Raw oysters on the half shell at L & E Oyster Bar.
So much for the age-old adage of only eating oysters in months that end in “R”—the in-demand bivalve has swept the palates of Eastside hipsters into a frenzy, making finding a seat at Silver Lake’s de facto oyster headquarters—the petite L & E Oyster Bar, which celebrates its one-year anniversary in January with the upstairs expansion opening sometime in the new year—a challenge. Co-owner Tyler Bell explains why oysters are the perfect choice any month.
Why are oysters great year-round?
TYLER BELL: Oysters are a perfect food. They are full of protein, omega-3s, and other vitamins and minerals like copper and iron. At L & E we jokingly call oysters “nature’s multivitamin.”
What pairs best?
TB: We have had wines and beers that I would have sworn wouldn’t work, but I have time after time been proven wrong. US and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, along with Champagne, Muscadet, and Chablis are perfect with Pacific oysters. For Atlantic oysters, we love to pair them with Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, and Champagne. Vinho Verde and Albariño were big hits this summer, as was Grenache Blanc.
What’s the best way to enjoy oysters?
TB: L & E serves raw oysters on the half shell with mignonette and cocktail sauce, both of which are made in-house. Our horseradish is grown specifically for us in California without pesticides, fungicides, or fertilizers. We send out lemon wedges, too! But Chef Spencer Bezaire’s takes on classic oyster dishes like Rockefeller and Casino are unlike any grilled oysters I’ve ever had. The hushpuppies are made with fresh corn and served with a chili-honey sauce—you won’t find that in Mississippi! Our fried oysters are pretty spectacular as well. 1637 Silverlake Blvd., LA, 323-660-2255