Eating Out: Oakland, California

Author: , October 29th, 2016


While it would surely raise eyebrows to deem dinner at Oakland’s Commis a bargain, it’s more than fair to call Chef James Shyabout’s elegant tasting menus a Michelin Stargain. Twinkling with two of the French tiremaker’s honorifics as of 2016, Oakland’s serene, cerebral seven-year-old culinary jewel box offers prix fixe adventures of eight ingenious small courses (plus a few more bonus bites sprinkled throughout the meal) for $125.

While that’s six times what you’ll spend for a satisfying steak dinner elsewhere in Oakland (more on that later), it’s a remarkable price compared to a constellation of other Michelin-winning prix fixes in the Bay Area: $398 at San Francisco’s Saison, $330 at Napa Valley’s Meadowood, $310 at the French Laundry in Yountville, and $235 at Manresa in Silicon Valley. (Prior to going out on his own, Shyabout cooked at the latter, as well as Spain’s legendary elBulli and England’s Fat Duck.)

Along with housing rates, the cost of opening and sustaining a business in the San Francisco environs have skyrocketed in recent years, to such an extent that, along with young, adventurous eaters, ambitious, eclectic chefs like Shyabout have rooted themselves in more affordable Oakland.

By Jim Gladstone – Full Story at Passport

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Oakland Pride Turns Away Leather Groups

Author: , September 1st, 2014

Leather FlagOakland’s first Pride parade is today, but according to the San Francisco Chronicle, the leather community is not invited.

One thing you probably won’t find at Oakland’s first LGBT Pride Parade on Sunday: partially clad men in leather chaps. What you will find is the Jolly Trolly from Children’s Fairyland, pony rides, antique fire engines and singer/drummer Sheila E. Instead of kicking off with Dykes on Bikes, as is the tradition in San Francisco, Oakland’s parade starts with Tykes on Trikes. “We had some leather groups from San Francisco who wanted to come, and we politely declined. We want to keep this G-rated,” said Carlos Uribe, one of the organizers. “We don’t want to compete with San Francisco Pride, we just want to offer a more family-friendly, diverse celebration. Sort of an end-of-summer bookend to SF Pride.”

The city has hosted a Pride fest on and off since the 1990s, but the current incarnation started five years ago with the goal of eventually opening an LGBT community center. Last year, organizers polled the festival’s 30,000 attendees about what they’d like to see at future fests, and 80 percent said they wanted a parade. “We’re going to be the most family-friendly Pride parade anywhere, ever,” said Amber Todd, chair of Oakland Pride. “We’ll have something for everyone – gay, straight, pansexual, kids. My 75-year-old mother’s coming, and she’s as straight as the day is long.”

Full Story at Joe.My.God | East bay Gay Travel Resources | Other Gay Travel Events

Amazing Oakland, California

Author: , June 27th, 2014

Oakland, CaliforniaFinally, Oakland is getting the attention it deserves from travelers and media alike as one of the country’s coolest cities, having been skipped over for years for sister city San Francisco. But as Oakland enters the spotlight, it remains an extremely affordable destination for culture, food, and other entertainment. These budget activities will make any cost-conscious traveler wonder why you took so long to discover Oak Town:

Oakland Museum of California

The progressive Oakland Museum of California crams more than 1.9 million objects — covering art, history and natural sciences — under one roof. Programs explore elements that shape California character and identity, from natural landscapes to its culture of creativity and innovation. Plan your visit for one of the museum’s Friday Nights events, when adults get half off admission (typically $15), galleries are open late, gourmet food trucks park outside, and live music streams through the air.

Grand Lake Theatre

This historic, first-run movie theater, considered one of the top 10 vintage theaters in the United States, is an eyeful of fun. Step in and find a sweeping staircase in the main hall, ornately decorated walls throughout, and brass chandeliers galore. There are even faux opera boxes that line the sides of the theater room itself. Prior to curtain on Friday and Saturday nights, an organist serenades the audience on a Wurlitzer. But if you can live without the performance, go on Discount Tuesday nights for screenings at only $5.

By Jill Robinson – Full Story at Shermans Travel | San Francisco Bay Area Gay Travel Resources

CA: Second Annual Oakland Pride Draws Thousands

Author: , September 5th, 2011

Oakland Gay PrideThousands of East Bay residents, gay and straight, celebrated this year’s gay rights triumphs on Sunday at Oakland’s second annual Gay Pride Festival.

“Ever since I was 14 years old, when I came out of the closet, I’ve been proud to be who I am,” said Fremont resident Jesse Alariz, strutting jauntily with a sister and several friends in tow. “This event represents that.”

“It’s good that Oakland has its own Pride celebration,” said Tom Daly, whose relationship with his partner, David Noel Hinojosa is now into its fourth decade. They met in San Francisco, Daly said, but have lived in Oakland for 20 years, and came downtown Sunday to show their support for the city and its gay community.

Full Story from SFGate

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