If the locale and wait at Rodney's are proving to be a deterrent, get your oyster fix at Todd's on 6th. The cozy cafe, a block west of Granville, features everyone's favorite aphrodisiac on Thursday and Friday nights in a multitude of ways: fresh shucked, panfried in cornmeal, and - on some occasions - steamed open with garlic butter.
When it comes to oysters, I prefer mine raw; when it comes to comparing oyster bars, it thus comes down to freshness. To that end, I've got little to disparage about the options around town, and it generally comes down to everything else that makes up a great restaurant.
On the night we went, Todd (Atkinson, who was an original partner at Rodney's) offered up Royal Miyagis, Lighthouse Points and Summer Breeze oysters ($2 a pop; panfried were $3/oyster). He brought shells from each of the three to our table, explaining the characteristics of each and how the environments in which they were raised influenced the thickness of the shells and taste of their inhabitants. The thought and care involved was pretty evident, the sort of effort that keeps patrons coming back. (The housemade bread doesn't hurt either.)
The complaints are small: the chowder (of the Manhattan variety) could use more clams, the wine list could use more variety. Those are hardly troubling.
At other times, Todd offers non-mollusc fare: ribs on Fridays; sandwiches, soups and salads during the day for the surrounding environments.
1529 West 6th Ave (just off Granville St)
604 658 0640