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Commis Walk-Ins

bobzemuda Dec 8, 2009 06:30 AM

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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    skwid RE: bobzemuda Dec 8, 2009 07:02 AM

    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.

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      abstractpoet RE: bobzemuda Dec 8, 2009 09:49 AM

      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
        bobzemuda RE: abstractpoet Dec 8, 2009 11:28 AM

        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
          Robert Lauriston RE: bobzemuda Dec 8, 2009 11:44 AM

          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
            bobzemuda RE: Robert Lauriston Dec 8, 2009 04:50 PM

            Isn't Caesar next to Chez Panisse in Berkeley?

            1. re: bobzemuda
              Robert Lauriston RE: bobzemuda Dec 8, 2009 04:57 PM

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

          2. re: bobzemuda
            abstractpoet RE: bobzemuda Dec 8, 2009 11:47 AM

            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
              Scott M RE: abstractpoet Dec 8, 2009 12:07 PM

              Baywolf is also an option and practically next door.

              1. re: Scott M
                bbulkow RE: Scott M Dec 8, 2009 09:08 PM

                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
                  Robert Lauriston RE: bbulkow Dec 9, 2009 08:01 AM

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

        2. singleguychef RE: bobzemuda Dec 8, 2009 03:27 PM

          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
            bobzemuda RE: singleguychef Dec 8, 2009 04:53 PM

            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
              singleguychef RE: bobzemuda Dec 9, 2009 01:19 PM

              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.

            2. re: singleguychef
              bobzemuda RE: singleguychef Dec 8, 2009 05:01 PM

              ...Weird edits from my phone.

              1. re: bobzemuda
                lmnopm RE: bobzemuda Dec 9, 2009 10:51 AM

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

                1. re: lmnopm
                  Robert Lauriston RE: lmnopm Dec 9, 2009 11:03 AM

                  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
                    abstractpoet RE: lmnopm Dec 9, 2009 11:09 AM

                    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
                      lmnopm RE: abstractpoet Dec 10, 2009 12:48 PM

                      Confirmed at the chef's table. Yay!

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