Blue Plate Oysterette
Located right on Ocean Avenue, Blue Plate Oysterette is right up front and center on the beach walk. We had gone earlier in the afternoon to make reservations for the evening but found out they don’t do reservations. What they can do is put down our name if we came an hour or so before our preferred time and give us a ring on our cellphones when the tables open up. With our bike rentals due at 5pm, happens to be when the sun sets as well, we made our way down for an early dinner to beat the rush. Next door is the steakhouse Boa, where I’ve read most tourists frequent, thereby leaving Blue Plate Oysterette a hidden gem with the locals. Why on earth would you go to a steakhouse when you’re right next to the ocean? The seafood is where it’s at!
Inside, we were seated at a small table along the restaurant long banquet. Blue and white pinstripes lined the wall and sea-foam green light fixtures added to the nautical feel. Up front, specials were colorfully written on blackboards along with the oyster selection for the day, split into west and east coast categories. On the back side wall lined condiments, and glasses, lit by cute shell-shaped sconces. Loved the east coast feel of the place!
The menu is extensive: from raw bar to small and large plates.
I only recently started enjoying oysters. Previously I could not get use to the slimy, yet grainy texture. Perhaps I was trying the wrong kind of oysters! I shyly asked our server to explain to me what that different kinds of oysters were like and what her recommendations were for a newbie like myself. She explained that they were from different parts of the coast, have a different taste and texture, and can vary in sizes. For beginners, she recommended with the smaller oysters and work my way up, easier on the palate. I decided to get two of each one, in 3 of the different styles available.
From the right and counter-clockwise, out came out Kumamoto, Gigamoto, and Fanny Bay oysters on an ice tray.
The Kumamoto was teeny tiny! Too cute. I had never seen an oyster like that. This was done Ximenez style, a mignonette of tomato, aged sherry vinegar, mint, and extra virgin olive oil. The mignonette was delicious and the oyster flesh was firm and a little bit sweet. My kind of oyster! I could eat a whole meal’s worth of these!
The Gigamoto was the next largest. Done in ceviche-style with a mignonette of red onion, lime and cilantro. As a type of Pacific oyster, it had a more creamy texture. Joe was more of a fan of the mignonette than the actual oyster itself.
Last was the Fanny Bay oyster. Now this oyster I’ve seen and tried multiple times. The largest of the three, it was prepared plain with a cocktail sauce and mignonette on the side. Also a type of Pacific oyster, this species is a bit saltier and with a sturdier shell. I preferred the Kumamoto and Gigamoto to the Fanny Bay, and the Ximenez-style mignonette was delicious! If I hadn’t ordered other menu items, I would have ordered at least another dozen!
Instead of gorging on oysters as I should have, I had ordered the lobster mac and cheese. I’m not sure in what world this is considered a “small plate” because it was a hefty portion! I could barely finish half! Made with Maine lobster and baked in a Parmesan, herb, and truffle oil mixture, the dish was surprisingly very light and not overly cheesy. Mmm, so yummy! And the surprising part is, the actual pieces of lobster in it! Large whole pieces dispersed in between conchigliette pasta made the dish worth every penny.
Joe chose to have tuna for a third time that day with his ahi tuna sandwich. Served with tarragon aioli, arugula and onions, and on what was suppose to be brioche. Most certain that it was not brioche and instead on two pieces of toasted bread. Joe didn’t complain though and happily ate his meal with a side of Yukon Gold Old Bay fries.
Although I badly wanted dessert, I knew it wasn’t a wise thing to do. Overall the meal was delicious and I was glad to have at least add two more types of oysters to my repertoire! Would definitely come back (next time, more oysters!) if I’m ever back in Santa Monica. Loved it! For more about oysters, I found this guide to be helpful!Blue Plate Oysterette
1355 Ocean Ave
Santa Monica, CA