Ironside Fish & Oyster
1654 India Street
Photo by Amanda Friedman, AFAR Media
Ironside Fish & OysterLike a nautical version of the yellow brick road, illuminated anchors embedded in the floors of Ironside Fish & Oyster lead you to the Emerald City of raw bars, where the bounteous platters come in Big, Bigger, Biggest, and Holy Sh*t. This last assortment might include, say, 24 oysters, 14 shrimp, 14 mussels, two pounds of lobster, two ounces of sustainable royal white sturgeon caviar, a portion of rockfish ceviche, and some kanpachi crudo for good measure (the mix changes daily according to what’s fresh). Not that lovers of cooked seafood will go hungry at chef Jason McLeod’s Little Italy hot spot, where the catch of the day is a perennial favorite. There’s even a small yet mighty vegetarian lineup (think charred broccolini with dried chilis, garlic, and parmesan; and Japanese sweet potato with scallion chimichurri and puffed quinoa). It’s all rounded out by an impressive bar, where 11 categories of whiskey are represented. While the menu occasionally diverges from the strictly seafaring, the decor never does. The interior design features prow figureheads turned lighting fixtures and artful stacks of steamer trunks.