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Friday, September 10, 2010

Bar Crudo Happy Hour: Impeccable Oysters and the Odd Artisanal Brew

Posted By on Fri, Sep 10, 2010 at 4:56 PM

Happy hour oysters are $1 each ― same as in Gold Rush days. - CYGNOIR/FLICKR
  • cygnoir/Flickr
  • Happy hour oysters are $1 each ― same as in Gold Rush days.
The place: Bar Crudo, 655 Divisadero (at Grove), 409-0679

The hours: Tues.-Sun., 5-6:30 p.m.

The deals: Oysters at $1 apiece, seafood chowder at $5 per bowl, two seafood tacos for $10, daily wine and beer specials

The digs: Bar Crudo's newish Western Addition location is a sleek, shiny vision in black and white, with abstract art and rustic hardwood floors giving the place a spare yet elegant boho-storefront aesthetic. The raw bar is an especially festive place to slurp, sip, and mingle with the locals.

The verdict: For a century and a half, oysters and beer have been the great San Francisco happy hour saloon snack, and Bar Crudo, one of the city's top purveyors of impeccably fresh seafood, holds up the tradition nicely. Luscious, bracing Point Reyes oysters are served on the half shell for a dollar each (the same price they were in inflationary Gold Rush-era S.F.), and there are daily beer (and wine) specials that exploit the establishment's impressive cellars. (Usually this amounts to $3 for a lager and $5 for a glass of the house vino, but you never know when one of those little-known, hard-to-find artisanal brews will be on tap.) Filled-to-bursting seafood tacos at two for ten bucks is a good bet, but the best reason to stop in during happy hour is to drop a mere $5 for a bowl of the kitchen's justly famous seafood chowder, a rich, spicy, bisquelike elixir crowded with shrimp, mussels, squid, clams, Arctic char, and smoky, fat-ribboned applewood bacon.

Overall grade: B

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Matthew Stafford

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