Oakland: 4 Restaurant / Bar Reviews

We have been spending quite a bit of time in Oakland lately. San Francisco life bores me—because I’ve lived here so long, few things excite me. All those food trucks don’t do it either. People, are they really worth the wait?

Recently, we dined at Hudson on College Avenue in Rockridge. Oh, that beautiful interior masks what’s most important. The steak was so overdone, Chef Ramsay would BLEEP, the BLEEP-BLEEP-BLEEP! I have little patience for bad over-priced food.

There’s no way to fuck up drinks, right? How hard can it be, especially when I’m only asking for a glass of wine! At the beloved Dogwood bar in downtown Oakland, I was mistreated to a glass of wine dripping in iodine. The Clorox-like smell sounded the physical alarm bells and I immediately regurgitated. This bar gets rave reviews. Why? What is wrong with you, people. Have you no standards?

And then there was Mua also in downtown Oakland. God bless lower-priced and (ironically) lower-rated Mua. Everything I order is always perfectly-prepared. The fried chicken, mussels, ahi tuna. Every menu item is yum. Chef Ramsay would smile. I heart Mua. You should all go and heart Mua.

Finally, I must bring up Van Cleef and Arpels—a French luxury jeweler. Like Van Cleef, Café Van Kleef in Oakland is a diamond albeit in the rough. With cocktails using fresh-squeezed fruit and the blues band rocking out, it’s like stepping into Preservation Hall in New Orleans. But no need to venture far. Oakland is slowly, but surely, gaining a fan base.

Logo from Represent Oakland

Restaurant Review: Chambers

Alrighty, I’m posting a Yelp review because I write so few of them these days. Cmon, people, am I ready to be a food critic or what? Not a food critic yet, but a nightlife critic possibly?

Looks like the Tenderloin is the new Mission because hipsters are crowding around and forming lines outside Farm:Table, Jones, and the Shooting Gallery. Bored of the same consistently-good restaurants–Bar Jules, Mission Beach Café, and La Mar–I can finally ecstatically recommend a newcomer to the Tenderloin scene. In the aptly-named Phoenix Hotel, the adjacent lounge has re-incarnated itself from Backflip to Bambuddha and now to Chambers. It is sick, or slick, or whatever the lingo is today. It’s like entering Bourbon and Branch’s library, but better. Like the Ace Hotel, but even better. You can actually see your date as the lighting, a refreshing golden hue, has been strategically placed. Even the food is worth the guarded walk from your locked car to the entrance. As for the impeccable food, the PBLT, pork belly lettuce and tomatoes, is stand-out. A big coup for the neighborhood, this new hot spot won’t be reinventing itself for quite a while.

Photo Credit: Thrillist