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Shuck Oyster Bar

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The OCmartMix in Costa Mesa has multiple eateries to choose from, but I was really excited to stumble across this brightly lit restaurant hidden in the back of the complex called Shuck Oyster Bar.   Shuck Oyster Bar features fresh raw oysters on the half shell, fried oysters, sandwiches (Po-Boy), soups, and salads.  A nearby table ordered the salmon salad, which was served in a large bowl and it looked as if it could serve two people easily.  With over 50 oysters from which to choose, they post all the varieties on a large blackboard highlighting which 20 or so seasonal selections are available each day, by using empty oyster shells attached to magnets.

Oysters Shuck Oyster Bar

Fresh oysters being prepared at Shuck Oyster Bar

The fresh oysters were served with a clean presentation sitting atop a bed of crushed ice with lemons and a mignonette sauce.  But if you don’t know what you want, Shuck Oyster Bar offers the chef’s special where the chef chooses which oysters to serve. Since I haven’t eaten oysters but one way, fried, I wanted to compare their oysters with the wonderful oysters I had at the Wine Vault & Bistro in San Diego.  The order consisted of three fried oysters, served on a bed of sea salt and accompanied by a wonderful sauce.  The presentation was really great.   As for the taste, well, without the sauce, the oyster didn’t really have a lot of flavor.  I often think that the one seasoning that is easiest to use, salt, often gets omitted or not used enough.

Clam Chowder Shuck Oyster Bar

Clam Chowder Shuck Oyster Bar

I love clam chowder and the waitress stated that Shuck Oyster Bar’s chowder was incredible.  After we had received and eaten our fried oysters, we sat waiting for our chowder for almost 15 minutes, and finally, we were informed that the chowder was being made and would be out shortly.  Once the chowder finally arrived I was happy to see a fresh clam placed on top for that extra presentation to let you know you were about to eat some delicious clam chowder.  Although there were plenty of potatoes and clams, unfortunately, once again, disappointingly the dish was lacking in flavor.

Awe Shucks…I really wanted to like this restaurant, but due to their lack of seasoning and poor service, I will have to give them 1 shell out of 5.

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