The restaurants that appear in this section are reviewed by our panel of restaurant critics, who dine anonymously and at our expense. Diablo magazine accepts no advertising or other consideration in exchange for a listing. If your experience of a restaurant differs greatly from ours, please call our reader hotline at (925) 943-1199, Ext. 4, or e-mail Associate Editor Kathryn Jessup at email@example.com. Not all restaurants reviewed appear each month; for the complete listing, visit our website at www.diablomag.com.
César 4039 Piedmont Ave., Oakland, (510) 883-0222, www.barcesar.com. The second César, which opened its doors in late summer, is larger than the original Gourmet Ghetto location but just as crowded. The menu of true Spanish tapas, strong cocktails, and hand-picked wines, ports, and sherries works its magic the same as at César one, and the new location has an added bonus: a circular, tile-lined mercado where customers can purchase Spanish imports from ceramics to Serrano ham. A few larger plates, such as grilled hanger steak and a flaky, chili- and garlic-infused tai snapper (pictured) are available for sharing along with the tapas. Don’t miss the outstanding patatas bravas, pimientos de padrón, desserts such as the chocolatey César sundae, and the fresh lime cachaça (kah-SHAH-sah) cooler—made before your eyes by a bartender so handsome, he could be the best Spanish import in the place. Lunch and dinner daily.