Blogging Bayport Alameda

March 21, 2014

Good eats

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Landing, Business — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

Something light to take you into your weekend, have you all checked out Bambu?   It’s the newest dessert shop located on Park Street (next to Angkor Grill) it’s really near because it’s all Vietnamese style desserts and I was super excited to see that they even left the menu largely in Vietnamese with English descriptions of what is inside the dessert for the non Vietnamese readers.   They have pretty good Yelp reviews right now too.   It’s definitely in the unusual and unique category but most people may just file it under the “just another Asian restaurant” category and pooh pooh it as un-creative and therefore just another ho hum Asian joint.

Also, you’ve heard that the big building on Park Street across from Starbucks is finally getting a tenant in the form of a “Speakeasy” type restaurant called Capones Speakeasy.  I think I saw some letter to the editor that was complaining about some aspect of Capones, but geez, considering how long that space has been vacant, shouldn’t we all give the joint the benefit of the doubt before we whine on and on about it?  There was also some pearl clutching thread on Alameda Patch a while back too.   I know I raised an eyebrow about the name, but the name Capone does really evoke an immediate sense of time and place which I imagine is what the owner wanted to do.

Other neat entries into the Alameda market are a Ramen joint on Park Street (yay!)   But again, will probably be dismissed as yet another “Asian” restaurant.  We tend to get excited about chicken tenders, but not about very specific ethnic foods that are not really represented in any other place in Alameda.

Alameda Landing has been moving along steadily.  The foundation was poured for the Safeway all this week so it’s definitely still moving forward.   There are now new signs up for Michaels so there’s no turning back for either of those stores.   Looks like they are shooting for a Summer 2014 opening according to the most recent leasing packet.



  1. Why don’t we just go all gangster theme on Park? Jackie the Lackey’s, Joe Banana’s, Baby Face Nelson’s, Dapper Don’s, Baby Face Nelson’s, The Purple Gang, Machine Gun Kelley’s, Bonnie and Clyde’s, Sammy the Killer’s, and the ever popular Valentine Day Massacre? maybe that new Mexican place- Los Zetas, that Japanese place- Yakuza? Or great Chinese at Hong Kong Triad’s? how about a donut shop were they “fill you full of holes?” (sorry). I hear the “cement overcoat” is great at Capone’s.

    Comment by commonsense — March 21, 2014 @ 6:34 am

  2. I believe one of the owners last name is Capone…….

    Comment by J.E.A. — March 21, 2014 @ 6:44 am

  3. I’ll wait and see how Capone’s does – but I’m in the camp of “We could have done better”. I would have loved to see a Gordon Biersch, or a Max’s Opera Cafe in that building.

    Comment by Karen Bey — March 21, 2014 @ 6:55 am

  4. I’ll take any ethnic food over just plain old American, if there is such a thing. Karen, Gordon Biersch would have been great.

    Comment by John P. — March 21, 2014 @ 8:44 am

  5. Al Capone would really a toddler should you compare Him with the Banking industry , Mortgage wall street and the biggest of them all insurance , imagine being to be forced by law to pay the piper that;s the perfect racket ,.that’s better than any bootleger business or drug trafficker , you can actually go to jail fot not paying them ……
    My name is pronounce Rambo …….needless to say heads turn when My name is being called specially when ou had my first initial J to it as they never can pronouce my first name right , I have no affiliation with the hollywood dwarf on steroid , we go back well over a 1000 years ……
    Capone is a fairly common name in Italy ,
    Time to stop judging a book by it;s cover and stop hidding behend acronyme.

    Comment by Joel Rambaud — March 21, 2014 @ 9:08 am

  6. It is a large venue with live music on weekends. Seem like they are putting a lot of $$ into it. Owned by local Contractors and their Investors.

    I think there is a Brew Pub opening on the North End of Park St. in those new building that have been empty.

    Comment by frank — March 21, 2014 @ 9:16 am

  7. The nice thing about brew-pubs is that they are quite popular. If you look at San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley – they have quite a few of them and each one is different from the other. They even have special tours– similar to wine tours for breweries.

    Also, they are quite an attraction for the younger tech crowd. That crowd works hard, and likes to play hard. With all the new development we’re doing – it’s important that we target this market as well.


    Comment by Karen Bey — March 21, 2014 @ 10:07 am

  8. I REALLY hope it succeeds, because we need something there. But if I were a betting man, the outlook for this one does not look good. First: the concept is a little too cheeseball – “Capone’s Speakeasy” with bartenders in zoot suits and flapper dresses is a little Disneyland-ish. Second, the owners are construction folks, not hospitality veterans. An ambitious project like that is NOT recommended for a novice restauranteur. Third, the bar is 70 feet long – how many bartenders do they plan on having on duty on a Friday night?? Sounds expensive. Fourth, it’s a HUGE space. If they don’t fill it, it will seem empty – and that’s not good. There are really only two outcomes for this place: incredible success or abysmal failure. For Alameda’s sake, I hope it’s the former. But the risk level on this one is VERY HIGH.

    Comment by Anonymoose — March 21, 2014 @ 10:14 am

  9. comments about the main topic?…”Vietnamese desserts”…bit of an oxymoron. They sell things there that you can put in your mouth. The Yelp review seems to be more about the interior décor than what is vended.

    Comment by vigi — March 21, 2014 @ 10:55 am

  10. Careful, your ignorance about non-Western cuisine is showing…

    Comment by Lauren Do — March 21, 2014 @ 11:41 am

  11. 8. I think you nailed it. I wonder about dress code for patrons. More than once I’ve been to some expensive “California Cuisine” restaurants with folks from the East Coast who inevitably comment on how casual some patrons dress compared to what they are used to, i.e. the focus is the food, and if you under dress it’s your problem. I’ve never been to French Laundry, but I’m pretty sure Chez Pannise would not refuse somebody in shorts and flip flops if they paid the bill.

    Comment by MI — March 21, 2014 @ 12:23 pm

  12. This is all nice but it is all on Park St. We have been to Park St. once in the last 2 years. Although we once in awhile go to Alameda Theater. There really isn’t anything on Webster Street with the exception of the Chinese restaurant off Lincoln…Dragon Village. I love that place…nothing is precooked so it takes awhile. I also like Otaez Mexican restaurant. They do have India Palace off Webster…but I hate curry thus I really don’t like India food…but a lot of people like it. I have tried the new Thai food at 1405 Webster…but it seems to get good reviews.

    Comment by Joe — March 21, 2014 @ 12:57 pm

  13. Jackets are required for men at French Laundry, not sure what if any rules they have for women.

    Comment by Dale Carnegie — March 21, 2014 @ 12:59 pm

  14. BTW they are building something at the 76 gas station…is that going to be a restaurant?

    Comment by Joe — March 21, 2014 @ 1:04 pm

  15. # 9 Oh vigi, there you go again.

    #12 the nothing on webster street now includes an excellent peruvian restaurant in chicha bistro, amazing desserts at the cookie bar and at arias grocery, thai, french bistro, vietnamese all within a block of each other. The world famous hippie breakfast, and the best deli around just to name a few. One of these days, someone from the east end is going to venture over and the flood gates will open.

    Comment by notadave — March 21, 2014 @ 1:31 pm

  16. #15 we really don’t eat desserts, cookies or other sweets so I haven’t gone into those type of places. I am aware of the French bistro, but no one has ever said if it was good or not. Where is the hippie breakfast or best deli? I wasn’t aware of chichi bistro and I didn’t know in arias groceries they served food. I did mention the thai restaurant (I like Osha in SF).

    I like most Chinese food, some Thai, pasta, beef, chicken, or pork…or salad…I am sort of a picky eater you might say…no seafood or fish. I liked the spaghetti factory in Jack London before it closed especially if you went with a big group of friends, I tend to like the chain restaurants, which a lot of people don’t.

    People on the East end are most likely not going to come to the West end to eat, just as we don’t go to the East end to eat…it is quicker for us to go to Jack London or some other places in Oakland…or SF. We have eaten at La Penca, but prefer Juanita’s if we go over to Park St to eat Mexican, but everyone has their preferences.

    Comment by Joe — March 21, 2014 @ 3:44 pm

  17. Joe, Joe, Joe, do you really think they would put a restaurant in a gas station?.. notadave I think Joe is definitely not a foodie.

    Comment by John P. — March 21, 2014 @ 4:35 pm

  18. John, John, John, have you eaten at Otaez Mexican restaurant…shell is right there…it will most likely be a mini mart but who knows…that is why I asked if anyone knew.

    Comment by Joe — March 21, 2014 @ 5:26 pm

  19. 17 –If you think that good food can’t come from a gas station, you must not be familiar with Oklahoma Joe’s.

    Comment by Oh the Irony! — March 21, 2014 @ 9:41 pm

  20. If we are still talking about Alameda, please name me one good restaurant in a gas station located here in town. Joe I have probably eaten at Otaez over fifty times, its not in a gas station. Joe I was just kidding about the foddie thing.

    Comment by John P. — March 22, 2014 @ 8:44 am

  21. Jack, in this case I hope we can stay behind the curve. Just a thought, could the next big thing be getting your gas in a restaurant.?

    Comment by John P. — March 22, 2014 @ 12:18 pm

  22. There are no Fine dining Restaurant in Alameda , 3 reasons , labor cost , food cost and overhead .
    the last semi fine dining restaurant was called Beau Rivage and it burned to the ground some 30 years ago .
    I have that the very clear memory of that conversation between Dad soccer team players as they were saying why don’t you open a Restaurant , explain there was no market for it , the conversation was interrupted by another Dad who said :have you tried the new restaurant it is awesome $ 4.99 all you can eat … everyone had a good laugh ……
    Chinese have all the same menu over and over , one with more or less MSG or fat than the other , some far more dangerous for your health than any concoction served at Mc Donald interesting , when one is aware the 2 more complex and diverse kitchen are Chinese and French .
    Indian restaurant don’t even carry the bread used in India “kind like pita bread” none offer the staple of these over baked pancake . Mexican share on the same line . I can see only one creative restaurant in Alameda it is at south shore .
    There are all bistro . or you have the chain menu from large corporation in which it is ok to have bone , concrete grinded steel and bugs as per the food regulation in place

    Comment by frank. — March 22, 2014 @ 4:44 pm

  23. John! You’ve never gotten gas at a restaurant? Just do the opposite of what this site lists and you’ll leave a happy man with a full tank of gas.

    Comment by Jack R — March 22, 2014 @ 5:22 pm

  24. 23)
    frank, I agree with you about the Beau Rivage. Lucian was the executive chef and the food was on par with Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley but BR didn’t quite have the service level. Always thought there was something fishy about that fire.

    Comment by Jack R — March 22, 2014 @ 5:49 pm

  25. John,
    Have you ever eaten outside at Otaez? you can smell the gas from shell…and feel like you are sitting in their parking lot. Frankly, I like Pasta Pelican…that is where I met Jack at the bar…while we waited for a table. No one has mentioned pier 29…but it isn’t really worth mentioning (I would give it a 1 star). It has great views and could be good, but it is not. I had steak there and it tasted like fish…probably on the same grill and the other 3 people I was with orders some kind of fish or seafood…none of us liked it.

    Comment by Joe — March 22, 2014 @ 7:33 pm

  26. Pier 29 used to be at the foot of the Park St bridge on the Oakland side then after it burned down the name moved to the old Whale’s Tail, which was just one step above eating at the NAS chow hall but we used to take our Air Force visitors to and they loved it….but what do you expect from Georgia boys.

    Joe, if you still eat at the Pasta Pelican say hello to Lizzy who’s a hostess and my great niece and a great young Alameda senior going to UC Santa Barbara next fall.

    Comment by Jack R — March 22, 2014 @ 9:19 pm

  27. always found it interesting when restaurants burn to the ground in the middle od the night , never when in operation , usually in connection with bad finances or disagreement among partners ……they alays say it’s grease fire , have you ever tried to start one , you must be above 450 degrees , when the restaurant is closed equipment is off , beside they cannot reach that temperature due to thermostat unless you rigg it with 1/2 ” long piece of match stick , a can of “sterno ” light bulb filled with alcohol and acetone in the utility room and put on timer …..never seen a fire in a restaurant that was doing well .
    Going back to food , pier 29 and the spaghetti factory were one notch above Salvation Army food bank , both had the same “””Champagne “””you can buy at gaz station and watery pasta with sauces straight from the can like few on park street , which also offer great pot sticker they buy at Costco or the other joint or high street ,they are not restaurant , they buy their food 80 to 100% premade and shove it on you plate with a smile , make no mistake it;s the same for hotel and restaurant in the City , some are so much into cost cutting they do not even make their own salad dressing , it;s all in a can, jar or frozen delivered by a shiny truck .
    Sad part about it people are so use to it they can’t make th difference ,

    Comment by frank — March 23, 2014 @ 8:01 am

  28. Next to tip or nor to tip ????

    Comment by frank — March 23, 2014 @ 8:09 am

  29. Joe, we agree on the Pasta Pelican, for me it works every time I go there. But I have had comments from other people that don’t think much of it. So they can go somewhere else and I’ll be happy not to have to share my wine tasting with them on Thursday nights. Frank, best tip I ever got was from Jack about wine tasting at Pasta Pelican.

    Comment by John P. — March 23, 2014 @ 10:25 am

  30. #28 I like the spaghetti factory…not every one has the same taste. Frank, I guess what you are saying is you have better taste than I.

    Comment by Joe — March 23, 2014 @ 9:27 pm

  31. No ! I do not criticized anyone taste and preference , simply we are used to mediocre food we think national food chain are gourmet food , thanks for the Farmer’s Market an Dan Produce , to give us a sense of reality . frozen tv diner and canned soup swerved in a plate is not my cup of tea . Maybe there is a a reason why spaghetti factory , viener and the like are no longer in sight

    Comment by fran — March 23, 2014 @ 11:33 pm

  32. The Spaghetti factory was always busy, the reason they went out of business is the gutted the building (btw…the building in which Catellus now has its offices). El torero’s also was forced out. Go to San Diego’s gas light district…there is a line to get in to the spaghetti factory. Gourmet food who can afford them every night. I don’t eat for taste so much as I eat to survive, I have never been a foodie. I don’t think I am much different then a lot of people…that is why chains grow and survive.

    Comment by Joe — March 24, 2014 @ 6:51 am

  33. I might say I’m looking forward to the Ramen joint on Park Street, but I just discovered that they are in the place where our beloved Kai’s was until recently. Anybody know what happened to Kai’s? Such nice people and yummy, not-too-expensive food. They seemed to be thriving, so them closing down was a big surprise.

    Comment by Dan Wood — March 24, 2014 @ 9:02 am

  34. Joe ,
    healthy food does not need to be expensive a distinction with with gourmet or fine cuisine if you will . I have been eating In and Out burgers since 1978 { by the way never got mugged never seen any violence } Spaghetti fctory shut down because the then mayor believe building condo was better than having a water front which resulted in total anilation of these business , that’s how Oakland shot themselves in the legs from a vibrant focal point to nothing ,
    I would not like to leave next to the railroad as you can hear the trains blasting their horn at all time of day and night

    Comment by frank — March 24, 2014 @ 10:05 am

  35. Frank, healthy food is expensive, why do you think poor people can’t eat healthy. They can afford a can of soup or something but they can’t afford to buy fresh veggie or meat. Grocery’s have like doubled in the last few years…our solution is to eat less meat and grow tomato’s and cucumbers in our yard. I have to say the farmers market concept was great in the beginning but I can go to Lucky’s and buy them cheaper. The Spaghetti factory shut down had nothing to do with the new condos…it totally had to do with the owners wanting to rehab the building and charge more rent. I agree with you I would never buy a condo or loft down there as the trains make to much noise.

    Comment by Joe — March 24, 2014 @ 10:50 am

  36. Reading these comments sounds amuzing to me. So stores opened within the US in the name of ‘Alcatraz’ should have convicts or killers? They are simply trying to create a classy atmosphere with a hint of jazz music, italian food, and crime free restaurant lounge. None of the owners are related to the Capone family. So the other Capone Speakeasy bars across the US is related to crime? Of course not. Establishing a location with class in downtown Alameda, CA should be a dream come true, which will generate great revenue for the city. No one is looking to attract criminals. It’s a part of the 20 eras and could be an amazing location to finally enjoy an upscale location with jazz music and fabulous food. CEO’s from across Silicon Valley will attend, Celebrities similar to Al Pacino. In my humble opinion, consider yourselves lucky that the owner chose Alameda to build over a million dollar building to attract people from across the country and even filmmakers. Please stop negativity but rather be appreciative and thankful.

    Comment by Leila — April 16, 2014 @ 5:33 pm

  37. No fine dining in Alameda? What do you think they serve at C’era Una Volta, Trabocco, the Gold Coast Grill, and Pappos? Chicken nuggets? Okay, it’s not the French Laundry, but I’ve had excellent, outstanding meals in all these places. I’ve been to Chez Panisse a couple of times and, with wine, the bill came to well over $100 per person. The food was outstanding, and it was totally worth it, but it still is pretty much a bistro-type experience. Yet, it’s on the list of top restaurants in the U.S. year after year. The fine dining model has changed since Cary Grant was squiring around ladies in mink coats, people, and it’s a good thing. BTW, there’s a great food and wine column at The Alamedan online news service ( every month that showcases new and noteworthy restaurants in town. You should check it out! #shamelessplug

    Comment by Denise Shelton — April 17, 2014 @ 9:03 am

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