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Those who dream of Oakland’s downtown being a revitalized urban melting pot must flip when they walk into Luka’s. The boisterous bar/restaurant is a gorgeous mix of humanity, right down to the beautiful Erykah Badu types in conversation with the stunning Catherine Deneuve types. The fact that everyone is getting smiley from a beer list that’s À Côté worthy or a wine list that, although brief, nails it, just adds to the love. The food? Almost too subtle for the room: mac ’n’ cheese spiked with chanterelles and leeks plays out as delicately as Nat King Cole singing “The Nearness of You.” The Belgian fries however, while addictive, weren’t exactly what Tom Shane enjoys when he’s buying diamonds in Antwerp. But for anybody who’s leaving a show at the nearby Paramount, Luka’s is a must-hit, positive-vibe experience. Lunch Mon.–Fri., dinner daily; Sunday burnch.
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