Ah, oysters. Those slithery, slimy creatures of the sea. Douse them with a little hot sauce, lemon, and garlic, and I’m a happy camper. Not only do they ooze taste and flavor, but they are loaded with vitamins and minerals, including B12, folate, and magnesium.
Bar Crudo, a small but hip spot in NOPA, has a great selection of oysters from all over North America, including the bays of Long Island, New Brunswick, and the Pacific Northwest. The restaurant, going on its 6th year in the City, focuses on raw seafood, including the afore-mentioned oysters, (The name is an homage to the Italian crudo, a dish of raw fish adorned with vinegar and spices, the Mediterranean ceviche.) Some of my favorite items on their menu include Atlantic Char drizzled with horseradish cream, wasabi, tobiko, and dill; spicy yellowfin tuna dressed with sriracha, soy sauce, ginger, and green onion, and the Crudo Sampler, which allows you to try a little of each. Although raw items predominate, Bar Crudo has a few cooked items, such as a clam chowder so divine it would be a cardinal sin to miss.
Their happy hour, which runs Tuesdays-Saturdays, 5:00 until 6:30 p.m., is one of the best bargains in the City. Select oysters are $1, Manila clams are 5, as is their heavenly chowder, and they have beer and wine specials. Given such a great deal, it gets pretty crowded, but it only adds to the convivial environment and servers stay on top of things.
What I love about Bar Crudo, and seafood in general, is that it leaves me feeling full and satisfied, but not sluggish or guilty for overindulging. It can be one of the healthiest foods to hit your belly, low in fat, sodium, and calories. You literally can have your cake (make mine crab) and eat it too!
655 Divisadero st.
San Francisco, California, 94117