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Dec 8, 2009 06:30 AM

Commis Walk-Ins

Curious about a couple things if anyone knows...

Can you walk in to Commis? If so, has anyone had luck doing this right when they open?

Are the bar spots directly in front of the kitchen reserved or do they use those for walk-ins?

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  1. You might be able to walk in. We did call early one evening when we were down the street trying to figure out what to do and got in about 10 minutes later (we were repeat customers). I have seen walkins turned away at the door too so I think think it is hit or miss.

    1. Yeah, on a weeknight you might get lucky. But the counter seats definitely aren't saved for walk-ins. In fact, those are probably the seats most in demand and, depending on the night, may be snatched up a month in advance (as was the case when we went a couple weeks ago).

      I don't know, on a Wednesday night right when they open, maybe you'd be OK.

      8 Replies
      1. re: abstractpoet

        Thanks. It'll be Thursday (I'm in from St. Louis) but I might jet over on BART just to take a crack at it. if not, at least I tried.

        1. re: bobzemuda

          If you don't get lucky, there are many other restaurants nearby, though a lot of them are kind of mediocre in the usual way of neighborhoods with upscale demographics. The best are Cesar (Spanish tapas), Dopo (Cal-Italian), and Adesso (housemade charcuterie / bar).

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Isn't Caesar next to Chez Panisse in Berkeley?

            1. re: bobzemuda

              Cesar has two branches. The one on Piedmont is bigger, less crowded, and has a longer menu.

          2. re: bobzemuda

            And no reservations available for Thursday anymore, I assume? If they can't take you, Dopo and Adesso (both Italian) are good eats down on the other end of the street, if you've already made the trek over anyway.

            4293 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

            4395 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA

            1. re: abstractpoet

              Baywolf is also an option and practically next door.

              1. re: Scott M

                Baywolf is rather old school (for california), had an extraordinary zagat's rating for a long time, thus can be seen as popular instead of excellent. If you're looking for commis and end up at baywolf, I forsee disappointment. Cesar, Dopo, Adesso would be the call.

                I served their seared duck breast for thanksgiving, so I'm a fan, but they're a bit past their prime.

                1. re: bbulkow

                  Yeah, I had a perfectly good meal at Bay Wolf a couple of years ago but I'm in no hurry to return.

        2. I've eaten at Commis twice and both times I just walked in. Then again, I was dining alone and sometimes it's easier as a solo diner to slip in.

          My sense is that they have a few walk-ins available, but since it's a small spot the walk-in availability is probably just one to two tables. Both times I arrived early in the evening, around 6 p.m. Once I sat at a table and once at the counter.

          You might want to call before you arrive just to see. If you tell a sad story about how you traveled far and took BARt to get to them, I bet they'll work hard to get you in. ;-)

          7 Replies
          1. re: singleguychef

            Perfect. I'll be alone also. I had some vacation to kill and figured I'd go pack in some food for an extended weekend. Coi is the capper Saturday. That seems like it might be an awkward solo meal, but I want to eat there.

            1. re: bobzemuda

              I think you'll enjoy Commis.

              Re: Coi, I also ate there solo. I asked to sit in the main dining room but when I arrived with reservations they seated me in the bar lounge area up front. That's a more casual place for a solo diner, and you can order the tasting menu but you do feel like you're on the "outside." I would try to ask to be seated in the main room, even if you're by yourself. At the lounge, there's no bartender so you're still going to be sitting by yourself. Be warned that the serving sizes at Coi is even smaller than Commis (even though both are offering different number of courses, Coi=7 to 8, Commis=3) and you may feel you're paying more than what you're getting. I didn't get that feeling for Commis' price point but others might disagree.

              1. re: bobzemuda

                What is the typical attire @ Commis? Also, I'd appreciate comments on the wine paring.

                1. re: lmnopm

                  Typical attire at any restaurant in the East Bay is whatever. At an upscale place like Commis, some people may dress up, but others will look like they just came in from gardening or stopped off on their way home from a backpacking trip.

                  1. re: lmnopm

                    I'm no wine-hound, so others will be able to be more helpful than me, but I did enjoy the pairing. The pours aren't the most generous ever, but I didn't think they were particularly stingy either (though I recall seeing other posters who did think so), and a decent value at $29.

                    In another thread, someone mentioned that when she went, not all the pairings were wines (there was a beer and a cider mixed in), so if that would be a deterrent for you, you might want to ask about it in advance or just state your preference.

                    1. re: abstractpoet

                      Confirmed at the chef's table. Yay!