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30th Birthday Dinner in Oakland / near BART?

n
nawlinsnewyawk Sep 8, 2010 01:21 PM

My sister got stuck spending her 30th birthday working. She'll be at a conference in a hotel in Oakland. Can you please recommend a good celebration spot that is not too difficult to reach? Thanks in advance!

  1. Scott M Sep 8, 2010 01:37 PM

    Flora or maybe even Luka's

    1 Reply
    1. re: Scott M
      Scott M Sep 8, 2010 01:38 PM

      Links

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      Luka's Taproom
      2221 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

      Flora
      1900 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94612

    2. Ruth Lafler Sep 8, 2010 02:35 PM

      Could you be a little more specific about what kind of restaurant experience you're looking for? Oakland is undergoing a restaurant renaissance, and there are lots of good choices.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Ruth Lafler
        p
        pockyjunkie Sep 8, 2010 07:15 PM

        Echoing what Ruth said. There's a range of spots a 30-year-old would like, depending on her personality and food preferences. The new free downtown Oakland shuttle runs every 15 minutes and there is a ton of stuff near the convention center (assuming it's there).

        If I was taking my 30-year-old self, I would probably choose to go to Flora or Mua. If she'd prefer drinks and small plates, Tamarindo might be a good choice. Pican has fancy comfort food and great whiskey and bourbon drinks. There's Levende East and B, neither my first choice, but can be solid standbys.

        I would avoid Luka's - the bar can be fine, but the food is pub food, not so much for celebration. Personally, I would also avoid Ozumo (unless she's really interested in sushi) as I find it overpriced and overrated for the quality.

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        Levende East
        827 Washington St., Oakland, CA 94607

        Tamarindo
        468 8th St, Oakland, CA 94607

        B Restaurant & Bar
        499 9th St, Oakland, CA 94607

        Mua
        2442A Webster Street, Oakland, CA 94612

        Ozumo
        2251 Broadway Avenue, Oakland, CA 94612

        Pican Restaurant
        2295 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

        1. re: pockyjunkie
          achefsbest Sep 8, 2010 07:18 PM

          Thumbs up to Tamarindo.

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          Tamarindo
          468 8th St, Oakland, CA 94607

      2. mariacarmen Sep 8, 2010 10:19 PM

        Wood Tavern in Rockridge, near Rockridge Bart.

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        Wood Tavern
        6317 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

        1. n
          nawlinsnewyawk Sep 9, 2010 09:03 AM

          Thanks for the suggestions!

          Let me try to give you more of a sense of what she likes... Some of her favorite meals: August in New Orleans ( American fine dining), L'Atelier de Joel Robouchon in Paris (inventive French with Asian influence), Diner in Brooklyn (seasonal menu that changes daily) and WD-50 in New York (wildly creative).

          She lives in San Diego, which, from what I understand, does not have as exciting a food scene as SF. She will be dining with a good friend, so while they are not opposed to spending money for a great meal, the friend is probably not looking to spend $150+ per person. So, we're looking for something in between neighborhood bistro and COI.

          Flora looks nice. Pican is a possibility - she likes Southern food (we're from New Orleans). Luka's seems a bit too casual. And since she eats a lot of great Mexican in San Diego, I would say no to Tamarindo. I thought Commis had potential - any thought on that?

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          Tamarindo
          468 8th St, Oakland, CA 94607

          Pican Restaurant
          2295 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

          Commis
          3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

          8 Replies
          1. re: nawlinsnewyawk
            a
            abstractpoet Sep 9, 2010 10:43 AM

            If she likes inventive food, then by all means Commis would be a great choice. It is my favorite special occasion restaurant in Oakland (or, really, anywhere). The chef incorporates elements of molecular gastronomy, though I wouldn't say that that's necessarily the focus.

            Lots of reports on this board--here's mine: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/670594

            Best seats in the house are at the chef's counter, though to sit there I believe you now need to order the 6-course prix-fixe (for $95 a person, as opposed to the three-course at $59). With wine, that might put her over budget. Though when I last called, they'd told me they were planning to move toward a four-course menu across the board, but I don't know when that's going to start.

            Getting there by BART isn't quite as convenient, as it would involve a bit of walking -- I would probably just spring for a cab from the hotel.

            Pican and Wood Tavern are also great choices.

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            Commis
            3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

            1. re: abstractpoet
              Robert Lauriston Sep 9, 2010 11:16 AM

              The 51 bus stops a few blocks from any of the downtown Oakland / Jack London Square hotels and from Commis.

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              Commis
              3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                Ruth Lafler Sep 9, 2010 11:50 AM

                Or you can take the 12, which goes from downtown all the way to Piedmont Ave. -- it's longer, but quite a bit more scenic, since it goes around the lake.

                1. re: Ruth Lafler
                  s
                  skwid Sep 9, 2010 04:19 PM

                  Commis is closed from September 6th through the 15th for a break so if her birthday is within the next week commis is not available.

                  There are plenty of places in the Rockridge area along college avenue. Someone already mentioned Wood tavern, I always like Oliveto (which is having their Tomato dinners next week), Marzano can also be pretty decent.

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                  Oliveto Cafe
                  5655 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

                  Marzano
                  4214 Park Boulevard, Oakland, CA 94602

                  Commis
                  3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

                  1. re: skwid
                    Ruth Lafler Sep 9, 2010 04:24 PM

                    Also in Rockridge, A Cote.

                    Much as I like to boost Oakland, I'm surprised that no one has mentioned that if you're going to get on BART, you can just as easily go into downtown San Francisco -- from 12th St. it doesn't take much longer to get to Embarcadero than it does to Rockridge (less than 15 minutes) and there are more trains. That would open up options like Perbacco, Boulevard, Town Hall, etc., etc.

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                    Perbacco
                    230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                    A Cote
                    5478 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

                    Town Hall Restaurant
                    342 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105

            2. re: nawlinsnewyawk
              JasmineG Sep 9, 2010 11:49 AM

              From what she likes, she'd love Commis (I went there for my birthday last year and had a great experience). Also, when is her birthday? Plum in Oakland is supposed to open soon (they keep saying "mid-September" though no official date that I've heard yet), and it seems like her kind of place as well -- basically a neighborhood bistro version of Coi.

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              Commis
              3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

              1. re: JasmineG
                Robert Lauriston Sep 9, 2010 12:39 PM

                The Chronicle reported this morning that "Plum is very close to opening" but apparently they still have to pass some inspections.

                http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/paolo...

                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                  JasmineG Sep 9, 2010 02:26 PM

                  Awesome, thanks for this.

            3. n
              nawlinsnewyawk Sep 10, 2010 08:46 AM

              Thanks again! The SF Chowhound community is so helpful! Her birthday is Sept 30th and I was able to book a table at Commis. I'll call to see if the counter is available. She'll be in town for a few days so I'll give her your other recommendations to try as well!

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              Commis
              3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

              1 Reply
              1. re: nawlinsnewyawk
                t
                tanglenet Sep 10, 2010 09:25 AM

                Commis is an excellent choice. Since it's her birthday, tell her to take a cab. It will only be about $6-8 each way.

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                Commis
                3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

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