What did I end up eating? Crow.
Okay, I was initally turned off by the descriptions of a bare, stark minimalist dining room. The early reports of smallish portions, and the quick price increase of the menu.
I wanted to dislike Commis, but I actually thought it was quite good. The room was a little too bland for my taste. Every little scuff on a wall is noticeable when there is nothing else to detract one's eye from it. However the portions were adequate, except for the dessert which could have been a bite or two bigger. The service was friendly and not at all stuffy. Overall, everything was well executed.
All things considered the price is reasonable. One thing I liked was that when it came to the bill there were no surprises at the end of the evening. Some places you can add an extra course, or get caviar, or get something extra for a supplemental charge and next thing you know the bill is much higher than expected. At Commis they don't play any games with supplemental charges, and add-ons which was refreshing.
I would and probably will go back. It is a good addition to the East Bay dining scene.
3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611