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“Great ambiance and delicious food; a great meeting place”
Review of Bocanova

Bocanova
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Ranked #11 of 1,276 Restaurants in Oakland
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: South American, Fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Embarcadero W
Oakland, California
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great ambiance and delicious food; a great meeting place”
Reviewed November 13, 2012

Boconova is situated on the waterfront of Jack London square. There is a large outdoor seating area with proper furnishings for sunny days, and brisk nights. I've been here twice, once during the day for a Sunday brunch, and once in the evening for a Friday night dinner. In both instances, we were seated immediately with no wait. There is a lot of room inside to not feel cramped.
OK, on to the food. There were some similar elements shared from the brunch and dinner menu, and some items were not available for the time of day we dined. The shrimp ceviche was delicious, but did not come with any chips for sharing - I feel like the server should have mentioned this to us prior to ordering. Chips are available as an order, so that wasn't too big of a deal. The portion sizes were appropriate for this class of restaurant, small, but high quality.

The dress code was casual, as there were dressy people on Friday night, and laid back jeans and a t-shirt attire on Sunday.

At no point during the dining experience was the noise too loud or the lights too dim. It would be suitable for a get together with friends from out of town, business meals, or a nice family meal.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank zoshyii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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335 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Oakland, California
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Satisfying waterfront dining”
Reviewed November 12, 2012

What Bocanova most has going for it is location. They've got a great outdoor space with a view of the estuary. There's generally good people watching here. Plus a full bar. The cocktails are pretty good, decent beer on tap. Haven't had much wine here, so I can't speak to that. The food is good. Not memorable, but good. I find it slightly over priced for what it is, but not terribly so. But really, this is where I go when it's beautiful outside and I want to soak in the sun with a drink in my hand.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jo R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SF, CA
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Architecturally interesting atmosphere, very good food”
Reviewed November 11, 2012 via mobile

We had a mid-week lunch here. Located on Jack London Square, a tourist location, we were pleasantly surprised by the interesting physical plant site, the quality of the latin food/presentation and the reasonable prices. The Business Lunch (having done away with the sexist monicker: "Businessman's Lunch") was an incredible deal at $ 18 pp. The 3-course presentation provided ample portions, including interesting salads, squash soup, a well-prepared, high-end cut of beef and (over-salted) grilled scallops with a cream saffron sauce. The figurative topping on the cake was a passion fruit flan/creme brulee. The one of us who ordered enchiladas off the menu was similarly impressed. We've been looking for an excuse to return.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank vanholt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
Level 6 Contributor
90 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Unusual pairings executed perfectly”
Reviewed October 28, 2012

This jack London square restaurant has it all: easy parking, beautiful unique decor, a really unique and interesting menu, great service and fair prices. The four of us shared the shishito peppers that were salty and hot, the chipotle sweat potato gratin, pork tamale, seared sea scallops, goat stew, marinated mushrooms, roasted pear dessert, and a bottle of Pinot Noir. Every plate left the table empty! Only downside, a bit noisy so sit on outside heated deck on the waterfront if you can.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Pat B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“This Place Never Fails”
Reviewed October 24, 2012

I've been to Bocanova three times in the last month and have had an overall excellent experience each time. The staff are friendly and informative. The food is unique and very tasty. A group of Central and South American chefs and cooks prepare their local cuisine with fresh, local incredients. The owners are on sight, the man behind the bar and the woman who checks in with you while you are dining. You can see pride of ownership all over this place. The decore has old fashioned mercury lights that give a warm glow to the entire restaurant. I have the salted peppers for an appetizer. I've tried many dishes in my three visits. None were less than great. Right at Jack London Square with the cool breezes from the Alameda estuary, dining outside is fun, but bring a jacket. With the rains, stay indoor and enjoy a feast.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Anddrew M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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