After working at acclaimed restaurants around the globe, husband-and-wife chefs Carrie and Rupert Blease decided to open a place of their own. At Lord Stanley, the Bleases coax the flavors out of unlikely ingredients, turning them into wildly creative dishes. Go à la carte or get the tasting menu—either way, you’ll be surprised by the plates at this minimalist, Michelin-starred place.
From a Michelin-starred establishment in Russian Hill to a stellar soba joint designed by a Buddhist priest, these Bay Area tables are all the rage, and they’re all New on Resy.
A yakitori destination with a Michelin nod, Ippuku makes you rethink what a chicken skewer can be. Settle into one of the low Japanese-style tables, and get ready to feast on the more exotic offerings of chicken: reba (liver), toriniku (white meat), nankotsu (cartilage), sunagimo (gizzard), tebasaki (wing), and bonjiri (tail)—all exquisite, and are served sizzling off the binchōtan charcoal grill.
When Ippuku discontinued its soba, it wasn’t for lack of want—it was to make way for Soba Ichi. At this cozy West Oakland soba shop—designed by a Zen Buddhist priest no less—chef Koichi Ishii makes soba noodles by hand, a craftsmanship that’s dying even in Japan. The results are fresh noodles that are supple, silky, and bouncy, and make for one elegant noodle slurping experience. Pro-tip: make a Resy on the earlier side to secure a stunning bowl of 100% buckwheat soba.
At the elegant Boulettes Larder, chef Amaryll Schwertner brushes local farm ingredients with flavors from North Africa to Japan, and does a mean breakfast (any egg dish is a surefire hit). Head to Boulibar for lunch or dinner, where a wood oven presides and fires Mediterranean mezze and pizzas alike. And don’t forget to stop by the Larder to shop for excellent sauces, syrups, and spices utilized in the restaurant’s kitchen.
Not every steakhouse gets the Japanese Wagyu Beef Committee’s stamp of approval; this sleek temple to Japanese beef did. Helmed by a Michelin-starred team, Niku Steakhouse cooks with the best wagyu from the Hyōgo Prefecture from start (brioche bun atop miso wagyu butter) to finish (brownie with caramelized wagyu fat). Round out the offerings with cocktails, Japanese whiskeys, and over 100 Californian wines by the glass.
At this converted chocolate shop, food comes second to wine. And that’s because Ungrafted is the passion project of a sommelier couple who met at a wine exam, and fell in love. The luminous Dogpatch restaurant, bathed in industrial cool chic, houses an array of fantastic bottles, from off-the-beaten-path gems to rare and old finds. As for the food—designed with the wines in mind—tuck into reimagined street food plates, packed with Asian and Mediterranean flavors.
Named after the first Spanish Naval officer who sailed into San Francisco Bay, Ayala is an ode to the sea. Helmed by two industry vets with a passion for fish, the elegant and refined restaurant showcases a menu where California’s coast rings in every dish. Expect raw bar selections and cured fish charcuterie boards, while cocktail maven Julian Cox oversees the libations.
Sparse and stylish, Sushi Ondo does Japanese fine dining with a Korean twist. Though an à la carte menu is offered, your best move here is to trust the very well-priced omakase ($70), where a flight of excellent sushi pieces is interspersed with Korean plates—think jellyfish salad, galbi-jjim (braised short ribs), and bibimbap. Pro-tip: Nab a Resy at the counter for a front-row seat to the chef’s tasting menu.
Manned by a French Laundry alum, Glen Ellen Star highlights the best of what Sonoma has to offer. The charming wine country establishment—which sports a Michelin Bib—specializes in a wood-fire cooking technique, dishing out pizzas, vegetables, and mains to pair with its French-focused wine selection.
You’re in for the double M—mezcal and mole—at this luminous Oakland locale. Agave Uptown does its Oaxacan roots more than justice, as chef Octavio Diaz’s menu centers on the artisanal moles from his family’s secret recipe, farm-fresh Oaxacan specialties— think tasajo (thinly sliced grilled beef), molotes (filled little corn-based pastries), and tlayuda (crispy toasted tortilla heaped with toppings)—with some of the best mezcal varieties in the Bay Area.
Barzotto is the kind of place one immediately adopts and always goes back to. And that’s because this Mission eatery doles out fresh Italian pastas in a gorgeous fast-casual setting, with an approachable wine list (all wines are $40 for a bottle, $10 for a glass), and delicious charcuterie boards to share (get the porchetta). Don’t leave without sampling the soft-serve gelato, and pro-tip: you can take their hand-rolled pasta home with you.
A dining experience sure to dazzle the senses, Berber brings a circus crew of aeralists, belly dancers, and live performers to enliven a faraway cuisine. Inspired by the warm hospitality of the Berbers, this Russian Hill locale serves traditional North African cuisine with California flair—get an order of the fluffy khoubz semolina bread, the melt-in-your-mouth lamb tagine, and the belly-warming berber couscous.
A rarity in the Oakland community, Oeste Bar & Cafe is the passion project of three women with East Bay roots. The sprawling café by day, bar by night, which sports a rooftop deck, fuses California cuisine with Latin, Southern, and Asian inflections for good-for-the-soul food. Highlights include cheesy shrimps and grits, beef-and-pork meatballs, and huevos rancheros, alongside high quality pours.
Housed in the old Walnut Creek Meat Market, this architectural jewel of a spot dishes Japanese-inflected plates. You’re in for a mix of local and seasonal robatayaki meat skewers, peak-season vegetables, fresh shasmi, and traditional sushi specialties, delivered straight from Tokyo’s famed Tsukiji fish market.
A Financial District institution for over 15 years, Oola deals in locally-sourced French-American cuisine, courtesy of Swedish chef Ola Fendert. Bring a crew and share the signature baby back pork ribs, truffle parmesan fries, and beets with watermelon within a warm and lively atmosphere.
Archives: Where to Dine Now