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Oakland: Piedmont Ave. recommendations?

cortez Jan 5, 2008 05:08 PM

I've heard good things about restaurants on Piedmont Ave. in Oakland. But, I don't recall particular recommendations for particular places. I used to live there many years ago and would like to go back for a restaurant tour.

Any chowhound recommendations (any style or ethnicity is fine) for Piedmont Ave.?

Thanks for your help.

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  1. Lori SF RE: cortez Jan 5, 2008 06:59 PM

    Off the top of my head the ones I like but have not been to for awhile-
    Newish if you have not been in the area many years- both very good from my last experiences
    Dopo, 4293 Piedmont Ave
    Cesar's- 4039 Piedmont Ave
    Xyclo- I have not been here but it's new-4218 Piedmont Ave- Modern Vietnamese

    I love the Tea shop across the movie theatre forget the name..

    1. JasmineG RE: cortez Jan 5, 2008 07:09 PM

      Dopo, Cesar, and Jojo. All very different, all I recommend without hesitation, and if you go to Dopo, definitely get pasta.

      4293 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

      Bar César
      4039 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

      3859 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

      1. d
        dml RE: cortez Jan 6, 2008 01:10 AM

        Third rec for Dopo.

        1. f
          Food Fiend RE: cortez Jan 6, 2008 10:45 PM

          So far, you've got a unanimous vote for Dopo, but I'm in the minority on Cesar; I think it's overrated (and overpriced).

          I also like Xyclo, and Tropix is a solid if not terribly innovative choice.

          Tropix Caribbean Restaurant
          3814 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

          1. b
            brokergal RE: cortez Jan 7, 2008 07:14 AM

            For fresh, seasonal preparations of local ingredients Bay Wolf is a must - I've probably eaten there a couple of dozen times over the past 15 years and the food has never disappointed.

            1. singleguychef RE: cortez Jan 7, 2008 09:00 AM

              I think Dopo is good, but it's a bit mixed in some dishes. The pizzas are generally good and the lasagna. I think the charcuterie plate is overpriced.

              Xyclo is not bad but also a bit mixed in my opinion: http://singleguychef.blogspot.com/200...

              Although if you go to Xyclo, definitely get the claypot medley. Very satisfying.

              Cesar's is good but you can end up paying a lot before you feel satisfied.

              Gregoire is not really a restaurant but they have seating if you want a casual dinner at this really tiny place.

              Ninna has been featured on KQED's Check Please. It's a Thai place that tries to be a bit fusion. Haven't been to it so can't give you first-hand report.

              Bay Wolf is a classic, but the last time I was there it was just OK.

              1 Reply
              1. re: singleguychef
                merle RE: singleguychef Jan 7, 2008 01:24 PM

                Ninna is pretty good. I've tried both a Thai(ish) dish there and an Italian(ish) dish. Both were very tasty, but not extraordinary. Service was a bit slow, as one might expect from a place with one server and one cook. Off-season seems to be the time to go there.

              2. Robert Lauriston RE: cortez Jan 7, 2008 01:28 PM

                Based on how often I eat there, Dopo's my favorite restaurant these days, with the Piedmont branch of Cesar a close second. Both have great selections of wine by the glass.

                Dopo's antipasto misto is a must. The pizza guy is a master, despite the handicap of a gas deck oven he makes some of the best around--try the one with prosciutto draped over it after it comes out.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                  10foot5 RE: Robert Lauriston Jan 7, 2008 01:55 PM

                  This may be sacrilege around here, but I prefer the pizza at Dopo to that at Pizzaolo - especially Dopo’s house pizza with anchovies.

                  If the kitchen is not too busy they will even do take-out and Dopo’s pizza definitely definitely travels better than Pizzaolo’s.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                    The Dive RE: Robert Lauriston Jan 8, 2008 09:56 AM

                    We had a great pizza last week at Dopo with hedgehog mushrooms and lemon zest. However, I still think the gas oven makes it come second (albeit close) to Pizzaola.

                  2. hohokam RE: cortez Jan 7, 2008 03:10 PM

                    I'll echo some of the sentiments about Cesar: very good food, but easy to rack up a big tab.

                    I was also much impressed by their bar offerings. I'm not a big-time drinker, but even I can imagine spending the better part of a day sampling from their wine and aperitif lists while snacking away on tapas.

                    1. p
                      pirog RE: cortez Jan 7, 2008 03:52 PM

                      Bay Wolf is always delicious - it's more pricey/classy than most of the spots on Piedmont Ave. Dopo is also yummy and I like Cesar too, but it can be a little pricey.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: pirog
                        Robert Lauriston RE: pirog Jan 7, 2008 04:21 PM

                        We had a good meal at Bay Wolf last year but I wasn't happy with the wine list or the lack of a cheese plate (weird for a place with such a strong French influence).

                        1. re: pirog
                          milklady RE: pirog Jan 7, 2008 05:16 PM

                          I had a pretty mediocre meal at Bay Wolf recently. I wash horrified by "haricot verts" that were so mushy and gross they really seemed like canned green beans. The patio and service were pleasant, but I can't get over the green beans.

                        2. l
                          laurenb RE: cortez Jan 7, 2008 05:33 PM

                          Since you said you lived there before I thought I would bring up Little Shin Shin. I grew up in Piedmont and it has and always will be a favorite of mine.Shin Shin special Prawns, Mu Shu Pork and Kung Pao Beef are by far the best chinese dishes I have had.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: laurenb
                            lexdevil RE: laurenb Jan 7, 2008 06:11 PM

                            Change of ownership in the past year has led to a downward slide in the kitchen.

                          2. k
                            klyeoh RE: cortez Mar 4, 2008 05:13 PM

                            I tried Bay Wolf for the first time today, and was pleasantly surprised by the quality of their ingredients and the precision of their cooking.

                            Started off with a delicate artichoke, new potato & leek soup, subtly accentuated with a chive creme fraiche.

                            Entree was a robust-flavored grilled chicken sausage, accompanied by grilled asparagus (perfect) & a very delightful green garlic flan.

                            Dessert was a bittersweet chocolate-almond cake with Earl Grey creme anglaise & chocolate sauce.

                            If there is such a thing as a "perfect lunch" - this place just did it for me.

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