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Ben and Nick's or Luka's Taproom

lovebitessf Mar 21, 2009 01:11 PM

Going out in the East Bay with another couple tonight. I want to try one of these places because both feature Dogfish Head 90-minute IPA on tap. (Thanks to Chowhounds for letting me know in another post.)

Yes, food quality matters, but it's not the ultimate criteria for tonight. Luka's menu looks good, but we'd also be happy with more standard pub fare (featured at Ben and Nick's) as long as the quality is above average.

None of us have been to either of these places. Which one should we choose and why?

  1. l
    lovebitessf Mar 23, 2009 09:45 AM

    We will be back in this neighborhood on Monday 4/13 for a concert at the Paramount. Was planning to go back to Luka's before the show. Are any of these other places worth checking out? Are any closed on Mondays?

    1 Reply
    1. re: lovebitessf
      Robert Lauriston Mar 23, 2009 09:58 AM

      Franklin Square and Vo's are good and open Mondays, as is Ozumo, which I haven't tried yet. Best to make a reservation if you're going before a Paramount show.

      Franklin Square Wine Bar
      2212 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

      Vo's Restaurant
      59 Grand Avenue, Oakland, ca

      2251 Broadway Avenue, Oakland, CA 94612

    2. l
      lovebitessf Mar 22, 2009 11:09 AM

      We had a great time at Luka's Taproom. They still have the Dogfish Head 90 min IPA, which I enjoyed immensely.

      Called at 4:30 and got a 6:30 reservation. They recommend reservations, especially when there is a show at the Paramount (one block away). But it never did get what I would call crowded. While the dining room remained full throughout the evening, a wait for a table never developed. Maybe it's a sign of the times, or maybe it's because we were there on the early side - 6:30 to 9:30. We had the pool table and jukebox to ourselves.

      The food was very good - delicious asparagus soup with preserved lemon oil, the pork loin was perfectly medium (as requested) and served atop nice artichoke mashed potatoes, mac & cheese was yummy.

      Will go back...

      5 Replies
      1. re: lovebitessf
        Robert Lauriston Mar 22, 2009 11:18 AM

        For some reason I'm always surprised at how good the food is there.

        1. re: lovebitessf
          bbulkow Mar 22, 2009 08:57 PM

          Sign of the times, I bet - 6:30 to 9:30 saturday should be prime time.

          Glad you had a good meal there - every time I go there I wonder why I don't go more often.

          1. re: bbulkow
            JasmineG Mar 22, 2009 09:19 PM

            There are also a lot more options in that area than there used to be: with Flora, Ozumo, and Franklin Square wine bar (and some other spots) all right there, Luka's isn't the only show in Uptown for people grabbing food or a drink there, so that may have slowed their business down a little.

            1. re: JasmineG
              Robert Lauriston Mar 23, 2009 09:11 AM

              Good point. There's also Vo's just a block away.

              Franklin Square and Luka's have the same owners.

          2. re: lovebitessf
            rworange Mar 24, 2009 11:17 PM

            Thanks for reporting back

            Luka's Taproom
            2221 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

          3. Robert Lauriston Mar 21, 2009 02:56 PM

            I'd make a reservation at Luka's. Call to make sure they have that beer though, they rotate often.

            1. Jumbo_Jack Mar 21, 2009 01:32 PM

              Ben and Nick's food is very medium. Average pub fare exactly. It's a friendly place though.

              Luka's on a Saturday can be a bit of a scene. Long wait for table, cover charge starts at 9:30pm I think. Food is better than Ben and Nick's, and more unique. You can dance at Luka's on the weekend. More extensive beer menu and more expensive.

              I'd only do Luka's on a Saturday if I wanted the nightlife that comes with.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Jumbo_Jack
                bbulkow Mar 21, 2009 03:32 PM

                Perfect description. Luka's is louder, too - tables are very close together. I don't consider B&N much of a destination - Luka's, however, is worth a drive. I hate the crowds, though, and go on the late side.

                1. re: bbulkow
                  Robert Lauriston Mar 21, 2009 03:58 PM

                  I don't find the crowd a problem in the dining room.

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