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Top five oyster bars 

1 Pascal's Manale

1838 Napoleon Ave., 895-4877

The free-standing oyster bar in the old-school cocktail lounge is like an altar to slurping, shucking and jiving and is staffed by affable guys who turn the act of downing a dozen into high entertainment. The bartender doles out poker chips redeemable at the oyster bar for your dozen or half-dozen.

2 Drago's Seafood Restaurant

3232 N. Arnoult ROAd, Metairie, 888-9254

www.dragosrestaurant.com

Sometimes outshined by the bright, buttery spectacle of the restaurant's famous charbroiled oysters, the raw oysters at Drago's are reliably superb on their own, thanks to strong relationships between management and oyster harvesters.

3 Felix's Restaurant & Oyster Bar

739 Iberville St., 522-4440

www.felixs.com

The three other oyster bars within a few paces of Felix's are all spiffier, but none turn out oysters as fast and with as little fuss. Diners can usually walk right in and mix their own cocktail sauce as the shucker sends the oysters rattling across the bar one at a time.

4 Bozo's

3117 21st St., Metairie, 831-8666

When the burger chains are closing in and you can't face another food court, take a few turns off the main suburban drags to this family-run classic on a Metairie backstreet. The oyster bar feels like a neighborhood joint, even if Lakeside Mall is just a few blocks away.

5 Cooter Brown's Tavern

509 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-9104

www.cooterbrowns.com

This Riverbend tavern puts the bar in oyster bar. Despite casual appearances, the oyster operation here is serious stuff, serving fresh-tasting and well-shucked beauties until 2 a.m. or later.

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