Best Chez Panisse Spin-Off

Cosecha Mexican Cafe

The consummate Chez Panisse meal is one that has deceived you into thinking that food this naked must come easy. Such sleight-of-hand can also be found at Cosecha, Dominica Rice's place at Swan's Market. Rice's pedigree (Chez Panisse, Eccolo) shows in her tortillas — the texture is by turns soft, crisp, and chewy, and the deep flavors of roasted corn, hot oil, and carbon steel are given their due place on the tongue. Cosecha is a rare fruit on the Panisse family tree, thanks to its Mexican soulfulness, its fealty toward pure flavors and honorable food sources, and its quietude. Although Cosecha — which seems bound to anchor Old Oakland's resurrection — has plenty of busy hours, one can still find a little bit of peace here, looking out through the open triple-wide doors to the sun-dappled sidewalk, drinking an affordable glass of wine.

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