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B Restaurant and Bar, Oakland- review

Better than its SF Sister

This downtown Oakland restaurant finds success with Fork alum Saman Javid's menu of refined, flavorful soups ($8), robust (if not quite adequately crisp-crusted) artisan pizzas ($13-15), and entrees like last Spring's wild halibut with melted spring onion & green garlic, salsify, hazelnuts, mache & frisee salad, and vanilla ($21).

While a brioche French toast with fresh berries and crème fraiche gelato ($9) is touted by the staff as the star of the dessert menu (and word is that it's good), such a heavy brunch dish seems an odd finish to a full meal.

Owned by Boxed Foods Co., a takeout lunch spot that prides itself on local and mostly organic ingredients, B shares its sustainable dining philosophy with its sister restaurant (also named B Restaurant and Bar) in SF's SOMA district. However, each location has its own chef; the California cuisine at the downtown Oakland location appears to be winning the race, although the SF location wins big points for its city views.

Mounds of perfect truffled French fries ($4), a formidable bar with seating, rumors of a good burger ($10) and the recent addition of Sunday brunch service ensure return visits in the future.

Reservations Essential? No