciness of the chorizo is how we always want to start our meal here.
The po’boy always seems to play second fiddle to the lobster roll, but if you can’t decide between the two at L&E, get the po’boy. First off, it’s massive. And secondly, it’s great - and the fennel on top makes this a standout.
This is a solid lobster roll. That said, there’s enough other good stuff on the menu to bypass it.
L&E has a pretty great brunch, and their egg sandwich is absolutely what you want to order. A massive pork sausage patty covered with cheddar cheese, a fried egg, and blackberry hot sauce. All sandwiched between a housemade biscuit. Give thanks.