Name of restaurant: Blue Plate Oysterette. The one on 3rd Street.
Happy hour: Both the Santa Monica and 3rd Street locations have been staples for locals looking for an East Coast-style, casual seafood joint since they opened. But if you're looking to gorge on fresh oysters, it isn't cheap, unless you stop in during happy hour, only offered at the 3rd Street location. It's 3 to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, and not just at the bar. You can get happy hour prices throughout the entire dining room and on the patio. Food specials include $1 oysters, cornmeal-crusted calamari with a lemon caper sauce and a couple of cherry peppers ($7); two fish tacos with grilled white fish, cabbage and a drizzle of cilantro aioli ($8); mussels and crusty bread ($8); ceviche ($7) and more.
Best bang for your buck: At $1 each, the oysters (chef's choice) are a steal. They're served with pickled shallot mignonette sauce, house cocktail sauce, shaved horseradish and plenty of lemon wedges. The $9 lobster roll, which is actually half the size of a regular sandwich, is served on a typical soft roll that's been well-buttered and toasted. It's stuffed with plump pieces of lobster and an almost non-existent dressing of mayonnaise. If you like your lobster rolls heavy on the lobster, this is it. The sandwich comes with a basket of crisp, seasoned fries.
What you're drinking: A $6 glass of house Sauvignon Blanc. And you can't go wrong with a $5 draft beer along with your two dozen oysters. There's also white sangria ($5) and a $6 house Pinot Noir.
Who's at the next table: Two well-dressed publicists at the bar keep their scarves on as they discuss clients over a plate of oysters. Next to them, a bearded man keeps his head down while he downs a lobster roll in record time. A young couple near the window takes photos of their calamari and fish tacos, and a table in the corner each orders their own bowl of mussels before exchanging some late holiday gifts.
Service: Nonchalant and indifferent. The waiter didn't bother us, but made sure our drinks were always full.
Info: 8048 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, (323) 565-5474, www.blueplatesantamonica.com.