Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Blue Plate Oysterette in Santa Monica on Ocean Avenue... A Review

On our second day in SM we met our daughter for lunch at a little spot on Ocean Avenue called The Blue Plate Oysterette, which is relatively new and not yet critiqued to the point of overkill. This delightful little find was packed to the gills for lunch, so we were offered seats at the counter (bar) or wait for a table outside for 20 minutes. Naturally, we chose the bar/counter and were ultimately thrilled that we did. Sitting at the counter allowed us to see the inner workings of a well run kitchen as well as amicable rapport among the owner, manager and employees. I have seldom witnessed this and consider it somewhat of a phenomenon. Frankly, we were all impressed.

Had we chosen to sit at a table we would have never had the great privilege of almost feeling as if we were part of the action... the magic, as it were. And it was a magical experience, really. First of all, our hostess was very warm & personable, which is an unusual trait at trendy restaurants in L.A. and the surrounding areas. She was the one who actually told us that she personally preferred the counter, so I was all over that in a heart beat. We all fell into speechless shock after meeting our waitress, who was as good at her job as she was friendly and beautiful.

The restaurant is extremely small with an exposed kitchen where we had front row seats. As I recall, there are perhaps 6 to 8 seats located at the counter. The wait staff performed their duties almost as if they were performing in a ballet. It was quite something to see. You could just feel the rapport among the staff and it was infectious.

Oh - right. And, we had food. We started out sharing a half dozen Canadian British Columbia oysters called Fanny Bay oysters, which are tiny and my favorite, as we watched one of the chefs grate our fresh horseradish. We each had crazy delicious different tap beers (which I should have had the sense to write down but didn't), as we continued to watch the action in the kitchen. Although they were all aware of our presence they never (not one) broke their focus on the task at hand. One man was grating the fresh horseradish and making the lovely hot cocktail sauce, another was cooking the entrees as his assistant made sauces and helped the chef finished the dishes and plate them. Then there was the man over on the left side who was making the most perfect strawberry tart ever. The wait staff weaved in and out of the crowds of people with the ease of cats. It was almost like watching a Broadway show about a restaurant, except no one sang or danced.

 As an entree I had the fresh Fish And Chips, which was truly the best I've ever had. I almost forgot to take a picture before I devoured it all.

Mr. Snoots had the mussels in lemon, white wine, and garlic sauce, which he was crazy about.

Our daughter had the fish tacos that she said were the freshest she'd ever had. In the end we were all so completely stuffed that we couldn't bear the thought of having dessert, which I now regret.

I highly recommend this little pearl of a local Santa Monica eatery and hope that you have as great an experience as we did. If not, don't be afraid to give it another try. Everyone has a bad day now and then. I'm certain that this hot spot has very few days like that. Also, it overlooks the ocean. However, we had our eyes on the action in the kitchen, thanks anyway.

Out of 5 stars, we give this Santa Monica dining establishment 4-1/2 stars.


lisaiscooking said...

Sounds fantastic! I would have ordered exactly what you did.

Beth Dunn said...

I think you all are still having a ball out there. Keep at it! xoxo