It’s here! Oakland’s 2015 Restaurant Week starts today with more than 75 of the city’s most popular restaurants participating this year. What is restaurant week you ask? It’s a week (well…10 days) where participating restaurants offer a prix-fixe menu for lunch, dinner, or both at either $20,$30, or $40 depending. Some offer killer deals with these menus, but regardless it is a great excuse to get out and not only try someplace new but to also try a dish that you wouldn’t have tried otherwise.
There are so many options this year that it feels a little overwhelming, so we have come up with a baker’s dozen of some of the places we would love to check out over the next week and a half. We hope you have a chance to get out there and try some of the great food that Oakland has to offer!
*Note: if you are going to a fairly popular restaurant it is highly recommended that you make a reservation. Especially this week!
Pork Chop Tonkatsu
Scallion Furikake Rice
West Oakland Tan Sundae
We have been dying to try this place since it opened last year. The brain child of James Syhabout (Commis, Box and Bells), it pairs the beers of the Linden Street Brewery with new twists on traditional “beer food” from around the world. The Caesar Salad Popcorn has been raved about and seems to be bringing on a great new trend of flavored popcorns showing up in many bars around the area.
Three mini-sausages paired with pours of three West Coast beers
($15 without the beer pairing)
Hog’s Apothecary has been a part of the renaissance that the Jewel Box area has received lately. With great to-go, an ever changing 40 tap beer system and innovative food, it is not to be missed.
Parsnip puree, parsley oil
Local Dungeness crab cake, chicory and citrus salad, green goddess
House-made burrata, winter farro salad
Satsuma mandarin sorbet
Grilled Mount Lassen trout, Manila clams, artichoke barigoule, spinach
Potato gnocchi, chicken and mushroom ragu, marjoram, grana
Caramel pudding, candied nuts, whipped cream, Maldon salt
Flora is a beautiful art deco restaurant that will transport you back to the twenties. The best advice we can give you is to get a cocktail with your meal. They make beautiful and tasty drinks that will pair well with whatever you order. In our opinion this is the best deal of restaurant week. Normally, the cost of the meal they offer comes in at around $65, and the selection they offer this week shows off the variety of their menu.
House Made Iced Tea or Lemonade
Plancha Buns (sausage or shiitake mushroom)
Corn Dog Tots
Grassfed beef burger and fries
Sausage sandwich and chicken chicharrones
Portobello Burger and fries
Shrimp Fenix (Ensenada-style shrimp tacos)
Curried Vegetable Wrap and macaroni salad
Nutella-stuffed grilled sweet bun
The Half-Orange is another one we’ve been dying to try since it opened last year. The burger has been raved about and they source all their food locally. Also, they have 8 taps of local beer available and on Mondays they are $2.98 plus tax…so maybe this is Monday dinner, sorted.
Cornmeal fritter with wild flower honey and melted butter
Salt cod fritter with fresh lime and scotch bonnet vinegar
Island style goat with bittermelon sauce, shado beni, and Bara bread
Miss Ollie’s fried chicken, red beans and rice, and pikliz
Creole doughnuts with allspice cream
Rum and raisin bread pudding with condensed milk ice cream
Delicious and flavorful southern cooking can be found at Miss Ollie’s. You really can’t go wrong with anything on this menu…but of course we recommend the fried chicken.
Som Tum Lao (Green papaya salad)
Kratoog Muu Mak Kham Piak with sticky rice (Crisp pork riblets)
Condensed milk ice cream sugar cone
The second of James Syhabout’s brainchildren on this list. His delicious southeast Asian street food is the talk of the town and totally lives up to the hype. It is also one of the few $20 dinner options on the list.
Bubble and Squeak with smoked trout pate and creme fraiche
Braised pork pie
The new kid on the block on Park Avenue, The Growler’s Arms is a restaurant we are excited to experience. They serve traditional English pub fare and this is a great way to try it all.
Gigante Bean Soup
Oysters with Champaigne Mignonette
Pan Roasted Chicken Breast
Gratineed Mac & Cheese
Acorn Squash Creme Brulee
Luka’s is an Oakland classic and we love that they have a $20 dinner menu this year. They are offering some of their tried and true dishes like the Mac & Cheese and the churros. But truly, you can’t go wrong with anything on their menu.
Homestead ($40 Dinner)
Liberty farms duck cooked in the fireplace
Homestead is a cozy restaurant on Piedmont Avenue that have received accolades for it’s personal environment and home made quality of food. Definitely a place to check out.
Seison ($30 Dinner)
Baby Spinach Salad
Traditional Caesar Salad
Roasted Red Pepper Clam Chowder
Rib Eye Au
Chicken Cilantro Pesto Fettuccine
Wild Mushroom Risotto
Banana Bread Pudding
Plus a bottle of the house wine
Seison in Old Oakland is contemporary California cuisine that is fantastic. The perk about this one for restaurant week? The bottle of wine you get with your meal.
Jack’s Oyster Bar ($20 Lunch/$40 Dinner)
House-cured cod brandade
Pacific Sand Dabs
Grilled Mahi Mahi
Soft-serve vanilla ice cream
Baked Oysters Rockefeller
Mussel and Sweet Potato Chowder
Peppered Ahi Tuna
Winter Clam Bake
Sesame Caramel Cake
Jack’s Oyster Bar and Fish House has been the talk of Jack London Square. If you are in the mood for seafood then this is the place to go this week. With great lunch and dinner options you can’t go wrong here. Also, it is on the water so it will be a beautiful dining experience.
Desco ($30 Dinner)
Gratin di cavolfiori al pane aromatico
Paccheri al ragu di cinghiale
Fagottini di pere e cioccolato fondente
Last, but not least, is the Italian option. Desco is the new-ish Italian place in Old Oakland. It showcases seasonal cuisine and has a beautiful atmosphere.
Happy foodie-ing! We hope you enjoy all of the deliciousness Oakland has to offer.