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Dec 22, 2011 03:31 PM

Downtown Oakland/Ogawa Square - AT NIGHT?

I need to host a business dinner after an all-day office meeting near Ogawa Square in Oakland. We are too large of a party to try and get into cars to drive, but are also concerned there might not be any "nice" or even semi-nice places open in the evening to accommodate a group of about ten people.


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  1. Perhaps Flora? I'd prefer Plum personally, but Grand Avenue's a bit of a schlep on foot from Ogawa Plaza, so that may not fly.

    1. 4 blocks south on Broadway is Old Oakland which has a few places like B restaurant, Trappist and Tamarindo, all pretty nice places. There's also Le Cheval's new place at Clay and 11th, full bar, pretty new. Otherwise 2nd on Flora.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ML8000

        I thought about Le Cheval, but most of the attendees are from the mid-west and those flavors are just "too bizarre" for them, I'm sad to say...

        I think Flora is the best bet as well - thanks, ML and Spatlese!

      2. You could go down to the waterfront, where there are a few seafood places: Scott's, Kincaid's, and Il Pescatore. The free shuttle bus runs in the evening on weekends, I think. Also a new place in that area: Bocanova.

        1 Reply
        1. re: GH1618

          There's also a new place in JLSq, Haven from the Coi and Plum people.

        2. Did Faz ever open in 1111Broadway (formerly Verbena)?

          3 Replies
          1. re: ola

            Not yet, but they look like they're pretty close.

            1. re: ola

              original opening date was 11-11-11. Now it's 12-31-11. They've done a couple of nice private events for us in the lobby space.

              1. re: ola

                I just did a business dinner for about 28 people at Faz; Very similar parameters to those in the OP; I chose Faz because it was very close to our meeting space (in City Center), and prices were within our budget. It was a success: service was good and so was the food, with generous portions. We did a fixed, limited menu with a shared appetizer plate, salad, choice of three entrees: a pomegranate chicken, a beef kabob, or the veggie kabob, and a dessert platter. Cost was mid-forties per person all included (tax, tip, service, etc.) I chose the beef kabob; was quite pleased that it came out medium rare, although I thought the veggie kabob looked the most appealing of the three dishes. My kebab came with bland rice pilaf. Dessert platter included cream puffs, so I was happy. Full bar (that was no host) made much of the group happy. Wine list has a good selection by the glass.

                They put us in the atrium area off the lobby, which worked well (less noisy than the restaurant proper, and had the feel of a private room even though it is just a separated area of the room). While I didn't think the food was exciting by any means, I'd definitely recommend them for a business function, or for drinks and a snack after work.

              2. If you want drinks afterward, head to Uptown which is on Telegraph Ave in the area near the refurbished Fox Oakland Theatre at 18th Street. Bar Make Westing (with 2 bocce ball courts), Dogwood, Cafe Van Kleef are all within a block or two of each other. Flora, which has been suggested, is at Telegraph and 19th Street.

                Here's a link to an article about that area in the New York Times last month:

                1 Reply
                1. re: zippo

                  Does anyone know if dogwood cures their own meat?