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Mar 14, 2002 04:13 PM

Pre-Concert dinner near the Paramount in Oakland?

  • g


Some friends and I are going to see Pat Metheny, guitarist extraordinaire, at the Paramount in Oakland. We need a delicious dinner to prepare us for this landmark event. Please Advise.

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  1. The restaurant scene in downtown Oakland seems to be in flux and there really isn't anything great within a couple of blocks of the Paramount.

    But I was just writing up Carrara's (Broadway at 27th) for Chownews and thinking it might be a good option for pre-Paramount dinner. No one has reported yet on dinner, but there have been enthusiastic reports about both breakfast and lunch, and a copy of the dinner menu they faxed me looked delicious and reasonably priced. Might be worth a try. They are only open for dinner Friday and Saturday.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      I forgot to say: parking around the Paramount, even during an event, is usually not a problem, so eating elsewhere in Oakland and reparking is an option. Also, since the BART station is right there, you can eat anywhere near a BART station and then BART right in.

      Enjoy the concert! It sounds wonderful and even if there aren't many good dining options the Paramount is always a great experience.

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        I was happy to see this thread. We are going to the Harry Connick Jr. concert there in a couple of weeks. Where would you suggest going to eat elsewhere in Oakland on a Wed night if we have to get back and parked near the Paramount by 7:00?

        1. re: Wendy-san
          Nathan Landau

          I think folks have covered most of the relevant possibilities. The only other one I might suggest--if you're driving--is Autumn Moon, at 3909 Grand, about a mile up. I've loved their breakfasts, can't speak to their dinners.

          1. re: Nathan Landau

            Also, if you don't mind about a 20-minute walk, there is across the street from me the JONG GA HOUSE for some excellent Korean food! This is a nice place run by the sweetest people you will ever find in the restaurant industry!

            Jong Ga House
            372 Grand Avenue
            Oakland, CA

            1. re: Nathan Landau

              I ate dinner at Autumn Moon in December, and am pleased to report that it is just as good for dinner as for brunch.

              We sat at the bar before being seated, and the bartender made me an absolutely wonderful Cosmopolitan. Super frosty with the right balance of lime to cranberry.

              For dinner my boyfriend and I split an order of the fried calamari -- ummmm. Huge portions! I had a pasta special that was very good, though I no longer remember what all was in it. My boyfriend had a steak over really creamy mashed potatoes. He is a big eater and I am a dessert freak, but we had eaten so much, we couldn't even order dessert. Service was good, pretty casual, but that's the type of place it is. They were attentive with water and bread, which is always a plus in my book -- good butter too.

              I think the total bill, including drinks and tip was around $50 for two. Not bad considering we each took home some food for the next day.

              Next time I need to go just for dessert -- and maybe a Cosmo or two.

              Not to go overboard with the plugs, but I also ate brunch there one day with 3 other friends, and we talked and talked and talked. I think we were there for over 3 hours, and the restaurant was actually closed (in between reopening for dinner) and they never once made us feel like we needed to move or leave.

              1. re: foodnut

                Yes, you do need to go back for dessert! They have this coconut cake - it's sort of a house speciality - that I have dreams about. It's a white sponge cake filled with custard, and frosted with whipped cream and tons of flaky coconut - yumm!!!

                I would in general also reccomend Autumn Moon, the food is reliable, service casual yet prompt (I'm sure if you told them you were trying to make it to a show, thay'd treat you right) and the atmosphere is really relaxed. It's really not far from the theatre either, just down Grand Ave around the top of Lake Merritt.

        2. re: Ruth Lafler

          Le Cheval is always good. Although it's huge, they can be very busy, so reserve. Upscale Vietnamese--no bahn mi in sight. Huge menu with something to please everyone. I like the beef with the rice paper wrappers (don't remember what it's called) and the soups. There's also a great catfish stew. They're on Clay about half a mile from the Paramount, in Oakland Chinatown.

          Another good option is Sushi Zone in the Pacific Renaissance mini-mall. (9th around Harrison) They have happy hour from 5:30 to 6:30 with two for one appetizers and premium sakes. Very fresh fish. There's a roll with daikon and salmon (and no rice) that's very memorable, or just get whatever's still wiggling. They have live uni and sometimes lobster.

          Save room for a drink upstairs at the Paramount.

          As Ruth mentions, you can easily park by the theater, including in the Paramount lot ($2 last time I was there) behind the theater. If you do, be sure to park near the exit. It can take forever to get out.

        3. I like Pho 84 if you're not looking for an upscale restaurant. Can't remember the exact address, since I always have to drive around a little before I find it. 17th between Harrison and Franklin is my best guess.

          OK, I looked it up on the web -- 354 17th st. This tends to be a popular pre-Paramount restaurant -- at least before the movie runs, so get there early, or be prepared to wait a bit.

          I've also had good dinners at Vo's, which is at 59 Grand Avenue. (another Vietnamese pick)

          1. I really like LMNO (corner of Washington and 9th). It has good California-ish food in a funky thrift-shop cool atmosphere. The decor is so hip that it looks as if there might be an attitude problem with the staff, but I've found the service to be very good.

            Directly across the street is a more traditionally pretty restaurant called the Oaktown Cafe. I used to like the food there, but the last two times I went the service was terrible. (Has someone else had a better experience since? I would be happy to hear that I just caught them on bad days.)

            Just a little further down Washington Street (between 7th and 8th) is the wonderful Toutatis, a crepe restaurant. It's very French (dark flour gallettes instead of the white flour crepes more common in America) and not very expensive. It might be perfect for a pre-concert light meal.

            You might also want to check the reviews on this board which describe Verbena, a restaurant from the Real Restaurants group which is located in the back of an office tower at 11th and Broadway (but is much nicer than that sounds.)

            1. j

              Verbena: I second the recommendation; tell manager, Jennifer Tom, you need to get to Paramount and she'll make sure you're out in time. Or try Soizic @ 3rd and Broadway near Jack London Square (it's about 12 minutes down Broadway from Paramount).

              1. k
                Kathleen Mikulis

                I second the Le Cheval recommendation though I wouldn't like the 2 block walk at night back to Broadway. No one's mentioned Battambang yet (Broadway & 9th or so) which serves great Cambodian food.

                I highly recommend their beef skewers and their Luk Luk appetizer which is marinated peppery beef cubes. I probably wouldn't get both dishes in the same meal unless you want beef overload as those two dishes don't come with veggies. They pride themselves on serving high quality meat and their chicken is great, too.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Kathleen Mikulis
                  Caitlin McGrath

                  For more menu ideas at Battambang, check the post below from a Chowhound gathering there last summer.


                  1. re: Kathleen Mikulis

                    Actually Le Cheval has a free parking lot. It's around the corner (northeast) across from a park. I've found the area generally deserted at night but not unsafe.

                    Their original dive-y location was closer to the Paramount.