The beauty of being THE BIG KAHUNA is that despite my journalistic training I am free to disregard the rules. But homage to my former news director at KPIX, Dan Rosenheim, with background in print and television broadcast our meal was comped.
I first reviewed Chop Bar nearly 6 years ago during Oakland Restaurant Week when it was 4 years old. And yes the co-owner Chris Pastena and I have become friends. But trust if the meal was not superb I simply would not have done a write-up much less a podcast and gone live on Facebook.
So “chop bar” is a West African term and as you might have already peeped it’s a gathering space, a community space for folk to chop it up, eat, drink, and hang out.
Just a block away from it’s original spot in Jack London Square rests the new Chop Bar where not only did my dining companion Élan Lambert and I “chop it up” we ate and drank beyond the point of being satiated and had leftovers.
Here’s what we had to eat: guacamole and chips, pork belly tacos, ribs, oxtail poutine, salmon, rose marinated summer melon,banana split, chocolate on the side. And to drink water, meche please, lo-fi spritz, Oaxacan old fashioned, Grahm’s Tawny Porto and another alcoholic beverage I cannot remember.
The value of dinner eaten by two but could have easily fed 5, $250. We tipped our wonderful server Ricardo 20%. Thanks for your suggestions on your opening night Chris and congratulations to you and co-owner Lev. And thanks to hostess Jessica for the Open Table Reservations.
It was good to see Jana Pastena, Chris’ wife and my friend, there too. I will be going back on my dime and will have my post-wedding brunch in the private dining room upstairs.
It’s spacious, seats 75, has outdoor seating, 3 all gender bathrooms, a bar, and is on the corner of 4th and Jackson in my favorite city and hometown, Oakland.
Go, “eat more bacon”, drink enjoy. A culinary experience as it should be: fun.