Looking for a quaint neighborhood restaurant? Homestead is the way to go!
Homestead in Oakland has been open for a few years now and offers simple fresh farm to table Californian cuisine. I’ve passed by the restaurant multiples times (it’s on Piedmont Avenue) but I never checked it out. Typically I dine in the city but sometimes you just want to be closer to home (the restaurant is only 10 minutes from my house). The menu is divided into firsts, seconds, thirds, and sides and we tried at least one dish from each category to share.
I’m a sucker for any type of crudo, I guess that’s just the Japanese in me. Succulent slices of buttery kampachi with crunchy and crisp fennel and hearts of palm, creamy avocado, and a touch of chili pepper. A nice light appetizer to start off with.
Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables and parts of this dish reminded me of a dish that my childhood friend’s mom would make (Turkish eggplant dip). The spiced eggplant was soft with a smoky flavor that went so nicely with charred summer squash pieces and the sweet peppers. The harissa added just a touch of heat and I loved the crunch from the pistachios.
Simple preparation of sautéed broccoli rabe with thin shavings of white Cheddar cheese on top. A good way to get your greens in!
Corn season is sadly coming to an end so I had to get this side dish. Sweet charred corn on the cob slathered in chili oil with a sprinkle of that creamy Queso Fresco. So good.
Tom yum is a traditional Thai soup flavored with lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce, and other aromatics. The broth itself was quite flavorful which I was happily surprised by. I loved the addition of the creamy sweet potatoes and bok choy. My only criticisms were that some of the shrimp weren’t completely deveined and of course the fried soft shell crab got slightly soggy in the soup.
The grasshopper ice cream bar wasn’t as cold and as ice creamy as I would have liked. The crust was crumbly in a good way and the fudge sauce and whipped cream were good additions but I felt like overall it needed more flavor.
I love fruit tarts but this needed some improvement. The crust on the bottom seemed undercooked and wasn’t as flaky and buttery as I would have liked. The custard was too firm and didn’t have that luscious creamy texture. Without a doubt, desserts were the weakest part of the meal.
I was pleasantly surprised by my meal. I always feel like Oakland lacks in terms of the food scene compared to the city but slowly they’re upping their game. I enjoyed the majority of the dishes at Homestead and service was friendly and efficient. They are also a no tip restaurant (it’s factored into the menu prices already) so perhaps that’s why some of the items are slightly on the higher side. Overall I would come back so my rating is a 7.5/10.