1900 Telegraph Ave. (at 19th Street)
Oakland, CA 94612
Flora was listed as a 2008 Best new restaurant by the newspaper, so were in the area and tried it.
It is located in uptown Oakland near the Fox Theater, in an area that is being revitalized. It’s not a war zone but pretty gritty right now. They serve American food with a decidedly local flare.
Decor, Vibe – Art deco diner decor with dark walls and neon bar area. Diners were mostly urbanites and hipsters in their 20’s and 30’s. Lots of people lounging at the bar and sofas. Not surprising giving their good cocktails.
Old Cuban ($11) Appleton’s V/X rum, lime, mint, champagne, served up was like a strong Mojito not on the rocks. Balanced and made well. This is one serious bar.
Hot Buttered Rum ($9) was a nice drink for a cold evening. Very hot actually.
Seared Scallops ($15) with braised oxtail, salsify risotto, chive oil, shoestring french fries was a very good appetizer. Two big well cooked scallops accented by some braised oxtail underneath. The risotto was also very good.
Crab Salad ($14) with Dungeness crab, avocado, meyer lemon, pan de mie toast, cilantro was a huge salad. Lots of fresh crab. Nice balance to the dish.
Grilled pork chop ($25) with cardoon gratin, chicory salad, meyer lemon marmalade was tender, juicy, cooked perfect. Gratin was huge and provided some heavy starch.
Pan seared Blue Nose ($26) Sea Bass was big piece of fish on top of beats and greens. It was unusual because the middle part was raw, so it was more chewy and had more texture.
Mac n’ Cheese ($5) was very delicious. Good cheese. More like a penne pasta.
Leak and Fontina Cheese Bread Pudding ($18) was unusual, we usually think of bread pudding for dessert. Very rich because of the cheese, Hearty, Yummy, Very good flavor and pretty massive in size. Flavor just like the mac and cheese.
House ground chuck burger ($14) with ground carmelized onion, fries, blue cheese salad had onions ground into the patty. Pretty good sized and lots of fries.
Assortment of Sorbets ($8) were made by legendary Ici Ice Cream in Berkeley. Kiwi, Lemon mint, orange cranberry were all high quality but small tastes.
Carmel Pudding ($8) with sea salt, whipped cream, rosemary pinenut sable cookie was delicious. A sweet and salty combo that works like Bi-rite’s Salted caramel.
Flora’s service was not very good. While the server was very knowledgeable, we had to hail her several times for basic things.
The food was surprisingly very good and the atmosphere engaging. We would be back if we were in the area. Portions were pretty healthy. Prices were a little higher than we thought a venue in this location should charge. The portions are huge, so sharing should be exercised.