Oakland >Food & Dining > Pearl Oyster Bar &
5634 College Ave, Oakland, CA | Directions 9461837.843771 -122.251403
Monday 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Tuesday 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Thursday 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Friday 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Saturday 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Sunday 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
YumYum & Fun – The two us went about 8 on a Friday night and got a table right away. The staff were wonderful; very friendly, prompt and helpful with selections. The tuna poke was out-of-this-world and the raw oysters were sublime. I ordered the seared sea scallops and wasn't surprised when they melted in my mouth. They came with some kind of polenta sauce around the plate that balanced the dish. My guest had the iron steak which he thought was grilled to perfection. I wasn't unimpressed by the portions because I can enjoy and savor every bite more if I know there's just enough to satisfy my palate. Less in this case is definitely more.
The drinks were great, too. I explained to the drink waiter what my preferences were and he brought me something with raw sugar on the bottom and it was so good I had to order another.
We ordered a chocolate mousse-thing and it wasn't spectacular (it did take care of my chocolate craving, though!) and then the cannelloni we brought home was creamy and crunchy and too good for it's own good.
Yes, it was too loud to have any kind of serious conversation but we weren't looking for that and was delighted with the saucy ambiance. They were even playing Barbarella over the bar.
The decor is shiny and the lights behind the bar very liquid.
Again, the staff from the moment we walked in to saying our thank-yous and departing were gracious and quite entertaining.
Will be coming back as soon as the bank will let us!
Great raw bar, sit at the bar for best service. – Pearl is a jewel in Rockridge, but you have to know how to play it. It's tiny, and most of the tables are fixed to the wall/floor, so don't expect to be comfortably accommodated with a large party (I don't recommend showing up with more than 4 people). It's a great place to head to early in the evening (before the inevitable rush) to enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine with some raw dishes. Definitely this is what Pearl does best. The tuna poke is always spot-on fresh and delicious, as are the various rotating sashimis, ceviches, and oysters. The sweet potato fries are a sure bet as well. I avoid the Thai Fish Springrolls - they tend to be greasy and lacking in flavor.
First and last time there – After reading some of the reviews here online, we went with some friends yesterday. The place is really small... it felt really crowded. My friends made a reservation a week in advance for 6, the table was not ready when they got there and after waiting for some minutes in the bar we got a table for 4, so you can imagine how tight we were in the table. After some time, they finally accomodate us in a table for 6, but the point is that the reservation was done and confirmed in advance 2 times. I really liked the Thai ceviche, the oysters and the Tuna Poke. I did not like the Flatbread. We did not like the chocolate mousse. In my opinion the food you get it's not worth the money you are paying. The portions are really small. I believe this was my first and last time my husband and I go there. I would have rather spent those $300 at a different place.
Great Seafood! Wonderful Chef – Great Seafood! Poke is great. Nice full bar. They have great wines, my fav is the red Silver PN 2001 from Santa Barbara. Try the sword fish or the Monk fish. Pearl gets the best oysters in the Bay area. If you don't like oysters try the Crab cakes. After dinner you have to try there deserts. They won east bays best last year. Bartenders are so nice and helpful in selecting your wine or wonderful beers on tap or bottle. You'll have a great time here with family or friends.
Food Has Declined – We had dinner tonight after having a wonderful dinner 1 year ago. Tonight was a major disappointment. My $9 glass of wine was so tiny and the food unmemorable. Don't order the monkfish...total mess and tasteless. The Poke was good, but didn't have the "wow" factor that I remember. Also the crab cakes were meaty, but burnt. Last, I remembered the ice cream sundae being delicious...not so anymore. The coffee ice cream tasted like it had been in the freezer for a while. $85 later and still hungry we debated going next door to the Cactus Taqueria for chips and salsa...we didn't, but it was tempting. We won't go back.
Bad Service, Too Pricey but Good Food – The food was decent but the portions were tiny and the service was terrible. Leaving the restaurant still hungry and $100 poorer makes you feel ripped off. They were a bit surprised we did not have a reservation, then sat us at the Bar so where we could clearly see couple of unused tables that remained vacant while we ate. Too bad for all these negative because the skimpy portion food plates were actually all pretty tasty.
Unsatisfying – We thought things were going fairly well after our first round of dishes: oysters were fresh (though the vinegar sauce was overpowering); dungeness crabcakes were meaty and flavorful; scallops were sweet and cooked perfectly with a smoky aroma (but polenta was bland); sweet potato fries were a bit limp but tasty. We were still hungry (they dont serve bread) so we ordered a second roundwhich turned out to be a mistake. The prosciutto flatbread was bland, dry, and chewy. Fish in the fish springrolls turned out to be a green spongy paste. Were told it was chopped tuna. (We grudgingly ate it because we were still hungry.)
Waiters were friendly, but hostess was not.
Generally six small plates should be enough to fill two people, but not hereportions are consistent with small plates, but prices are not.
We left still partly hungry, and definitely unsatisfied.
Rockridge seafood spot serves up small plates and delicate flavors. – The Scene
Out front, a crowd mills up and down College Avenue, lobster-shaped pager in hand. Once the crustacean begins to pulse and blink, in comes the next round of diners. A wall of colored light panels behind the slick bar morphs from soothing blue to sharp green, entrancing a mixed crowd of khaki-clad yuppies, Birkenstock-shod hippies and families.
Small plates take up most of the menu, like impeccably fresh half-shell oysters, silky sesame oil- and soy-dressed tuna poke in a martini glass, and cylindrical crab cakes garnished with cucumber ribbons. Delicate halibut fillet is complemented by corn, cherry tomatoes, gypsy pepper ragout and a whisper of lobster butter. Moist salmon is served over spinach in sake-yuzu vinaigrette and accompanied by tempura-battered portobellos. Simple desserts include the pluot crisp with Tahitian vanilla bean gelato or a rotating trio of fruit sorbets.
Why Wait – There is something so wrong about a restaurant where the average check for 2 people runs about $100 and which won't take reservations. This is not a burrito place, it's a pricy restaurant, and this no reservation policy means, to me, that the place is being run for the benefit of the owners, not the patrons. This policy may have worked when Pearl was new and the weather was good, but who the heck would go there on a cold rainy night and stand outside waiting? This no reservation nonsense is going to do them in, and deservedly so. I have not gone back since July, and won't until I can reserve a table and know I'll be served. A rstaurant which doesn't value its customers will soon lose them.
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