Here’s the Marina’s Finest Spot for Rich Oysters And Buttery Crab Rolls
PHOTOS AND WORDS BY ANDY SAMWICK
I visit this hot new seafood destination a bunch now that the weather is cheering up (or something). I love that, when it’s sunny, the Marina offers up these front row people-watching seats at the corner of Steiner and Chestnut Streets. This corner belongs to the new oyster bar and restaurant Popi’s Oysterette which opened its doors on February 27th and has many familiar faces both in its kitchen and throughout the front of the house, so you know it is going to always be tasty. Chef Melissa Perfit, most recently from Sister in Oakland, is back shucking and grilling the freshest local seafood, similar to her days when she led the kitchen at Bar Crudo, only a few blocks away on Divisadero Street.
I went on June 2nd for a dozen oysters with delicious lime-black pepper mignonette, cocktail sauce and yuzu tobiko, the Popi’s Oysterette’s Crab Louie salad and its luscious Shrimp Roll served on the most buttery Firebrand Bakery brioche, topped with mayo, chives, fries, and their house-made dill pickle.
We started the feast with an order of crispy calamari and treated ourselves to a bottle of sparkling Terres Secrètes Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Rosé. My guest and I received a fabulous gift of grilled oysters that seemed almost “supersized,” like made for the San Francisco Giants. Our server explained that all the grilled oyster dishes have comical Scooby-Doo names like the Daphne which is made with thyme, green garlic, smoked paprika, and sherry vinegar, and her sister, the Velma, dressed with nori, yuzu, and trout roe.
We ravaged both of these beauties quickly as we paired it with sips of wine. I had the other grilled oyster — the Fred —with Marina Meats Hunters’ sausage, orange, and charred spring onion on my last visit and raved about that dish, too. I have also tried the savory clam chowder which was scrumptious and a few items from their raw bar, like the shrimp cocktail. All three visits have been for lunch, but Popi’s Oysterette is open daily 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. with a happy hour that runs Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. I suggest getting front and center for the warm, sunny summer vibes here soon and have yourself an in-season classic cracked crab with cocktail sauce and Louie dressing, I know I’ll be racing to get back and crack one there too!
Check out Popi’s Oysterette online right here and their instagram right here.
Correction: The article originally mentioned lobster rolls, but that has been corrected to crab rolls.