I had the honor of getting a private tour and tasting of the Jolly Oyster this week, a tiny little market in a strip mall in Torrance, but there's nothing tiny in the flavor, freshness, or quality of these oysters.
The store is quite simple only 3 types of Oysters (Kumomoto, Pacific and Jolly), Manilla clams and Stone Crabs on Ice. That's it - So simple. Not quite what I was expecting but I loved it! It was like the Rodeo Drive boutique of Oysters. I walked in and immedietly knew the product in front of me was pure quality and I was getting a private tour with the designer himself. Mark the Oyster farming Genius has created a way to farm raise oysters in their own natural environment so they have the same great flavor of wild caught shellfish. Lots of times the idea of getting sick by bad oysters has kept me from eating or even purchasing oysters before,but these oysters are grown, managed and controlled at both their farms in Baja, California under rigorous standards that the US-FDA dictates. The oysters are grown in exceptionally clean waters, making them safe to eat. You'll know it the moment that you walk in that you have found your oyster shopping spot. For me it was a bit of a drive but well worth it for clean, flavorful oysters at only $1.25 each - you'd think it doesn't get better than that,but it does because when you buy 40 or more oysters the price of the oysters drops to $1.00 a piece which makes it easy for me to step up my party game. These are definitely on the menu of my next event!
The oysters are sold for you to take home and shuck on your own. It can be a bit intimidating to a first time shucker but Mark is more than willing to give you a free oyster shucking lesson. Something you should really take advantage of because in spending those few minutes with him you'll see how he very proud of these oysters he is and once you see that you'll know that this isn't just a business for him there is true passion in what he is doing and treats these oysters with the respect they deserve.
If your still feeling nervous about shucking your own oysters they will shuck them for you and for $12.00 you can get a 6 shucked oyster sampling served with two sauces. I suggest you call ahead if you want your oysters shucked since it is a time consuming process and you won't want to wait to eat these little guys. You can also visit them at their Ventura location where they sell prepared oysters both cooked and raw.
You may go in here for their Jolly Oysters, but you'll be the one leaving Jolly!
Jolly Oyster Torrance:
2143 W 182nd St, Torrance, CA 90504
Jolly Oyster Ventura:
911 San Pedro St, Ventura, CA 93001
I will update the blog when I visit this location.
Can't wait to spend the day here with a picnic basket and oysters!