Oyster Bar

The Palace Station casino should be famous for more than just the OJ Simpson arrest.  The always busy Oyster Bar is by far the best feature in this off strip casino.  The Pan Roasts and Oysters on the half shell are the stuff found in my gastronomic dreams.  Literally, I dream about eating here!  It’s a little sad… 

The size of this establishment may be a bit of a deterrent for some, as the 20 some odd seats fill up fast and always seem to be full no matter what time of day you want to eat (I have waited an hour before to eat a lunch that started just after 3 pm). 

But there is a reason this place is always busy and people like myself are willing to wait in line to grab a seat. (Plus, I think the small size is part of the charm.)  With the petite dining area, everyone has a good view of the “kitchen”.  I put that in quotations because the kitchen consists of 6 steamer pots that cook all of the food by, you got it, steam.  The hot, moist air never actually touches your food though.  It runs through a series of pipes that connect to the steam conducting, hollow pots that the food is cooked in.  Something I have never seen in any kitchen before or since.

Oyster Bar Steam Pots

I’d say it’s unfortunate that I cannot provide insight into the various dishes on the surprisingly short menu, but I’d rather make it a compliment to the few items that I cannot tear myself away from. The oyster on the half shell appetizer, although not an uncommon site on menus, is the dish that provides this restaurant its very name and must therefore be honored.  The oyster option constantly changes with the seasons and so you may at times find yourself slurping down large, meaty, high brine oysters and at other times delicately tonguing an oyster that is petite, yet delicious.  Either way, they are always served on a bed of crushed ice with a large dish of cocktail sauce and a heap of extra horseradish on top.  Yum!

Oysters on the half shell

If oysters on the half shell aren’t really your thing, try the rich and creamy, homemade New England clam chowder.  It is really delicious!  Although a bit too heavy to eat as an appetizer, it can easily be paired with a Caesar salad for a filling lunch.  Want to skip the greenery?  Try opting for the Alaskan Chowder, which has a hefty price tag, but is filled with a healthy portion of shrimp, crab and clams and can be served as either a New England or Manhattan chowder base. 

A bowl of New England Clam Chowder

Onto the Pièce de résistance, the irresistible Pan Roast.  The menu offers little insight into what this mouth watering bowl of goodness possesses, but as a frequent partaker I can give you a firsthand account of the heaven that is the Pan Roast.  They start with the seafood of your choice which is cooked dry in the steam pot for a couple of minutes.

Step 1: Add the seafood

Next, a spicy and creamy tomato base is added.  A couple of extra spices are added to attain your optimum level of spice and then the whole lot is boiled in the sauce until the seafood is cooked through. 

Step 2: Add the sauce and boil until cooked through

Once thoroughly cooked, the mixture is poured into a large bowl and served with a side of white rice. 

Step 3: Get the final product and prepare to eat!

NOTE: You may need to order an additional round of bread for extra sauce sopping, if you have the room in your stomach that is.  Each spoonful of the creamy tomato ‘stew’ is heavenly and difficult to resist.  As previously mentioned, it is just about the only thing I get on the menu and is without a doubt a MUST stop on every single trip to Vegas.  Now, you may think me obsessed, but the truth is that I am!!!  Hahahaha (crazy sound laugh with odd head roll)!!!! 

In all seriousness though, this petite place has their shtick down pat.  They stick to what they know and everyone seems to love them for it.  I almost fear that this review actually influences a few people to give it a go, because that means that I may be stuck behind you in line next time I go.  But alas, I must spread that good word that is the Oyster Bar, as it has no other equal to which I would dare point you.

NOTE: There are other restaurants that share the name and supposed quality of the original, but I can tell you from experience that the quality of the food and service is nowhere near up to par.  Stick with the original, even if it does force you off the strip!

 Basic Info:

Cuisine: Seafood, Cajun Creole

Restaurant Features: Handicap accessible, On-site Parking, Valet

Address/Phone: Palace Station Casino, 2411 W. Sahara Ave Las Vegas, NV 89102/(702) 367-2411

Hours: Always open 24/7

Website: http://www.palacestation.com/dining/oyster-bar/

Oyster Bar (Palace Station) on Urbanspoon

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