The Oyster Gourmet
Christophe Happillon knows oysters. Bearing the title of Master Ecailler (shellfish master), Happillon is to maritime molluscs what a top sommelier is to wine. His belief in meroir – that different locations create different tastes in the oysters – is why, at his LA oyster bar The Oyster Gourmet, he serves five varieties of oyster daily, mostly sourced from the West Coast and all ecologically sustainable.
Already known on the LA restaurant scene, thanks to his much-lauded oyster bar pop ups at restaurants like Maison Giraud, Perch and Church & State, Christophe Happillon opened The Oyster Gourmet at LA’s Grand Central Market in 2014. The 14-seat circular kiosk is nothing if not eye-catching; itself resembling a delicate mechanical oyster, with canvas wings surrounding the bar and Happillon at the centre, like the pearl – or so says Claus Benjamin Freyinge of the Los Angeles Design Group, the principal designer. Alongside the eponymous oysters, Happillon serves a selection of seafood dishes, many raw, and a menu of French wines.