Cajun-Inspired Steam Kettle Restaurant To Open In Downtown San Diego | The Oyster Bar Is Coming This Fall

August 23, 2016

The Oyster Bar is moving into the 3,148 square foot space left dormant by the Bargarten at 551 J Street in downtown San Diego. Owned by Global Restaurant Group Inc., which also runs Ritter's Steam Kettle Cooking locations in Santa Ana and Huntington Beach, the restaurant will offer a Cajun Creole-inspired menu primarily using steel jacketed steam kettles to cook each patrons' meal right in front of them.

The group behind the wildly popular Ritter's Steam Kettle Cooking, which has locations in in Santa Ana and Huntington Beach, is branching off for a new raw bar and steam kettle concept - The Oyster Bar. In addition to the downtown San Diego location, another outpost is planned for Pasadena with a third to open within the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) in Orange County.  

Pan Roast
The majority of the dishes at The Oyster Bar will be Cajun/Creole inspired and cooked in steam-heated steel caldrons, including versions of Étouffée, jambalaya, chowder, gumbo, and the legendary "pan roast" - a creamy concoction of various shellfish bubbling in a rich orange gravy of tomato, cream and secret spices, topped with a dome of jasmine rice. There will also be Po' Boy sandwiches, a full raw bar, and Louisiana comfort food appetizers, like bacon wrapped molasses shrimp, influenced by Executive Chef Lance Nguyen's time living and working in the South. The Oyster Bar will also have a full liquor license and will offer a handful of signature cocktails, as well as a large selection of craft and household favorite beers. The bar will also highlight wines and champagnes to complement the dishes.

Ritter's Steam Kettle Cooking
For those not familiar, steam kettle cooking uses jacketed stainless steel kettles to cook with steam as it travels through one side of the kettle and moves around the jacket of the kettle, heating the food indirectly and very evenly. A large boiler in the back of the restaurant pumps steam through a network of pipes to heat the kettles. Using steam in this method is known to be approximately six times more efficient than gas or electricity by itself, and each steam kettle unit costs around $3,000 a piece.

The Oyster Bar hopes to open this October after a redesign of its new space. For more information, visit and get an idea of what to expect by checking out the working menu below.