Oakland >Food & Dining > Dona Tomas
5004 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA | Directions 9460937.836600 -122.262201
Closed Monday Tue-Thu 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Fri-Sat 5:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m
Very disappointing food at Dona Tomas – Mexican food is a favorite of mine but most of it in restaurants is bareley edible. I looked forward to Dona Tomas as i saw the bit on Eye on the bay t.v. program. It is a 70 mile roundtrip for me so I made a reservation well in advance. We arrived and went to the bar and after a short wait( 20 min.) were shown to a table in a small room in back of the patio. There was a party of 14 and we could not hear each other. It was a poor pace to seat a party of 2.A brown grainy flavorless "salsa" was served with chips. Next course was ceviche and a fried shrimp appetizer. Ceviche was served on corn chips and the very sour soupy consistency made the chips soggy and there was nothing to the ceviche but sour taste. no spiceness. The breading on the shrimp was glutinous flour. The entree courses were scallops and carnitas. The scallops were very good with a exceptional sauce. The carnitas were very dry and extremely stringy with nothing to moisten them. I lacked the dessire to have dessert. Their margaritas were very good. The staff was friendly and very efficient. Our tab for 2 was $117.00 . I was very disappointed in the food as i would love to have great mexican food again. The last was at Ramona's Reataurant in San Rafael.
Dry carnitas, terrible seating, poor service – I love Mexican food and was excited about the carnitas at Dona Tomas. People told me it was their best dish so I was very disapointed to find it was incredibly dry and there were a lot of questionable pieces that I did not eat. I actually like my meat dry so for me to say it was too dry means the average diner would have been appaled. Despite a long standing reservation we, three in our party, were seated at a two person table right next to the bar. We objected to the seating and were told that was all we could have unless we wanted to wiat for at least 30 minutes. There were only two chairs and two place settings at the table and no one brought us a third chair for our third person so we had to find an available chair ourselves. Our server was preoccupied and completely unconcerned with us. Many requests for glasses of water went unanswered. The worst part was being seated next to the bar--people's rear ends were only inches from our faces as we ate. A$$ in your face was symbolic of the entire dining experience. I will never give this place my patronage again.
Avoid anytime – We came beacuse of the good review on here. Possibly the chef has changed but this place was way below average.
We go to restaurants almost everyday so we know the value of good food. This was slightly above Taco Bell both in quality of food, presentation, and mainly the service! The menu does not describe items accurately, the lavishly described mashed avocado with lime for $7 was merely a very substandard guacomole with chips.
When we asked for a piece of bread we were told they do not have any bread and ALL of their appetizers come with chips. The waiter was extremely rude and this ws the first time in my life that I didn't leave any tip. Absolutely not recommended! Oh, and extremely overprized as well.
Great Place; Ignore all the Bad Reviews – Yes, the place can get crowded and yes it can be noisy by the bar, but the food is great and the staff is friendly and helpful. Prices seem very reasonable. For all of those complaining about the prices--this is not a taqueria, so why would you expect taqueria prices? Also, I have never left the place without either being completely stuffed or taking leftovers home. How much food does one need? Anyway, back to the point. This place serves up some great food. And the menu is always changing to take advantage of what?s fresh and in-season. I've had great seafood dishes here and the margaritas are excellent. The complimentary house-made chips with ancho-chili salsa are awesome and another reason why I don?t understand how you could leave this place hungry. You can't go wrong here.
rude staff, good margueritas – We have had good and bad experiences at this restaurant. We like the margueritas and generally like the food, although it is overpriced. The last time we were there, however, we asked to be seated before our entire party had arrived (we were going to order drinks and hors d'oevres) and were treated rudely by the staff and the owner. We left without ordering anything. My impression is that the service at this nice neighborhood restaurant has slipped since it originally opened.
Tomatoes Tomatoes Tomatoes – This is a nice place for Oakland peeps to meet for a drink and some tapas. If you're looking for a cheap plate of Mexican vittles, look elsewhere. If you're looking for a Latin inspired place to hang out with a gnosh and some booze and some atmosphere you'll love it.
I have to say I think it's heavy on the tomato in everything, overtaking most of the potential flavor. The signature carnitas are just not there. I've had them a couple times and I'd rather buy from a local mexi-deli, sad to say.
I definitely recommend Dona for a social get together for a drink and to split a plate of food while you talk and laugh. I recommend its atmosphere above anything else in this vein, thus far, in Oakland.
However, in the world of choices available in the close-in East Bay and SF, I have to rate this as solidly average with the food dipping below.
Fun atmosphere but not a lot of deliciousness for your dollars.
very authentic – great atmosphere, indoor and outdoor patio seating, make sure to make a reservation. Food was delicious, the portions aren't that big, but food was very tasty. Bar is a little crowded and small. soup was very good, carnitas are a little dry but overall a nice place to have authentic mexican food.
Very good overpriced Mexican food – Tasty treats abounded, the margaritas were yummy, and the service was snappy. But really, the carnitas for $17 weren't that much better than the $5 plate you can get at a dozen places in Fruitvale. So, if you are a pretentious yuppie who would rather buy good if highly overpriced food than slum with the poor folks, this place is for you.
Loud with Small portions – I didn't really mind all the noise because I was loud right along with the rest of them. The menu was cheaply printed on one piece of loose paper with drinks on the opposite side. It even looked like their liquor selection was better than the actual food. The menu was in Spanish but I think that was only done to give it the "feel" of a authentic mexican restaurant. When we received our meals we just looked at it and started laughing. They were much smaller than we expected. Yes, we ate the food, it was good but we did go to a mexican food place in Pittsburg later that night. Lets just say we should've avoided the first one and went directly to the one in Pittsburg!!!!
Mixed about Dona Tomas – Really wonderful food, and a great atmosphere do NOT make up for the fact that the Dona Tomas staff loses dinner reservations on a regular basis, and that they served my ten-year-old an alcoholic drink when she ordered a VIRGIN margarita.
I may waffle on this sentiment if I'm in the neighborhood on a warm evening. Especially if it's a slow night. Because the food really was yummy, and the back patio is gorgeous."
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