Hammersley Inlet. There’s a grassy green note along with brine and butter in Pacific oysters from the lower Sound’s Hammersley Inlet, no doubt thanks to the algae-rich waters down south. Blaine Wetzel, chef at the Willows Inn on Lummi Island, loves the variety’s deep cup, which fosters plump, sweet meat. $150 prix fixe; 2579 West Shore Dr.; 360/758-2620.
Kumamoto. This Japanese transplant, grown mostly in Oakland Bay, is “a bit creamy, a bit sweet, and not too big,” says Xinh Dwelley, who runs Xinh’s Clam and Oyster House, Taylor Shellfish Farms’ restaurant in Shelton. “People think I’m crazy, but if you chew them, rather than swallow them whole, you really get to taste the flavor.” $$$; 221 W. Railroad Ave.; 360/427-8709.