Sashimi and ceviche are a daily staple in L.A., but summertime arouses particular seaside cravings for crisp bi-valves and crustaceans. Unfortunately we’re not San Francisco when it comes to being a true raw bar town, despite 75-miles of coastline and a whole Pacific’s worth of fresh catches. Live shellfish chilled on ice in the age-old tradition remains spread-out and sporadic, especially the further you get from the beach.
This season we do have a small crop of fruits de mer favorites, among them a few classics and chains that we can rely on, and quite a few new kids in town. All impress with their high-standards, variety, and dedication to supplying the best raw shellfish we can get.
Enchanting French brasserie’s diverse Marquis Platter with green mussels, clams, shrimp, oysters, and crab salad is perfect for two; The Royal Platter feeds your whole court.
We went for the burger, but return for the raw bar, Laurent Tourondel made his bones preparing seafood.
The Plateau includes sterling oysters, clams, mussels, and shrimp; The Grand Plateau adds a whole lobster.
Some palates wag the wrong way about this Cat’s catches, but for seafood selection and passion, Littlenecks and prawns, we dole out props.
Pick and choose the contents of your own seafood tower for Mastro’s to spin into a work of art.
McCormick and Schmick’s
We don’t know how it tastes in Colorado, but it’s very fresh Downtown.
King crab legs, tiger shrimp, Maine lobster, and divine oyster platters in West Hollywood’s time-honored bistro.
Santa Monica Seafood Company
Gorgeous displays in a sparkling new site, with treasures like Sinku and Kusshi oysters among the simple selection on offer.
L.A.’s favorite for refined, reliable raw, it has spawned offspring. Still, its generous and daily-changing menu is unmatched.
The Honorable Mentions
Despite not fitting the exact bill as described above, we frequent these street-side raw bars whenever we find ourselves in the right place at the right time.
Quality Seafood Redondo Beach
Legendary suppliers to restaurants in the South Bay and beyond, this boardwalk market has an unbeatable selection that hasn’t even left the water yet.
Main Street Santa Monica Farmer’s Market
Seek out and eat Carlsbad Aquafarm’s fresh, farm-raised oysters every Sunday on the spot, or carry home their clams and mussels.