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Valentine's Day 2011 In Oakland - Keep Your Money In Oakland

Ok, for all practical purposes, Valentine's Day 2011 is here, (or if you did it on Saturday, gone) even though it's really on Monday. And while I am in suburban Atlanta doing what I'm supposed to do at this stage of life - keeping my Mom company (she's in good health, thanks for asking) I have a life in Oakland, too. For all of my complaints about Oakland, it's a wonderful, beautiful city, that too often takes itself for granted.

So, on Valentine's Day 2011, I ask you to please keep your money in Oakland.  Don't go over to San Francisco, as I often do, or jet off to LA or New York or Chicago or Atlanta.  And it's nothing against SF or LA or New York or Chicago or Atlanta; I go because I know a lot of people there and Mom's here in the ATL.  But the more time you spend in Oakland, the more you realize it's a massively cool place to be.

I got a message from beautiful, dear friend, that she was going to try Miss Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant at 3345 Grand Avenue for the first time, and due in no small way to my video to get the word out about it. This one:

I highly recommend Miss Saigon for Valentine's Day 2011, or any year for that matter.

But maybe pho's not your thing and you want a really nice Valentine's Day experience?

In Oakland, no problem.

Go over to the Lake Chalet at 1520 Lakeside Drive, where you can sit at any one of a number of tables with a great view of the Lake. Here' a video from Lake Chalet's opening day in September of 2009, in case you have no idea what it looks like:


If you're desire is for a great steak dinner with your sweetie, go to Flora.  It's on the corner of Telegraph and 18th Street in Downtown Oakland across from The Fox Theater, and the Art Deco style is just the right backdrop if you want to make an impression, or just have a good time.

I also have to plug Luka's on Broadway and Grand.  It's for more than just dancing, drinking, and  romancing - the food's really improved.  I recently ordered a steak at Luka's and was out-of-this World surprised.  Since then, I've went back more just to eat.  If Flora's too crowded, go over to Luka's.

If you live in the Oakland Hills, and don't want to drive a long way, go to Crogan's on Mountain Blvd.  That place, for me, goes all the way back to Skyline High School days, but today the food is consistently good and inexpensive.

And if your bent is for something really different, go to Enssaro Ethiopian Restauant at 366 Grand Avenue. It's rare - actually, this is the first time - I recommend a place I've not yet tried - and that's only because of my addiction to steaks - but word of mouth about Enssaro is just insane. The place is getting rave reviews.

And back on steak, The Alley at 3325 Grand Avenue, has a great 20 ounce one that's off the menu.  It's just that Rod Dibble plays the piano on Saturday's so you'll miss him today or Monday.   I love to give Rod support, so make sure you have dinner there when he's playing.

Ok.  Enough from me.  Happy Valentine's Day, Oakland!
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