My biggest shock in moving out to LA was the complete lack of casual seafood shacks like one finds on the Jersey Shore, Cape Cod, Baltimore, etc. Gladstones, with it's low quality, poorly prepared, overpriced fare never counted.
I read about this place some months ago and have been anxiously awaiting its opening, which occurred earlier this week. We opted to get there on Saturday at 11:30 AM right when it opened for lunch so that we could avoid a long wait. (They do not take reservations.)
We feasted on amazing oysters and clams on the half shell (they offer four varieties), grilled oysters, authentic steamers and broth, and a beautifully-buttered succulent lobster roll.
We look forward to going back another time to also try the ceviche, chowder, fisherman's stew, crudo, and fish tacos.
All-in-all, great food, decent wine list, excellent and friendly service, and fair prices. Salvadore, the manager, gave us hints of what is coming in the future once they get things going. Most notable on the list for me is Ipswich clams, yay!! We also asked him why the salmon, which was the daily crudo offering that day, was farmed Atlantic when clearly all the other fish was better sourced and of much higher quality. He blamed it on convenience and ease for their early stages, and indicated it was his intent to procure wild down the line. He is still getting organized with his fish suppliers as he does not have enough room in the restaurant to meet the oyster demand. He is already getting two shipments a day.
This place is a gold mine. THey are working on some logistics so that people can put their name on a list and hit the promenade. But for now, try to go during an off hour (I am not sure when that will be) so the wait is not too excessive. But don't let the wait deter you - it's worth it.
Please visit my blog for food pix as well as pictures of the menus with pricing.