Merle [Food] (merle_food) wrote,
Merle [Food]
merle_food

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Zza's [OGL]

Zza's used to be a frequent destination for me. Out of all the California-Italian restaurants, I liked it the best, and the crayons for drawing on the paper tablecloth were a nice touch. But the noise level is quite high in the evenings, and it got a bit old, so has been a long time. They recently started offering lunch, and a bunch of coworkers decided it would be nice to try it out.

Although the restaurant was mostly empty aside from us (two other groups entered later on), there were a lot of problems ordering. The soup I ordered turned out not to be available, so I changed to another soup.. only to have the waitress tell me half an hour later that that soup was not ready yet. When we ordered bruschetta, we tried to indicate we wanted the appetizer from the "antipasti/appetizer" section of the menu rather than the meal. And ended up with both bruschetta and their standard antipasti plate. The people who ordered the seafood cioppino were belatedly told that there were neither clams nor crab, even though it was crab season. Several drinks ordered were not available, requiring a second decision. Between the confusion and them not actually having a lot of the menu items, it was a bit disappointing.

The food itself was pretty good. The bruschetta is better here than at most places, and even though we hadn't wanted it, the antipasti plate was pretty good.

My dish was good enough, but not what I expected. I ordered the Coda alla Bufala, described as "braised oxtail in white wine and mixed vegetables with garlic-mashed potatoes". All three of those sounded good. But they were served mixed together, rather than separate, which detracted from the experience.

Service itself was pleasant, but slow. Given that they were fairly empty, but slow, out of food, and prone to making mistakes, I wouldn't recommend Zza's for lunch. If you do not mind the crowds and noise in the evening, though, I would say that that is the time to go.

Zza's
552 Grand Ave
Oakland, CA
510/839-9124
Tue-Sun 11a-3p, Sun-Thu 5-10p, Fri-Sat 5-11p
http://www.zzasrestaurant.com/
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