Lunch for a large group in Downtown Oakland
My organization is taking the entire staff out to lunch on Friday, and we need to find the right restaurant. We need somewhere in the general vicinity of downtown Oakland (our office is in Jack London Square) that can accomodate 15-20 and not be too expensive, as we're a non-profit organization.
Right now the only option we can think of is Le Cheval, but I know there must be something better. We tried Battambang, they said our group was too large to accomodate.
Ba Vo could handle a group that size (with a reservation) and while it is a bit further from JLS (long walk if you are walking) it is a lot better than Le Cheval...but a better and closer option would be the upstairs room and a big table or two at New Gold Medal in Chinatown. My office had a very successful group lunch there for about 15 of us (don't expect fancy surroundings, just excellent food)...we had at least that many at a Chowlunch a long while back also...
Ba Vo Restaurant
416 13th Street, Oakland, CA 94612
New Gold Medal
389 8th St, Oakland, CA 94607
You might research Jack's Bistro and Zazoo (Afghan) both in JLsq since both are right there.
Jack's is nothing special but of good quality and definitely safe and could accommodate a group on short notice.
Zazoo...never been but have heard good things about it. There's an Afghani side to the menu and an American/seafood side. The price looks reasonable, the place large. If you end up at Zazoo, definitely report back.
I was going to suggest something similar. There's nothing truly amazing in JLS, but most of the restaurants can accomodate large groups quite easily (although for Friday you probably want reservations anyway). Otherwise, most places in Chinatown could deal with that number if you are willing to split into two tables.
If your group is not terribly formal, I might suggest just going to some pastry and dim sum takeout places, maybe a Korean store selling pre-packaged items or a sandwich place, and just sitting out by the waterfront. Friday is supposed to be a nice day weather-wise, and sitting by the docks or in one of the parks could be nice.