As the Mission District is to San Francisco (there seems to be a restaurant opening there every week), Uptown Oakland is going through similar growth. And it’s latest restaurant, Hopscotch, opens its doors on Friday, June 15.
The brainchild of chef Kyle Itani and partner Jenny Schwarz, the upscale diner, located just a few blocks from the Fox Theater and Paramount Theatre, is a mix of their myriad of ideas.
“We had been looking for a space in Oakland for awhile now,” said Schwarz. “We came across this spot and thought it really fit what we wanted to do. We want the space to define the concept and we really think this is a fit for us.”
Schwarz said that like a lot of San Francisco restaurants, they wanted to have a heavy focus on local ingredients and produce. But unlike a lot of the chefs who use mainly techniques from France and Italy, Itani found his true inspiration from Japanese culture and cuisine, which is evident in the menu below:
Chips and Dip duck fat potato chips, yuzu aioli
Little Green Salad little gems, tomatoes, sea beans, cucumber, tarragon croutons
Heirloom Tomatoes marinated in dashi, pickled king trumpet mushrooms, tatsoi
Beer Steamed Clams Savoury clams, lamb, duck fat potato chips
Oyster on the Half Shell daily oyster, Schramsberg mignonettes
Yonsei Oyster sea urchin, salmon roe, citrus soy
Duck on Toast foie gras mousse, shitake duxelles
Sweet Potato Gnocchi king trumpet, hen of the woods and shitake mushrooms, sage crème frâiche
Corvina Sea Bass pea shoots, salt cod stuffed squash blossom, cedar aged miso
Roasted Chicken Loin ginger stuffed, kabocha squash risotto, treviso
Three Little Pigs braised belly, prosciutto meatball, ham hock kale, apple-celery root mash, black garlic
Uptown Burger Black Angus chuck, pickled onions, sesame miso aioli, kennebec chips
First Base Burger Black Angus chuck, griddled beef tongue, pickled onions, sesame miso aioli, kennebec chips
There will be a cocktail program, along with a small beer and wine list. Schwarz said the goal was to make the lists very approachable as they carefully hand-picked the spirits, wines and beers for the list.
When Schwarz and Itani chose the space, they wanted to maintain its dignity and fit into the history of the area. Calling it “charming” and “one of the smallest restaurant spaces she’s seen (seats max of 40 people),” she is happy to be in such a warm and inviting neighborhood. “There is so much life and energy here. I live in San Francisco and barely say hi to people in my neighborhood. But if I’m near the restaurant, everyone says hi. There’s a real sense of community here.”
Hopscotch is located at 1915 San Pablo Avenue in Oakland. They will be open for dinner beginning Friday, June 15 and regular dinner service will be from Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday from 5-10 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 5-11 p.m. There will also be eventual lunch and brunch service as well.
Photo Credit: Hopscotch