I'd happily spend most afternoons anywhere where the oysters are temporarily discounted and there's something good to drink, and I'm determined to find the best oyster happy hour in San Francisco. At Local's Corner on Bryant and 23rd Street, select oysters are 2-for-1 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and I went to check it out. The oysters (we chose Miyagis, though the Drake's Bay bivalves were also discounted) were meaty and fresh, cleanly shucked and full of their salty liquor, offered with a mesh-covered lemon (to prevent seeds from falling.) They have Kumamotos, too, but sadly they're not part of the discount deal.
You won't find Champagne or Muscadet to go with your oysters at Local's Corner; the beverage list is strictly Californian, highlighting locals like Broc Cellars and Arnot-Roberts. Consider the Calder Wine Co. riesling from Napa, or go funky with the Salinia 25 Reasons sparkling Sauvignon Blanc. (Corkage is available for $20, and our waitress said they'd waive it if we bought a bottle, too.)
They recently launched an extended raw bar, mostly served in single-portion tasting spoons. Two halves of a lightly pickled quail egg make a lush, flavorful platform for caviar ($8). A peppery serving of salmon tartare ($5) is topped with crispy salmon skin and a pickled cherry. It had a nice balance of richness and acid.
The best of the spoons, though, was the uni ($5), perfectly fresh and completely lacking the musk of lesser versions, topped with tangy lime pickle and a delicate slice of jalapeno for a pop of heat. Two people could each have a bite of mussel salad ($5), served in each half of a mussel shell, and it's tasty, savory stuff, served with sliced purple potato, little pops of seaweed. But it's easy to devour a wallet's-worth of tiny seafood bites without feeling satisfied here: you could quickly spend $28 on five bites of food, and that felt a little steep, deliciousness aside.
The larger seafood plates felt like better value. The squid salad ($14) featured sparkling-fresh rings and tentacles, cooked until just tender and dressed with a nicely acidic vinaigrette. (Some of our group found the noyaux aioli, made with an oil infused with apricot kernels, a little too reminiscent of almond extract, but others didn't mind it.)
Our favorite dish was the Dungeness crab salad ($14), a mound of remarkably sweet shredded crab served with just-tender beets, plump blackberries, and creamy avocado.
Where's your go-to seafood spot in San Francisco? Do you have a favorite Bay Area oyster happy hour?
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