susancinsf | Sep 30, 200403:30 AM     11

my friend Kevin and I had dinner at Jalisco II tonight...I've been looking forward to trying this place since it was mentioned on Chowhounds, so when Kev asked me if I wanted to accompany him to check it out with the idea that the banquet room might be appropriate for an upcoming event, I jumped on it...

The restaurant is fairly large, with a taqueria and bakery next door (these were closed), a pleasant bar area, and is very attractively decorated: bright colors, tile, carved wooden doors. Only a few tables taken at seven pm. (They also have a nice patio outside, though it wasn't open on the cool night).

We ordered beer and margaritas, and they brought out some average chips, and an excellent, very spicy green salsa, along with a chipotle salsa that wasn't as hot.(literally or figuratively).

The menu has various ceviches and seafood cocktails, including pulpo , about five soups (but no albondigas, I should be so lucky), including seafood soup, caldo de res (beef soup), chicken tortilla soup, tacos, tortas, burritos, a number of seafood dishes (Camarones/shrimp rancheros, with garlic, Huachinango Vericruzano/snapper etc), chicken mole, and standard combination plates. Birria (goat) is listed as available on weekends, along with menudo. I'd say if there is any particular emphasis, it is seafood.

I wanted a carnitas plate, but was told, contrary to the menu listing that carnitas are only available on weekends. And yes, I asked to verify that that meant that tacos de carnitas are also only available weekends. Bummer. I hope they change that.

Ok, I got over my disappointment and we ordered guacamole, a ceviche tostada, an order of chicken mole for Kevin and caldo de Res for me.

The guac was good, and though it tasted fresh it was cold, as if it had been in the fridge. The ceviche was fresh and tasty, on a small crisp tortilla, topped with avocado strips. My caldo, which came with fresh (but not homemade) tortillas, chopped cilantro and onion, and lime, along with lots of tasty rice on the side, was delicious,and a huge bowl for $5.95. I am not a mole fan, but it tasted above average to me (not that I am a good judge since I've never liked mole) and Kevin literally cleaned his plate....

Portions are generous, we were stuffed, and everything was excellent. Fairly standard offerings, but worthy of hound attention: it is family owned, and I hope it gets business to keep going. (It seemed fairly empty most of the night, though it picked up later with teenagers snacking on tacos). Total for more food than we could finish with two margaritas and two Negro Modelos, was $46. A good deal. Friendly service.

After dinner we retired to the bar area to check out the Giants game. They have a small but interesting selection of premium tequilas and it was a friendly place to watch a less than friendly game.....

BTW, the location, in the new Fruitvale Village directly adjacent to the Bart Station, is really nice. It is a very attractive shopping complex, with easy parking (there is a paid lot but at night you can park in the BART lot). We also noticed an attractive independent expresso place in the complex, which was closed by the time we left at around ten...

oh yeah: the banquet room: it is quite large, would easily seat 50, I think more. It is attractive, with large windows along one side.

Jalisco II
3401 E. 12th St, ste 90
Oakland 94601

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