Four Great Oyster Happy Hours
What could be better than slurping oysters by the sea? The notorious aphrodisiac pairs perfectly with an evening out on the Westside. Here are four scenic spots to eat oysters aplenty on the cheap:
Herringbone is huge — like “hard to find your friend” huge. There’s the restaurant on the left side, and to the right a bar, patio, lounge, couches and the Salt & Brine bar. It’s here on the right that Happy Hour happens from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Oysters are just $1 each on the abbreviated menu, which also includes small bites and drink specials. And now there’s a lunchtime happy hour with $1 oysters from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on weekdays. The oysters aren’t all that’s delicious here — try the grilled pork belly with braised lentils, charred scallion and maple mustard, as well as the chicken ‘wangs’ with truffle soy ginger glaze or buffalo style. Because of Herringbone’s size, intimacy can get tossed aside. For parties of two or three, the best bet is saddling right up to the Salt & Brine bar.
1755 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica | (310) 971-4460 | herringboneeats.com
The Anchor has been buzzing since the day it opened in September 2014. Right off of Rose Avenue (sharing a lane with Komodo Asian Fusion Restaurant and Kippy’s! Organic Non-Dairy Ice Cream Shop), this friendly neighborhood hangout is best known for its Lobster Roll topped with shaved black truffles, a staple served year-round. The rest of the menu changes each season — including for Happy Hour, which now includes $2 oysters from 4 to 6 p.m. daily. Choose from three varieties, which rotate, except for Blue Points from New York, which tend to be constant because The Anchor likes to represent the East Coast (Owners Kristin Ciccolella and Sandy Ames moved to L.A. from Harlem). There’s indoor seating where you can see the chefs at work and enjoy the maritime-themed décor, or outdoor patio tables where you can watch the lively Venice crowd stroll by. With the money you save on oysters, splurge on the must-try Lobster Roll ($19).
235 Main St., Venice | (310) 664-9696 | theanchor-venice.squarespace.com
Knuckle & Claw
Nikki Booth and Chloe Dahl — the original Knuckleheads, as they call themselves — opened the first location of Knuckle & Claw in Silver Lake and then rolled west to Santa Monica, where they opened their second spot about four months ago on a street eager for fresh seafood. A few doors down from the iconic Chinois on Main, Knuckle & Claw’s easy to overlook. It’s rather narrowly built — just a square storefront window and door. There’s a small counter space for two and one table in the front window for inside seating, then a long hall where a team of Knuckleheads take your order before leading you up steps and out to a back patio, where all of the action is. Circling the pebbled patio are big, shareable wooden tables with red and white-checkered tablecloths, reminiscent of the famous seafood restaurants in City Island, Bronx. Oysters are regularly $3 on the half shell, but on Thursdays from 5 to 10 p.m., they’re $1. In the restaurant’s early days, the sky — or ocean — was the limit; then they started selling out of oysters in less than two hours. Now there’s a cap of two dozen.
2715 Main St.,
Santa Monica | (310) 399-9939 | knuckleandclaw.com
Tangaroa Fish Market & Raw Bar
“People love oysters,” says Mark White, owner of Tangaroa Fish Market & Raw Bar. It’s a statement he stands by after watching the popularity of his happy hour soar. And, while most people like horseradish, cocktail sauce or Tabasco, his dipping sauce of choice is malt vinegar. “Oysters are like wine,” White says. “They each have their own flavor. I say eat them raw, leave them alone.” White, who grew up in New Zealand, opened Tangaroa about a year ago on a strip that’s quickly becoming a mini-Restaurant Row with help from Sunny Blue and Humble Potato. His motto is fresh seafood, fresh shellfish — and that’s what’s front-and-center showcased in big glass: live lobsters, New Zealand snapper, live uni, all types of oysters. Happy Hour is from 4 to 6 p.m. on weekends and from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, when oysters are just $2. On any given night, White’s shucking six to 11 types. Currently, there are four from New Zealand alone. Lucky for White, people do love oysters and seafood, and after 29 years in the U.S. he’s living his passion.
12604 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City | (424) 289-8144 | tfmraw.com