Review by Natalie Wells
Contact InfoAddress: 100 Grand Avenue, Suite 111 (Map) Neighborhood: Oakland Cuisine: Seafood, American, Bars Website: http://alamaroakland.com Phone: (510) 907-7555 Price: $$ Make a Reservation
So here's what we think...
Nestled in the up and coming area surrounding the historic Fox Theater, alaMar brings big flavor and classy seafood boils to the East Bay in the most gluten-friendly way. The restaurant boasts the seafood boil as their specialty, and broths so good, you’ll want a to-go container to hold onto any remnants. Chef Nelson German puts his own spin on things with his rebound compound butters made with mostly Mediterranean spices. You’ll also find some of Chef’s Dominican heritage via quinoa stuffed plantains that will turn any meat eater into an herbivore. Don’t forget to order the parmesan truffle tornado crisp for a delicious Instagram worthy potato chip...
While most would associate seafood boils with greasy sauces and cheap crayfish, alaMar puts a classy spin on the experience with personal-sized baking trays for your shells and a wash station in the center of the restaurant, though most would opt to lick their fingers clean for the sake of the broth. Nautical details with an urban flair make this joint feel like a classier version of your favorite summertime seafood shack, especially with a full house eating with their hands donning plastic bibs and a roll of paper towels artfully placed on each table. The majority of the menu here is gluten-free since Chef has made the choice to trade in traditional soy sauce for gluten-friendly tamari after gaining much feedback from the gluten-free community. Chef is also very conscious of individuals with allergies, always making sure to fry separately and use designated pots and pans in order to reduce cross -contamination. Almost all the dishes on the menu that are not noted as gluten-free can be made GF by eliminating the bread that comes on the side. When doing so, make sure to ask for a side of rice to sop up all that yummy sauce the bread was intended for. Highlights include: raw oysters topped with cilantro-ginger “caviar” and braised oxtails, a recipe the chef learned from his mother. The plastic bib is strictly optional, but necessary for the full experience. We had an amazing first experience at alaMar, and will absolutely be back in again soon!