Disco Volante, located on 14th Street near Webster in Downtown Oakland, is a welcomed addition to the newest crop of Oakland restaurants. It opened for lunch service in late November, and its eclectic menu of fresh, seasonal cuisine has already attracted a loyal crowd of customers.
Disco Volante, which means “Flying Saucer” in Italian, serves New American/California cuisine. They prepare their food with locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients, and price all their dishes below $20. Current lunch options include persimmon salad, warm fennel and pork pie, pumpkin soup, and pan-seared sand dabs. Once their liquor license is approved, they’ll also be open for dinner.
The restaurant has taken over a beautiful jade terra cotta Art Nouveau building formerly occupied by a lingerie shop (infamous for the giant bra that used to hang in the window). The interior decor is understated and a touch dark, with both table seating and an attractive bar. There is an extensive sound system and stage to support live music performances in the future.
Casual, urban, and self-consciously gritty in appearance, but meticulous in food presentation, Disco Volante will help cement Oakland’s burgeoning reputation as a destination for hip, in-the-know foodies who like to score a bargain. So far, most of the attention has been paid to the booming Uptown area and the Temescal neighborhood of North Oakland, which has attracted the praise even of the New York Times. The area around 14th Street, however, which falls awkwardly in a no-man’s-land between Uptown, Chinatown, and City Center, hasn’t had much to offer until now.
Disco Volante takes a giant step forward to remedy that situation, bringing new life to a stretch of downtown that so far has missed out on the city’s nightlife and culinary renaissance. Once the Downtown Oakland restaurant opens for dinner, it will join the neighboring Geisha Lounge to create a small but growing hub for nightlife. It’s no coincidence that Radio Bar and The Ruby Room, which are also within reasonable striking range, are owned by one of Disco Volante’s co-owners.
Oakland restaurant patrons have already taken notice of the new dining spot. They’ve started lively conversations on the restaurant’s Facebook page and shared enthusiastic reviews on local blogs and Twitter. Once the restaurant begins to serve dinner, its reputation will only continue to grow.
Disco Volante is located at 347 14th Street in downtown Oakland, at the intersection of 14th and Webster. They are currently open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Disco Volante Home Page: discovolanteoakland.com/
Disco Volante Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/pages/Oakland-CA/Disco-Volante/111324285595439