California

Restaurants in California

The second location of this popular South Indian spot is great for a date night—especially when paired with a show at the Sundance Kabuki Cinema right across the street.

Make a beeline for the back display cases and order Stella’s signature sacripantina, a hard-to-find Genoese specialty. The rum-soaked sponge cake, layered with zabaglione, is somehow both richly creamy and wonderfully light.

This jewel of a restaurant in the The Redbury Hotel takes its inspiration from Cleopatra, both in cuisine (the Queen of Egypt would no doubt have loved the Middle Eastern fare) and decor (a photo of silent film actress Theda Bara as Cleopatra greets you upon entry).

Arrive early on Tuesday afternoons for the fried chicken stuffed with herbs at Miss Ollie’s. The day’s special at this airy, Cali-Caribbean spot goes fast. BART stop: 12th Street/Oakland City Center

Laurel Hardware has a healthy and delicious kale-and-feta salad.

Cafe Flore’s street-facing patio is one of the Castro’s very best places for brunch in the sunshine. Their house-made oat berries with seasonal fresh fruit is a must order.

Farm-to-table meets nose-to-tail at this casual New American bistro/butcher. The kitchen uses California-raised meats (including unusual cuts like pig’s ears and goat chops) and local produce, while the charcuterie, bread, and even the pickles are made in-house.

The retro diner Hopscotch puts a Japanese spin on hearty American dishes. Take the soba ragù, with buckwheat noodles, braised pork, Manchego, and shiso. BART station: 19th Street/Uptown Oakland