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Dinner in Oakland with Old Friend

s
steiny Jul 26, 2010 10:59 AM

An old friend (she was local but now living in Portland) is in town staying at the Downtown Marriott on Broadway. I'm not an Oaklandite so I need recommendations for restaurants within a short drive from her hotel. A couple of places I'm considering:

Mezze
Chez Panisse Cafe

Would love to sit outside. Any cuisine is fine. Any price point is fine.

Thanks!!!!

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Mezze Restaurant & Bar
3407 Lakeshore Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610

Chez Panisse
1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

  1. Glencora Jul 26, 2010 11:13 AM

    You could walk to B Restaurant. Bocanova in Jack London Square is also close. There are lots of places on Piedmont and College.

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    Jack London Square
    70 Washington St # 207, Oakland, CA

    Bocanova
    55 Webster Street, Oakland, CA 94607

    7 Replies
    1. re: Glencora
      Ruth Lafler Jul 26, 2010 11:37 AM

      Bocanova has outdoor seating, too.

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      Bocanova
      55 Webster Street, Oakland, CA 94607

      1. re: Ruth Lafler
        Glencora Jul 26, 2010 11:39 AM

        And why would one want that? (I'm about to go out to lunch and am feeling very deeply sick of fog)

        1. re: Glencora
          Ruth Lafler Jul 26, 2010 12:09 PM

          The OP specified "would love to sit outside." I'm enjoying the coolness myself, having just gotten back from Europe where they've been having record heat waves. Give me cool and foggy over 100 and afternoon thunderstorms any day!

          1. re: Glencora
            JasmineG Jul 26, 2010 01:09 PM

            The sun has come out a lot more in Oakland!

            1. re: JasmineG
              Glencora Jul 26, 2010 02:24 PM

              Actually I take back my comment. I sat outside at the Lake Chalet. It was beautiful. I can imagine it would be great on a warm evening, if only the food were better. As it was, I can't quite recommend it.

              1. re: Glencora
                JasmineG Jul 26, 2010 03:10 PM

                I sat outside at Lake Chalet on a warm evening, and it was wonderful. I just wish the food was good.

          2. re: Ruth Lafler
            b
            BigWoodenSpoon Jul 26, 2010 11:41 AM

            One of my regulars at work says it's delicious. He takes all of his business lunch clients there now and everyone really enjoys it. I'll have to put it on my list.

        2. JasmineG Jul 26, 2010 11:40 AM

          The seating outside at Dona Tomas is one of my favorites, it's right on Telegraph at 51st. Next door is Pizzaiolo, and they have a little outside seating as well.

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          Pizzaiolo
          5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

          Dona Tomas
          5004 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609

          1. m
            ML8000 Jul 26, 2010 11:54 AM

            A 2nd on B Restaurant and there is outdoor seating...then you can walk around the corner for a Belgium beer at the Trappist or Tamarindo Antojeria (they just expanded and have a tequila bar). All are within 2 blocks of the Marriot.

            Besides Boca Nova there's also Chop Bar around Jack London Sq. The advantage of Boca Nova is the outdoor seating and you could take a pleasant walk around JLSq.

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            Tamarindo
            468 8th St, Oakland, CA 94607

            1. bbulkow Jul 26, 2010 12:12 PM

              Just to point out that Chez Panisse Cafe is a solid 20 minute drive across down. Doesn't look like that much, but it does take that long with the lights. Longer if you route sub-optimally or go at a high traffic time.

              B is an actual walk (around the corner) and both swank and tasty.

              The jack london restaurants (Bocanova, yoshi's) is about 12 moderately long blocks so could be a decent walk, could be a quick drive, depending on how you feel.

              The temescal restaurants (barlata, pizzaiolo, I would give dona tomas a miss, downhill reports) are about a 10 minute drive, still pretty quick. Piedmont ave has a few too (baywolf, commis), also about a 10 minute drive but usually easier parking.

              About halfway (5 min drive) are Luka - too loud - and Lake Chalet, a good choice if food is secondary to view and atmosphere.

              Bocanova has very outdoor seating - overlooking the estuary.

              Which one of these you might choose depends on a variety of factors, like how much you want to spend, what foods are favorite, noise quotient, etc.

              -----
              Chez Panisse
              1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

              Bocanova
              55 Webster Street, Oakland, CA 94607

              2 Replies
              1. re: bbulkow
                JasmineG Jul 26, 2010 01:11 PM

                If I was catching up with an old friend, I wouldn't want to go to either Pizzaiolo (unless outside, but the outside seating is limited) or Bar Lata, they're both a little too loud for that. I've always had good meals at Dona Tomas -- it gets knocked for not being authentic, but the outside space is lovely, and the food is generally tasty. Lake Chalet has a great space, but the food is bad (though they just hired a new head chef, so maybe it'll get better at some point?).

                -----
                Pizzaiolo
                5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

                Dona Tomas
                5004 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609

                1. re: JasmineG
                  m
                  ML8000 Jul 26, 2010 02:59 PM

                  DT has a nice space but the food is such a mixed bag...bland and over-priced for what you get, I'd never recommend it. Lake Chalet has a really great space, exceptional in many way...it's just too bad the food sucks.

              2. escargot3 Jul 26, 2010 12:50 PM

                I like Mua -- great burgers, lottsa interesting veggies, unique environment.
                But Bocanova is also a good spot.

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                Mua
                2442A Webster Street, Oakland, CA 94612

                Bocanova
                55 Webster Street, Oakland, CA 94607

                1. Eugene Park Jul 26, 2010 01:42 PM

                  A quick aside - - did anyone else read the title and flash back to Hannibal Lecter's closing sentence in "Silence of the Lambs"?

                  OK, facetiousness aside. If you're considering Mezze, then you're basically equidistant to Boot and Shoe Service on Grand Avenue. They have tables on the sidewalk, although you'll be contending with lots of pedestrians and as well as lots of traffic driving by on Grand.

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                  Boot and Shoe Service
                  3308 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94610

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