by chrisoldaker, Oakland Local (8/26/14)
Almost once a week, after a particularly long day on the grind, when the stress starts to overwhelm me, I get a serious craving for oysters. It’s become my way of hitting the reset and regrouping. I’ll take ‘em just about anywhere they’re fresh, but if I can manage to have those delectable mollusks on a nice patio overlooking the waterfront at sunset with a strong cocktail in hand, then I’m pretty much in heaven.
It just so happens that Jack’s Oyster Bar & Fish House delivers exactly that. Situated right next to Bocanova’s waterfront side in Jack London Square, the new restaurant offers a full bar with handcrafted cocktails, a great beer and wine list and a menu focusing on classic California seafood with a few interesting twists.
Chef-owner Rick Hackett and Meredith Melville, who opened neighboring Bocanova five years ago, have completely revamped the space with sleek, modern architecture and beautiful artwork. With an outdoor patio section overlooking the harbor, Jack’s provides the perfect environment for enjoying their plethora of amazing seafood options. The back of the restaurant is adorned with a large-scale wheat-paste mural installed by local artists Becky Carter and Michael de la Torre, giving the interior a whimsical and uniquely Oakland flare.
Executive Chef Peter Villegas’ menu keeps it simple with a focus on sustainability and freshness. In addition to the extensive raw bar, Jack’s offers traditional East-Coast items such as lobster rolls, chowders and crab cakes with a California twist, pulling influences from Vellegas’ globe-trotting culinary experiences to craft original dishes like his battered soft shell crab on a bed of kimchi, drizzled in black garlic, or the baked sardines with radish and salsa verde.
Adding to their focus on sustainability, a portion of their featured oyster specials are donated to The Watershed Project, a nonprofit devoted to research and monitoring of the San Francisco Bay.
Jack’s Oyster Bar & Fish House
336 Water Street
Jack London Square
Oakland, CA 94607
Mon.-Fri. 11:30am -10:00pm, Sat. 11am-10pm, Sun. 11am-9:30pm