On the frontage road of US 183, just passed Anderson Mill Road is an odd sight. Tucked away on the right hand side is a building that looks like a small slice of Aransas Pass or Galveston has been transported to Austin.
Pacific Star Restaurant and Oyster Bar is a storm weathered looking place surrounded by a deck that looks like it belongs on the gulf coast, complete with large pier columns, boat motors, buoys and thick marine rope. The blue and white color scheme completes the picture.
On looks alone, I’m ashamed to say that I avoided this little place for a long time. I missed out on a lot of good seafood!
Run by an extended troop of the Leyva family, Pacific Star has been in business for about 14 years. On any given day, family members can be found shucking oysters (1000’s in a month), cooking, waiting tables or generally keeping the restaurant running smoothly.
With 3 shipments from Houston per week, Pacific Star manages to keep a steady flow of fresh seafood with entrée prices starting at about the $8.00 level and top out at $16.99. (Most are in the 10-13 dollar range)
Favorites here are the; fresh Texas gulf oysters served with horse radish and cocktail sauce, oysters rancheros served with pico de gallo, provolone and garlic butter, and several good Cajun dishes.
I have friends that come exclusively for the oysters and what seems like a small bathtub filled with crawfish étouffée.
Most of the seafood items can be had either fried or broiled and are served with hush puppies or garlic bread.
My favorite dishes at Pacific Star are the fresh oysters, the Shrimp Po Boy served with thick cut crinkle fries and the broiled Red Snapper which is served with a flavorful rice pilaf filled with mushrooms, onions, bell pepper and bay shrimp.
The restaurant is definitely a neighborhood favorite with many patrons known by manager Manny Leyva as they come in the door.
The point of this restaurant is good food in a relaxed atmosphere. The interior is simple but comfortable and there is usually a ball game or news on the television mounted in the far corner.
A few varieties of wine are available, but cold beer is the best pairing for most of the seafood here.
Pacific Star is open every day of the week.
A second Pacific Star Restaurant opened in Round Rock in 2006 owned by Juaquin Leyva and co-owner Jeff Barnett.
By Richard Arebalo