Blue Plate Oysterette

Restaurant: Blue Plate Oysterette

Location: 1355 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90402. 310.576.3474

Date: October 18, 2011

Cuisine: American Seafood

Rating: Good eats

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Blue Plate Oysterette is a relatively new (couple years) addition to Santa Monica’s high turnover Ocean Ave restaurant strip. And I’ve been meaning to do for awhile.


The location is prime, with a gorgeous view of the park and the ocean.


Today’s menu.


We sat at the raw bar, looking into the busy kitchen.


Oysters were of course mandatory. These are a number of different types of Pacific oysters Ximemez style (with aged sherry vinegar, tomato, mint, and EVO). They shellfish were all good, but  I really liked the tangy sauce.


We were interested in the yellowtail special on the menu but the waiter cross-sold us to this yellowtail ceviche. Peruvian food is on fire right now. It was a good ceviche, with that potent lime taste, but it pretty much obliterated the subtlety of the fish. I wish we’d stuck with the original — but again, that doesn’t mean this isn’t a very fresh and well done implementation of ceviche.


New England clam chowder. Cherrystone clams, light cream broth, bacon. This tasted good, with a nice smokiness from the bacon and lots of clam. They lightened it from the traditional in a concession to modern tastes. I like my chowder loaded with heavy cream and butter. And no wonder I’m not the thinnest guy in the world!


Another case in point, this “Lobster mac & cheese. gruyere, herbs, truffle oil.” This was real good stuff, with a lot of big chunks of lobster meat.


Crabcake.” Lots of good creaminess and soft blue crab in here. While not as good as the crab torta at Capo, it is a very respectable crab cake. Yum yum.


And the “lobster roll.” Another favorite of mine. I didn’t actually order this, but they have it on the menu, and so I found a web photo, because I love lobster roll. It looks good. Next time I’ll try it to compare to the excellent one a mile north at The Hungry Cat.

All and all, this was a good lunch, with classic (and new Peruvian) seafood. The fish was all very high quality, and being a seafood lover, I’ll be back.

For more LA dining reviews click here.

Seconds at Sam’s by the Beach

Restaurant: Sam’s by the Beach [1, 2, 3]

Location: 108 W. Channel Rd.(PCH), Santa Monica, CA 90402. 310-230-9100

Date: March 12, 2011

Cuisine: Cal French International

Rating: Stellar food and unparalleled service.

ANY CHARACTER HERE

I already covered the background to Sam’s in my FIRST REVIEW. Let’s just say this is a local place with an unusual and inventive menu that’s worth a drive.

I’d never heard of this “lesser” Bordeaux, but Sam opened this half-bottle and it was very nice. Characteristic Saint-Emilion smooth. The 8 or so years gave it just enough age to settle the tanins.

Today’s menu.

The usual amuse. Little fried pockets of spinach and cheese.

Homemade bread and the olive oil sesame dip.

“Roasted Beet Salad, mixed with onions and tomato in Aged balsamic dressing, served with Feta Cheese croquet.”

This was a special. Seared Kanpachi (young yellowtail) with arugula, avocado, tomatoes, in a citrus ginger vinaigrette. The dressing was to die for, and mated perfectly with the sushi grade fish.

“Vegetarian Crepes. Homemade Crepes filled with Swiss chard, wild mushrooms and zucchini served in tomato coulis.” This is a half order, as the normal one has two of the burrito-like crepes. This is a very nice vegetarian option, and surprisingly hearty. The sauce is bread dippingly yummy.

“Lamb Chorizo Risotto, Carnaroli rice prepared with lamb sausage, fresh spinach, feta cheese, in meyer lemon broth.” This isn’t your typical Italian Risotto either, but it’s spectacular, and much lighter. There is a lovely tang from the lemon, and the sharp goat cheese, and the sausage is to die for.

The dessert menu.

His creme brulee is straight up traditional, and it’s the second best I’ve ever had in the world (there was this one in Avignon…). The meat of it is thick, creamy, and all vanilla.

A new dessert (at least for us). This take on the flowerless chocolate cake is moist, dense, and chocolately — as it should be.

Sam is also starting a new thing for Sunday nights, pizza night!  He has a pizza oven. We’ll have to come back and try these, see how they compare to my Ultimate Pizza. I’m particularly eager to try the Shawarma.