Oakland, Berkeley, And East Bay News, Events, Restaurants, Music, & Arts
Love eating at out of the way places in yet undeveloped restaurant neighborhoods - and tried Philomena's on the recommendation of a friend. We were hoping for the best but it was not to be. Sam Lowry was right - soggy and flavorless and scant toppings too. Big disappointment on pizza night. This pizza can't hold a candle to The (new) Leaning Tower of Haddon Hill at Newton and Wesley off the lake which is our go-to joint. Isaac the owner has researched and developed his pizza crust down to a delicious science - best pizza in the East Bay. Philomena, you have to be better than this to get us back for a second try.
Looks like typical flavorless, soggy bay area pizza that every place is doing now.
great spot :)
I read this review/article yesterday so a co-worker and I ventured over there at lunch to try it. I'm with Jono...I wasn't impressed. I got the Hawaiian ham torta and she got the 5 taco platter. While they weren't "bad", they weren't "great" either. Let's just say I wouldn't venture over there JUST to stop by for a bite to eat. One thing I will say is their staff was very pleasant. So good job for that. Of course I recommend you give it a try, so you can come to your own conclusions, but I've had much better and cheaper tortas and tacos.
I'm so not in agreement. Place has bland food and is insanely overpriced for Mexican. And don't tell me the price is justified by the neighborhood. Cactus on Solano and College is half the price and twice as good.
Come and enjoy the best the gourmet ghetto has to offer. You won't be disappointed.
AGREE 100% - We had lunch 8/03 and it was likely the best food we'd had in over a year (including Farmhouse Inn, Auberge du Soleil, and Passionfish). Lunchtime Wed was empty and the waitress delightfully enthusiastic. By far the best Italian restaurant in Northern CA right now, even surpasses Perbacco.
I'm less than enthused by a picture of a meatball sub — probably 800 calories or more — on a half loaf of unappetizing white bread, for $8 (plus tax = closer to $9).
I literally saw a $10 box of dried pasta in the grocery section of that shop.
They also very obviously went to a wholesale grocer, got various dry goods, put them in plastic bags with "Stay Gold Deli" stickers on them, and added price tags that are 50% higher than Whole Foods.
I have made this place a regular weekly excursion. Food is delish.
Well, Sam, he already had the space and has been operating there since well before Uber decided to move there. That area serves a lot of people, not just the new white folk. I applaud Patterson for learning more about the community he serves, closing the pricey destination Plum restaurant (yes, Plumbar is still there, a scaled back version with more affordable food), and trying something that might actually appeal to the broader base of customers in that area. As to the "he is only employing people to help make his profit" ...well, yes. But a lot of hot Oakland restaurants are not at all concerned with employing or training people in the actual community, or providing healthy, tasty, affordable food. Could he change his business model and do more? Maybe. But he could have bailed on Oakland entirely and instead is is doing something.
Why all the hate? I tell you what, when someone, maybe you Sam, can open a healthy, cheap, profit sharing, community, sustainable, local, unionized, happy happy fast food joint, I will be the first to go. But until then, I'm heading to Local. It's a fantastic vision & we should all support it. And if Patterson & Choi make a few bucks along the way, don't they kind of deserve it? I mean, I hope they do well so they will keep the vision going & who knows? Maybe they will convert to employee owned in the future.
It won't happen if we throw a bunch of hate on them & they fail. So, I say, go!
I am very excited to try LocoL but my only question is why is the price for everything in the Oakland storefront one dollar more than everything at the Watts location? I feel as though they are trying to exploit the tech profits of the bay area. A dollar may not be a huge difference to the new influx of gentrification but to the original inhabitants of Oakland a dollar can make a big decision on where they spend their money. Especially if you're trying to feed a low-income family which I feel is their mission.
Michael's comment proves it - Tea Party Republican folks love LOCOL! haha
Sam-profit is good. The only obligation of a business is to obey the law-health codes, minimum wage requirements, and pay taxes to the minimum levels needed and make a return for their investors. Their menu, their locations, and their slogans is their own business, not the damn government's or these elusive "communities" people proclaim. I'm a teacher- don't eat out much, but like simple and low priced food.
had dinner there last night, olivetos, with my family! Bravissimo! Incredible meats, pastas, etc. For a special occasion or just for the hell of it, this is the place to go. Very nice and quiet upstairs with terrific service. That young chef, jonah, cooks beyond his years.
the brooklyn foodie
I'm really confused about what their "revolution" means...
Is it a stretch to think they are using vague positive, social slogans to simply push their brand? How well would a new low production cost fast-food franchise do these days, especially in CA without dropping vague slogans like "building community", "empowering", and so forth? What do they actually mean? My guesses:
It seems like they kinda use Republican "job creator" rhetoric as one of their benefits. What's going on here is that you are paying people to make profit for you. If this was purely about "community", you'd use a cooperative ownership model. But, nah, it is about profit...even if they pay their workers slightly more than minimum wage.
Next, you dropped one of your initial locations in arguably the most white, gentrified area in Oakland (a block from the new Uber HQ). There are loads of restaurants affordable to techies and hospital execs who live and work around here. If part of Locol's mission is about solving the food desert issue, why build one of your few locations in one of the richest parts of the Bay Area?
The whole line about "teaching job skills" is also bogus. Every company from Walmart to TGI Fridays acts like employees who are underpaid and don't benefit from profit sharing are actually "developing job skills" or whatever. Bogus corporate sloganeering that actually means "you are benefiting from exploitation."
Not selling sodas, and the political discussion on "soda taxes" is paternalistic and frequently has racist undertones. Another item that I wouldn't say is suspect at best and far from "revolutionary."
Without any clear benefit to any of the Bay Area's most deserving communities, their "revolution" seems like nothing more than to make the owners rich. Revolutionizing their pocket books.
Great review on LocoL. It's very cool to see new retail food business find success in areas like Oakland. Here's a few tips on opening a retail food business: https://businessfirstfamily.com/retail-food-business/
Thanks for sharing,
The food was as described bland for the price. Burger & Fries with Club Soda ( no refill) was $18 + some change before tip. I ate at the bar. I did not think the food was worth the money. But then I am 67 and do not know who the target market is.
Go again, Michael. Every restaurant, as you mention, takes a couple months to hit its stride. It's coming up on a year now and the service and most of the food offerings are wonderful. I go all the time and take all my friends. We love it. Don't miss the amazing garlic cucumbers, but don't eat them before a date...unless your date is going to eat them, too!
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