National Oyster Day is August 5, and some of Southern California’s favorite restaurants are offering oyster specials in honor of the day. Specials or not, see the list below for some worthwhile places to slurp down the deliciously briny bivalves.
Though Carlsbad is a bit of a drive, Southern California’s only oyster farm is worth it. Located in North San Diego County, Carlsbad Aquafarm now offers a tour and farm discovery walk. Learn how the farming methodology here protects the lagoon’s natural ecosystem. Then, after the tour, take an oyster shucking class and enjoy generous oyster tastings. Carlsbad’s much cooler temperatures make it a nice respite on a sizzling LA day. Tours are $30 (kids under 12 are free) and run daily at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.
If you go to Carlsbad and want even more oysters after touring the farm, try Campfire Restaurant. Noted for its wood-fired fare and rustic-chic decor, Campfire Restaurant offers oysters that are roasted over coals, then served with salted butter, bone marrow, and pickled mushrooms.
Burbank’s Castaway restaurant offers stunning, expansive views of Downtown LA and the San Fernando Valley. A favorite for decades — particularly since its $10 million overhaul a while back — Castaway is also offering an exceptional deal for National Oyster Day. On August 5, savor a half dozen oysters with a free glass of sparkling wine for just $12! Another Valley stalwart with remarkable views, The Odyssey in Granada Hills is offering the same National Oyster Day deal: a half dozen oysters, paired with a free glass of sparkling wine, for $12.
Though food truck Mariscos Jalisco is renowned for its deep-fried shrimp tacos, the oysters are also noteworthy. Served on the half shell or in a cup, Mariscos Jalisco’s oysters are topped with shrimp or octopus, along with tomato, onion, and cilantro. Mariscos Jalisco is located at 3040 E. Olympic Blvd. in Boyle Heights.
Go to Messhall in Los Feliz on August 5 and you can celebrate not just National Oyster Day, but also National IPA Day. Two mini pilsners of Messhall’s house draft IPAs are just $6, while a half-dozen market oysters are $18 and an Oyster & IPA pairing is $24. Make a reservation at Messhall via Open Table or by calling 323.660.6377.
A sustainably-minded oyster bar offering ethically produced, top-quality seafood, The Jolly Oyster is a small family business that oversees the seafood all the way from hatchery to table. Opened in late 2020 in Culver City food hall Citizen Public Market. The Jolly Oyster offers oysters raw, baked with parmesan and leek, habanero butter, or Creole style, and in soup (as gochujang miso oyster soup).
Offering views of Malibu Lagoon, the highly esteemed Broad Street Oyster Company serves oysters and other tasty seafood outdoors. We appreciate the environmentally-conscious wooden utensils at Broad Street Oyster Company – no plastic here. Enjoy your oysters raw or go old school with garlicky, spinach-laden Oysters Rockefeller.
Originating on the East Coast, style meets an abundance of oysters at Rappahannock Oyster Co. Sit down at the Carrara marble counter and savor oysters raw (with sauce options including kimchi vinaigrette, achiote cocktail sauce, and maple black pepper mignonette), in the form of oyster chowder, as fried oyster tacos, or crispy with lemon and remoulade. Rappahannock is located at ROW DTLA.
Perched above the beachside cliffs of Laguna Beach, Las Brisas is an elegant California restaurant with Mexican influences. Sit on the expansive patio space and take in stunning ocean views and raw oysters on the half shell. Las Brisas is located directly next door to the Laguna Art Museum, which focuses on the work of California artists.
Blue Plate Oysterette offers a plethora of oysters — at BPO, you’ll likely encounter oysters from Washington, western Canada, the East Coast, and even New Zealand, served raw, as a shooter, grilled, or crispy. Dine on the briny bivalves on the Santa Monica eatery’s patio, which offers views of the Pacific.
A local favorite since opening in 2012, Silver Lake’s L&E Oyster Bar offers delicious cocktails and a seasonal menu that changes constantly. At L&E, you can depend on finding the freshest raw oysters, buttermilk-fried oysters tucked into a po’ boy, and possibly oysters roasted in garlic and herbs.