Sunday, March 31, 2013

Oakland's Own Easter Brunch Recommendations

Looking for a last minute restaurant to score an amazing Easter Brunch with the family or friends, check these recommendations below:

Lake Chalet 10a – 10p: Easter Brunch and Dinner menus with a beautiful view of the lake. At 1:00p, the Easter Bunny will be handing out eggs filled with treats for the kids. 1:30p, $5 gondola tours of Lake Merritt 

Easter Brunch 10:30a - 1:30p: $50 per person. Children 12 and under $5. Check the link for the menu.

Champagne Jazz Brunch 10:00a – 2:45p: Live Jazz classical buffet with table service. You can check out the Jack London Square Farmer’s Market while you wait for your reservation.

Easter Brunch 10a - 2:45p: Regular brunch menu with a few specialty items. Reservations are highly encouraged.

Cuban style brunch 10:30a-2p: Live Cuban jazz 10:30a-3p. $16 bottomless Mimosas (until 2:30p)

Down home southern soul food breakfast, lunch and dinner 9am-7pm: Restaurant started by members of Acts Full Gospel Church

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Oaklander Spotlight: Carla Service

Want to know who's who in Oakland? Oakland's Own will spotlight Oaklander's who are making moves and making a difference. Get to know them in their own words and support them in their upcoming endeavors!

Carla Service
Owner, Dance-A-Vision Entertainment

Home Town:
I grew up in the bay area

Current Town: 
Home base for me is in Downtown Oakland at the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Performing Arts formerly known as the Alice Arts Center.

What keeps you busy: 
We dance, oh my goodness we dance and that’s one of the fabulous things I love about Oakland, California. We have a wide diversity of dance in Oakland, not to mention the people. There’s people from all over the world here. People visit Oakland, not just San Francisco, to see the diversity we have here. If you name a country, we have it. My favorite thing to do in the city of Oakland is dance and create space for others to dance! I love to make you dance and most of all children, anyone. Our dancers have traveled all over the world and I am working on the whole world! I've been half way around and I’m working on the rest, but I always come back to home base.

What's up next: 
Dance-A-Vision continues to create something new in the city of Oakland. Speaking of something new, we’re going to start an event where we will bring the arts in the nightclub, we’re bringing the arts up in the club so to speak. This club is in downtown Oakland on 3rd and Broadway. It's actually called Club Anton but during that night it will be Dance-A-Vision After Dark, an Oakland Cabaret if you will. We’re bringing in circus acts, dancers, lyrical jazz, hip-hop, a little bit of cabaret, a little bit of burlesque, singers and more. After the live performance, everyone can join us on the dance floor to live dj dancing. So if you are a person who's looking for more than just a drink and you would like to be entertained, then this is the place for you. Why should Saturday's get all the fun! Oakland Cabaret/Dance-A-Vision After Dark will be every last Thursday of the month at Club Anton on 3rd & Broadway.

Your favorite Oakland neighborhood: 
Where ever I am that's my favorite spot

Your favorite view in Oakland: 
There are times when I do have a moment or I accidently get lost. I enjoy seeing the architecture especially the old architecture of the homes and the buildings that are in the city of Oakland. There is a lot of history here and if you want to know, especially these days, you can just push a button and find out the history of some of the architecture. Such as the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Performing Arts, it was once an all woman's building in the 1920's, home of the Oakland Opera Lecture Club.  

Your Oaklander insider tip: 
Just go get lost because you will see things that you've never seen before. Unfortunately I get lost a lot, but I see things I've never seen before and I meet people I've never met before. The people are one of the gems in the city of Oakland. 

Your ideal day spent in Oakland:
Creating, performing, dancing and planning because I love what I do and I love teaching and working with  Oakland's children.

Your Oakland Heroes/Heroines:
I want to give a little shout out to a person that is from the city of Oakland, who knew I was going to be in this field of art and dance before I did when I was younger.  They took my hand, smacked it and said hey you have to put your time in to it. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? It's hard work you can't just do something half, you know, you have to do it whole. I want to give Patricia Turner a shoutout and tell her thank you for that because here I am now, at the age I am now and doing it and doing it well. What I do takes discipline, time and energy, but I enjoy it. 

I'm a proud Oaklander because:
If you come here you will get the root, the root of what the person is trying to put out from their heart, their gut and their soul. I am one of Oakland’s Own, keep dancing!

Dance-A-Vision After Dark
Thursday, March 28th
$15 at the door
Club Anton 
428 3rd Street, Oakland

For more information contact Dance-A-Vision:
Phone: 510-763-5180
Facebook Page: Dance-A-Vision
Facebook Page: Carla S Dancer

Check Oakland's Own Calendar for upcoming Dance-A-Vision events

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Oakland's Own Photo Story: Comfort Food Pop Up Market

 Commercial kitchen for hire, Kitchener Oakland, opened up its doors tonight for another packed pop-up market showcasing up and coming food artisans who utilize sustainable, local ingredients. 

Decadent gluten-free chocolate confections by A.D.D. Alternative Delectable Delights  and Ruby Red Kitchen to-die-for dark chocolate bread pudding greeted you at the door. Paired with hand blended tea by Sip To Live


Barbarian Gourmet served up yummy re-imagined southern soul food staples

The Cook and Her Farmer (Oakland's Own) thoroughly satisfied lines of customers with oysters 2 ways: po' boys and raw oysters with all the fixings, including their homemade hot sauce. Look for their oyster bar coming soon to Downtown Oakland. 

Javi's Traditional Argentine Cooking filled bellies with piping hot, meaty, cheesy, flaky, authentic, Argentine empanada goodness.

Check the Oakland's Own Calendar for more events from these newcomers! 

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Oakland's Own Don't Miss of the Week - 3/25/13

Don't miss these great events coming up this week.

Bookmark the Oakland's Own Calendar for a curated list of events.

March 25th
Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Oakland's Own --> DJ D Sharp will be spinning

March 27th
Comfort Food Pop-Up Market

Wednesday March 27th
Temescal Dishcrawl

March 29th
NCAA March Madness Happy Hour at Cana

March 30th
Great Egg Hunt at the Dunsmuir House

March 30th
Cedric the Entertainer @ Paramount Theater

Tweet me your pick of the week!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Oakland's Own Photo Story: My Art, My Culture: Women, Media & Hip Hop Series

In celebration of International Women's Month, Daughters of Dilla, 70X30.COM and Betti Ono hosted an interactive event to open dialogue with the community, artists and industry insiders about the image of women in hip hop media.

Jessica Sabogal's vibrant month long exhibition, "Better Than Perfect" was an engaging backdrop of diverse, empowering images of women.

Attendees and panelists got their hands dirty alongside girls from the Dauguters of Dilla D.I.G (Developing Intelligent Girls) program making pins and screens. The message was clear - "Woman, Better Than Perfect."

Check Oakland's Own Calendar often for more events at Betti Ono!

Other Links
Betti Ono
Daughters of Dilla
Jessica Sabogal

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Spend A Day In Oakland - Jack London Square/Old Oakland

I love spending a day discovering my city. Below is a recommendation for a day spent exploring the historic Jack London Square/Old Oakland neighborhoods. Most of the places and services listed below are open on weekdays as well as weekends so you can have a great experience any day of the week.

Bike, drive or arrive via Amtrak to the Jack London Square in the morning

Grab a light, tastes-like-homemade Italian breakfast from Caffe 817 (817 Washington Street)

Head over to the secret meeting place for the Jack London Square Food Tour hosted by Savor Oakland Food Tours. On the 3.5 hour walking tour, you'll get to know some of the best culinary destinations in the area. Just to highlight a few experiences on the tour:
  • Pull up to the Coffee Bar at Blue Bottle Coffee (300 Webster Street) for fresh roasted espresso crafted on vintage machines.
  • Sample the Southern soul food classic pairing of chicken & waffles at Home of Chicken & Waffles (444 Embarcadero W.) an Oaklander favorite for late night eats.
  • Nibble on pan-american small plates at Jack London Square heavy hitter Bocanova (55 Webster Street)

If you're not tired of walking yet, browse some of the art galleries in the area:
Swarm Gallery (560 2nd Street) 
Loakal Art Gallery & Boutique (550 2nd Street) you can pick up your Oaklander gear here!
The Hive Studio (301 Jefferson Street) Oakland's Own tip: Only open during Oakland Art Murmur (first Friday's of each month) and for special events.

Spend the rest of the afternoon kayaking around the Oakland Estuary and what I like to call boat "window shopping" in kayaks rented from California Canoe & Kayak. No reservations required!

Once you've worked up an appetite, head back to the Old Oakland neighborhood for dinner. You'll have your choice of exquisite ethnic cuisine:
Tamarindo Antojeria (468 8th Street) for elevated traditional Mexican cuisine with an attached tequila bar next door! 
Le Cheval (1007 Clay Street) for family style Vietnamese and Asian Fusion 
Miss Ollie's (901 Washington Street) for delicious Caribbean soul food

Enjoy some of Oakland's eclectic nightlife at these cool spots:
Sample a MASSIVE selection of beers at Beer Revolution and enjoy the night on their front patio
Karaoke or vibe to some spoken word at Air Lounge
Cheer on the A's/Raiders/Warriors at GO Sports Bar
Sip wine in a chic wine bar franchise, District Oakland
Salsa dance the night away at Club Anton
Lounge with friends over a retro cocktail at The Night Light

For late night eats hit up Nation's Giant Hamburgers (open until 1a daily and conveniently located next to The Night Light) or Home of Chicken & Waffles (open until 4a Fri. & Sat.)

Whether you are a local or a visitor, these neighborhoods are constantly evolving. You will always find something new to explore!

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Oakland's Own Don't Miss of the Week - 3/18/13

Don't miss these great events coming up this week.

Check the Oakland's Own Calendar for a curated list of events.

Wednesday - Friday
March 20th - 22nd
Sheila E <-- Oakland's Own at Yoshi's Oakland

March 21st
Lagunitas Presents: Beers, Brats, and Blues with Eli Rice at Telegraph

March 22nd
My Art, My Culture: Women, Media and Hip Hop Series at Betti Ono

March 23rd
Black Star at The Fox Theater
DJ D Sharp <-- will be spinning

March 23rd
Last Day to register for the Oakland Running Festival at Oakland Marriott City Center

March 24th
Oakland Running Festival -  Oakland Running Festival Street Closures

Tweet me your pick of the week!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Oakland Foodie Institutions

Most foodies are on the hunt for the hottest new supper club, pop-up restaurant or food truck in town. But there is so much to be said for a culinary institution. Below is my ode to the best foodie institutions in Oakland. These places have done more than stand the test of time, they've defined the culinary culture of this city. If you really want to experience Oakland's gastronomic greatness, these spots are not to be missed!

Arizmendi Bakery: Est.1997 - This local favorite has a cult following for it's rotating vegetarian pizza menu with seasonal ingredients on a to-die-for sourdough crust. There is a bevy of fresh baked goods made by devout co-op employee/owners.   

Neighborhood: Lakeshore

Colonial Donuts: Est. 1970 - This was my Grandpa's favorite donut shop. Open 24/7 and you can always find an eclectic clientele. Most Friday nights, an intense chess or dominoes game will ensue. It's the best late night after you leave the club. You bite into them and they're still warm!
Neighborhood: Lakeshore

Kwik Way: Est. 1960's - The "kick it spot" (as my mom puts it) for decades. Revitalized in 2009 to shed the bad rep garnered in the 80's. The new Kwik Way serves fresh, local ingredients. Get a dose of retro vibe with modern taste.
Neighborhood: Grand Lake

Merritt Bakery: Est. 1952 - Best known for their fried chicken and strawberry shortcake!
Neighborhood: East Lake

Zachary's Chicago Pizza: Est. 1983 - Chicago transplants brought beloved Chicago style deep dish pizza to Oakland and have been serving up  quality, award winning pie's ever since!
Neighborhood: Rockridge

Red Sea Restaurant : Est. 1980's - Family style meals and East African tradition.
Neighborhood: Rockridge

Kaspers Hot Dogs: Est 1929/ Caspers Hot Dogs: Est 1934 - Whichever your preference (with a C or K). I remember coming to the Original Kaspers on Telegraph (now closed but there is still a spin off on MacArthur in the Laurel) with my Grammy to get hot dogs and fries. Both are just good ole hot dog joints. You won't be disappointed with either one.
Neighborhoods: Rockridge & Laurel

Yoshi's Oakland: Est. 1977 - Original location was in Rockridge with a move to the current Jack London Square location in 1997. A world class Jazz destination and Japanese cuisine crusader.
Neighborhood: Jack London Square

Everett & Jones Barbecue: Est. 1973 - This family run and operated BBQ staple has not only kept Oaklanders licking their fingers for generations but has been a huge community supporter. Check the adjacent lounge, Q's Joint, for musical showcases featuring local rising stars.
Neighborhood: Jack London Square

Nation's Giant Hamburgers: Est. 1970 -  This has been the spot for late night eats for decades. You'll go for the burgers, but come back for the desserts!
Neighborhood: Jack London Square

Heinold's First & Last Chance Saloon: Est. 1883 - The bar is perfectly adorned and weathered.  Not only an institution but a historical landmark.
Neighborhood: Jack London Square

Quinn's Lighthouse: Est. 1984 - The restaurant was established in '84, but the lighthouse dates back to 1903. Great food, a beautiful view of the estuary and a legit sports bar upstairs. I have great memories of dining with my grandmother, eating our favorite dish - Prawns Doodaa. It's still my family's go to restaurant.
Neighborhood: East Peralta

Mexicali Rose: Est. 1927 - Family owned casual Mexican cuisine. Beloved by longshoremen for decades.
Neighborhood: Old Oakland

Genova Delicatessen & Ravioli Factory: Est. 1926 - Premier Italian deli with big personalities to boot.
Neighborhood: Temescal

Taste of Denmark: Est. 1929 - Reborn by employees as "Taste of Denmark" after a recession forced closure of the original Neldam's Danish Bakery. Amazing quality baked goods for sale (I swear by the parkerhouse rolls) and custom creations for any occasion.
Neighborhood: Mosswood

Fenton's Creamery: Est. 1894 - Family Owned retro soda fountain that has been delivering on sundae perfection for generations.
Neighborhood: Piedmont Ave

Little Shin Shin: Est. 1982 - One of the best Chinese restaurants in Oakland. Award winner several times over.
Neighborhood: Piedmont Ave

Lois the Pie Queen: Est. 1951 - In the Oakland location since 1973. Comfort soul food and yes, the pie is divine! This place is legendary. My family has been brunching here since I can remember. But get there early to get a table. Just to clarify, this spot is definitely in Oakland, not Emeryville.
Neighborhood: North Oakland

Old Weang Ping: Est: 1980's - The husband and wife duo have been schooling patrons on authentic Thai food for decades. So old school, they don't accept cards. 
Neighborhood: Millsmont

Mills Hoagie & Deli Shop: Est. Unknown - However, I can vouch that it's at least 20 years old because I remember this place from my childhood. Solid hoagies with lots of meat and great fries. You can't beat it!
Neighborhood: Millsmont

Francesco's Restaurant: Est. 1968 - Old school Italian joint. It's big sign and bright awnings have been a fixture driving to and from the Oakland Airport since I can remember.
Neighborhood: Coliseum

I'm sure you have some favorites that didn't make the list. Tweet me your honorable mentions! @oaklands_own

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Oakland's Own Don't Miss of the Week - 3/11/13

Don't miss these great events coming up this week.

Check the Oakland's Own Calendar for a curated list of events.

March 13th
Lunch Beat Oakland at Era Art Bar & Lounge. Get your boogie on during your lunch break

March 16th
2013 Jazz Search West Competition at The Sound Room

March 17th
St. Patrick's Day at McNally's Irish Pub

Tweet me your pick of the week!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Farewell to Scream Sorbet

Noooo! Oakland's Own Scream Sorbet may be closing for good March 10th. Stock up now at their last appearance at the Grand Lake Farmer's Market on Sat. March 9th. Mark your calendar. Visit their site for a list of amazing flavors. Their sorbet is made with only the freshest ingredients and is so creamy it might as well be ice cream!  Scream Sorbet Flavors

Show your love on their twitter page...they will be missed! @screamsorbet

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Oakland's Own Don't Miss of the Week - 3/4/13

Don't miss these great events coming up this week.

Check the Oakland's Own Calendar for a curated list of events.

March 5th
Alabama Shakes at the Fox Theater

March 8th
Golden State Warriors v. Houston Rockets at the Oracle Arena
Oakland's Own Tip: The Warrior's resident DJ is Oakland's Own DJ D Sharp!

March 9th
The College Expo at the Oakland Marriott

March 10th
Alicia Keys with Special Guest Miguel at the Oracle Arena

Don't forget to send me your picks for the week!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Farley's East

So I decided to hit up my favorite coffee shop to work on this blog, get a yummy cappuccino and breakfast. Then I figured I should totally make this place my first feature. Farley's East has been a staple of mine for years. It's an Oakland spin off of the Farley's in Potrero Hill in SF. It was one of the first spots to lead the way in 2009 to a re-imagined West Grand/Broadway corridor in the heart of Uptown.

Farley's East is unpretentious but still offers some great espresso, fresh baked goods and a diverse selection of local resourced, made to order sandwiches and salads, including vegan options.

The upstairs loft area has a few tables and a booth that's great for a quiet magazine peruse over an artisan crafted latte. Their magazine and periodical collection is massive. Any interest you can think of, they've got it. The downstairs has a common table and barstools which are usually occupied by plugged in patrons grinding away on the computer. Wifi - Free.  Music - Eclectic; not too loud and easy to enjoy or drown out.

They recently debuted a sidewalk patio with turf, planter boxes, tables and chairs. On a warm day, it's the perfect spot for people watching. During First Fridays they often have a band setup on the patio providing a soundtrack for the art walkers. Art work by local artists is showcased on the walls and rotated regularly. 

It's my go to coffee shop because I find the vibe is always right no matter why I'm stopping in. It's a consistent staple, every change has only enhanced it's appeal.

Stop by the next time you're working on the weekend or catching up with a friend. I'll see you there!

Farley's East: 33 Grand Ave.
Mon - Fri: 7a - 9p
Sat - Sun: 8a - 9p

Friday, March 1, 2013


Welcome! Oakland's Own is here to guide you through the burgeoning, eclectic, cultural mecca that is Oakland, California. Born and raised in the heart of the historic San Antonio district, I was introduced to Oakland's thriving art scene by my Oakland Parks and Rec center/theater director mother and my community leader father (both Oakland's own) who made sure their daughter grew up with a strong appreciation for Oakland's diverse beauty and rich history. 
I started this blog because I often found myself scouring the web, social media and friends for WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE TOWN TODAY? I had no luck finding a curated site/calendar/blog that featured events, restaurants or activities that catered to a discerning resident and were vetted by someone who really KNEW the city.
So, here we are! Oakland's Own will not only provide calendars and recommendations of the best Oakland has to offer but will also spotlight Oakland natives and transplants so you can get to know the who's who of the city!
Enjoy and check back often for updates and connect with Oakland's Own:
Facebook Page: Oakland's Own
Twitter: @Oaklands_Own
Instagram: Oaklands_Own