Rappahannock Oyster Bar (Arts District): A Pictorial Essay


#1

In the Arts District, ROW DTLA continues to intrigue food lovers. East Coast oyster purveyors Rappahannock Oyster Bar is finally opening their L.A. location! I happened upon their soft opening today.

Inside, the buildout looks great - Bright and airy.

Peruvian bay scallops, with yuzu, burnt orange, poppy seed & tarragon… Fresh and flavorful!

Butter lettuce salad, with watercress, dill-tofu ranch, smoked almods & fingerling potato… Clean and satisfying.

Smoked trout dip. with beet pickled shallot, celery, ikura & grilled bread… This hits the spot. It’s just a notch below the trout at Petrossian, but still - quite, quite good.

Peel & Eat shrimp, with celery, Meyer lemon &achiote cocktail sauce… Old school. Fun to eat!

Oyster po’ boy, with remoulade, celery root slaw & butter lettuce in focaccia… A terrific sandwich!

Anson Mills farro & beans, with caramelized onion and smoked tomato… A fitting accompaniment.

“Rapp Burger”, with caramelized onion, cheddar cheese, B&B pickles and smoke sauce… I would NOT have expected a stellar burger like this from a seafood joint. But nonetheless, here it is. Very simply - One magnificent burger! Get this.

Chef Nick Erven, who ironically ran a vegan eatery not too long ago, jocularly espouses the philosophy that vegetables do not belong in a burger. And with such a delicious invention as this Rapp Burger, it is hard to argue with the man.

Dessert time!

Bread pudding a la mode with salted caramel… Beautimous.

Masa cake, with poached plums, vanilla syrup & white chocolate ice cream… WOW!!! Corn is the star of this stupendous (and serendipitous, according to the chef) dessert.

Chocolate - peanut butter mousse, with banana, graham cracker and candied peanuts… As wonderful as it sounds.

A very strong soft opening. Full service will commence later this week. And yes, I am told by management that the the raw oysters (which were conspicuously absent today due to a one-time logistics snafu) WILL make an appearance from here forth.

RECOMMENDED.

Rappahannock Oyster Bar
ROW DTLA
787 S. Alameda St. #154
Los Angeles, CA 90021
323.435.4004
website


#2

Beautiful report. Thanks a bunch. Have been to the DC Union Market location and wasn’t overly impressed not being a huge fan of VA oysters, but this actually looks much better!


#3

Love it! salad definitely doesn’t belong in a burger. where are the oysters though?


#4

Now I know you just look at the photos. If you had read my last paragraph, you wouldn’t have to ask. :smiley:


#5

Funny… but what about my burger comment?! (i read most then got an email haha)


#6

I am a fan of Peruvian scallops. I may need to check this rendition out. FwD’s dish is delightful I hope this one is just as good…


#7

This is the new Erven restaurant? It looks terrific, and a big step up for him. Can’t wait to try it.


#8

Indeed.


#9

Looks really solid. Here’s to hoping they have some solid happy hour oyster deals.


#10

Yay! Big Nick fan here.


#11

Oh my, JL, I just had dinner and my mouth is watering over this fantastic selection. We (@paranoidgarliclover and I) enjoyed the vegan Erven and talked to him about his creations there. I asked him if he ever puts together something with NO idea how it will taste (which is how I felt when looking at his menu, trying–and failing–to imagine how some of those unlikely flavors paired together) and he said, yes, he did. That’s the sign of true talent as those unlikely pairings were unfailingly superb.


#12

Thanks for reporting back!


#13

I want to know how to happen upon soft openings


#14

Softly.


#15

Went last night.
Really loved it.
Only quibble the shucking was not very well done - lots of shards in a few of my shells.

Fav dish
Cheddar-Kimchi Biscuits with Smoked Apple Butter. Heaven.


#16

This is, to my palate, the best menu Chef Erven has ever put out. Simple, homey, flashes of brilliance that aren’t too out there or trying too hard.

The chickpea masa “fries” in the carne asada fries may be th foundation of the most innovative dish being cooked in LA right now.

And his kitchen fires on all cylinders without him there.

The wine list is also fascinating, fun, and lively with adventurous and outrightly delicious wines.

What a winner!


#17


#18

I just saw that. Maybe he was simply a consulting chef? Especially because he already has a departure plan in place.


#19

Ahhh…sad.
Farewell to the brilliant and amazingly peripatetic Nick Erven. I’ll miss you.


#20

Had a mediocre brunch here.


Chicory Caesar Salad - lemon caper dressing, sesame anchoiade, torn bread, parmesan
Quite savory with emphasis on bitterness. The salad needs a touch of brightness to lighten it up.


Lobster Benedict - fried green tomato, hollandaise, smashed fingerlings
Lobster, which primarily comprises of claw and knuckle flesh, is cooked decently here. The somewhat mealy flesh lacked springiness that a well cooked lobster brings. On the other hand, we have fried green tomato replacing the typical English muffin. It’s a nice touch that aims to bring freshness and acidity to the dish. However, the batter didn’t retain its crispiness very well sitting under the sauce. Finally, the dish is topped with two poached…nope…scratch that…two soft boiled eggs. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

The highlight of this dish turns out to be the smashed fingerlings with plenty of crispy skin enveloping its soft and waxy flesh.

To be fair, after learning of this dish’s shortcomings, our waiter replaced it with lobster that are cooked a little better as well as eggs that that actually poached correctly.


Fried chicken & Waffle - gravy, waffle, cheddar, pickle
It’s a mess to eat but it’s a good specimen. We have flavorful crispy chicken that’s still juicy, melted cheese, and a rich hearty gravy which is countered with quite a bit of pickled veggie, rather than the typical slaw, to lift the dish from being too heavy. The only complain I have is the lack of crunch on waffles despite them looking gorgeous.