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Picán: Reviews

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Picán: Reviews | restaurant info + video | full episode video

Jody Brettkelly
Name: Jody
Occupation: Lifestyle Blogger/Journalist
Location: Oakland
Favorite Restaurant: Picán
Reviewed Picán: Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Picán is in the Downtown area of Oakland, next to other restaurants and bars and clubs and at the end of Auto Row. As soon as you arrive you feel an old-fashioned sense of occasion, from the valet parking and the doormen to the dressed-up-to-the nines staff at the front desk and the jazz pianist at the grand piano. This is a place where you can wear your sparkles and high heels and sassy hat.

That said about Picán being a great place to get glam, on our most recent visit we arrived on a Wednesday night dressed in UGGS and jeans for a quick bite before the Warriors' basketball game. The service was quick and decisive. The Fried Green Tomatoes were intensely tasty with the chopped Prather Ranch pork and the almond pimiento romesco sauce felt light and piquant, not cloying. The Crawfish Mac 'N Cheese was surprisingly delicate and you could taste the chunks of crawfish, which wasn't overwhelmed by the cheese.


The double-dredged fried chicken, which had been garlic herb-brined, was sublime; lighter and more tender and moist than I've tasted there before. The Smoked Gouda Mac 'N Cheese was tasty without having too much of that cheesy glug. The "Low and Slow" Rubbed Barbecued Pork Ribs were tender too and went well with the rib-end baked beans. The Brussels Sprouts with pomegranate molasses vinaigrette were delicious: the nuttiness of the brussels sprouts was off-set by the zing of the pomegranate.

Picán is a great option for a big Saturday night out or just a quick Wednesday night escape to The Big Easy before a basketball game.

Karen Halstead
Name: Karen
Occupation: Media Marketing Professional
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: The Little Chihuahua Mexican Restaurant
Reviewed Picán: Saturday, December 7, 2013

Picán was a refreshing change from my standard rotation of SF restaurants! It definitely has a vibe of southern hospitality, Oakland style. The food is based on southern standards but with a modern California twist. The ambiance is warm and inviting, and everyone in the restaurant looked like they were having a great time. It’s a great place for a special occasion with family, friends, or colleagues.

If you like bourbon, you’re really in luck at Picán. Their cocktail menu is quite extensive and offers a wide variety of bourbon options among others. Specialty drinks include old favorites like the Old-Fashioned and Sazerac, and twists on new ones- I had a Tennessee Margarita, which was surprisingly good! Our bartender gave us cornbread to nibble on with our drinks- a nice touch.

For our main course, a few of my dining companions got the Fried Chicken- I ordered the Molasses Pork Shank and my friend’s husband ordered the Ribs. The pork shank entree was a really large portion and came with a butternut risotto on the side. The meat fell off the bone, was rich but not too rich. The fried chicken was moist and definitely a much better version of any other fried chicken I’ve tried. My favorite was the side dish of Smoked Gouda Macaroni and Cheese that came on the side- it was definitely for grownups- so rich!

For dessert, we tried the Mississippi Mud Pie and the Picán Cake. Both had names that made me think we were going to get something different than what showed up on the plate. I liked the mud pie but it was a deconstructed version of the original.

I’d definitely recommend this place if you live close to Oakland. Fun, delicious, inviting, and great drinks!

Shahnam Davani
Name: Shahnam
Occupation: Corporate Sales Manager
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: Maykadeh Restaurant
Reviewed Picán: Saturday, December 7, 2013

A true gem!

Southern food requiring reservations in the Bay Area? In an upscale environment?
That is precisely what Picán is all about. Listen, it’s good.

We live in the City, and with many local choices, it seemed a bit of a burden to cross the bridge, especially on a Saturday night and during holiday season. What a good journey!

The Cornmeal Fried Oysters, Warm Artichoke Blue Crab Dip & the vast selection of bourbon were superb! The Catfish a la Nantua, Fat City Steak, and Crawfish with all the fixings was a delight. I had heard a lot of the Fried Chicken, but for me, no chicken leg or breast can become gourmet, even if Foghorn Leghorn endorsed it himself!

The service was fabulous. In fact, it was downright great! Every member of the staff is involved in your dining experience.

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