Luka's rocks. Always has, even when they were a scrappy eatery in what was a very tough neighborhood. They have been recognized by Oakland for their contributions to making Oakland's downtown the vibrant place it now is.
Luka's is a combination of good food, a great beer selection and a pub ambiance. So, when I wanted a place for 20 engineers to hang for an evening, I thought of Luka's back room.
It's not fancy, that room, but it was perfect for us. They put a top and a tablecloth on the pool table, arranged the tables and chairs along the back wall and left the pin-ball machines turned on (nice touch).
We ordered from their private event menu (http://www.lukasoakland.com/Appetizer...) which featured items like sliders, wings, a great set of vegan vegetable skewers. We got the "INTERNATIONAL BLVD" combo and a couple of fill-in platters including desserts. Everything was tasty and plentiful.
I want to specifically call out Brian, our server for the evening. He has that rare combo of being invisible, but everywhere. Drinks (mostly beer, but I had a terrific martini) came out in a timely manner, he accommodated some special requests and he made sure that empty plates and glasses were cleared off quickly. It really made the evening about the gathering, and not worrying about details as Brian had our backs!
To sum it up, Luka's is a great place for parties, as well as good eats.