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“Creative, delicious, inspired gourmet cuisine” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Commis

3859 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611
(510) 653-3902
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Ranked #15 of 1,047 restaurants in Oakland
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: French, Spanish
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Rio Vista
Transit: Nearest Bart Station: Macarthur Taxis are often available outside the station for a quick ride to our restaurant.
Description: Commis restaurant serves a cuisine driven by modern and classic culinary traditions and is composed of ingredients that are grown, harvested, and foraged from the land that surrounds us. We offer a nightly coursed menu. ***If you or your dining companions have any food allergies, please note them when completing your reservation. Allergies will be accommodated with a spontaneous vegetarian preparation. Thank you for helping us best serve your party. THE CHEF'S COUNTER SEATING OFFERS A FRONT ROW VIEW OF OUR OPEN KITCHEN AND AVAILABILITY FOR THE COUNTER IS MANAGED DIRECTLY BY THE RESTAURANT.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Creative, delicious, inspired gourmet cuisine”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2013

Normally when one thinks of Oakland one does not think of gourmet dining; San Francisco certainly, Oakland perhaps for ribs, but not fine cuisine. Well Commis was fabulous. Each dish a delicacy, beautifully artistically presented. The interior is is nothing to rave about but THE FOOD IS FABULOUS !

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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37 reviews from our community

86% Recommend
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Las Vegas
Top Contributor
123 reviews 123 reviews
80 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Unique Dining Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2013

Knowing that my wife and I love good food and good service, our daugher and son-in-law treated us to an absolutely unique and wonderful dining experience at Commis. It brought back memories of the years we lived in Europe from the moment we entered the nondescript front entrance and were greated and brought to our table in the minamilist appointed small dining area. Our head server and I believe also the sommelier was very gracious, knowledgeable, and keen on service. He indicated we would indulge in a 7-course tasting menu which the owner/chef had designed for that particular week. My wife and I also opted for the wine pairing and weren't disappointed. Each dish was attractively presented and the two servers delivered each tasting plate to the four of us with great timing and placement on the table--very disciplined and discreet. Our head server described each wine pairing with a great deal of excitement and knowledge--a well educated sommelier. Needless to say, we enjoyed every plate and were quite pleased with the creativity of the ingredients. We were not rushed and our meal lasted a very pleasant 2 1/2 hours. Each server was attentive yet discreet and very professional akin to European tradition. Overall a wonderfully unique dining experience and we will be back!

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok, Thailand
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“An amusing and enjoyable experience; intriguing inventive creations”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

When I told my friends that I would be coming up to the Bay Area, one of the first things they did was reserve the chef’s table at Commis. My friend had been telling me about this young talented chef and how they had been going to his place for over a year since it opened, and how he had an interesting setup in what was formerly a rather scary part of Oakland- “high-end in the hood”, shall we say. Well, I was intrigued.

The chef’s table was actually a bar/counter around a fully functioning kitchen where we were within touching distance of multiple chefs quietly working away. As a matter of fact, considering there were 3-4 chefs behind the counter at any given time, it’s amazing how quietly they worked and how focused they were, talking to each other only in brief hushed tones, if at all.

The first thing they placed in front of us was a bowl of rocks, yes rocks. In the dish were real rocks and fake rocks. To our table’s amusement, one of my companions actually picked up a real rock and nearly broke a tooth because the other “rocks” all looked convincingly real! The chef’s playful illusion was carefully placed parmesan biscuits coated with a vegetable “charcoal” to give them a varied and earthy finish- they looked convincing and tasted good- it was a fun first taste of things to come.

Some of the dishes from our meal that still stand out in my mind include:

the creamy barley soup that was poured around artfully arranged vegetables and micro flowers;

the steak and fowl that were cooked very nicely in front of us- this was not a finishing station with actual cooking being done elsewhere, almost everything going out to the customers was being prepared just inches away from our eyes;

the desserts were also very nice, with the one that sticks out in my mind being a panna cotta with blood orange sorbet that reminded me of a grown-up take on the “creamsicle” ice cream-filled orange popsicles, one of my favorite childhood treats;

and the wine that was served was a lovely organic sauvignon blanc that smelled of jasmine flowers from a local California winery.

The only things that weren’t particularly impressive to me were:

the fish which would have been more enjoyable had the skin been cooked to a crisp;

and the “yolk” amuse bouche, which actually was the restaurant’s signature dish- although amusing, was not particularly to my taste, and was a sous vide egg yolk served atop onion cream with dates and grains- the dish gave the illusion of being a sunny side up egg until you spooned into the “white” which was runny as it was cream and the yolk which was solid- a nice play on expectations, but considering it was a sous vide egg, I had expectations of my own, and would have liked the yolk to have been more custard-like and soft, taking advantage of the capabilities of the sous vide process, rather than the disappointingly firm yolk that was served which was more typical of an average hard-boiled egg.

Overall, an amusing and enjoyable experience- we look forward to seeing the evolution of this young chef and his intriguing inventive creations.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bozeman, Montana
Top Contributor
206 reviews 206 reviews
133 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 75 cities Reviews in 75 cities
126 helpful votes 126 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013 via mobile

While visiting Oakland on business I had the opportunity to have dinner at Commis. What an inspiring experience! I sat at the bar in front of the cook's work area, allowing me to see the skill and attention to detail with which each dish was prepared. Astonishing! Each course was a work of art, both visually and in terms of favors and textures.

The service was professional, friendly, and attentive. I had the wine pairing with the eight course menu and was glad I did. The wine pairings varied from very good to outstanding.

Commis offers a unique dining experience. If you love great food and wine, try Commis. I will be recommending it to all of my most discriminating friends and coming back with my wife next time we are in San Francisco.

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban, South Africa
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Chic elegance and good food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

We recently went to Commis for the first time in a group of six friends. Comis is a small restaurant and the store front does not sport a sign. You have to "know it is there". The interior is minimalist and chic, with a nod toward natural materials and sleek lines. The menu is a "secret tasting"; that is, you get a multi-course (7) meal but the menu is given to you at the end of the meal. Luckily, the restaurant accommodates food preferences and allergies. We had a vegetarian in our party and this was no problem. The food is small bites, beautifully presented. And the flavors are a cross between California contemporary and fusion. I liked it all very much, though my husband and I tend to eat this sort of cuisine, so I didn't find it particularly unique. Perhaps I have had these kinds of experiences too much? Also, the fact that we were with a big group had pros and cons; great environment for lively conversation but I couldn't concentrate as much on the gustatory experiences as I might have liked. The service was attentive without being overbearing and the wine list was impressive. I would certainly go back; perhaps this time with a smaller group so I could focus more closely on the food itself.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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