When a new Oyster Bar location opened at the recently launched Durango Resort in southwest Las Vegas, I knew I had to try it out for myself. As they recently opened this new location, and it was a Saturday afternoon, I knew I would have to wait. But the wait is worth it.
I can remember the first time I tried Oyster Bar. It was at Palace Station, a nearby hotel and casino located west of the Las Vegas Strip on Sahara Avenue. As I was waiting in line, and the hours started to pass, I wondered why I was waiting for over two hours to try oysters.
When I first tried the pan roast, I immediately understood why people would wait in line for hours for this. The flavors of this dish were unlike anything I had experienced before in Las Vegas.
From that moment on, Oyster Bar has become one of my favorite restaurants in Las Vegas, and I find myself returning time after time. And they are open 24 hours a day. So, you can get your seafood fix anytime, day or night.
Table of Contents
Waiting in Line
Due to its popularity and limited seating, you will likely have to wait in line on your visit to Oyster Bar. My recent visit was on a Saturday afternoon, and the wait was only 30 minutes. But other visits, at their Palace Station location, have resulted in a 2 hour wait.
I wish I could tell you how long the wait will be on your visit, but the wait time can vary greatly depending on the day and time. Since they are open 24 hours a day, the best times to visit would be midweek, late at night, or early in the morning.
But trust me, I have been coming to Oyster Bar for years, and the wait is well worth it.
Interior of Oyster Bar
If you didn’t know where to look, it would be easy to miss the small Oyster Bar in the corner of the Durango Resort, just off the casino floor. If you get lost, keep an eye out for the Eat Your Heart Out Food Hall.
At Oyster Bar, a semi-circle counter-style seating area surrounds a small open kitchen. That is it.
One of the best things about sitting at the counter is watching the chefs prepare dishes, tend to large pots of stews, and shuck oysters. As I enjoy cooking, watching the chefs at work is always interesting to me.
Oyster Bar Menu
The menu at Oyster Bar was simple. While they had some non-seafood dishes, I won’t lie; you come here for the seafood.
The menu featured four main sections: Chilled Seafood, Starters, Kettle Favorites, and House Specialties.
Chilled Seafood options included raw oysters and clams. For Starters, you will find dishes including Caesar salad and clam chowder. If you want to order a pan roast, which I recommend, you will find it under Kettle Favorites. And if you want another type of stew, such as cioppino or bouillabaisse, you will see that under House Specialties.
As for drinks, there were a few non-alcoholic selections. This included Pepsi, iced tea, sparkling water, and energy drinks.
Alcoholic choices were more abundant, including a variety of cocktails, an assortment of wines, and options for both draft and bottled beer.
While not the cheapest, I find myself ordering the Caesar Salad ($10.99) every time I return to Oyster Bar. This salad is traditional, made with fresh romaine lettuce, a horseradish Caesar dressing, grated Parmesan, and croutons. They also had a version with jumbo shrimp for $8 more.
Though simple, this was one beautiful salad. I have always said that you eat with your eyes first, and I was hoping it tasted as great as it looked. And it did.
The most important component of the salad, the chopped romaine lettuce, was fresh and crispy.
Coating each piece of lettuce was a thick, homemade Caesar dressing that was creamy, tangy, and delicious with a distinct garlic flavor. While there was horseradish in the dressing, it was not overpowering, only adding a slight hint of pungent heat.
Finishing off this salad was salty grated Parmesan cheese and croutons. While the croutons were not homemade, their crispy and crunchy texture was an essential element that no Caesar salad should be without.
Oysters on the Half Shell
Being an oyster bar, there was no way I could leave without trying some fresh oysters. I ordered the Oysters on the Half Shell ($17.99 for 1/2 dozen or $25.99 for a dozen).
I forgot to ask what type of oysters they used, but they were large. So, I can only guess that they were Atlantic oysters, typically larger than Pacific oysters. I found each oyster to be tender and creamy yet meaty in texture due to their size.
Their taste was not too sweet, with a mildly salty, briny flavor that reminded me of the ocean. Though located in the middle of the desert, these oysters were as fresh as any found on the coast.
Accompanying the oysters was a cocktail sauce, Cajun sauce, and lemon wedges. The ketchup-based cocktail sauce was simple with a tangy, sweet, savory flavor.
Placed on one side of the cocktail sauce was a good amount of horseradish, perfect for those who wanted an extra kick of heat and flavor to their oysters.
The Cajun sauce was creamy, salty, and smoky, reminding me of a chipotle mayo. While the sauce was delicious, it was not something I usually see paired with oysters.
If you’re looking for more flavor and heat, check out the assortment of hot sauces available at Oyster Bar. You’ll find some of the usual hot sauces and some more unique ones, so try as many as you can. Just a little goes a long way.
Combination Pan Roast
If I could order only one item at Oyster Bar, it would be the Combination Pan Roast ($30.99). This creamy tomato stew, a local favorite, comes with shrimp, crab, lobster, and steamed rice.
Since I was dining with a friend, the server asked if we would like to share a plate, and we agreed. Unfortunately, I overlooked the menu’s note about shared entrees incurring an extra $5 charge. While it was my fault, I wish the server had brought this to our attention.
Next, the server asked me to choose my heat level on a scale from 1 to 10, and I settled on 5.
It’s hard to describe just how delicious and flavorful this stew was. On my first bite, I tasted a tangy and sweet tomato flavor complemented by a rich, creamy undertone, likely from cream and butter.
As mentioned on the menu, the pan roast was finished with a hint of brandy, which balanced out the richness and saltiness of the stew while adding a warm, sweet flavor.
Next, flavors of the ocean hit me from the shredded crab mixed into the stew. Hidden inside the bowl were fresh, plump shrimp and a large piece of lobster. The lobster added even more seafood flavor to the dish.
While there was a slight kick of heat in each bite, likely from cayenne, I did not find the heat level excessively spicy. I was okay with this as I didn’t want the stew to be so spicy that it overpowered its flavors.
The combination of seafood, tomato, cream, butter, and brandy makes the pan roast at Oyster Bar one of the best things you can eat in Las Vegas. Next time I will have to ask the chefs for the pan roast recipe.
Service at Oyster Bar
Since it was their opening weekend, I was expecting long waits and slow service as they worked out their growing pains. When I arrived at 1:00 PM on a Saturday, the line was unexpectedly short. This was surprising as I have waited over 2 hours at the Palace Station Oyster Bar location.
Sitting at the counter, I had a great view of the kitchen and the chefs at work. To my surprise, the well-trained staff moved around the kitchen with ease while greeting guests, taking orders, and preparing food.
Whether tending to steaming pots of soup, shucking oysters, or preparing salads, the staff looked like they had been at it for years, all while enjoying their jobs.
Finally, my food arrived quickly and correctly. This short wait time for food ensured the line out front of the bar kept moving along.
It’s not cheap. And you will have to wait in line, sometimes for hours. But, without a doubt, Oyster Bar is one of my favorite restaurants in Las Vegas.
While I love their oysters and Caesar salad, I can’t put into words how much I enjoy the Combination Pan Roast. The flavors, textures, and seafood in this dish make it one of the best plates of food in Las Vegas.
I laugh when people say they don’t want to gatekeep restaurants. Now I understand what they mean. I want to keep Oyster Bar to myself, but I can’t. I need to share it. Go and try it for yourself, and you will understand what I mean.
- Fresh seafood
- The Combination Pan Roast is one of the best things I have eaten in Las Vegas
- Counter seating with open kitchen
- Friendly staff
- Open 24 hours a day
- Always a long line
- Shared entrée plate charge of $5
- No reservations
6915 S Durango Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89148 (located in Durango Resort)
GPS Coordinates: 36.06408,-115.28294
Last Updated on January 30, 2024