Two New Upscale Eateries In North Oakland
Bar Lata and Adesso both opened their doors this week.
Photo by Cindy Chew
It’s always cool when new restaurants open in your neighborhood. This week, two long-awaited spots opened near me in North Oakland: Bar Lata in the Temescal district and Adesso on Piedmont Avenue. I took a little Wednesday-night-out to visit them both—here’s a sneak preview.
Bar Lata opened Wednesday night after a few months' delay. The chef of this Spanish tapas bar is Daniel Olivella from San Francisco’s B44, who owns the restaurant with several partners, including professional Spanish cyclist Chechu Ribiera. It’s a great location, situated in the heart of the Temescal’s “Gourmet Ghetto,” just a block away from critical darlings Doña Tomas and Pizzaiolo (a Diablo Food Award Winner). It also has a great corner location in a beautifully renovated building, which the restaurant takes advantage of with large windows looking out onto the street.
The under-the-radar opening night was busy but not crazy: my companion and I dropped by at around 9 p.m. and only had to wait a couple minutes for a table. “Lata” means tin can in Spanish, and the theme is prevalent in the restaurant’s art, which features vivid paintings of Spanish tin cans of tuna, and in the food: some of the dishes are actually served in tin cans. The menu is heavy on seafood, with plenty of mussels, squid, sardines, and tuna dishes, but there's also several paellas options as well. Prices are reasonable, ranging from $5 to $14, and portions are generous, especially for a tapas restaurant.
The busy bar seats about ten and serves wine and beer only. The wine list is all Spanish and glasses are actually served in a carafe, so you get a little more bang for your buck.
Adesso on Piedmont Avenue and 51st Street opened Tuesday after a month or so of hassling with the city over their liquor license. You can see why they wanted that license too, as this gorgeous spot is more bar than restaurant.
Owned by Jon Smulewitz, who also runs the popular Italian eatery Dopo located just down the street, Adesso seems to be geared more as a hangout for restaurant industry-types looking for a nice place to get a drink after work—it’ll be open past midnight on most nights. That insider feel is reflected in the not-your-typical-gin-and-tonic drink menu, which features exotic cocktails such as a Peruvian Pisco Sour, among others. There are plenty of Italian wines available as well.
Also occupying a sweet corner spot, Adesso is easy to miss from the outside, but has a beautiful interior, with a darker, more loungy feel than Bar Lata. The menu could best be described as Italian snacks, and features cheese plates, a few antipastis, paninis, and a whopping 34 different types of salumi, made in-house over at Dopo. Also, watch out for the delicious apps that the owners occasionally put out free of charge.
In conclusion? I thought both were cool spots that seem to be good fits for their respective neighborhoods. Check them out if you're in the area and let us know what you think.Bar Lata, 4901 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, (510) 450-0678, barlata.com. Adesso, 4395 Piedmont Ave., Oakland, (510) 601-0305.