Hours: Sun.-Thu. 5-11 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 5 p.m.-midnight
This Oakland outpost of one of San Francisco’s most popular upscale Italian restaurants serves one pizza that’s fried, another that’s shaped like a tennis racket, and a handful of pasta varieties you’ve probably never heard of. While the restaurant’s paradigm (Southern Italian cuisine prepared with high-quality local ingredients) is familiar, and its menu sticks to dishes traditional to Italy’s Campania and Puglia regions, many of these dishes can’t be found in other restaurants in the East Bay. In addition to the pizzas (especially the aforementioned fried pizza, the “Montanara Rockridge,” which is to die for), A16 Rockridge is a good place to indulge in bold, in-your-face ocean flavors — a bucatini with a golden-yellow sea urchin sauce was one standout — and supremely well-prepared seasonal vegetables.
The dining room is open 5:30-10 p.m. Mon.-Sat. and 5-10 p.m. on Sundays, but a limited food menu is available at the bar during the late night hours.