The Jolly Oyster Turns One With a B-Day Shuckfest

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The Jolly Oyster Photo: The Jolly Oyster

There’s magic to be found at The Jolly Oyster, a small trailer selling Baja-farmed Kumamoto and Pacific oysters and Manila clams by the briny bagful from a big blue trailer on Ventura State Beach. The shellfish are sold at a great price, raw for you to shuck yourself and slip them onto the park’s provided grills, or to simply savor the sea by slipping them right into your mouth.

The Jolly Oyster Photo: The Jolly Oyster

Shucking a few pounds of bivalves makes for good exercise, and with the sun beating down on your dome and the Pacific roaring beside you, it’s one of those simple, sea-swepty pleasures that makes you really appreciate living in Southern Cali (plus, eat enough of them and somebody’s getting pregnant). Tomorrow, The Jolly Oyster, launched by former banker-turned-sustainability steward Mark Reynolds and his Baja buddy Mark Venus, is turning one year old with a big birthday party.

The Jolly one’s jam starts at 1:00 P.M. on Saturday and will provide a variety of different sauces to join the oysters and clams, along with special dishes brought by friends and family featuring both, as well as other picnic-friendly foods. $20 buys entry to the event, with food included, as well as live music and a recipe contest that guests will be voting on, featuring categories like "best oyster sauce," "best clam dish," and "best overall dish."

Beer and wine will be on-sale, plus T-shirts commemorating the b-day, a raffle for trips to the business’s oyster hatchery in Ensenada, and a recipe book gathering all the contestants’ best efforts.

RSVP for the Jolly Oyster’s 1st birthday online. It just might be the perfect way to spend a summer day, shucking and swilling with the good people of San Buena Ventura.