[Oakland, Piedmont] Ba-Bite

Recently we had dinner at Ba-Bite , a restaurant offering Israeli-Middle Eastern-North African fare at a casual counter-order space on Piedmont Ave in Oakland. I thought there must be a discussion of this restaurant somewhere but couldn’t find any here or on the old playground. So here’s my report:

Chicken tagine: The owner is Israeli, so its interesting to see tagine makes an appearance at Ba-Bite. Came with couscous, chicken thigh and chermoulla sauce. The dish arrived with quite a bit of liquid at the beginning, but practically all of it was absorbed by the cous cous when we finished up the dish. The chermoulla sauce added a bit of garlicky cumin-y touch to the dish. Flavorful.

Fesenjen came with chicken thigh stewed in a slightly sweet, nutty and aromatic pomegranate molasses and ground walnut sauce along with rice. Delicious.

Falafels: Fried garbanzo/ fava balls coated with tahini. Ba-Bite’s version tasted made from scratch with ground fava/ garbanzo and the taste was rich and stood out. The falafels were on the small side.

Blood orange kombucha:

Overall, a very good meal. Care was used to prepare the dishes and it showed in the result. Dishes were priced very competitively as well, especially for Piedmont. $13 for the tajine and $15 for the fesenjan. Would love to hear more about their food. We’ll be back for sure.


Spouse and I went with 4 others from EBay Dishing back on Nov 2016. All of us liked it very much although it seemed pretty much set up for mostly take-out these days. Tables are oddly narrow and for our group of 6 it proved awkward to be passing dishes around that had to be carefully maneuvered not to knock over someone’s glass or plate.

Salad trio was excellent and seems to be what they do best. Hummus and falafel really show off chef’s insistence on soaking/rinsing multiple times. Lentil squash soup was dull but chicken tagine and lamb kofta w/pilaf were delicious.

I did note that the menu had not mentioned the pilaf was a mixed grain. It contained some buckwheat groats in it which I didn’t realize until we had left the restaurant and I realized I was having a minor asthma attack - I’m allergic to all grains (but I love them, so eat them in moderation) but try to avoid buckwheat entirely as it gives me the worst reaction.

The pita was the fluffy-textured kind; most liked it but 1 person didn’t.

Does everyone (take-out and sit-down) still order in one line? We weren’t too fond of that system.

Buckwheat is not a grain: (I am such a picky nerd); but you might be allergic to it.
from Wikipedia–
Despite the name, buckwheat is not related to wheat, as it is not a grass. Instead, buckwheat is related to sorrel, knotweed, and rhubarb. Because its seeds are eaten and rich in complex carbohydrates, it is referred to as a pseudocereal.

Well, let’s put it this way: the only starches that don’t give me asthma are cornmeal and potatoes, LOL.

1 Like