Pursuant to the beer and pizza discussions that have been levelling the playing field of late, my partner and I made our first visit to Lanesplitter's new location at 48th + Telegraph in Oakland.
I've never been to the original location, so I don't know how it compares. The restaurant is in a former beauty supply shop,and they've taken the industrial-chic route, meaning a wide-open space that is hip but not cuddly. After sitting at the bar for an hour, we noticed it got pretty warm in there. I think they could use some sound baffles on the ceiling to combat the deafening acoustics (I can't imagine trying to talk to someone across a table in there) and it would be nice if they opened some of the high windows to move some air around. All that said, it looks like they are still getting settled into the space.
They don't offer hand-pump beers yet but claim that they are coming soon. Meanwhile they have a modest list of (mostly California) microbrews on draught. I had a North Coast stout that was too sweet for my liking, and followed it with a dependably yummy Lagunitas IPA.
We got a Neapolitan-style pizza with salami+jalapenos. It was very good--the crust was super thin, and bubbly at the edges, and the toppings were layered on thin for a good texture and flavor mix. The sauce was well flavored and not too sweet. It beat Zachary's by a mile, for anyone following that thread not too far down the board. The pizza chefs were working hard at their craft in the tiny open kitchen, and it was impressive to witness.
Our salad was fair-to-middling, kind of a dorky mixed-green salad with a few kidney beans and shreds of cabbage, and a nearly-flavorless garlic vinaigrette. It was fresh, at least, and we sure needed it. Good breadsticks.
Service was speedy and attentive.
They're only open from 6pm to midnight right now but say they'll open for lunch soon. The place was packed on a Friday night, and I think that they will do well in this neighborhood. There are too few simple, modestly priced options on this stretch of Telegraph (unless you want Korean, of course) and my partner and I were very happy to find a good, basic dinner-out option so close to our house. We'll certainly return.
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