I went to Purple Plum on Park Blvd in Oakland a few nights ago for the first time. Not sure when it opened, but I assume it's very new since there was a sign up sheet for their official grand opening by the door.
It was a very good meal. They bill themselves as "California Soul Kitchen Seasonal Comfort Food" and while that makes it sound sort of contrived and annoying, the food was very good. I had a grilled pork chop with an apple cider glaze that came with sweet potatoes and braised greens. The chop was cooked just right, and had just a hint of smokiness that went well with the not too sweet glaze. The sweet potatoes and green were well done too - seasoned perfectly, and the greens even had yummy little chunks of bacon in them. My partner had fried chicken with mashed potatoes and green beans (that tasted of a hint of pork too.) The crust on the chicken was excellent, and the meat was juicy and flavourful (he is a salt fiend, and he didn't need to season the meat any further - a good sign.) Desserts were pretty good, if not remarkable. I had nilla wafer banana pudding, and he had apple crisp.
The best part was the prices, the entrees were almost all under $15. It's the kind of place one can comfortably go to on a week night, and not break the bank. The down side is a pretty short menu, that makes repeat eating less exciting (although I assume that they are going to change the menu seasonly.)
I would reccomend the place to people who want something like Rick & Ann's, with a bit more southern flair, and with better food.
They mentioned that they've been reviewed recently (EB Express or Guardian???) and that there will be a review in the chronical in the next week or two.
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