When chefs talk about their platonic ideal of a restaurant, they’ll often describe a thirty- or forty-seat neighborhood spot where both food and ambience are intensely personal. Perhaps to a greater extent than any other high-end restaurant in Oakland, Delage is exactly that place. The cozy neighborhood restaurant specializes in the Japanese tradition of omakase. In this case, that means an eight-course prix-fixe dinner featuring the best sushi we’ve had in Oakland. What’s unique, too, is how the sushi courses are interspersed with seasonal salads and cooked dishes that make the most of California’s bounty — a gorgeous salad of Bing cherries and raw and confit-cooked cherry tomatoes, perhaps, or a chilled asparagus soup dotted with tiny bay shrimp. What stands out the most, though, is how comfortable — how overwhelmingly pleasant — the whole experience is.
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