I’ve made it known that I don’t really get excited by Mexican food, even though California has some of the best Mexican food in the country (probably after Texas). I’ve explained to friends that I just feel the ingredients in typical Mexican seems pretty much the same: beans, rice, tortilla, tomatoes.

So my friends often recommend I try nuevo type Mexican restaurants such as Nido Kitchen and Bar on the edge of Oakland’s Jack London Square. This quaint restaurant off I-880 is a real neighborhood gathering spot known for its farm-to-table approach to Mexican dishes.

When I visited recently with my friend Andrew for brunch, I fell in love with the funky décor even before eating any of the food. The bright colors and decorative aluminum sidings projected a vibe of an outdoor party for the young, hip crowd.

Seasonal Ingredients
The brunch menu had some familiar huevo rancho feel to some dishes, but a few different items that also reflected seasonal ingredients, such as our special ceviche garnished with watermelon radishes. I enjoyed the fish chunks with avocado, but I did wonder why there was so much citrus juice, making the plate seem almost like a soup.

The decor at Nido was like a hip backyard patio party.

The decor at Nido was like a hip backyard patio party.

For our main dishes, Andrew tried the Entomatadas con Huevo Estrellado ($10) recommended by our friendly server, and this looked like your typical enchiladas type of dish, but the sauce had a brightness to it that I appreciated (compared to some Mexican mole that sometimes is too “earthy” in taste for me).

I had the Sopes de Chorizo y Huevo ($12), which are three tiny masa “boats” topped with the chorizo, scrambled eggs and potatoes. I thought I might like this because I do like tamales, and they’re made with the same masa. The masa boats, though, were slightly on the dry side, but I appreciated the creativity of the dish.

The Last Bite
While Nido didn’t change my mind about Mexican food, it did open my mind to how Mexican cuisine can be tasty when the chefs use fresh, quality ingredients. Co-owner Chef Silvia McCollow (who owns it with her husband, Cory) has created a welcoming spot that might redefine what you might think of Mexican food.

Rating: 2.5 out of 4 camera snaps

2.5snaps

 

 

Nido Kitchen & Bar, 444 Oak St., Oakland. PH: 510.444.NIDO. Open lunch, Tue.–Fri., 11 a.m.–3 p.m.; dinner, Tue.–Sat., 5–9:30 p.m. (till 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday); and brunch, Sat., 11 a.m.–3 p.m., Sun., 10 a.m.–3 p.m. No reservations. Major credit cards accepted. www.nidooakland.com

Nido on Urbanspoon

Started my brunch with a Bloody Mary/Maria ($8.50), a spicy mix of vodka and tequila

Started my brunch with a Bloody Mary/Maria ($8.50), a spicy mix of vodka and tequila

Special ceviche with watermelon radish and tortilla chips

Special ceviche with watermelon radish and tortilla chips

I liked all the little touches including this tray they used to bring out coffee and cream

I liked all the little touches including this tray they used to bring out coffee and cream

Sopes de Chorizo y Huevo, three masa boats, chorizo, scrambled egg, potato, bean, crema fresca, cotija cheese, avocado and casera salsa ($12)

Sopes de Chorizo y Huevo, three masa boats, chorizo, scrambled egg, potato, bean, crema fresca, cotija cheese, avocado and casera salsa ($12)

The colorful wall at the back of Nido's dining area

The colorful wall at the back of Nido’s dining area

Entomatadas con Huevo Estrellado, fried eggs with corn tortilla, fried black beans, queso fresco, cream fresca, onion and salsa de chile monta ($10)

Entomatadas con Huevo Estrellado, fried eggs with corn tortilla, fried black beans, queso fresco, cream fresca, onion and salsa de chile monta ($10)

 

6 Responses to A Review of Nido Kitchen & Bar in Oakland

  1. That brunch dish looks amazing! It’s interesting to learn about all the nuances of Mexican food – it’s a lot more than we think.

  2. Carolyn Jung says:

    Have you been to Nopalito? I think THAT place would get you excited about Mexican food! ;)

  3. Brenda Ton says:

    So you finally tried it! I was bummed to see that it didn’t change your mind about Mexican food since I was betting that it would. Big fan of Sopes de Chorizo y Huevo myself but did notice a bit of the dryness you mentioned – I didn’t mind it.

    • Ben Ben says:

      Hi Brenda, yeah, not a total mind-changer but I do appreciate Nido. Wouldn’t mind going back; it’s a fun vibe.

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