Commis OR Ame?
I'm not sure if these are considered to be in the same category; I get the sense that Ame is the 'finer dining' of the two, with a slightly higher price tag to match, and the more unique/inventive table?
I'm somewhat limited in my meals as I will only be in town for 14 days and many of which are compromised or restricted by evening plans. I really wanted to try Ame while in SF though, and am starting to feel it's a mistake to pass it over. Currently I have dinner res at Commis in Oakland on our last night. I'm debating swapping that for Ame instead. Please see my food itinerary in the following thread to get a better idea of where we'll be eating out:
Should I trade in a meal at Commis for Ame, swap something else in place, or would you not recommend changing anything?
Of the two restaurants, which would you pick and why? Which is better representative of the local Bay Area food scene? Which of the two is the m\ore innovative and interesting choice?
Are they at all comparable?
Thanks for your help!
I think that Commis is one of the best restaurants in the Bay Area, and one of the most inventive as well. Ame is also very good. It's a tough call, but if you really want to see the avant garde in the Bay Area, stick with Commis.
Ame is elegant, refined California-Japanese with no sense of slapdash fusion. Their food is subtle and flavorful, served in a classy hotel restaurant space. The Chawan Mushi I had there has never been matched even in good Japanese restaurants I've tried. They do a lot of the classics of American Japanese fine dining very well. Their miso black cod is great. They do a lobster dumpling in a dashi broth that is just great. However, they are a little bit frozen. Their menu doesn't change that much, although it does respect seasons quite well. All in all, Ame is one of our better restaurants, which I've always loved.
Commis is a place that rivals the best of New York, Chicago or L.A. I'm an Oaklander and proud that we have Commis. In my opinion James Syhabout should be afforded the respect given to Grant Aschatz or Wylie Dusfresne. However, he doesn't use the same pyrotechnics of those guys, but rather cooks surprising and intelligent food that doesn't require chemicals and a laboratory. Expect food that focuses on vegetables. This is the Bay Area. I see the chef at the farmer's market every week while I'm shopping. Expect startling combinations, but they will work, or at least get you thinking. The plates will be interesting, the food will be tasty. Do please come to Oakland.
Ame has lovely, delicious food. You can't go wrong there. But Commis is modernist food, Bay Area style.
Thanks so much, Calny -- You've definitely sold me!
Daily market fresh and locally sourced with focus on interesting produce were definitely the elements that drew me initially and I'm absolutely going to stick with Commis now. In fact, it will be my very last dinner in the Bay Area and I'm really excited about this meal. I'm glad that we chose a place so distinctly representative of the local/regional scene for our last meal as that was very much important and what I'd attempted to do. Thanks so much!!
We'll have to come back and try Ame on a future trip!