My wife and I picked Bocanova for our first meal in Oakland based on trip advisor reviews. It was a great choice. First of all the restaurant was pretty full so that is always a good sign. We didn't have a reservation so we ended up sitting at two of the kitchen bar seats. That ended up working out well because we got to see a lot of the food coming out before ordering. The Caesar salad was excellent (big enough for 2 to share). I had the grilled octopus which was very good. My wife had the black bean and brisket dish and it was outstanding. Service was very friendly and helpful as well.
Highly recommend this place.