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Sep 3, 2014 11:50 AM

Impressing out-of-towners in the East Bay - discussion

Opening a new topic to respond to questions in the Q&A topic of the same name.

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  1. Responding to :

    Fusebox has a sample menu on Facebook:

    Some detailed descriptions of meals at Commis:

    Osmanthus topic:

    Mua topic (I wouldn't take a visitor there because it's usually too loud):

    Bocanova topic:

    2 Replies
      1. re: nsxtasy

        sample Commis menu w/ wine pairings

    1. The original comment has been removed
      1. I’m back from my trip. I checked out sample menus on websites for many East Bay restaurants, narrowed down the selection to five choices for each of the two dinners, then left the final selection to my dining companions. And those final choices turned out to be two sister restaurants, LOL!

        First was Bocanova, in Jack London Square in Oakland. It was excellent. They feature “pan American” cuisine, mostly Latin American with a large representation from South America. Many of the dishes had great combinations of main ingredients (such as the duck and shrimp green pozole), and the combinations of strong spices were highly appealing. The soups were the standouts here. And for those who enjoy desserts, the warm chocolate croissant bread pudding was pretty darn amazing.

        The other East Bay dinner was at Jack’s, a seafood restaurant which the owners of Bocanova recently opened right around the corner from Bocanova. This was another very good choice. The mussels were outstanding, plump and full of flavor; the preparation includes fennel sausage (which I’m sure could be omitted for vegetarians). The grilled octopus was good, but somewhat overcooked, a bit chewier than the best preparations. Their brown butter cinnamon croissant bread pudding was also outstanding, almost as good as the chocolate croissant bread pudding next door at Bocanova.

        I’ve uploaded photos of the exterior and interior of both restaurants. Thanks again for all who posted suggestions, here and in the original Q&A topic.

        4 Replies
        1. re: nsxtasy

          Jack's is new and I haven't heard much about it, so thanks for the report. Bocanova is the kind of restaurant I would expect to be not as good as it is, if that makes any sense. It's a big restaurant in a touristy area that I would expect to have somewhat corporate/dumbed down food, and yet it's quite good.

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            I think Jack London Square isn't touristy enough that places that aren't right on the water can get by with mediocre food.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              The Old Spaghetti Factory was in that location (or approximately that location) before.

          2. I just posted about a very recent, fabulous meal at Haven. This would now be on my list.

            +1 on Camino, all of the Shyabout places, Ippuku

            I'd add Southie (I actually prefer it to big sister Wood Tavern though it's more casual) and Tamarindo