San Buenaventura Park
911 San Pedro Street
Ventura, CA 93001
When life (work) gives you travel and lots of it, life (work) also gives you the opportunity to eat stuff and things in places far and wide. Taking advantage of this has become one of the joys of my job...if I have to be away from husband, dog and hearth I better be enjoying an array of new dining experiences. This last Sunday it was The Jolly Oyster on the beach in Ventura. The wonderful D was kind enough to follow me the 60 odd miles in his own car to suck down some shellfish before heading back south to LA.
Beachside, between the parking lot and the sand, lies The Jolly Oyster selling their wares farmer's market style. Kumamotos and Pacific oysters, and raw clams by the pound. By farmer's market style, I mean they simply sell the bivalves, not bread, nor fixings nor beverages beyond water. They'll sell you a shucker and they are located next to a picnic area with BBQs. So bring a pan, some butter and wine for steaming some clams, a loaf of crusty bread for dipping and whatever your oyster accompaniment poison.
We purchased a couple dozen kumamotos. The generous and knowledgeable proprietrix threw in a few Pacific oysters and a juicy lemon. Granted, we came a little underprepared.
Medium Pacific oyster. A larger, flatter oyster, tougher to shuck but so delicious. Oysters are truly a strange creature. If you think about it.
We had a giant plate of oysters in front of us, one tennis towel and one shucker. I shucked and we ate, shucked and ate, shucked and ate and repeated a few more times. Please note the little plastic ramekin of Tapatio...my lips were en fuego for the rest of my drive north.
They offer gift certificates, which is a cool little stocking stuffer for the gastronomically adventurous on your Christmas list.
D mentioned over and over and over that these were the freshest oysters he had ever eaten. The oysters are harvested from farms in Laguna Manuela and San Quntin in Baja California. The Ventura County Star reports, both farms are located in unpopulated areas far from any agricultural runoff.
Things to remember for next time: the park is booze friendly, tote in your own. Next time, I am bringing a bottle of cava. There are BBQ grills. I will bring briquettes, a pan, a little white wine and butter to steam some clams and La Brea Bakery ciabatta for dipping. BBQ sauce with which to grill the Pacific oysters, and a few lemons from my own tree for squirting on a kumamoto, the world's most perfect oyster.