I guess caring about restaurants is something that I do nowadays.
Mostly Monday involved me lying in bed bemoaning the fuckery of the prior evening, and by the time I was due to arrive at Duende to meet up with some “friends” (I don’t know why I put that in quotation marks, probably just to be cheeky, but also because those “friends” definitely read this blog, so, fuck it, hey what’s up Pablo & Nick – but not Nick that I usually write about who always accompanies me on the usual Sunday night bar-ing about town, this is a different Nick, it’s confusing, I know) for drinks. I mean, it was cool, I always enjoy being the sole female in a social trio, because you know what that means for me: attention! And I fucking love attention.
Anyways, we walked from Duende to the Tribune Tower to get drinks at the Tribune Tavern. Apparently that Dru Down song about Yukmouth getting kidnapped and locked on the 12th floor of the Tribune Tower while some bitch with AIDS tries to fuck him isn’t as prevalent a social reference as I thought it was, which is why I spent way too much time talking about Rescue 911 by Dru Down. Talking about Oakland rappers getting kidnapped and AIDS-raped and also guns isn’t generally considered polite conversation in the hoity toity restaurant crowd, which I learned the hard way. But also, fuck all y’all, how are you going to act like you know Oakland and not be down with Dru Down???
Whatever. Anyways, it’s a nice ass restaurant. It was family and friends night, so I’m not sure if the menu is going to expand beyond the food offerings, but the drink menu was great. Some people might think their drinks were too watered down, but (come on!), I have to admit, I’m not a discerning gourmand who scrutinizes drinks to that level. We wound up ordering five drinks off the menu, and they all disappeared really quickly. I thought they were good and points for the stemware that was more than the usual mundanely designed coupe and martini glasses. I ordered some food, and while the asparagus was delicious, I ordered a chickpea and spinach item that was basically just Indian food, except that they took all the spices out, so, pass.
I think this spot is going to get criticized for the green bar underlight that tinted all the booze bottles green. I, personally, really liked it. It was just one of those touches that was blatantly tacky yet in a self effacing almost comical way that to me just felt SO HIP. The menu aesthetic had a kitschy newspaper-esque design to it, which is great if you’re a fan of kitsch, which I am. TV’s by the bar, which, I mean, fuck it, I love watching television. It makes ignoring your date[s] so much more feasible.
Plus this spot’s proximity to Radio means that eating fancy food and then getting sloshed while Melissa or Zhiva or whoever helps you pour booze down the hatch is a viable option for anybody who’s sick of Uptown. Apparently the people behind this effort are the same people behind Chop Bar (love it!) and Lungomare (jury’s still out on that one), so I’m glad to see something quality come to that corner of Oakland. There was a lot of hob nobbing going on that night, and while I wish that I could have sampled some more food (they have an item called “guilty fries” that comes with cheddar and beer fondue – sounds amazing, and I had originally ordered the creamed kale, but I guess they ran out, which means that it must be good, right?), it’s definitely worth a return visit on an evening that isn’t the insanity of a soft opening night.