Having spent a few happy days this summer on the Eastern shore of Tomales Bay, mostly scarfing down fresh oysters from the Hog Island Oyster Farm, we decided to vist the Western shore of the Bay. We headed for Inverness, California.
Now, Inverness is not the kind of place you stumble upon when driving somewhere else; it's on a one-way road and you really have to want to go there. Those who do are usually looking for hiking trails and kayaking bayous, or they live there.
Downtown is signified by a slight widening of the two-lane road, a sparsely-planted island in the middle of the road, and a commercial building on each side of the road.
The building on the East is a general store. The one on the West has a post office on the right side, and a restaurant on the left. The restaurant opens for lunch at noon, although most customers show up around 11:30.
It's called "Saltwater Oyster Depot", and it's rustic on the outside, trendy white on the inside. If you look closely, you'll notice that the roof had to be kicked up to allow for the entry doors...really cute.
A long bar, with coat hooks between the chairs, fills one side. And there are tables, for the cold foggy days that prevail. Outside, there are additional tables and some all-weather banquettes. Also, outdoor toilet rooms (with combination locks: 1-2-7-8.)
We ordered the "Raw Deal" from the menu. One dozen oysters and one glass of Sauvignon Blanc. I had the wine, because I was driving, and we shared the oysters. The three different types of oysters were delicious, as was the onion sauce.
Then we ordered a pizza to share. We chose the Marin County cheese pizza with brussel sprouts and happy-pig bacon. They had no sprouts, so we had mushrooms. The pizza was very good.
Not cheap, but worth the trip. Marin, of course, is a special place, and so is Saltwater. Our fellow guests were suitably dressed in expensive but scruffed up outdoorsy clothes; all the men had beards, and the women salt-and-pepper hair swept back into a bun.
Friends, this is not Walnut Creek; but it's worth the trip.