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Melanie Wong | Sep 12, 201812:05 PM     3

Olympia Oyster Bar has been on my radar to try since seeing a shellfish demo in Ensenada by Chef-owner Maylin Chavez who hails from Tijuana. I headed there post-Proud Mary nap, https://www.chowhound.com/post/proud-... , an easy walk from our vacation home. On Fridays, happy hour starts earlier upon the 2pm opening.

A half-dozen oysters on the half shell, $11, and a Ti Punch, $8, to start. Summer Stone, Hove Cove and Discohamas varieties were chef's choice and all fabulously fresh with plenty of oyster liquor. Accompaniments of house-pickled serrano, fresh limes, and a dropper bottle of housemade fermented chili sauce reflect the chef's Mexican flavor palette and full strength spice. The shucking style is old-school, leaving the oyster attached at the muscle, meaning that the bivalves are still alive when served. The Ti Punch featured JM Rhum Agricole with fresh lime and simple syrup, and was still plenty tangy as a foil for the food.

From the dressed and cooked oyster menu, I asked my server about the Crisped Kataifi oyster, 4/$10. She broke out in a big smile and said that it's her favorite and one of the signature preps here. Wrapped in crisp shredded phyllo the custard-y softness of the cooked oyster within was a lovely textural contrast. The cold creaminess of ripe avocado, the bite and tartness of serrano jam and the salty-umami of morimoto dust ramped up a vivid taste and temperature sensation in the mouth.

Manilla Clams, $8, steamed with fennel, leek, smoked goat butter and wine were a tad overcooked making them a little chewy. Tasty though.

I was very pleased with my happy hour sampling and would love to return for a fuller meal.

Olympia Oyster Bar
4214 N Mississippi
Portland, OR 97217
503-841-6316

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