Jack's, Oakland Jack London Square

We picked our date night restaurant this week based on dessert: we wanted bread pudding, which meant we were going to Bocanova or Jack’s. They share the same pastry chef and both have bread pudding on their dessert menu. Since we hadn’t tried Jack’s, we gave it a go, despite my research turning up mixed reviews. I figured I would enjoy some happy hour oysters, order conservatively (ie what item is hardest to screw up), and look forward to dessert.

Happy hour oysters were fine, good but not as great as my favorite oyster places. Mignonette was average, oysters were fresh and clean. $1.50 each

Clam chowder was a little salty, not noticeable until midway through the bowl, and very peppery and bacon-y. Not a whole lot of clam flavor or any visible pieces of clam.

We were about to order two lobster rolls when the waitress recommended their Friday/Saturday lobster special, a whole lobster to be shared. She offered no other descriptors, and despite my plan to order conservatively, we threw caution to the wind and went with her recommendation.

Between courses we saw the table to my right receive their fish and chips (large heaping plate of skinny fries with two big slabs of fish) and lobster roll (looked good). The table on my left ordered the crab roll, which looked heavily dressed, like tuna salad.

When our lobster arrived I was impressed by the look and smell, and later the taste. It was more than two pounds, cut in half, seasoned, and grilled and/or roasted. A mixture of sautéed or roasted veggies (potatoes, cherry tomatoes, wax beans) was piled on top and half a grilled lemon. The char from the grill didn’t touch the meat, but made the dish really aromatic. The lobster meat was cooked perfectly, just barely cooked through with no rubberiness. I thoroughly enjoyed it and could have eaten the whole dish if given the opportunity. This dish was as good as the Dungeness crab dish at Camino. $50

We each had a bread pudding for dessert and left very happy, all for about $130 including one cocktail.


Really enjoy Jack’s . . . very happy with their lobster rolls (haven’t had a whole lobster there), and with the oysters. Sitting outside on a warm afternoon, perfect!

We went back and tried their lobster roll, but also had to get the whole lobster too. The lobster meat in the roll was not as sweet and succulent as the meat from the whole lobster. The whole lobster was still fabulous.

For lobster rolls I still think my favorite is New England Lobster Company.

The pastry chef at Jack’s is very good, I had a really good sabayon for the first time in a few years.