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“OK, heads up: This is a GREAT restaurant!”
Review of Bocanova - CLOSED

Bocanova
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$ 30 - US$ 30
Cuisines: South American, Fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Embarcadero W
Reviewed 9 August 2017 via mobile

Whether you sit outside, at the bar or at a proper table you're going to enjoy it. For Lunch, the set menu is the way to go. Really, everything is good. Dinner-time brings an array of cool cocktails and savory dishes with a fresh Mexican flair. Great place for a romantic interlude or a business meal alike. (And really how many places can you honestly say that about?) Boca gives you a good reason to visit rapidly emerging Jack London Square, too. Lots going on there. But, did you hear the rumor that they are moving Uptown to where Pican used to be? If so, let's hope it is a second branch of a great local favorite.

Thank Jack A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (338)
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1 - 5 of 338 reviews

Reviewed 8 August 2017

Great place on Jack London Square, outdoor seating and Great place for food and friendships! The staff are friendly and helpful with any questions.

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Thank Kathy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2017

If you've never sat near a marina, never traveled in Mexico or eaten at a good Mexican or Peruvian restaurant, or just don't know much about food in general and have money to waste, then you might love this place!

Unlike other reviewers, we found the service OK and the wait staff friendly, and having read reviews before going, we knew about the 20% charge and the poor value-for-the-money. So it gets one star for the nice waitress and hostess and another for the nice venue with waterfront seating. The bathroom was clean, so it doesn't lose any points there, but let's get to the food.

I should have known better than to order anything claiming to be "King Crab Pozole". It was as unauthentic and unpleasant as the fish tacos made with steelhead (from Costco, presumably) and covered, like nearly everything else, in too much generic spicy tomato sauce. Yes, there was hominy, and yes, if you looked hard enough, you could find a couple of pieces of rather tired crab meat. But it really wasn't a very good soup, and it was only barely recognizable as an approximation of a pozole. Similarly, the fish tacos, drenched in the above-mentioned sauce were unappealing and not tasty, and certainly not what anybody who has spent time in Baja might expect.

A friend ordered deviled eggs with crab meat. I forget the price, but it was four hard-boiled egg halves stuffed, as expected, with mashed egg yolk plus whatever, with tiny symbolic strings of crab meat on top and a tiny container of chipotle mayonnaise, exactly the kind served in every corporate cafeteria in Silicon Valley. The waitress offered the opinion that they're bland; I couldn't possibly comment, but: not much of a lunch for a grown man, never mind the elevated price and the lack of anything to accompany it.

Friends at the next table ordered a burger and fries, which looked good, and fried polenta, which might have been. The hostess's recommendation was the fried chicken sandwich. I should have taken her advice. "Fried" is apparently the strong suit here.

Some of the desserts were better, including Mexican chocolate pudding, made with the ingredients of Mexican hot chocolate cocoa, raw sugar, cinnamon. (This is sold in octagonal disks in Mexican markets -- common brands are Moctezuma and Abuelita.) Also, a sorbet plate (not on the menu) was nice and refreshing. A signature cheese cake was passed around and mostly left on the plate: you can draw your own conclusions from that.

We had a nice time in spite of the food because we were in good company and were celebrating a happy occasion; however, with so many better choices in Oakland -- even within a few blocks -- I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.

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Thank JudgeMendel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2017

What a great find while walking around Jack London Square!!! We had Polly, our bichon, with us. They were very welcoming to Polly on the outside patio facing the marina. We had 5 small plates between us. Describing the food would do it an injustice. Everything was fine dining food in an informal setting. The service was very good and made sure when it got cool the heater above our table was turned on. This is a place to go back time and time again to be able to taste the entire menu. Bravo!!!

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Thank LeoW_DavidR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2017

Everybody seems to be doing small plates in the Bay Area these days. Bocanova too. The food is contemporary mexican with a choice of light (and heavier) tapas. Most of them really delicious.

The restaurant is a stone's throw from the marina. Some tables offer a great view over the water.

One small problem: the wines by the glass are simply not very good. They should take a serious look at it.

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Thank FM6565
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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