Hog Island Oyster Co. | California
Cars line the street, letting you know that you are close to your destination before any buildings come into view. Gravel made from oyster shells paves the parking lot. A wood paneled beige building with smokey blue trim and a "Live to Shuck" sign in front greets guests as they arrive. You get the feeling you've stumbled into a hidden small town hangout, even though Hog Island is well known in the Bay area. Employees go about their work in their Carhartt jackets and thigh high waders. The place hums with steady movement.
There are a number of options for your oyster enjoyment. You can order oysters to go; you can order oysters to devour on site, but shuck yourself; you can order raw shucked oysters; or if you've planned accordingly and visited on the weekend, you can order barbecue oysters. On the overcast day that we visited, we decided to enjoy our raw shucked and barbecue oysters at a worn, wooden picnic table overlooking Tomales Bay. There are two levels of picnic tables here: the lower level (closer to the water), which can be reserved in advance for $5 per person and the upper level, which is first come, first serve community seating. We shared a picnic table with three other couples, one of which was visiting from Massachusetts, and a woman from San Francisco celebrated her 29th birthday with family and friends at the table behind us.
Perhaps it was because this was the first "adventure" my husband and I had been on since he was in a motorcycle accident 7 months earlier, but the day was calm and sweet. Inland, grass covered hills rolled towards the sea and westward, the ocean - calm and serene - lapped the shores of Tomales Bay. Birds flew low over the water and perched on a small rock island not far from shore. A stream flowed past the picnic area into the Bay and everyone around us was happy. The coolness of the day was made cozy with a down jacket and good company. Add to all that fresh oysters accompanied by homemade sauce and freshly sliced lemons and we had the makings of a perfect day.
Hog Island Oyster Co. 20215 Shoreline Highway,Marshall,CA 94940 www.hogislandoysters.com