By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
OC on the Half-Shell
This Valentine’s weekend, the “O” in OC stands for oysters?—and maybe something else, you mad, impetuous fink, you!
Marché Moderne, the best French place in the county, serves briny and sweet Malpeques or delicate Beausoleil with either a traditional or ginger mignonette. The Malpeques are $14 for a half-dozen, $27 for a dozen. The Beausoleil go for $16 for a half-dozen, $30 for a full. 3333 Bristol St., Ste. 3001, Costa Mesa, (714) 434-7900; www.marchemoderne.net.
Mastro’s Ocean Club has Bluepoints and Fanny Bays, served with dry-ice theatrics, accompanied by cocktail sauce, horseradish and a cocktail fork in a lemon wrap. $15.95 and $16.95 for a half-dozen, respectively. 8112 E. Coast Hwy., Newport Coast, (949) 376-6990; www.mastrosrestaurants.com.
Hamamori does Kumamotos raw (of course), with three vinaigrettes: traditional, plum and soy. $14 for a half-dozen. 3333 Bear St., Ste. 320, Costa Mesa, (714) 850-0880; www.hamamori.com.
Tracht’s Fanny Bays are served with a black pepper ponzu sauce and retail $12 for a half-dozen. If you’re not into the whole guzzling-a-live-animal thing, they also sell ‘em fried with a celery-root remoulade for $8. 111 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, (562) 499-2533; www.trachts.com.
McCormick & Schmick’s changes the oyster selection daily. As of this writing, they’re featuring Endless Summer, Malpeques, Lunas and Hama-Hamas, all selling for $13.25 for a half-dozen. 321 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim, (714) 535-9000; 2000 Main St., Irvine, (949) 756-0505; 2791 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 558-1963; www.mccormickandschmicks.com.
King’s Fish House’s oyster bar has a constantly updated oyster roster with usually about eight varieties. Kumamotos and Bahias are constants. Consider yourself lucky if you see Coromandels from New Zealand and other exotics. Prices range from $10.95 to $15.50 for a half-dozen. There’s a $13.50 sampler for a half-dozen or $26.75 for a full. They also do shooters in traditional, Baja or Miyagi style. 7691 Edinger Ave., Huntington Beach, (714) 793-1177; 24001 Ave. De La Carlota, Laguna Hills, (949) 586-1515; 100 W. Broadway, Long Beach, (562) 432-7463; 1521 W. Katella Ave., Orange, (714) 771-6655; www.kingsfishhouse.com.
Scott’s has Del Sol oysters on the half-shell, served with spicy cocktail sauce and a shallot mignonette for $16. Or splurge $18 for a Rockefeller, you Rockefeller! 3300 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, (714) 979-2400; www.scottsseafood.com.
Mariscos Puerto Esperanza offers fresh shucked oysters served raw on the half-shell like all the rest. But you can opt to have them grilled in their own juices, or deep fried with a guajillo chili and garlic sauce. As of this writing, there were Hama-Hamas, but the chef will also get Kumamotos, Bluepoints, or Malpeques if he thinks they’re particularly good that day. Half-dozen for $7.75, full-dozen for $14.75. 1724 N. Tustin St., Orange, (714) 998-3599