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Eater Inside: Miss Pearl's Jam House

Welcome to Miss Pearl's Jam House, the recently-opened theme restaurant on the Oakland waterfront at Jack London Square. Designed by Michael Brennan, it's a reinterpretation of Joey Altman's original '80s restaurant and sits in the old Jack's Bistro space. And it's certainly something else: the sprawling 8000 square-foot space has a variety of rooms as it recreates a colonial, island-style mansion. You've got cabinets, shell-framed mirrors, ambiguous portraits, stuffed seagulls and other oddbits scattered about the assorted rooms and lounges, making for quite the experience in itself.

The food—Altman consulted, but Robert Barker is the exec— is mainly Caribbean (or at least "island-influenced"), and the famous Jello shots from Altman's original 80's endeavor have managed to sneak on the drink menu here too. Let's be clear here: for better or worse (hopefully better), it's a theme restaurant. That said, Jack London is an area anticipated to continue to grow, the pedigree behind Miss Pearl's is a good one and the patio is picturesque, so it should be something to watch unfold, because at its best, Miss Pearl's should aim, simply, to be a fun, competent restaurant experience, like most successful theme restaurants. For now, further reading can be had in the Eater Archives.