Iyasare gets an unqualified rave here, at least from about 4 years ago. It’s also a short walk to famous Vik’s Chat House. Also note Takahara Sake used to do tastings and it right there too. If you walk all the way to san pablo there’s lanesplitter (make mine the 7-10 split) and the original (I think not actually original) E&J BBQ. I’m assuming these places have made it through pandemic, not looking up each and every.
Oakland / JLS. There is apparently a new Farmhouse Thai location, the Menlo Park version is pretty good if it is rather too fancy. There was a vegetarian restaurant on 2nd st… enquentro… that was all time my favorite tapas and wine place, and I’m not vegitarian, but it appears to be gone, sadness indeed if so - I see a “roasted & raw” in the same block / space and wonder if same owners? I like a beer outside at Heinholds even if it is a little touristy, if you want the Real Oakland Experience head over to Merchants but it is the rawest dive bar I know (ok, I do know a couple more, but it’s the most accessible). Merchant’s used to be (is?) on the block of the oakland produce market which is kinda fun if you get there early and it still exists - also very old school. A decade ago it dwindled to just the one block. Chop Bar and The Forge are somewhat of a piece - good “modern” food not super different from each other or dozens of other places I could name — but really good don’t ge tme wrong. Chicken and Waffles is different, oakland straight out of the post WW2 period, and E&J doesn’t have the grime of original E&J on University & San Pablo, but they are one of the few purveyors of Oakland Style Q, which has kinda vanished. There are nuts numbers of breweries now, and quite a few urban wineries. If you like beer and wine, you could get really really sloshed. Rosenbum makes those big huge cali red zins which are crowd pleasers on a sunny day. I think that space might have several wineries? I remember one I really liked, they did “wine growlers” of the butt ends of casks for cheap and that was surprisingly special. I did a beer crawl through the area slightly before pandemic and didn’t find any beers I really loved, though, but I also see there are several new ones. I will mention that, if you walk across the freeway to chinatown, I would recommend a stop at the Trappist. Very friendly place, although no/minimal food.
Oh, making a night of it at Yoshi’s is perfectly great. It’s not the best japanese I’ve ever had, but it’s pretty good, and the jazz (more like R&B they tend to book, which is rare) and the sound quality in the room is exceptional. If you’re ok with indoors.
The homeless encampment is right catty corner to the police station so i would rate it as “less dangerous than scary” but it certainly exists. I am not sure if you can go around it to the “right” where the webster tube is, probably. Last time I went by they have huge overhead lights installed. I would rate it as fine if you’re a large male humanoid during daylight hours and maybe not if you are small - female - alone - after dark - or even some of the above depending on your tolerance for these things — that adds up to a situational “best avoid”. Busses ply broadway very frequently, you can look them up, just to get over that section.
If you’re willing to hike up to what’s now called uptown (broadway and 17th basically) there’s a lot of eats but its its greater than your 10 minute range.