To be out at a bayside picnic ground of some oyster farms in northern California in the summertime sipping white wine and hanging out with friends should be a must-do thing for those oyster lovers living in the area. Oh well, I’ve missed doing so in 2001. I did drive around the area in the most recent trip of mine in San Francisco bay Area, California but time did not permit to do such thing.
However, my trip to the Bay Area in December 2009 was a perfect trip bringing me to explore my passion for oysters! – tasting, learning, and enjoying at a time! Well, with some reasons, I missed exploring them at Tomales Bay in West Marin, a major source of the oysters in the Bay Area where I even went for a trail -_-’. Hog Island Company is a very famous oyster farm located right there.
To be very honest, though how much I loved oysters, I’d never had any idea that there are different tons of oysters’ types distinguished by their waters, oceans, journeys, etc. The first place I tasted those different types of them was in Hog Island seafood bar at the Ferry Building Marketplace in San Francisco. The mixed of them were served in a dozen on ice and the first bite was fabulous! The dozen of FRESH raw oysters at Hog Island was hence a stunning of an oyster experience I’ve ever had though I still had no idea which type is which and could not tell the different tastes.
We drove down to our hotel at Carmel by-the-sea in Monterey Bay via 17 mile drive. We passed Pebble beach and the Pacific coast scenic points where we watched the seals. It was a shame that it was clowdy with slight rains on that day. By the time we reached the hotel, it was already dark. We went out for dinner to “Flaherty” where I found by googling “oyster bar carmel”. It was a great pick! Three types of oyster were served in a dozen brought in from California, British Columbia and Washington State. I had the real different tastes of them which California oysters are pretty creamy, East coast ones are mind, and Washington oysters are sweet (my favorite).
On most days they have fresh Kumomoto oysters – the worlds finest oyster as well as Miyagi and the very popular Blue Point oyster. Need a quick education in oysters or want to compare varieties… Flaherty’s is the place. (source: http://www.flahertysseafood.com/flahertys/pages/oyster_bar.html)
Staff was so friendly. She was enthusiastically giving us the information on variety of oyster types and a strong recommendation of her favorite oyster bar in San Francisco called “Water Bar“. I was really seeing her passion for oysters! Too bad, we could not make it to go there but the other seafood place called “Bar Crudo“.
At Bar Crudo, we didn’t have variety types of oysters because it was still in a happy hour of $1 Point Reyes (local) oyster, plus, we wanted to have different kinds of seafood. Check out the restaurant ambience and food pictures – strongly recommended!
Also check out a handful oyster menu here (from Water Bar) if this blog post has already inspired you to discover more at this point.