15479 Highway One, Marshall, CA 94940 | 415.663.1242 | website | cash only
(Hours: open every day. Mon-Thurs 9am – 5pm. Fri-Sun 8am – 6pm)
We drove up to Tomales Bay to celebrate my friend Daisy’s birthday with a picnic at Tomales Bay Oyster Co. (TBOC) last weekend. It’s a short hours drive from San Francisco or the East Bay and it is very apparent that oyster shucking has become the rage as the tables and parking lots are full by 10:30 am and the surrounding roads are lined with overflow cars. TBOC is especially popular because they have a lot of tables with room to spread out, they don’t charge a fee (well only if you have a large party and want to reserve 2 tables), have awesome views all around, a private beach and most importantly they serve up fresh, farmed oysters as well as clams & mussels from the cool, clean waters of Tomales Bay (and the Pacific Northwest). They do insist that you only buy oysters, clams, or mussels from them, shellfish from other farms are prohibited.
We feasted on sweet fresh fruits, creamy Mt. Tam triple cream, a signature cheese by Cowgirl Creamery in nearby Point Reyes, cave aged gruyere, a couple of marvelously crusty leaf shaped epi-loaves from Brickmaiden Breads, and my new favorite Napoli Salame from Olli Salumeria which is smoked over applewood and is accented with a hint of fennel and sangiovese wine.
We slurped many plates of Sweetwater Oysters, which were sweetly plump and surprisingly creamy. Delicious with a squeeze of lemon and freshly cracked black pepper.
Shhhhh, the thrill of sneaking in Kumamotos from up the road made these taste even better.
P barbecued tri-tip that was succulent and tender, hot dogs for the kids, and there was a little bit of room to barbecue some oysters.
The oysters were perfectly cooked on the grill by Frank, who paid attention. I mixed some fresh basil, shallots, rosemary, sun dried tomato and lemon zest in with soft butter, which is easy to put a little scoop of onto oysters on the grill.
I even made a Momofuku bossam because David Chang recommends garnishing it with a raw oyster and I can’t think of a better place to enjoy it this way than at an oyster farm!
This is our neighbor’s grill. They were roasting large oysters which smelled fantastic, kind of like lobster to me. The oysters steam in their own juices and pop open when done. We had tried that technique with the medium oysters and thought they were overcooked and dry, but apparently this method works well with the really large size bivalve. I’m thinking of it dunked in garlic butter… next time for sure.
German chocolate cake to wish Daisy a Happy Birthday.
Tres Leche Cake with fresh strawberries, kinda spongey and too eggy, but very pretty to look at.
And the view of the sun sparkling on the water is just too fine for words.