Jan 2011

Oyster Bar – Las Vegas (Palace Station)

Oyster Bar at Palace Station - Las Vegas

Smack dab in the middle of the Palace Station casino floor is an eighteen-seat Oyster Bar with a cult-like following. I was sent here by three pandas, two hungry ones and one that knows kung food. “Get the pan roast,” they all advised. “And make sure to go at off-peak hours,” they added. Never once have these pandas led me and my stomach astray, so I happily did as I was told.

On our second day in Vegas, The Astronomer and I headed to Palace Station for lunch. In the excitement and anticipation of it all, I forgot to heed my friends’ second piece of advice. As a result, we stood in a lengthy line that ultimately took nearly two hours to get through. Eeek!

Oyster Bar at Palace Station - Las Vegas

The unassuming counter serves a diverse selection of seafood offerings, including a handful with a New Orleans bent. While waiting in line, I met a fellow Angeleno who originally hailed from the South. She’s been coming to Oyster Bar for years now and always orders the gumbo with either rice or pasta. Even though I had decided my fate from the get-go, I briefly considered switching it up. People passionate about their food can be so convincing!

Oyster Bar at Palace Station - Las Vegas

When it finally came time to grab two stools at the bar, I let out an enthusiastic squeal—the moment had finally arrived for me to experience the mysterious pan roast.

Every seat along the counter offered a great view of the open kitchen. The steam-powered pots with tilt-able handles were constantly bubbling away, filling the air with steamy goodness.

Oyster Bar at Palace Station - Las Vegas

To start, complimentary sourdough rolls with butter. After slathering the warm roll with a schmear of butter, we both scarfed it down real quick.

Oyster Bar at Palace Station - Las Vegas

We didn’t initially plan on ordering anything but the pan roast, but after waiting in such a long line, a starter was definitely in order. The seafood combination consisted of three shrimps, three oysters, and three clams served on crushed ice with cocktail sauce, horseradish, and lemon wedges ($12.99).

While the guy behind the counter was shucking and assembling our appetizer, he remarked that the Canadian oysters and clams that he was serving up were of terrible quality. Both The Astronomer and I appreciated his honestly, but instantly regretted our order. Sure enough, the clams and oysters were of terrible quality. Both were strangely meaty in texture and offputtingly fishy. An inauspicious start to our Oyster Bar meal.

Oyster Bar at Palace Station - Las Vegas

Halfway through our appetizer, the main course arrived. The expert pan roaster made sure to scrape every last bit into the bowl.

Oyster Bar at Palace Station - Las Vegas

The pan roast, which is essentially a lobster bisque type of seafood chowder, arrived topped with a scoop of white rice. We chose the combination pan roast with lobster, shrimp and crab ($19.49). Thick, rich, and served piping hot, the pan roast was the very definition of southern comfort. The simple rice paired well with tangy and spicy seafood gravy. It’s hard to believe that such a homey and soulful dish was whipped up on a slightly sleazy and seriously smoky casino floor. Vegas never ceases to surprise me.

While I wouldn’t endure another two-hour line for this bowl of orange-tinged chowder, it is a more than suitable off-peak treat.

Oyster Bar at Palace Station
2411 W. Sahara Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89102
Phone: 702-367-2411

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12 thoughts on “Oyster Bar – Las Vegas (Palace Station)

  1. There’s a place like this in Chino Hills: The Boiler (www.theboilerskc.com.) I remember hearing/reading somewhere that the owner/chef of The Boiler was a former chef at the Oyster Bar. I’ve eaten at The Boiler and the food is great there.

  2. Oh my goodness! I would have given up half-way through… you have stamina, woman!

    We must exploit that stamina for a trip to Pizzeria Bianco some time. We will prevail for pizza!

  3. The pandas sent me to the same place when I was in Vegas in Dec. We endured a wait of about 1 1/2 hrs. Fortunately, the oysters were of better quality on my visit and I enjoyed my 1/2 dozen order. The combo pan roast was hearty and more than filling…and spicy enough for me at a level 5. What level did you get?

    I would go again but I don’t think I would want to wait 1 1/2 hrs…

  4. Thx 4 the tip, Cathy! I hadn’t really heard of the pan roast until last week when Starry Kitchen posted pix from the same place. It looks delicious and satisfying (if it doesn’t involve a 2-hr wait)!
    Adding to my list of Vegas eateries. Oh, and Happy 2011!

  5. Yep, the Boiler in Chino Hills has the same. But they are going through renovations and will open Feb. 2011.

    GOOD NEWS: The Oyster Bar is now opened 24 hours!!!

  6. Rosa – I think we ordered a “6,” which is what we specified at Lotus of Siam, too! I could’ve gone for more burning! Maybe they went easy on us because of my husband’s fair complexion 😉

  7. Sorry to hear about the bad seafood combo, but I’ve only gotten the pan roast and the clam chowder (try that next time). My target heat is a 7-8. Also, if sausage option is available, try that! 🙂

    You’re brave for waiting 2 hours for this. We’ve only waited 1 hour each time, and I thought that’s an eternity!

  8. We waited over an hour but were 30 seconds behind a group of four that got right in. I was explaining to my buddy that this wait was ridiculous and no food was worth this at 11pm….boy was I wrong! By far this was the best meal we ate on our trip. One serving is plenty for two people. They give you a generous portion and extra rice and rolls at no charge. Jay the cook is also entertaining you while he’s cooking…he’s very good at both. We will never do Vegas without eating at the oyster Bar. FYI 6 heat at lotus of siam is like outta control ….we ordered 5 at the oyster bar it was halved much heat of lotus of siam. Tell em Jimmy sent ya!

  9. Oh yeah almost forgot…the clam chowder is phenomenal also…we got the new england

  10. /bump!
    Love the pics and text in this, thanks.
    We also would never do LV without a trip to the Oyster Bar.
    During out last trip, 3 parties ahead of us walked away, making us very happy we had waited.
    I have had the opportunity to visit NOLA and was surprised I could not duplicate the experience we enjoyed Palace Station’s Oyster Bar in NOLA.
    If anyone else knows of such an opportunity outside LV, I would love to hear of it.
    They should franchise it – they would kill it!

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