I had driven by this place a thousand times and while tempted, never stopped- maybe because the place seemed to have no windows, maybe because eating in a bar (with lingering beer, cigarette and ammonia fumes) didn't appeal, perhaps it was the memory of a shooting 10 years or so ago when it was Bosen's locker.. but finally made it over there yesterday for lunch and realized my fears were for naught. The restaurant is next to the bar, not in it; clean and tidy as can be and sun streaming in the, yes, windows.
I had the short rib special which was the boneless variety cooked fork-tender and served with a beefy brown gravy. Loved the sides including tender but somewhat acrid collards with a satisfying pot liquor perfect with the corn muffin which I must say is one of the better corn muffins- Southern style..fresh but dense, not sweet, not one of those jiffy cakey cornbreads- great black eyed peas with shreds of ham, cinnimon-y but not cloying sweet potatoes and GREAT sweet tea. I'll be back to try the oxtails and made to order fried chicken.
I've never made it to Nellies at JLS but this seems like a great North Oakland option without the drive and wait.
5817 Shattuck Ave near 58th Street; 510-428-1935