I live in Alameda and I was curious (always looking for a nice place by the water) so I swung by tonight to check Harbor House out.
Definitely didn't strike me as a chowhound kind of place: the menu was generic steak and seafood -- you could plunk it down in any slightly upscale steak and seafood place in the country in the last 40 years and no one would notice. However, if you are tired of florid menuese, this is definitely the place (example: the four chicken dishes were simply listed as "chicken parmegiana," "chicken marsala," "chicken piccata" and "chicken cutlet").
It is an attractive room, with a view of the Ballena Bay marina (not the rather stunning view of the Bay from the other side of the road). But they were playing Muzak obtrusively enough that it took me the whole drive home to get the lite version of "Yesterday once More" (every sha na na nah, every ting-a-ling-a-ling) out of my head.
The Sunday brunch menu looked, if possible, even less interesting.
Of course for all I know the food may be exquisitely prepared. But it's hard to imagine such an uninspiring menu inspiring great cooking.
I wish I had a better suggestion, but for an island, waterside dining is remarkably rare in Alameda, and I really don't know of a place I'd recommend.
re: Ruth Lafler
re: Melanie Wong
Yes, you'll notice that thread either suggests restaurants that aren't on the water or says "go to Jack London Square in Oakland" (g).
There are restaurants on the water in Alameda: Pasta Pelican, about which I have heard nothing good; Aroma, which is about the third restaurant at the location that was originally a pretty good place called "Blue Moon Cafe"; Chevy's (if you are going to do Mexican of that genre, I prefer the El Torito at Jack London); a couple of places in a lagoon setting over on Harbor Bay. I just wouldn't recommend any of them.
When I went scouting for a nice place for Sunday brunch last spring, there was a new place in the site of the former Tied House brewpub in Marina Village, but something about it turned me off (too formal/pretentious for the setting perhaps); I haven't heard anything more about it and don't even know if it is still there. We ended up at Aroma, which was pretty pathetic. At least it wasn't crowded, although the Muzak kept it from being pleasantly quiet.