Plum restaurant, Oakland lunch report w/ pics
I've been wanting to try Plum forever, had a day off & the restaurant was open for lunch on Thurs 12/30/10. Took Bart and got of 19th St Station walked about 4 blocks and it's there on the corner.
Went inside and felt awkward standing in front of place since they don't have a hostess up front. So everyone is looking at me once I get in.
Asked to be seated at the bar where all the action is. I saw the workers prepping the food.
FREE still or sparkling water. I picked Sparkling. Cup & carafe brought over.
Charlie Parker's parents happen to sit next to me, but I didn't know who he was until later when I asked my waitress. I got a picture of him, he's the guy in the middle w/ tattoos & towel in hand.
Chicory salad $9 - tasty & small. Lots of leafy greens w/ some slices of cheese & round things like couscous - whatever it was it was ok.
Beef cheek & oxtail burger $13 - it's nice though hard to eat since it falls about when you grab it, so I had to cut it & then tore it apart. Side of roasted potatoes were nice.
Milk chocolate mousse dessert $7 was tasty. Charlie Parker handed it to me so I guess he made it for me. Ohhh. The white chocolate parfait only made for dinner - darn it.
It was an expensive meal. They do have a 16% service fee for the workers that they split, then that additional service fee. My meal was $40.
One unisex bathroom in the back on the right. Toto American toilet, Dyson Airblade.
I'll go back for dinner.
2214 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612
We also went to Plum for lunch several weeks ago. We had similar items, felt the salad was boring, the beefcheek burger was messy and not very tasty (or at least for our taste). We ordered two soups which were wonderful. We also requested bread with the soup, which never came. We did not like the added on service charge (plus it is added post tax so the service charge is quite generous)-- since service was being ignored-- no one ever came over while eating our soup to ask how things were.
Plus the bench seating and shared tables could be fun, but as you age this getting up and down when others want to exit or enter the bench can be less than charming. We liked the way the place was decorated, plus the noise level was quiet and we could actually have a conversation.
We'll come back at dinner; perhaps it was the limitation of the lunch menu. We'd also go back for the soups-- which were quite good (brussell sprout and pancetta -- the other was a squash soup).
I had the Chicory Salad and Cheek and Tail Burger for lunch a couple weeks ago.
I agree with you that the chicory salad was nothing special. I believe the couscous like things you describe were bulgar ( at least back when I went). I watched the chef prepare the salad and noticed he used 3 different squeeze bottles but the only flavor that came through in the dressing was that of a very good olive oil. Not enough acid in the salad to balance the bitter chicories.
I LOVED the burger. Yes it is near impossible to eat it with your hands, but the flavor is really worth the effort. Knife and fork makes it last longer anyhow. I had sweet potato chips with mine, I would have preferred roasted potatoes.
Service was inattentive but pleasant. Daniel Patterson was expediting and doing soups when I was there. He asked me how my burger was but as my mouth was full I could only roll my eyes and nod.
I can't wait to go back. I love that they are open for lunch.