Neighborhood Gems: L&E Oyster Bar

Go beyond bivalves at this Silverlake favorite

Last month, Tasting Table asked readers for their favorite neighborhood gems. Now we're introducing the winning picks.

Want oysters? Go to L&E.

When Angelenos crave an icy platter of bivalves hailing from Vancouver, New Zealand or the Chesapeake Bay, there's no better answer than this convivial two-year-old bistro in Silver Lake.

Shipments are flown in daily, shucked expertly and served bracingly cold with lemon and horseradish. Uncommon varieties are grandly displayed on illuminated signs like movie marquees: Sol Azuls. Naked Cowboys. Gigamotos.

But that's just the first layer.

Beet-cured Salmon (Photo: Sidney Bensimon)

On any given night, young couples pack the buzzy dining room, spilling outside onto the lamp-lit sidewalk tables.

They're here to slurp oysters, sure, but also to sip curiously compelling wines curated by Doug Swim and share chimichurri steak sandwiches ($17) or artic char with spaghetti squash ($26)–creations from chef Spencer Bezaire, a man who revived the oyster Rockefeller to its rightful status.

Saunter upstairs to the quieter and more casual second level to find elegant bar snacks: fried chicken sandwiches with sauce gribiche ($14), beet-cured salmon on toast ($12) and tangy pimento cheese dip ($7). And the weekday happy hour? The $2 beers and $6 clam chowder have us smitten like sea-weary sailors.

This local favorite may be known for one thing in particular, but it's undeniably a place of many talents.

Our Other Favorite Silver Lake Neighborhood Gems: Black Hogg, Cliff's Edge, Barbrix and Silver Lake Ramen