The Frenchman and I love oysters. My love affair with oysters is much more recent, but the Frenchman’s love for oysters stems from his youth. Raw oysters are a staple in the French cuisine, especially during the holidays and the Frenchman’s memories of eating oysters reminds him of long lunches in the fall with his grandmother. He likes to boast of his record of eating 36 oysters in one lunch… quite the decadent meal.
Needless to say, we do love eating oysters together and one of our favorite local spots is the Jolly Oyster in Ventura. An hour away from LA, it’s a no frills truck aptly named the “Shuck Shack” out on San Buenaventura State Beach.
The oysters from Jolly Oyster come from their farm in Baja California and we all agreed that they are delicious. You can purchase oysters by the bushel at the Shuck Shack (Is that correct? Are oysters sold by the bushel?) so that you can shuck them yourself. Or if you want to take the easy (and more relaxing/less dangerous) route, they have a food truck on-site and provides already shucked oysters and other food items.
We opted to shuck them ourselves and brought our shucking knife and old towels. They do taste better when you’ve spent the time to shuck them all yourself.
Well… maybe they actually taste better when the Frenchmen shuck them for you 😉
One of the great things about Jolly Oyster and San Buenaventura State Beach is that alcohol is permitted on-site. They also provide BBQs and restrooms… all the necessities needed for a long leisurely lunch and an afternoon by the beach.
For our picnic, I made this delicious autumn salad and brought fresh bread from Bottega Louie. Our friends brought 3 different types of salad including kale and cabbage salad.
To drink we brought the following wines to pair with our picnic:
- Sancerre Rosé (to start and liven up the palate)
- Quincy (to pair with the oysters)
- Beaujolais Villages (a bright fruity red to have with the salads)
- Bordeaux (a darker red to round up the meal)
Not only did we have amazing food, the weather was absolutely gorgeous. Sunny then overcast, not too hot, not too cold… as Goldilocks would say, “Juuuuust right”.