At their invitation, I went with Simma and Ron to the Oyster Palace. We settled into a booth on the right side of the restaurant.
As you enter the restaurant the greeter stand is straight ahead.
To the left of the greeter is a small gathering/imbibing area. It includes a bar with four stools and liquor racks.
There is a tall table with stools that helps to create the area which holds up to 20 people, mostly standing.
Behind the greeter are five – four-person booths. On the opposite wall there are three similar booths. On the side with three booths there is a ten-foot-tall, 5 to 6-foot-wide wine rack.
In front of the wine rack is the only circular table in the restaurant. It can seat up to 6 people. Just past the wine rack, there is a small corridor which fronts two Water Closets. More on this later.
At the far end of the restaurant is four stool seating bar behind which, in full view restaurant, staff prepare various oyster dishes. Behind this area is the full kitchen.
There is a blue sign on the brick wall of the public part of the restaurant that says, “PEARL DIVER OYSTER PALACE”.
In the middle of the restaurant from front to back there are a series of 2 and 4 person tables. The tables can readily be combined. This first floor can seat up to 100 people.
There is a second floor, but I did not attempt the stairs. The second-floor seats another 100 and has its own bar.
We started by sharing:
Chopped Salad – Buttermilk-Jalapeno Dressing, Market Vegetables, Avocado, Popcorn Crawfish and Barbecued Shrimp – Stone Grits, Garlic Bread, Messy Fingers
Simma ordered Seared Arctic Char Tacos – Marinated Slaw, Pepper Jack Cheese, Pico de Gallo, Flour Tortilla, Poblano Crème, Black Beans and Rice
Ron ordered Wood Grilled Gulf Redfish – Sage & Native Pecan Brown Butter, Stone Grits
I ordered Confit Duck & Baby Carrot Salad – Pulled Duck, 5 spice Yogurt, Mache, Pea Tendril, Smoked Onions, Baby Carrots, Pomegranate-Curry vinaigrette I also had 2 scoops of Pistachio ice cream
None of us had oysters at the oyster palace.
On the main floor there are two gender neutral Water Closets facing one another. They are relatively small. The walls are brick. In one far corner there is a square white ceramic wash basin fronted by mirrors. In another corner there is a white ceramic floor-based commode. Next to it is an enclosed metal waste container and next to it is a white wooden cabinet. Above the cabinet is a white air swirling hand drier.
In the corner next to the cabinet is a floor standing mirror with a wooden frame.
There is a metal handicap bar. The toilet paper is held in a wall attached holder with additional toilet paper on the top of the cabinet. The floor is covered by tiny black and white six-sided tiles.
On the walls behind the commode and the washbasin are mostly covered with horizontal white tiles at roughly waist height. The walls above the tiles are painted black. The doors are heavy dark wood.
Pearl Dive Oyster Palace
1612 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009