This past Tuesday afternoon, after getting sworn in, I found myself really wanting to celebrate - which, frankly, I hadn't expected. So at 4pm, I dispatched an email to some friends, inviting them to meet C & I for cocktails at the newly opened Luka's Taproom in Oakland. Amazingly, 8 of my friends showed up to help me celebrate.
I ordered a perfect (and I mean perfect) Maker's Mark manhattan and an order of frites to get us started. After drinks arrived (and our table had grown from 4 to 8 people), we placed our dinner orders and I'm sorry to say that we were so busy chatting that we didn't order very "strategically".
M and I both ordered the gratineed mac & cheese with leeks & chanterelles. C, W & O all ordered a cheeseburger while K just ordered a mixed baby greens salad. M & W also shared half a dozen oysters to start.
I thought everything was wonderful, if slightly undersalted. But really, I don't mind that much at all - it's easy to salt to one's own taste. I loved my mac & cheese. It was rich and creamy, flavorful yet delicate. Perfect American comfort food. C's hamburger was AWESOME - lightly charred, juicy, great bun. And it was cooked perfectly medium-rare, as he'd asked for it. K's salad looked very nice, and the oysters were all really fresh.
I should note that we were all really looking forward to try the moules mariniere, but they had apparently run out of them, which frankly is a good sign. It's nice that they don't keep extra shellfish "on-hand".
Service was fine - at first, we thought our waitress was a bit "ditzy" b/c of a miscommunication about cocktails, and a weird lag in service. But she TOTALLY redeemed herself when she took orders from 6 people without a single error - not even with the doneness of the burgers!
We are really excited to have Luka's near our place - it's going to become a regular addition to our evening stops. They have a Monday happy hour with $2 or $3 oysters and half price beers (did I mention they have 16 of them on tap?), they've got a lounge with some live and DJ acts (check the Events page on their website for details) and a great backroom with a few pool tables and jukebox.