Sep 29, 2014

Oyster Paradise at a Bargained Price - EMC Seafood & Raw Bar

Don't you just love downtown LA for its vibrant food scenes and broad selection of multinational cuisines? Chinese, Indian, Burmese, French, Costa Rican, even African and Ethiopian restaurants are happening in such a small area just to name a few. 

There are also a number of seafood oriented restaurants, and this one - EMC Seafood & Raw Bar is still quite new in the K-town neighborhood. What makes it stand out from the others? Freshness is a must and pretty much standard applied to all restaurants. Wide selection of seafood offering at a bargained price is definitely a plus. However, the best thing about EMC is that you can also get your hands on seafood dishes with an Asian flare such as uni pasta and abalone congee. 

*The congee here at EMC tastes even better than the infamous late night munch that opened for years in Korea Town (party people, you should know which place I'm talking about).

Pardon the grainy pictures. I already knew this meal requires digging in with both hands, so the big Canon was taking a break at home and my handy iPhone 5S took over the mission. 

Two entrances, one on the street and the other one can be accessed directly through the shopping center -

EMC does not take reservations for party under 10 people. To avoid the waiting crowd, we got there way ahead of regular dinner hours. Hey! Oysters can also be a good late afternoon munch besides tea and cakes.

Pretty small table with not so comfy bar stools for a party of six. EMC does have regular dining tables with seats that you can lean your back on in the other area, but even when we got there early, the back section was already packed with seafood craving customers.

A round of icy cold water first -

Menu (click for enlarged view) -

Some cooked dishes -

Drink menu -

Wine, beer, and non-alcoholic choices -

Sake bomb using Tozai, "Typhoon" and Sapporo $3/each -

Bucket for the shells -

Zucchini fries with yogurt ranch dipping sauce $7 -

Underneath the medium thickness coasting is fully cooked zucchini that melts in your mouth slightly. 

Happy hour oyster - Eastern from Delaware, Chesapeake area, $1/each -

Clean, not much distinct taste.

My glass of Riesling, goes well with oysters -

Here's the big boy, a giant plate full of oysters -

The tiny ones inside are Kumamoto oysters from Humboldt Bay, Northern California. Strong and crisp, packed with umami taste, my favorite of the day. 

Outer layer clockwise from the top right corner: 
Kusshi from Vancouver Island, BC, Canada - Fattier than Kumamoto, also packed with ocean aroma, second favorite of the day.

Fat Bastard from Seattle, WA -Not too much taste but definitely a whopping, satisfying bite.

Naked Cowboy from Long Island, NY - pretty plain compared to above options.

Mini lobster roll $9 -

Regular size lobster roll $18 -

Tarragon butter, sea salt, brioche bun, plus extra clarified butter on the side if the already buttery brioche bun is not enough. The lobster roll here is not as refined as the one from Son of a Gun but the quality is definitely up to par.

Uni pasta $20 -

Creamy goodness. The dried seaweed adds a little saltiness to the dish. A must order item here especially after numerous oysters. The uni cream provides a sense of warmth and comfort to the stomach.

Garlic noodles $8 -

Just wanted to give it a try. By far Crustacean still has the best garlic noodles that I've ever tasted.

The plan was having raw oysters and end with warm dishes, but I guess that bad ass plate of oysters wasn't enough, so here we go again -

Hokkaido scallop carpaccio $12 -

Seasoned with yuzu kosho, ponzu, extra virgin olive oil, and smoked salt.

Very condensed aroma, it's like the essence of two scallops packed into one. A little bit spicy, overall better than expected.

Oyster shooter $8 -

Quail egg, uni, ikura, ponzu, Tabasco, chives, and soju. The oyster shooter is slightly different here. The customer has to do the assembling work.

Squeeze the lemon -

Pour in the uni, oyster, and ikura -

Then it goes the quail egg -

Nearly overflowed -

Personally speaking, I think the oyster shooter was too big to finish in one gulp. Satisfying it was but also kind of painful for me with such big shot, all my other friends enjoyed it though. I dare I even complain about large portion seafood and soju..

After rounds of oysters, hot dishes, oysters again, even more oyster shots, now we are finally back on track with one last satisfying hot food, congee with abalone $16 -

Add in the ginger and scallion for extra kick, and warmth. For sure the abalone congee from EMC is a better version of the late night munch joint in K-town.

EMC actually stands for Eat More Clams, but apparently we didn't get any clams, not even the tables around us. Everyone was here for the oysters and all other Asian influenced seafood dishes. Los Angeles is good to you.

Cindy's Rating: 8

EMC Seafood & Raw Bar
3500 West 6th Street. #101
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 351-9988

*Do not take reservations except for large party with 10 or more people 
*2 hours dining limit

Other Seafood Restaurants in Los Angeles:
Son of a Gun
The Hungry Cat


  1. Hello Kitty Sangria in the drinks menu, that's funny.
    And interesting to know EMC = Eat more clams :)