Oakland’s Jack London Square has been hoping for a revival, and it’ll probably be the many new restaurants opening in this waterfront area that will save the day.

So it’s only fitting that the area was the featured neighborhood of last night’s Dishcrawl, a food event that guides food lovers around four mystery restaurants in one night. I’ve done a Dishcrawl awhile back, and because I try a lot of new restaurants, the mystery restaurants never really surprise me (since I’ve often already dined at a few). But the night is always fun to meet other food lovers and see how much food one can get for the $40 ticket.

Jack London Square’s event, organized and hosted by the affable J.P. of Fers Bite, featured the old and the new on a beautiful summer night in Oakland. We started off at the longstanding Scott’s Seafood for some small bites of clam chowder, pulled pork sliders and salmon and mashed potatoes, and then headed off to Home of Chicken and Waffles.

HCW had a lot of Oakland charm with a diner feel, but the menu of fried chicken and mac and cheese (as most regular readers of this blog know) wasn’t really up my alley. But our next stop at the new Forge restaurant and its wood-fired pizzas filled me up. (Ironically, I dined at Forge a couple of nights ago. See my full review of Forge on Sunday.)

The evening ended up at the popular Pan-American restaurant Bocanova, where pastry chef Paul Conte dazzled the crowd with a dessert feast of chocolate creme brulee, chocolate croissant bread pudding, and ice cream sandwiches with avocado ice cream. The avocado ice cream was probably my favorite taste of the evening.

If you’d like to spend a night checking out restaurants in an East Bay neighborhood, check out the Dishcrawl’s Facebook page for upcoming events.

First stop: Scott's Seafood, where great views meet the Sunday brunch crowd

First stop: Scott’s Seafood, where great views meet the Sunday brunch crowd

I liked the smokey flavor of the pulled pork slide, but the chowder was nothing special and the salmon sat on mashed potatoes that were really thick.

I liked the smokey flavor of the pulled pork slider, but the chowder was nothing special and the salmon sat on mashed potatoes that were really thick.

Home of Chicken and Waffles had a diner feel with a colorful mural with dishes named after family members

Home of Chicken and Waffles had a diner feel with a colorful mural with dishes named after family members

The famous chicken and waffles, served with mac and cheese. I hardly ate at this stop, just nibbling a bit of the fried chicken and some mac and cheese. The waffle could have been more crispy.

The famous chicken and waffles, served with mac and cheese. I hardly ate at this stop, just nibbling a bit of the fried chicken and some mac and cheese. The waffle could have been more crispy.

The counter at Home of Chicken and Waffles

The counter at Home of Chicken and Waffles

More fried foods! Cheese curds fried up golden brown at the third stop: Forge

More fried foods! Cheese curds fried up golden brown at the third stop: Forge

At Forge, we got to try at least four different types of pizzas

At Forge, we got to try at least four different types of pizzas

We had so much pizza at Forge, some people actually took some leftovers home.

We had so much pizza at Forge, some people actually took some leftovers home.

Diners crawling through Jack London Square

Diners crawling through Jack London Square

Final stop: Bocanova and desserts by pastry chef Paul Conte

Final stop: Bocanova and desserts by pastry chef Paul Conte

The dessert spread at Bocanova

The dessert spread at Bocanova

Chocolate creme brulee was a bit hit

Chocolate creme brulee was a bit hit

Our fearless leader, J.P., made sure everyone was having fun on the dishcrawl

Our fearless leader, J.P., made sure everyone was having fun on the dishcrawl

4 Responses to 40 Foodies + 4 Restaurants = Dishcrawl Jack London Square

  1. Carolyn Jung says:

    You only nibbled on the fried chicken? Sigh. I would have gladly taken your leftovers. LOL Looks like a totally fun and delicious night.

  2. Row says:

    Fried foods galore… poor Ben! 😉 These Dishcrawls are a really neat idea and it’s cool that you get to try a variety of different dishes. Those pizzas look gorgeous!

  3. Great photos, as usual. Sorry I missed this one!