After construction delays and permit process woes, Oeste Bar & Kitchen (730 Clay St.) is finally open to the public.
The Old Oakland restaurant from Sandra Davis, Lea Redmond, and Anna Villalobos features a petite, daytime cafe with white tile and a few bistro tables. The main bar and dining area comes alive at night with a warm wood ceiling, funky beaded chandeliers, stunning marble bar, and plush booth seating. The rooftop deck isn’t ready yet, but it’s coming.
The owners have recruited chef Peter Jackson to helm the kitchen. For the past five years, he’s worked as a private chef but he previously held executive chef titles at the now-closed Toast Kitchen + Bar in Rockridge and Miss Pearl’s Jam House in Jack London Square. He also used to own the small butchery Boucherie Meats, and he looks forward to making more of his own sausages and cured meats at Oeste down the line.
The opening menu is short and eclectic: Chicken and sausage gumbo ($16) and beef pastele made with taro, plantain, and yucca masa ($13) look like early highlights. The full bar notably focuses on wine and cocktails on tap. Right now, bar manager Che Freeman is pouring a prickly pear vodka lemonade ($10) and pineapple habanero margarita ($10). Meanwhile, the cafe is stocked with Roast Co. coffee and sandwiches, such as Spanish tuna and pork loin with apples. Or, as Redmond put it: “It’s grab-and-go, but it’s not ham and Swiss.”