There's magic to be found at The Jolly Oyster, a small trailer selling Baja-farmed Kumamoto and Pacific oysters and Manila clams by the briny bagful from a big blue trailer on Ventura State Beach. The shellfish are sold at a great price, raw for you to shuck yourself and slip them onto the park's provided grills, or to simply savor the sea by slipping them right into your mouth.
Shucking a few pounds of bivalves makes for good exercise, and with the sun beating down on your dome and the Pacific roaring beside you, it's one of those simple, sea-swepty pleasures that makes you really appreciate living in Southern Cali (plus, eat enough of them and somebody's getting pregnant). Tomorrow, The Jolly Oyster, launched by former banker-turned-sustainability steward Mark Reynolds and his Baja buddy Mark Venus, is turning one year old with a big birthday party.
The Jolly one's jam starts at 1:00 P.M. on Saturday and will provide a variety of different sauces to join the oysters and clams, along with special dishes brought by friends and family featuring both, as well as other picnic-friendly foods. $20 buys entry to the event, with food included, as well as live music and a recipe contest that guests will be voting on, featuring categories like "best oyster sauce," "best clam dish," and "best overall dish."
Beer and wine will be on-sale, plus T-shirts commemorating the b-day, a raffle for trips to the business's oyster hatchery in Ensenada, and a recipe book gathering all the contestants' best efforts.
RSVP for the Jolly Oyster's 1st birthday online. It just might be the perfect way to spend a summer day, shucking and swilling with the good people of San Buena Ventura.