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Back to the '90s: Zza's and Spettro?

Ruth Lafler Apr 12, 2011 12:36 PM

I remember when Zza's and Spettro in Oakland's Grand Lake area were the hottest things in town (especially Spettro). Both are still in business, but I don't know anyone who has eaten at either of them in more than a decade.

Anything to report?

3355 Lakeshore Ave, Oakland, CA 94610

Zza's Trattoria
552 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94610

  1. c
    chompy Apr 13, 2011 09:12 PM

    Through a series of minor mishaps, my husband and I ended up at Zza's a couple of weeks ago. The food was nearly inedible. I had spaghetti and meatballs, tough gristly meatballs with no flavor, overcooked spaghetti. The only positive note was that he had two nice glasses of wine, but since I don't drink, I didn't have that small comfort.

    1. c
      Cheesy Oysters Apr 13, 2011 01:02 PM

      Yep we used to go to both of those back then and we thought they were the cat's meow. Ended up going to ZZa's a year ago when we were looking for something on a Saturday without a reservation and four kids in tow. It was fine but really nothing like the oodles of good restaurants we have to choose from these days.

      1. m
        ML8000 Apr 12, 2011 02:25 PM

        I've eaten at Zza's a couple of times in the past 5 years. My sister likes it for some reason. I thought it was mediocre both times...as in things were slightly off and you could do better at home with jarred pasta sauce. Even my nephew said it was meh. If a 14 y.o. kid (at least this kid) doesn't dig a big pile of pasta...something is wrong.

        I think it survives simply due to location and general vibe. It is a nice, casual, unpretentious place in a very good location, it's just too bad the food isn't better.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ML8000
          Scott M Apr 12, 2011 02:33 PM

          Both these places likely remain due to location and how family friendly they are, as you are more likely to go to Zza's with younger children than Sidebar. Same could be said for Spetto as opposed to Mezze a few doors down. So Zza's and Spettro fill a particular niche.

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

          3355 Lakeshore Ave, Oakland, CA 94610

          1. re: Scott M
            ML8000 Apr 12, 2011 02:47 PM

            It's very easy to get a table for a large group at Zza w/o reservations. That is very handy and the family friendly aspect is very true. Still the food...just not very good and I had two chances to verify.

        2. Scott M Apr 12, 2011 01:54 PM

          It has probably been 4-5 years since I have been as well. I thought Sprettro was sold a while back, but it is essentially the same as it was before. I always went for the mussels, a salad and pizza/pasta. The entrees were just too hit or miss for me. My favorite salads were the Marblehead salad, Caesar salad, Piedmont salad and Booberry salad. Favorite appetizer was the mussels. Favorite pasta was Laura's rigatoni, favorite entree was Diego's Chilis. The Lofaro and Yosemite pizza were fair but none as good as what you can get a Dopo, Boot and Shoe, Marzano, Pizzaiolo, etc. With the abundace of pizza and pasta in the East Bay I stopped going to either Spettro or Zza's. Spettro used to have no corkage fee but not sure if that changed.

          5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

          4293 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

          3355 Lakeshore Ave, Oakland, CA 94610

          4214 Park Boulevard, Oakland, CA 94602

          1. Robert Lauriston Apr 12, 2011 12:47 PM

            I ate at Spettro in 2005. I don't think it had changed much.


            3355 Lakeshore Ave, Oakland, CA 94610

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