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Need help with Oakland recs

b
bakerboyz Jun 23, 2011 12:54 PM

I am staying 3 nights at the Oakland Marriott City Center (with 3 more nights, 1 on Nob Hill and 2 in Sonoma). During the day I will be traveling into SF so not concerned about lunch. So far I have reservations for 2 dinners in SF at Perbacco and Slanted Door. I also have 2 reservations in Sonoma at Cafe La Haye and the Harvest Moon Cafe. Can someone help me out with Oakland recommendations (not too far from hotel as we won't have car but taxi or Bart is fine)? Some places I have looked at are:

Barlata
B Restaurant
Pizzaiolo
Bocanova
Wood Tavern
Sidebar

Any thoughts about these or other places in Oakland? Thanks.

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Slanted Door
Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

Perbacco
230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

Pizzaiolo
5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

Wood Tavern
6317 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

Cafe La Haye
140 E Napa St, Sonoma, CA 95476

Harvest Moon Cafe
487 First Street West, Sonoma, CA 95476

Barlata
4901 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

Bocanova
55 Webster Street, Oakland, CA 94607

  1. lexdevil Jun 23, 2011 09:53 PM

    Consider doing one cheap dinner to allow you to increase the budget for another. If this works for you, I would do Plum (as recommended by all), Chai Thai (great, cheap Thai just the other side of the lake from your hotel), and Commis (Oakland's only Michelin star). Commis and Chai Thai are not BART-able, but Chai Thai is just 1.5 miles away (yes, you could walk it), and Commis is worth taking a taxi for. Commis is $68 for five courses, but you can get out of Chai Thai for under $20, all in. One nice thing about both Commis and Plum is that you may be able to snag a counter seat, where you can watch everything being prepared. Assuming you're dining solo, this can provide welcome entertainment.

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    Commis
    3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

    2 Replies
    1. re: lexdevil
      bbulkow Jun 23, 2011 10:35 PM

      Commis requires reservations. Plum seems to require reservations from about 7 to 9 most nights.

      Slanted Door is closer to the Marriot than to Nob Hill. SD is right across from the Embarco bart station, and the Oakland Marriot's right at 12ths street. Consider one of your oakland nights at SD, and add one of the many, many amazing SF restaurants.

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      Commis
      3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

      1. re: bbulkow
        a
        abstractpoet Jun 24, 2011 12:05 AM

        Oakland's where it's at right now - many would argue it's an even more vibrant restaurant scene than SF these days.

        I wouldn't trade Plum or Commis (or any number of other restaurants) for Slanted Door, especially when you're already staying in Oakland.

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        Slanted Door
        Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

        Commis
        3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

    2. Windy Jun 23, 2011 06:57 PM

      If you're in Oakland on a Friday night, check out the festivities at the recently reopened Oakland Museum. The exhibit halls are open, and we listened to music out in the sculpture garden while enjoying shots of bourbon.

      Unlike San Francisco, Oakland is warm and sunny at dusk. It was fantastic.

      1. a
        abstractpoet Jun 23, 2011 02:11 PM

        Definite 3rd on Plum.

        I like B, Barlata, and Sidebar fine, but wouldn't send out-of-towners with a limited number of meals there. Bocanova is noteworthy for its Sunday brunch (w/ the Jack London Square farmers market going on right outside), but then again, I'd rather have brunch at Plum.

        Also in the uptown area, I think Pican is worth a mention for California-fied Southern food. Good fried chicken, great pork chop. Or sit at the chef's counter at Commis (take a cab there) if you want to have an upscale blowout dinner - my favorite special occasion place.

        Your hotel is pretty much right outside of Chinatown, so that gives you great quick/cheap options for breakfast/snacks. Banh mi at Cam Huong or B C Deli. $0.50 egg custard tarts at Ruby King. Good baked pork buns and other takeout dim sum at Sun Sing.

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        Cam Huong Cafe
        920 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94607

        B C Deli Sandwiches
        818 Franklin St, Oakland, CA 94607

        Ruby King Bakery Cafe
        718 Franklin St, Oakland, CA 94607

        Sun Sing Pastry Dim Sum
        382 8th St, Oakland, CA 94607

        Barlata
        4901 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

        Pican Restaurant
        2295 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

        Commis
        3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

        Bocanova
        55 Webster Street, Oakland, CA 94607

        Plum
        2214 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

        1 Reply
        1. re: abstractpoet
          drewskiSF Jun 24, 2011 09:41 AM

          Pican's smoked Gouda mac & cheese is amazing. The fried chicken was good, but the pieces were tiny.

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          Pican Restaurant
          2295 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

        2. p
          pcdarnell Jun 23, 2011 01:26 PM

          If you decide on Wood Tavern you should be sure to make a reservation well in advance. I love that place, but it's not something you can do at the spur of the moment.
          I have been to Hibiscus twice in the past couple of months and really liked it. It is located at 1745 San Pablo Ave. I had the most tender ribeye steak the last time I went. I have heard their fried chicken is good, but I haven't tried it. I also got their bread pudding both times and it was terrific. They have a full bar and a nice wine selection.
          I also like Flora, which is on Telegraph at about 17th. Both are in walking distance from your hotel.

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          Wood Tavern
          6317 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

          1. Ruth Lafler Jun 23, 2011 01:05 PM

            You left off Plum -- probably the most exciting restaurant in Oakland these days and an easy BART ride (one stop) or bus ride (a few minutes straight down Broadway). That's a solid list -- I'd say Sidebar is a step down from the others (you'd have to taxi, and if you're going to taxi, you might as well go to Wood Tavern or Pizzaiolo). B is good and walkable, and there are some other fun things to do right around it. If I'm reading this correctly, you're planning two dinners in Oakland (one night you have a reservation in SF), so I'd go for Plum and the Old Oakland crawl (B, Trappist, Liege, Pacific Coast Brewing, etc.).

            You haven't said where you're coming from and what price range you're looking at, which might affect the recommendations slightly.

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            Pizzaiolo
            5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

            Wood Tavern
            6317 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

            4 Replies
            1. re: Ruth Lafler
              b
              bakerboyz Jun 23, 2011 03:05 PM

              Coming from Boston and doing 3 dinners in Oakland. Price range I would say no more than $25/entree and anything less. My itinerary is: first 3 nights in Oakland, then 1 night staying on Nob Hill (Slanted Door), next 2 nights in Sonoma, followed by a return to SF where we eat at Perbacco @ 6 PM followed by the "red eye" back to Boston.

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              Perbacco
              230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

              1. re: bakerboyz
                Ruth Lafler Jun 23, 2011 03:12 PM

                Thanks for the clarification. Coming from Boston, it might be worth heading across the street into Chinatown. Alternatively, you could take BART into Fruitvale for some real Mexican (if you're interested, we can give you some more specific recs).

                1. re: Ruth Lafler
                  b
                  bakerboyz Jun 23, 2011 03:47 PM

                  Would love recs for authentic Mexican. Plan on doing 1 dim sum lunch in SF @ Yank Sing and perhaps a Bahn Mi sandwich and/or burrito in Oakland or SF, also.

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                  Yank Sing
                  49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

                  1. re: bakerboyz
                    Ruth Lafler Jun 23, 2011 05:21 PM

                    Abstractpoet's recs for banh mi are good, and walking distance from your hotel. In Fruitvale I like El Huarache Azteca. But it can also be fun to do a street food crawl. Here's a thread for a recent one: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/728770

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                    El Huarache Azteca
                    3842 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

            2. JasmineG Jun 23, 2011 12:57 PM

              Wood Tavern and Pizzaiolo are both great choices, though I'd also add Plum (very close to your hotel) to the top of that list.

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              Pizzaiolo
              5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

              Wood Tavern
              6317 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

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