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Twist in Downtown Oakland?

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I've searched here for any comments on "Twist" in the Washington Hotel in Downtown Oakland, every posting I've found is very dated. Can anyone provide any more recent experiences?

Here's the situation:

I'm planning a dinner for 15 for next Tuesday for folks from work to celebrate the upcoming wedding of one of the members of my team. These are young professionals mostly mid to late 20's. Not big foodies, nor big drinkers. I'd like there to be a fairly straightforward menu and good food. Everyone will be paying for themselves and it is in the price range I had in mind ~$25 - $35pp.

I had considered Eccolo but they said for a party of 15 we had to do prix fixe. I didn't like the prix fixe options and frankly it was too expensive.

Is Twist a big loser? Does anyone have any other recommendations?

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  1. I'm frankly surprised to hear it is still there. Must be convention center business...I did a group lunch for about 15 or 20 persons there about two years ago. Granted it was a while ago. However, it was such an unmitigated disaster that I will *never* go back. I have to say that it was without question the WORST service experience I've ever had in a restaurant, and the food just wasn't worth it.

    I believe Soizic off of Jack London Square is in a similar price range, and gets much more positive reports on this board. Another option to consider in that immediate area is Restaurant B: my one dinner there was only so-so, but a.) it wasn't a disaster, and b) there have been other positive reports more recently, and finally c.) when I did eat there I noticed that they were doing a good job of handling a large group of perhaps ten to fifteen seated at a nearby table.....

    3 Replies
    1. re: susancinsf

      Thanks Susan, that's helpful. An unmitigated disaster is definitely not what I'm looking for. I've done dinners before (with this group) at Soizic and was just trying to avoid repeating myself. I've also done Zax which was a hit. We did a lunch at Restaurant B and I wasn't very impressed (although that was some months ago).

      Other ideas welcomed!

      1. re: susancinsf

        what about i think jj seafood at the corner of 9th in the housewives market. it's more casual but could be fun for a fried fish kind of place they may have jazz on some nights. it's been about 6 months since i've been around there (so it may be gone) or La Cheval. The sports bar in a hotel near 9th across from jj's seafood also had some ok food and they had this room where you could seat 15 by themselves especially on a tuesday night the food was good for basic fish, ribs, pot pie kind of stuff

        1. re: susancinsf

          My company lunch at Twist wasn't *quite* that bad, but I would rank it simply as a place that served food: no good reason to return.

          I'd second Soizic. La Furia Chalaca if they're open, because most of the Peruvian dishes are pretty approachable (but they have strange hours). Verbena might be a choice within that price range. I thought it was good, but not quite worth the price.

        2. Don't know if Tamarindo has the space but it sure is delicious! Dtwn Oakland on 8th at Washington/Clay.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sarvey

            That number would really be pushing it at Tamarindo. Would probably have to seat the group at two or even three tables.

          2. Caffe Verbena might work (APL building; 11th and Broadway). Advance notice for a party that big would be helpful. Ask if you could be seated in the atrium. There you would be away from other diners and could talk easily.
            Le Cheval is too noisy for a dinner like yours, I think

            1. Interesting info on Twist. I've walked by more then a few times and always wondered about it...and I've only see one diner there, ever. Seems like it's ripe to be taken over or a new chef/owner given the location. BTW, does anyone ever know anyone who has stayed at the Washington Inn?

              1 Reply
              1. re: ML8000

                I have relatives and coworkers who have stayed there. Nice enough. The rooms are a bit small (it's an old building), and the stairwell and elevator are very tiny. Twist has a breakfast buffet (or brunch on the weekends) that is decent. Cheaper than the nearby Mariott options, too.