I hate it when I forget my camera. I’d like to be able to show you the food.
I wanted to hear an artist talk at PHOTO gallery in Oakland this evening, and persuaded Gail and Toby to come with me, promising them an interesting dinner afterwards. Oakland is full of up and coming eateries these days, and there is always a new one to try.
After listening to a fascinating talk by Margaretta Mitchell about her work with the 20 x 24 inch Polaroid camera, we headed to the Chop Bar, one of the hip new places in town, on 4th street near Jack London Square.
The interior is done in repurposed wood, and there is a large indoor/outdoor dining area in the front. We loved the rustic look of the restaurant, but it is just too damn loud.
Chop Bar is casual–a bucket on the table holds the silverware and paper napkins. Prices are pretty reasonable.
Gail opted for the oxtail poutine, a cheesy mix of cheddar and shredded oxtail meat served over french fries. Sounds bizarre, tastes great
I had the Bus Station chicken. A few years ago we went to Cuba, and had chicken and rice and black beans at most every meal. Bus Station chicken is the what the Cuban food should have tasted like. Succulent chicken, rice, black beans, pickled veggies and a spicy tomato sauce that brought it all together. The dish officially comes with cherry bomb peppers, but I knew they would be too hot for me, so I asked to be spared the heat.
The young master had a steak, which comes to the table sliced. It was perfectly medium rare, and there were no leftovers, which says everything you need to know.
I had the chocolate chip bread pudding for dessert, which wasn’t very bready, but had lots of chocolate and whipped cream, so who cares?
When it comes to Banana Splits, I’m a traditionalist: they should have three scoops, chocolate, strawberry and vanilla, three sauces. chocolate, strawberry and pineapple, a banana, whipped cream and a cherry. This is what God intended.
The Banana Split here was essentially a chocolate sundae and a banana. Not bad, not a banana split.
The service was fantastic. A delight. A joy. We had a supremely professional waitress who was on top of everything and had the personality of an angel. This woman alone is reason enough to return. (But the excessive loudness is enough to keep us away)
Clearly, we liked Chop Bar. Really good food, and not the usual fare. Phenomenal service. An attractive, if loud, setting. Definitely a place you want to try.