Oyster Makeover: Hilltop Kitchen

By Ron Swarner on December 31, 2014

Purists will tell you that the only way to eat an oyster is live, raw, with just a few drops of lemon juice. That's nonsense. It's amazing what can happen when a chef, not a shucker, puts his or her hand to an oyster.

Enter Hilltop Kitchen.

The Hilltop Tacoma gastropub knows fiery chorizo forms a very happy marriage with roasted oysters.

Buying from a small oyster farm that is not the local favorite Taylor Shellfish Farms, HK serves light brine, roasted kumamoto oysters ($14) in their highly sculptured, deep cup shells filled with chorizo oil and horseradish crema. It's a warm, spicy bath on the tongue, balanced with the luscious fruity oysters.

I adore the touch of molecular gastronomy in the garnish, with dainty colorful green onion "caviar," made by spherification, brightening up the dish.

I had to put the brakes on my New Year's Eve to alert the South Sound to this wonderful dish. Happy New Year!

HILLTOP KITCHEN, 11-2 a.m. Monday-Saturday, 913 MLK JR Way, Tacoma, 253.327.1397