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“Excellent Brunch”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Pican

Pican
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Ranked #63 of 1,257 Restaurants in Oakland
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $40 - $50
Cuisines: American, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Large groups, Bar scene, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Brunch, Lunch, Full Bar, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Grand Avenue
Transit: 19th Street BART, Oakland
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
141 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Excellent Brunch”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2014

Just had a brunch here for 11 people - it was my first visit and I must say most everything everything was excellent. The service was particularly good - with 11 people, it can be (and was) a little chaotic but our waiter was patient, helpful and understanding (sorry, I did not get his name). The food was tasty if a little underseasoned - I had the smoked brisket hash, which was good but a little light on the meat. For the price ($17) I would have thought there would be more meat and fewer potatoes. Biscuits are excellent - flaky and rich. I tried the beignets (okay, not great), the waffles (excellent). The drinks are also particularly good - creole bloody mary is spicy and well made. Ambiance is nice - restaurant is light and open, not too noisy. So all in all, we had a very good experience and I would definitely come back to taste the dinner menu.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank bobandrewsjr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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142 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    54
    52
    21
    12
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
San Ramon, California
Level Contributor
98 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
“Southern food, californified”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2014

Had an excellent dinner, coupled with nice ambiance and good service.

I'm not a southern food aficionado, so cannot vouch for its authenticity (which I suppose they don't really claim) .. but the Jambalaya I had here has got to be one of the best I've had. Sufficiently moist without being mushy, succulent prawns, slightly charred chicken, tender pieces of fish, the right amount of heat.. umm ..

Wife had the sea food special - catfish in some sort of lobster bisque, also excellent.

The fried green tomato appetizer was somewhat of a disappointment - too much meat, not enough tomato. And a bit too oily.

Decent selection of drinks, including a few interesting southern whiskey based cocktails.

The menu is somewhat limited as others have noted, but that's a plus in my book as it hits all the right elements.

Nice ambiance, and located right on Broadway, a mile or so from Jack London square.

This IS a small restaurant, so suggest making reservations ahead. We went on a Sunday night, so not much of a crowd and free road-side parking easily available, but might be a different situation on other days.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank johnmani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California, United States
Level Contributor
522 reviews
366 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
“Incredible Meal”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2014 via mobile

Dined here with a couple friends and my boyfriend. We started off with cocktails at the bar where I had an amazing Manhattan! Service was excellent. Then we sat down for dinner. Ordered the chicken cracklins, which were so delicious we ordered it again after we finished the first plate. Had the fried green tomatoes too which were spicy and tasty. Two of us had the fried chicken with Mac and cheese. The portions are huge and they chicken was some of the best fried chicken I have ever had. My boyfriend had the steak, which was cooked to perfection and so delicious. One of the best meals I've had all year, which says a lot, because we dine out quite a bit.

Great service with a smile and wonderful ambiance. Quality food and wonderful cocktails.

Helpful?
Thank Dianah R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
210 reviews
154 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
“Don't Count Calories Here”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2014

As others have noted, this is a "Southern" restaurant (most similar, I think, to North or South Carolina), with a "twist", as the restaurant notes on its website. The menu is somewhat limited (a couple at the table next to us left because they didn't see anything among the main courses that appealed to them) and is very "rich" in calories.

We decided to eat early on this Sunday, and made a reservation for 5:15, which was available per Open Table. However, when we arrived the restaurant staff was still eating their dinner in the private banquet room, as we could plainly see. The receptionist was busy talking on the phone, but interrupted herself briefly to tell us to wait (there was at least one other couple waiting too). We were going to have a drink anyway, so we decided to have the drink at the bar. I had the Sazerac, which was perfectly prepared, one of the best I've had, and my wife had the Hurricane Leymoyne, which was also very well prepared.

Eventually the receptionist ended her telephone call and started to seat the customers who had arrived - so one suggestion is not to make reservations prior to 5:30 as the restaurant is just not prepared for customers prior to that time.

At this time of year, there are eight entrees, and approximately 10 small plates/starters. We had the "salad special" to start, which was very good, and I had the Southern Fried Chicken, which was wonderful - moist and delicious. My wife had one of the "small plates", the Fried Green Tomatoes, which is a complicated dish here - white corn puree, mission figs, chopped smoked pork, and hot pepper jelly, and we shared the grilled asparagus. For dessert we shared a good Fried Bourbon Peach Pie. Note the number of "fried" dishes in this account - this is a high Colesterol restaurant!

The service was professional, knowledgeable and efficient, although we had to wait a bit towards the end.

You should check out the menu online before deciding to dine here, but the food is quite good if you like this kind of food. There is music here on some nights, and it can be noisy when crowded.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank BerkeleyJohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
84 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Almost makes the cut but can improve”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2014

Originally being from the South, I'm always partial to restaurants in the Bay Area that try to recreate or improve on the magic of Southern cuisine. Having been many times to Pican, I'm left with the feeling that they are getting close but still can make significant improvements to really shine.

My review reflects their lunch offerings which are very similar to their dinner ones. Overall, I find that they can be rather heavy-handed with the salt with some dishes (e.g., their Kennebec potato chips, Gulf shrimp BLT and brisket greens) while others were less flavorful than expected (e.g., fried chicken) and others having variable quality with regards to taste and consistency in preparation (e.g., fried catfish that frequently tastes muddy and intermittently overcooked). Their appetizers are probably one of their strengths, with a nod towards their yam crisps with a creamy dipping sauce; artichoke, shrimp and blue cheese dip; as well as hearty deviled eggs. Their fried green tomatoes weren't bad but do not compete with the ones down in the South. They have a fun drink list representing a mix of the South and other parts of the country in their flavors.

Generally, we have been pleased with the service and it has an elegant atmosphere, but it can get noisy when even half full and can be challenging to have conversations with larger groups given the typical long rectangular seating arrangement. Prices are moderate to the higher side for lunch.

Overall, in my perspective, Pican is a good place that has the opportunity to get a lot better.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank ray-may
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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