SOCIALIZING OVER SHUCKING: If you meet a friend over French fries, or you split a pitcher of lemonade with an old chum, chances are you will not be schooled in the intricacies of citrus squeezing or ketchup distribution. You'll likely catch up on people you know, gossip, and finish your meal and split. But meeting a friend over oysters? Hoo boy. Clear your calendar. Arrive with a notebook and a pencil with an eraser. Maybe you'll want to have a dry-erase board handy, too. Because the consuming of bi-valves? There's so much lore to it, and so many sayings, including the oh-so-repeated "only eat 'em during months that end in R." Where they're found, how they're harvested, and whether to take them neat or with a squirt of lemon or Tabasco is all part of the friend-to-friend discussion (a discussion we hope never turns heated, especially since oysters typically arrive on a salty bed of ice). September is one of the topics of many over-oysters discussions, because it is viewed as the kick-off to the oysteriest time of year. Yes, Arcata and the Central Coast do their big fests in the summer, but check it: King's Fish House, which has spots around Southern California, is greeting the fall with a round-robin -- or round-oyster? -- of over 60 types of oceanic edibleness.
AS IN, 60+ OYSTERS: Nope, not every oyster will be available every day at the Calabasas or Carlsbad or Rancho Cucamonga locations, but "up to 12 oyster options a day," all oysters "harvested from the best farms in the United States and Canada," will be available. This means you and your pal could be gently bickering over this savory topic over a plate of Atlantic Oysters (which hail from Wellfleet Harbor off Cape Cod) or European Flats, which come bearing a "sharp mineral taste." As for those dozen oyster options? Find 'em in the restaurants' new raw bars. Happy oyster season, oyster aficionados, and happy discussing, over a plate of Bluepoints, just how best to eat an oyster.