All About the Oysters

Photo courtesy of Flickr

If you like oysters, January 27 might be your day. This Friday, Santa Fe Station will celebrate the first anniversary of the Oyster Bar with 25-cent raw oysters, shuckin’ and servin’ from 5 p.m. to midnight. Twenty-five cents an oyster is a deal all right, but this price will be history at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday morning. What if you want oysters next Tuesday?

If you’re an oyster connoisseur, then quality trumps availability and price. But for the bivalve bystanders among us (and that includes me), knowing where and when the cheap ones are being dealt is the priority. To that end, I’ve created Las Vegas’ first DOAI (Dollar Oyster Availability Index).

At the bottom of the index is Brigg’s Oyster Company at Suncoast, which runs a dollar day once a month. I guess that’s cool, but they didn’t even know when February’s day would be when I checked. One-day-a-week dollar-oyster nights run in Bottiglia Cucina & Enoteca at Green Valley Ranch on Tuesdays, and at both Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar at Red Rock Casino and McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks on Wednesdays. If you visit any of these from 5–7 p.m., you’ll also hit their happy hours with good small plates, making it easier to bring your non-oyster-eatin’ friends. Note that Hearthstone is periodically booked for private events, so call ahead to confirm the deal (as you should for most of these anyway).

Jumping up to four days a week, South Point’s Big Sur Oyster Bar serves ’em on the half shell for half price Monday-Thursday from noon to 4 p.m. They’re regularly $24 a dozen, so that’s a dollar apiece on the deal. This is another good option if your buddies aren’t into it, as several other seafood specials run during this time.
Andiron Steak & Sea in Downtown Summerlin runs its oyster happy hour in the bar on Tuesdays, 4 p.m.–close, where freshly shucked kumiai oysters are served with a vinegary mignonette, a Bloody Mary-like dip or with cocktail sauce and horseradish. And special cocktails and wine are half-price from 4 to 7 p.m., so a dozen oysters and a couple of drinks will set you back about $20. If rating for pure value, I’d list Andiron first. But there are two higher-ranking options in the DOAI.

In the seven-days-a-week category is Le Pho Vietnamese Kitchen in the Juhl condo tower, where big blue points come with lemon, cocktail sauce and horseradish in a cool bar setting, daily from 4 to 7 p.m. Drinks are 2-for-1, so here you can get a dozen on the half shell and two brews for under $20.

Finally, at the top of the DOAI is Crab Corner on Rainbow Boulevard, the Don’t Be Crabby happy hour runs from 2–6 p.m. daily. I didn’t say they’re the best, but they’re available an amazing 28 hours every week, and that takes the top spot on the DOAI.

Anthony Curtis is the publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor and