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Miss Ollie's - Oakland

Robert Lauriston Aug 6, 2012 07:06 AM

Sarah Kirnon, former chef of Hibiscus and Front Porch, is doing occasional pop-ups gearing up for opening Miss Ollie's in Swan's Market this fall.


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  1. escargot3 RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 6, 2012 09:24 AM

    The pop-up this past Friday nite at Stag's as part of Oakland Art Murmur was wonderful: her signature fried chicken was a hit. I also enjoyed the salt cod with roasted veggies and ackee.

    Great in-gathering of people there for a party. But don't go if you're in a rush.

    Oh, and the zing of her housemade hot sauce...brilliant.

    2 Replies
    1. re: escargot3
      j mather RE: escargot3 Dec 4, 2012 10:18 AM

      Official opening is today at 11:30 am. I'm sorry to miss the fried chicken today, but I'll try for curry goat tomorrow. Menu for the week includes:

      Tuesday: Fried Chicken 12
      Wednesday: Curry Goat 12.50
      Thursday: Oxtail 12.50
      Friday: Fish Friday AQ
      Chopped salad/hearts of palm, cucumber, avocado, radishes, hen egg, crispy shallots 8 / 10
      Creole ham/sweet potato salad, olives, capers, aioli 7.50
      Lamb patties 3.50 / 6
      Salt fish & ackee/ plantains 7 / 14
      Sancocho/cassava, carrots, green bananas 9
      Piri Piri pork shoulder/ field greens 9
      Doubles/curry chickpeas, squash, bara bread 4 / 8
      Rice & Peas 3.50
      Plaintains Garlic Oil 4.50
      Buttered Sweet Potatoes 3.00
      Pikliz 2.50
      Greens 3.00

      1. re: j mather
        Robert Lauriston RE: j mather Dec 4, 2012 10:29 AM

        It's actually not in Swan's Market proper but at 901 Washington, the space on the corner that I think was most recently Jesso's.

    2. JasmineG RE: Robert Lauriston Mar 6, 2013 03:00 PM

      I've been to Miss Ollie's twice now (both on Saturdays for fried chicken), and I absolutely love what they're doing there. All of the food that I've had has been great: the first time I was there the chicken came with black eyed peas, greens, and two hush puppies, and the second time it came with plaintains and an avocado salad with a carrot slaw. Along with four pieces of perfectly fried chicken, it's a crazy steal for $11. I also had some of the red beans and rice (delicious), the salt fish salad (unusual and great), and the creole doughnuts (fantastic, and perfectly fried). Everything I've had is really delicious, and wow do they know their way around a fryer, but the fried chicken is really some of the best in the Bay Area. Perfectly crispy on the outside, lots of flavor, well seasoned and well cooked on the inside, and with that little heart of jerk seasoning that Sarah Kirnon is known for. Oh, and the housemade hot sauce is great too -- lots of heat, and the kind that works well with their food, but interesting flavor as well.

      I can't wait to go back to try the fish friday (has anyone tried it?) and the Oxtail. The service is also super friendly, which I really appreciate in a new place, and the space is low key and comfortable. I'm glad that there are so many good spots coming to that little corner of Oakland.

      1. Robert Lauriston RE: Robert Lauriston Mar 18, 2013 11:36 AM

        Went Saturday night at 9 (dinner hours Friday and Saturday are 5:30-10:30, no reservations) and they had stopped seating new parties. Apparently they got slammed early and ran out of food.

        Nice to see they're doing well, but if you want to be sure to get in, maybe go on the early side.

        1. Robert Lauriston RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 10, 2013 06:03 PM

          They now have their liquor license and a full bar.

          22 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston
            mariacarmen RE: Robert Lauriston May 15, 2013 04:32 PM

            Visiting CH-er grayelf was just there and loved it. i can't wait to try this place, slated to go mid-June. anyone tried the Bul Jol? I'm a chili head - is really super hot?

            1. re: mariacarmen
              Robert Lauriston RE: mariacarmen May 15, 2013 05:11 PM

              I've had some pleasantly spicy dishes she's made but nothing super hot except the pepper sauce.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                mariacarmen RE: Robert Lauriston May 15, 2013 08:32 PM

                thx. good to know i can adjust with the sauce if need be.

                1. re: mariacarmen
                  grayelf RE: mariacarmen May 16, 2013 06:26 PM

                  Bul Jo was not hot at all but quite tasty. Make sure you go on a day when they have the fried chicken. And don't miss the pickle plate either : -).

                  1. re: grayelf
                    karenfinan RE: grayelf May 16, 2013 06:51 PM

                    I am going next Tues. with my coworkers for my birthday- really looking forward to it and will report after, glad to have the tips:-)

                    1. re: karenfinan
                      grayelf RE: karenfinan May 16, 2013 06:56 PM

                      I am sure you will enjoy it as it really has that ineffable combo of great food, lovely staff and comfy vibe that seems to work for a wide range of patrons. When we were there early on a Saturday evening, the bar was full, the tables had happy people at them and the servers, 'tenders and greeter made it seem like a party at someone's house. I did find my one taste of the pulled pork a wee bit on the sweet side but that could be my palate. Loved it and would be there once a week if I lived in the Bay Area.

                      1. re: grayelf
                        Windy RE: grayelf May 16, 2013 11:34 PM

                        Glad you made it.

                    2. re: grayelf
                      mariacarmen RE: grayelf May 17, 2013 11:14 AM

                      we're going this coming Tuesday, after all - it looks like we can get the chicken - it's on the regular menu... i think i want one of everything!

                      1. re: mariacarmen
                        karenfinan RE: mariacarmen May 17, 2013 05:50 PM

                        Me too!

                        1. re: karenfinan
                          mariacarmen RE: karenfinan May 17, 2013 08:49 PM

                          i know, i saw that! i'll look out for the bday girl and say hey!

                          1. re: mariacarmen
                            karenfinan RE: mariacarmen May 18, 2013 01:20 PM

                            Very cool! It will be great to meet a poster I've been reading for a long time:-)

                            1. re: karenfinan
                              mariacarmen RE: karenfinan May 20, 2013 01:34 AM

                              Aw, yay! Looking forward to it!

                2. re: mariacarmen
                  Windy RE: mariacarmen May 16, 2013 11:32 PM

                  No, not hot. Sarah's coconut habanero sauce is delicious, but not that spicy either.

                  The fried chicken is most days now, I think.

                  Don't miss the ackee. Drinks were good too.

                  1. re: Windy
                    mariacarmen RE: Windy May 17, 2013 11:15 AM

                    ok, too bad about not that spicy, but it all sounds delicious regardless.

                    definitely getting the ackee! thanks!

                    1. re: mariacarmen
                      Robert Lauriston RE: mariacarmen May 17, 2013 11:38 AM

                      The sauce that was on the table Thursday was spicier than any house-made hot sauce I've had in any restaurant, including the habanero salsa El Huarache Azteca serves on request with the barbacoa.

                      It wasn't quite as hot as the bottle I bought at Hibiscus, but that stuff is so hot that if I added more than a teaspoon to a big pot of stew some people would find it inedibly hot. Which is why I still have half the bottle after I'm not sure how many years.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                        mariacarmen RE: Robert Lauriston May 17, 2013 11:42 AM

                        can't wait to try!

                      2. re: mariacarmen
                        Windy RE: mariacarmen May 17, 2013 11:53 AM

                        Sarah posts highlights from the changing menu on her Facebook page. Ackee wasn't on the menu last week, but who knows. The oxtails look great too.

                        The cocktail with rhum agricole and walnut bitters and absinthe was very refreshing.

                        I don't eat a lot of fried chicken and didn't like the version she made at The Front Porch. But the pieces we had at Miss Ollie's were worth every calorie. Stuffed with an herb mixture.

                        1. re: Windy
                          mariacarmen RE: Windy May 17, 2013 12:20 PM

                          thanks for the FB tip. the ackee is on the regular lunch menu.... hoping it's there when we go. but heck, i'll go again, after all these stellar reports.

                          I liked the chicken at Front Portch, although I didn't think it was "the best ever." this one sounds amazing. as does that cocktail. i can't wait.

                          ETA: hmmm... wasn't able to find a FB page for Ms. Ollie's, or for Sarah Kirnon....

                          ETA Again: i don't understand this Bauer review - he seems to love it but gives it 2.5 stars? truly, i don't read bauer reviews, so maybe i'm just unfamiliar with his standards.


                          1. re: mariacarmen
                            Robert Lauriston RE: mariacarmen May 17, 2013 12:35 PM


                            1. re: Robert Lauriston
                              mariacarmen RE: Robert Lauriston May 17, 2013 12:50 PM

                              how'd i miss that?? thanks!

                            2. re: mariacarmen
                              drewskiSF RE: mariacarmen May 17, 2013 01:54 PM

                              click on the 'f' at the bottom of the Miss Ollie's website.

                              edit: nevermind. Robert posted the URL

                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                moto RE: mariacarmen May 17, 2013 04:26 PM

                                just a guess, but bauer appears to apply the same star rating to places whether they're mid-priced neighborhood spots or fine dining with ten people involved with every plate leaving the kitchen. he's no liberal when it comes to giving even three stars to a place, and for most of us in this area the value of his opinion varies with the type of cuisine and target clientele of a place.

                    2. k
                      karenfinan RE: Robert Lauriston May 21, 2013 05:12 PM

                      Had a fabulous lunch there today. I went with 5 coworkers and we all had the fried chicken. We also had pickled veggies, pickled eggs, and the creole donuts. The chicken came with green beans, rice and "peas" ( beans) and carrot salad. I thought everything was tasty. The carrot salad was not sweet, which I really appreciated. The pickled veggies were excellent, and included okra - a fave of mine, beets, cauliflower and asparagus. The chicken was perfectly done, one white piece and one dark, with a little less crust than I like- personal preference- but cooked perfectly. The herbs under the crust were a great touch. I also enjoyed the atmosphere. It was lunch time and lively, but we could still hear each other easily. Oh and I really loved the hot sauce- hot but not too hot, and very tasty. A great place to celebrate my birthday! Only disappointment, didn't see Mariacarmen- were you there?

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: karenfinan
                        mariacarmen RE: karenfinan May 22, 2013 09:58 AM

                        I was there, but for dinner! i didn't realize you were going for lunch (i work in the City, I can't go for lunch). belated happy birthday!

                        We got there around 7:45 p.m., got seated right away. for cocktails, we ordered the salty dog, made with Jamaican Ting and Hendriks - really nice and tart. For dinner, we ordered the pickles (which we loved), a fantastic salad with a soft-set hardboiled egg, fried oysters (incredibly good - crispy, creamy, and non-greasy, and we got two each), frisee and perfectly cooked shrimp in a delicious vinaigrette (a stand-out dish for me), the pholourie (so perfect. not dry or doughy, just right, especially with the tamarind sauce.). We also got the chicken, which we loved - i too loved the addition of the herbs, gave each bite such freshness. my only wee complaint - it was fried a little dark for me, i prefer a little more golden, but other than that it was really, really good - very tender and juicy and flavorable. splashed with a good amount of the bottled habanero sauce - which is hot but edible. and the accompaniments were great too: potato salad made with aioli, capers and parsley (what a wonderful, rich, tart and creamy combo), and the carrot salad with golden raisins (agreed, not too sweet, very refreshing). and even though we were stuffed, we could not resist the ackee and salt cod. i have to say though, that this highly touted dish was not my favorite. maybe i was just too full by then, but the ackee didn't have a ton of flavor (just texture), and the salt cod was almost indiscernible (i think it was flaked, and maybe that's typical). it wasn't bad, it just wasn't the greatest. mostly it tasted of the plantains and sweet peppers, which were good.

                        service was great, loved the space. and a bargain for such quality food. I'll definitely go back.

                        1. re: mariacarmen
                          grayelf RE: mariacarmen May 22, 2013 10:09 AM

                          Was the ackee a special? I didn't see it on the menu. Next time maybe try the bul jol if you are hankering for bacalao and you loved the phoulorie. The salt cod on that dish was indeed flaked but it was very discernible. Just no heat in the scotch bonnets. The deep fried bread is great, along with the avocado sauce that is not mentioned on the menu description.

                          1. re: grayelf
                            mariacarmen RE: grayelf May 22, 2013 10:36 AM

                            it was on our menu last night. the menu online was not the menu we had. i will definitely try the bul jol sometime.

                          2. re: mariacarmen
                            karenfinan RE: mariacarmen May 22, 2013 10:29 AM

                            Ha! good thing I didn't go table to table, saying " ARe you Mariacarmen?

                            1. re: karenfinan
                              mariacarmen RE: karenfinan May 22, 2013 10:36 AM

                              and i was looking around at all the tables to see if anyone looked a year older!

                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                karenfinan RE: mariacarmen May 22, 2013 10:38 AM

                                oh, but I don't look a year older ;-)

                                1. re: karenfinan
                                  mariacarmen RE: karenfinan May 22, 2013 12:17 PM

                                  haha! i never would have found you!

                        2. m
                          Mr_Happy RE: Robert Lauriston May 30, 2013 12:33 PM

                          Went to Miss Ollie's last night.


                          Phoularie - fried chickpea fritters - this was very good, served with a salty chutney sauce and some greens.

                          Tripe - reminded me of an italian tripe dish, with peppers and onions. Good, maybe could have used a touch more salt. This was a large portion, came with 4 slices of bread.

                          Fried Chicken - This is almost half a chicken and came in four pieces: the breast cut in half, a thigh, and a drumstick. The dark meat was excellent, crispy skin and tender, juicy meat. The white meat wasn't nearly as good though, too dry. It would be great if they offered an all dark-meat option. This was served with a carrot raisin slaw and a nice potato salad.

                          Pulled Pork - served with rice, beans, fried plantains, and a fresh bright slaw that was a bit spicy. Very good, possibly the best thing we had.

                          Also had a rum punch cocktail that was very good.

                          I like this place a lot, and the prices are also very reasonable.

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