Flora opens tonight! (Updated with pictures)

The team that brought you Dona Tomas and Tacubaya comes to downtown Oakland with Flora, which opens tonight at 1900 Telegraph in downtown Oakland, near the Fox Theater and Forest City’s new Uptown development. The place looks fabulous!

Update! I went to Flora for lunch and took some more pictures (posted below). The place is beautiful. My photos do not do it justice.

Click on the above photo for a large image of the full lunch menu.

It was unpolished, but overall I was pleased with my experience. It was clear that there are some kinks that need to be worked out, and the staff is not yet entirely comfortable with their roles. But this is common when restaurants first open, and they are clearly aware they aren’t quite finished, and everything was half-priced. I had a salad with chicken and mangoes and peanuts and a chili-lime vinaigrette – there was way too much pepper and the dressing was far too acidic, but I’m optimistic that this will be rectified when the kitchen staff has had a little more time to practice.

My date had a tuna melt, which he said was excellent (but noted that the bread was too big and he had to eat it open faced). He said “On the whole, it was very sleek, very sexy. It makes me want to wear a hat.” (Conveniently, anyone else with a similar impulse can pop into the nearby Hat Guys and pick one up.) He also noted that he was impressed with their nice soda selection. We shared a peanut butter sundae for dessert, which featured a very pleasantly salty ice cream.

6 thoughts on “Flora opens tonight! (Updated with pictures)

  1. Kevin Cook

    I was never impressed with the 30 dollar carnitas at Dona Tomas and I will never understand why a place like flora attracts anyone. I don’t care how new the kitchen staff is–making a decent vinaigrette shouldn’t take any practice or time for a professional. Tuna melt? Come on, this place sounds like an upscale togos for the walnut creet office worker lunch crowd.

  2. erocking

    I went there for dinner last (Wednesday) night. Had the mushroom ravioli appy, the swordfish, the wife had the duck, and we couldn’t resist your description of the peanut sundae. My fish was good, the duck, while a little underdone, was quite tasty, but the winner was the ravioli (could’ve been warmer, but mmmmmm). The sundae, as you say, was yummilicious.

    And, really, you can’t go wrong with half-priced food. But, having all those full bottles taunting me from behind the very classy and stylish bar was KILLING me.

    My wife, the architect, loved the space. But, whoa, that bathroom is green. And the row of upper windows, while from outside add such character to the facade, are really quite dull from the inside. But, overall, a very classy space. Should be a hit when the Fox reopens and Uptown (hopefully, please, please) takes off.

  3. patricia

    Brother Doug and I stopped in today for lunch- I hadn’t realized that Flora was open now, though I’ve been waiting and watching the corner develop. The space is very pretty, though I noticed that there were stains on the ceiling, and I’m guessing that this unfortunate development occured during the torrential rain a few weeks back, since the ceiling otherwise looked new. It has a gorgeous exterior and they carry that indoors with some charming details, but beyond that the interiors are just nice.

    As for the food, we were in for lunch and it has been really cold so we went for high carb foods- the burger and the carbonara pasta. Doug says the pasta needed more of an acid element to balance it (lemon, capers, olives, something) but otherwise it was damned tasty. Liked the bitter dandelion greens with it. I got the burger (no cheese) medium rare and it was PERFECT. Great Acme bun, lots of veggies to pile on top, a bit charred and very juicy and pink inside. Dessert was a really delicious meyer lemon tart with huckelberries. The service wasn’t great, although the people were super nice- it just took what seemed a very long time for our food to come . Other problems included flagging down the waiter for the dessert menu, chasing down waiter later to get the check to be picked up. Will go again.

  4. robert heil

    Flora takes reservations only through a live person, on the phone. One cannot leave a message for a call-back, and I have been unable to locate its email address. I have now been trying to get through to this restaurant for about five hours, dialing once every 15-30 minutes, and I cannot get past their cutsy phone message, which tells me to “keep trying.” I am a local Oakland resident. I think I’ll find somewhere else to eat.