There’s a new addition to the wave of French restaurants crashing over the Bay Area right now: Chef Roland Passot’s Left Bank Brasserie mini-restaurant chain is docking at Jack London Square and opening Friday, February 17. The restaurant takes over the former Belcampo Meat Company space. Oakland-based architecture firm Arcsine gave the space a makeover, taking advantage of the waterfront views and maintaining the restaurant’s French brasserie vibes, but with some local twists.
The new restaurant is a sprawling 5,500-square-foot space with a huge outdoor area to dine al fresco. Inside the decor evokes a Parisian bistro, awash in blues and reds with detailing such as a decorative tin ceiling and mosaic tiled floors. There are also certain nods to the Bay Area, particularly in the blue toile wallpaper that highlights local landmarks. Rather than the Bay Area toile wallpaper featuring local personalities — which has had its moment in the restaurant spotlight — Left Bank’s version instead includes icons such as the Oakland cranes and Bay Bridge.
The menu will feel familiar to those who’ve dined with Left Bank at its other locations at Larkspur, Menlo Park, or Santana Row. There will be moules frites, of course; French onion soup; and steak tartare, for example, all part of Left Bank’s solid brasserie standards made using seasonal, local ingredients. But there are a few additions to the menu that are new for the Oakland location. A seafood platter, or Left Bank’s Petite Plateau, will feature enough seafood — both raw and prepared — to feed two to three diners. There’s also a fried chicken dish that harkens back to executive chef Larry Finn’s time in New York eating Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken in the early-morning hours.
For drinks, there’s a solid list of cocktail standards but with smooth updates to the ingredients, such as a Bee’s Knees that includes lavender-infused gin. The Cask & Coffee Negroni, meanwhile, employs Remy 1738 with Campari, coffee liqueur, amaretto, and sweet vermouth. There will also be a rotating selection of beers on tap, a wine list spanning options from California and France, as well as two CBD sparkling water options from Wyld CBD. TNon-alcoholic options include the Refreshing, a blend of cucumber, grapefruit, and lime soda, as well as three zero-proof cocktails, such as the restaurant’s Not-So Prickly Margarita. In the coming months, the restaurant intends to add on a happy hour, as well as lunch during the week, and brunch hours — with special brunch menu items — on the weekend.
Left Bank Brasserie Jack London Square (55 Webster Street, Suite 66-055, Oakland) debuts Friday, February 17. To start, the restaurant will open for dinner, 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 5 to 10 p.m. Friday through Saturday.
Update: February 15th, 2023, 3:01 p.m.: This story has been updated to reflect that Larry Finn created the fried chicken dish on the menu.