The Jolly Oyster Market Seafood [CLOSED]

Seafood Los Angeles

Roving Californian Mark Reynolds and Baja-based business partner Mark Venus built on the success of Ventura’s Shuck Shack by expanding The Jolly Oyster to Torrance. You won’t find prepared food, or even seats, at The Jolly Oyster Market in Nijiya Plaza, but they do sell the same Kumamotos, Pacifics and hybrid Jollies that you’ll find on San Buenaventura Beach.

Reynolds and Venus combed the coast starting in 1997, landed in northern Baja and and in the past few years started selling their briny, cucumber-backed oysters, which are farmed in the cool, clean waters of Laguna Manuela and San Quintin bays using organic, eco-friendly and sustainable practices. Since Reynolds and Venus have no middlemen, they’re able to charge a quite reasonable $1.25 per oyster. Yes, they also sell shucking knives.

If you prefer oysters shucked and served over rock salt, expect to pay $10 for a half-dozen. They sell two house sauces that cost $1 each: tangy brown rice wine vinegar with shallots, cracked black pepper and cucumber; and spicier jolly sauce with lime and lemon juices, garlic and Thai chilies. Manila clams are farmed in Baja and ready to cook at home at $6.50/lb.

The Jolly Oyster also sources Pacific Highland red crab claws, which are sustainable since these particular crabs have the ability to break off and regenerate their claws seven times throughout their lives. The Jolly Oyster Market sells Medium ($19.50/lb), Large ($24.50/lb) and Jumbo ($30.50/lb) claws, which are cooked and served with a dipping sauce made in-house with Coleman’s mustard, mayo, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and half and half.

The duo produces everything in-house, including the oyster logo, which indeed looks jolly. The oyster runs with a cartoon crew that includes clams, crabs, sea urchin and seaweed. Reynolds hopes that it’s possible to source similarly sustainable versions of those additional ocean denizens to help create a more balanced diet for Angelenos.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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