On a expedition to California some years ago, I'd wondered why the Hangtown fry is so scarce in New York, since bacon, eggs, and oysters, the three essential ingredients, are certainly in ready supply. A visit to John's Grill, in San Francisco, offered a big fat clue: Large, moist, briny "Washington" oysters (the most descriptive name my waitress could offer) seem to be the key. Smaller, firmer East Coast varieties are generally too chewy to fill the bill.
Perhaps as a concession to the limitations of its shellfish, Sea Witch scrambles the principal ingredients together rather than gently enclosing the oysters in an omelette. It's a brusque presentation ($9), but not without local charm — a side order of kielbasa ($3) that nods to the bar-restaurant's longtime Polish neighbors.
703 Fifth Ave. (21st-22nd Sts.), Greenwood, Brooklyn