There is an old aphorism that oysters should only be eaten in months that end with an “R”. But thanks to practiced agriculture and new cultivation techniques, this is simply no longer true. This is good news for Angelenos, as LA has recently become a hotspot for oyster bars. Not only are oysters absolutely delicious, they are also becoming increasingly popular for their environmental benefits (they filter and even purify seawater) and some people even consider them vegan.
LA restaurants source excellent oysters grown on farms on the west coast from Baja California to Washington. These are primarily one of two types of oysters – either the tiny, bowl-shaped kumamotos or the round, deep, and sweet Pacific oysters like kumiais and kusshis. Many restaurants also serve from locations further afield such as Cape Cod, Maryland, and New Brunswick. The Atlantic oysters are flatter, salty clams like bluepoints, wellfleets, and beau soleils.
But even within a species, not all oysters taste the same. The taste depends entirely on the merroir of each area – including factors such as the salinity of the water, sand content and air exposure. So you should probably try every type of oyster you can get your hands on to see which one you like best. Just to be sure. Here are 17 oyster bars and restaurants we love to look for a good oyster (some even have happy hour deals).