2009

Commis Restaurant Review, Oakland

Posted by Foodnut.com

Reviewer: Foodnut.com

Commis

3859 Piedmont Ave (Near Montell Street)

Oakland, CA 94611

510-653-3902

510-653-8902 (Fax)

Commis Website

Book Reservation

Commis Oakland Exterior Decor

Commis is a hot restaurant in Oakland run by James Syhabout. He has cooked at several superstar restaurant; Manresa, The Fat Duck, el Bulli, Mugaritz, and Alkimia. Commis focuses on Contemporary California cuisine with a focus on local, sustainable, and eco friendly practices. The restaurant is located in the Piedmont Avenue area of Oakland, home to hot spots like Bay Wolf, Dopo, and Fentons. Commis received one Michelin star in 2010.

Commis Oakland Interior Decor

Decor, Vibe – Stealth location with Urban minimalist industrial decor with high ceilings, big open kitchen up front. This is a small 30 seat restaurant with tables in back/front plus kitchen counter seating. well dressed foodies of all types, in the 30’s to 50’s were dining.

Menu (Click to zoom into any picture)

Commis Oakland Menu

Starter Menu

Commis Oakland Menu 1

Entree – Dessert Menu

Commis simple $59 prix fixe three course Menu changes often and adjusts to the seasons. $29 for wine pairings. There are not a lot of options here.

Website Commis Menu

Picks:

Commis Oakland Lemongrass soda

Amuse Bouche Lemongrass Soda – Sweet, hint of ginger, did not really taste like lemongrass.

Commis Oakland Amuse Bouche Egg Yolk

Amuse Bouche Poached Farm Egg yolk with onion soup puree, date puree, crunchy steel cut oats. Poached egg was overcooked, but still a nice contrast in textures and flavors.

Their home made egg based buns were pretty buttery.

Commis Oakland Braised Cardoon Crab

Braised Cardoon, Oyster Emulsion dungeness crab and dill weed. A artichoke related plant stalk with lots of fresh crab on top. The oily oyster puree was a weird touch.

Commis Oakland Black Cod

Grilled Black Cod from Bolinas seared ala plancha, green garlic, kohirabi and young turnips, steamed Tomales bay clams. The cod was cooked perfectly, the juicy clams were super fresh, in fact all ingredients were excellent. It was weird figuring out how the garlic connected with other elements on the plate though.

Commis Oakland Roasted Bison

Slow Roasted Bison Sirloin, served rare, cabbage and parsnip, dried red cherries stewed in brown butter and juniper. Tender and flavorful meat with a hint of gaminess. Very sour cherry cauliflower combination. A little bit of parsnip puree that tasted gross. Fairly small portion size. We saw them cooking a huge piece, so they could have been more generous.

Commis Oakland Apple Huckleberry Tart

Apple-Huckleberry Tart, puff pastry, brown ale caramel, Montegomery english cheddar ice cream, thyme was so crispy and fragile, it was hard to chop up. Ice cream flavor was pretty mild which helped to mellow the sweet apple, huckleberry. Reminded us of dessert in France.

Commis Oakland Kabocha Squash

Kabocha Squash custard, licorice cream, drizzle of a root beer reducation, crunchy pumpkin seed streusel with almond flour, ginger snaps was an odd dessert but perfect for vegetable lovers. It seemed almost like a vegetable dish and not a dessert, with its strong squash flavors.

Commis Oakland Absinthe Jellies

Mignardises – Absinthe Jellies. Sweet, nice flavor, and small bit of alcohol taste.

OK:

Commis Oakland Black Barley Porridge

Black Barley Porridge with pork Jowl, cepes with apple cider, celery tendrils. The pork had tons of fat and just a little bit of meat. Barley was very chewy with its porchini mushroom base. A bizarre combination.

Pans:

Commis had excellent, knowledgeable, and friendly service with no need to ask for refills and the like. The fixed meal price is in the same ballpark as other fine dining spots although quantities are shockingly on the low side. A good excuse to hit Fenton’s for ice cream. Commis serves up some complex dishes that Foodies will love and appreciate. Techniques, ingredients, and combinations are elaborate. Having been to several molecular gastronomy temples, we can see/taste the influence. Some ingredients in dishes seem odd and disjointed. People who like Coi in San Francisco, should visit Commis, although we prefer Coi far more. ‘Novice’ eaters may be suited better elsewhere. Note that they mostly do not answer the phone during business hours.

Michael Bauer recently reviewed Commis and also gave it 2.5 stars, causing an uproar in the foodie community. Frankly we would have to agree with his assessment on Commis.

Small wine list with moderate markup, bottles from $26, glasses from $10, $20 corkage on first, $30 for subsequent bottle.

Commis on Urbanspoon

Commis Overall Rating: (Very Good 2.5)

Come Back?

Food Rating: (Very Good)
Service Rating: (Excellent)
Atmosphere Rating: (Very Good)
Value Rating: (Good)

Guide: 0 = poor, 1 = Below/Average, 2 = Good, 2.5 = Very Good, 3 = Excellent , 4 = Extraordinary

Alcohol:Beer, Wine
Attire:Dressy
Hours:Wed - Sun 5:30 - 9:30pm
Parking:Street
Reservations:Yes
Prices:$59
Posted on December 18th, 2009
If you enjoyed this post, like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter.
Be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed.

6 Responses to “Commis Restaurant Review, Oakland”

  1. benu restaurant Restaurant, San Francisco | Foodnut.com Says:

    [...] – This restaurant is part of the new guard. Commis, Coi, and Saison serves the same cutting edge modern American [...]

  2. Kelley Says:

    Go back and try Commis again! We go here quite often and just love the food and service. The prix fixe menu is now $68 and is 4 courses. We always are full when we leave.

    We also just tried his brand new Hawker Fare which is located in the area of Plum. Great for a fast lunch for $10. Very casual place with a small menu.

  3. Kelley Says:

    PS I agree, a lot like Coi which we so love too! Though benu is now our true fav in the SF uppersphere.

  4. Stephen Abbanat Says:

    Just FYI, corkage is now $25. Food is still fab and with extra little bites ends up more like 7 courses by end of it all. Agree with Kelley that I find the thoughtfulness of the food a cut above.

  5. Atelier Crenn, San Francisco | Foodnut.com Says:

    [...] – Inventive modern food in the San Francisco Bay Area can be had at Baume, Benu, Coi, Commis and [...]

  6. Michael Bauer's 2013 Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants Reviews | Foodnut.com Says:

    [...] Commis – Cutting Edge on a budget [...]

Leave a Reply

Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name.