Last week I had the good fortune to try out L&E Oyster Bar on their opening night. Dustin Lancaster, Tyler Bell, and Spencer Bezaire along with Matthew Kaner of Bar Covell fame have done for the bivalve what they did for wine.
Wait, is that even possible? In terms of curating a solid selection of the freshest oysters from both East and West coasts, then, yes, certainly! I sampled the daily dozen, a tasty selection ranging from crisp and salty Kumiai oysters from Baja to the briny Misty Points of Pope’s Bay, Virginia. Illuminated bait-shop signs delineate the East Coast and West Coast nightly selections on the main wall, conveniently reminding me what I ordered.
Not surprisingly, L&E features a concise but perfect list of wines and craft beers to accompany the oyster-centric menu. I enjoyed a Lagunitas while my cohort had the Napa Smith IPA. I would have liked to try the Bregeon Muscadet, but there’s always next time. After savoring the fresh oysters, we moved on to the grilled variety. The oysters casino was a delight with its buttery bits of bacon, shallots, paprika and thyme. The steamed prawns were excellent, accompanied by an especially tasty cocktail sauce. One of the surprises, and my favorite of the evening, was the cajun shrimp pie. A sweet cornbread crust balances out the spicy tomato base with notes of old bay seasoning. For the land lovers, my neighbors at the bar swore by the chimmichuri steak sandwich and the wedge salad.
The compact and bustling space evokes clean California design at its best. You won’t get caught in a theme-y mess of castaway nets or old-timey life preservers here. The dark green wall and black bistro chairs create a masculine energy that is well balanced by Moroccan tile and light wood tables. The combined effect is that of a sophisticated neighborhood joint that will serve Silver Lake well for years to come. While their website catches up to speed, keep up with L&E’s hours and such on Twitter. And, naturally, we will definitely see you there.