Best Hidden Gem

Le Comptoir Rouge

Le Comptoir Rouge (French for “The Red Counter”) isn’t really hidden: It’s smack-dab in the middle of the block between San Pablo and Curtis on University. The restaurant’s just so tiny and, well, cute that it makes you wish you could tuck it away where no one but you will ever find it. Take a seat at one of the six tables in the gold-hued room and sip at your red wine while you watch chef-owner Denis Martinet and crew dodge around one another in the microscopic kitchen assembling simple sandwiches, pizzas, salads, and egg dishes. The food’s not French in concept, but Frenchman Martinet’s ability to produce charming, simple dishes with only a handful of top-notch ingredients will remind you why you gain weight each time you visit Paris.

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Oakland
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