Review: Snail Bar.

Snail Bar has easily been one of my favorite places I’ve tried recently.

This quaint wine bar/bottle shop is located in the Temescal area of Oakland and has been the hot spot since opening last year. While I don’t really drink, their concise food menu looked scrumptious and one of Tommaso’s old coworkers is a cook there so naturally we wanted to visit. Of course the majority of people who come here enjoy wines from their selection of natural wines which Tommaso did. However, their seasonal food menu shouldn’t be overlooked. Since their menu is small, we tried most of the dishes.

Scallop Crudo with Passionfruit, Ajo Blanco, and Citrus Marigold (8.5-9/10).

Gorgeous raw scallops were seasoned with tangy passionfruit. This crudo dish was a great way to start off the meal. Of course we had to get bread and butter and it was also delicious.

Crudités with Savory Mayonnaise (8.5/10).

Beautiful carrots, radishes, and boiled potatoes were paired with a creamy umami mayonnaise. The freshness of the vegetables were the perfect accompaniment to the rich dipping sauce.

Tuna Tostadas with Avocado, Salsa Macha, and Umeboshi Ponzu (8.5/10).

Crunchy tostadas were topped with meaty raw tuna, creamy avocado, a spicy salsa macha (a dried pepper/nut sauce) and umeboshi (Japanese pickled plum) ponzu. It was a nice harmony of Mexican and Japanese flavors.

Cauliflower Gratin with Gruyère and Wonton Chips (8/10).

An unctous cauliflower gratin with funky Gruyère cheese served with crispy fried wonton chips. So fun and tasty.

Quesadillas with Winter Squash and Pumpkin Miso (8.5/10).

This was another Mexican/Japanese fusion where the quesadillas were filled with winter squash flavored with pumpkin miso, Comte cheese, and pistachio salsa macha.

Gift: White Beans with Butternut and Iberico “XO” Sauce (8/10).

This was a gift from the kitchen where white beans were simmered in an iberico “XO” sauce with garlic croutons and pepitas.

Ham & Cheese (9/10).

I absolutely adore a ham and cheese sandwich and this was soooo good. Jambon de Paris with Alpine cheese and dijon mustard. Simple but oh so freakin’ good!

Cheese Pull!

Gift: Kasu Custard (9/10).

Another gift from the kitchen was this simple but stellar sake lees custard. It was smooth and creamy with a persimmon jelly and drizzle of aromatic olive oil. The sake lees had that slight bitterness that paired nicely with the subtle sweetness from the fruit.

We had a lovely dinner at Snail Bar where all the food shined. Flavors were spot on and dishes were familiar but with a fun twist so my overall rating is an 8.5/10.

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