Camino is reason enough to venture over to Oakland. Wood-fired California food done right.
Again, interesting & gourmet & yummy food....BUT still pretty mediocre & slow service...servers "not allowed" to get TIPS, soooo wayyy tooo lackadaisical or just sedated on something?
No one in restaurant at opening @ 5:30 so no other orders before us or backups. Our entree was done by chef & placed by her on kitchen counter for a FEW MINUTES before a "runner" saw it & dropped folding her napkins to bring our food to us. I saw it & just stared, I would have gotten it myself in a min or 2 more. Our waiter no where to be found 1/2 the meal. Who cares about fast & GREAT service when NO TIP received or allowed by Owner Russell to motivate fast & GREAT service? Wake up Russell...times are changing.
Great foodie experience like always, but worsening service!
Bad & sad.
I have eaten here several times but this was an exceptional meal. We came on Mother’s Day which is a good day to avoid most of the time. We had nine dishes total and I would recommend any of them. King trumpet main course, duck salad, baked oysters with fennel and incredible desserts. Go here any chance you get. Portions are small so don’t bring a guest who measures quality with size of the plate.
Great job Camino
Our fourth time at Camino, and it has been consistently very good to great. This time it was for Mother's Day and we tried a combination of the tasting menu and regular menu - almost every item except one salad. The quality of ingredients, care in preparation, and delicacy of seasoning is among the very best you can find in the East Bay. It is generally priced to match, so it isn't a "value" but I have paid more for worse and almost never less for as good. The service is very good, and is one of the few restaurants that includes tip in the price (no tipping). However, when it is busy, service isn't as quite as attentive as it could be for the price.
Neighborhood Gem with standout food!
Stopped here with friends for an early dinner. Great food and service! My friend got the burger and it was off the chain. I really liked my chicken thigh sandwich! Brussels sprout sides are a must! Highly recommend!
I always feel like it is a party when we go there. This time we were meeting another couple and we stayed 3 1/2 hours, just like they do in France. The food was outstanding, cocktails great and inventive and we had a really good time.
Dining solo is never fun. The staff was attentive, friendly and made great recommendations. The food was amazing. Loved how there were a lot of veggie options. If I lived in Oakland I would definitely go back to try more of the dishes.
First time we'd been there and loved the food, bought a cookbook even. The preparation was beautiful, there's a vision and so much experience behind the food and the restaurant is tended daily by the owners.
Great overall, delicious food, knowledgeable staff. Appetizers and desserts wonderful but portions were laughably small.
Impeccable food and drink, as ever!
Camino is consistently a joy. We go 10 times /year and enjoy every meal.
Have eaten at Camino many times and love ever time we go.
Your first impression upon entering this restaurant is that it looks like a dining hall. It is a large square room with massive communal tables running down each side the entire length of the restuaurant. In the center two rows between the communal tables are tables for four or more and a couple of twos. There is a bar in the front of the restaurant but it does not function as a bar as there are no stools or places to stand. There are a few tables for two in the bar area.
We ordered martini's which were served in little water glasses. They only have one gin but the drinks were good. We also shared baked oysters from the first list, grilled oysters from the second list, and a pork dish from the third list. All were very good.
The no tipping policy is nice since the service charge is built into the prices. Some would argue that the prices are high given the quanity that is on your plate. For example, petrale sole had two sizes you could order: one for $38 and one for $45. That is one pricey fish!
The menu is very limited. We ordered 3 main courses for 3 people to share, because there were no other options for mains to chose from. We would have left when we saw the menu but had no time to go to another restaurant.
Fish had no taste, no salt. Pork over done and dry, no real flavor, mushroom dish was good but too spicy for 2 of us.
So naturally this was very disappointing.
Luckily we had a good time but we would have a good time anywhere.
People come to a restaurant mainly for food, so good service and ambiance do not compensate for a disappointing meal.
I will not go there again.
It's been 10 years for Camino, and the food is as creative and delicious as ever.
We loved our experience at Camino. We ordered wine, a first, 2 mains and dessert. All of them tasted wonderful and our choices gave us an ability to try new things, but still have some familiarity with the dishes. We would definitely recommend this place for the food, service and overall environment.
This was our first time dining at Camino. We loved the ambiance, and some of the food. My sidecar was one of the best versions I've ever had. My favorite dish was a vegetable dish--cauliflower and artichokes with hummus --I would definitely order it again. My husband liked the idea of the baked oysters in absinthe appetizer but wouldn't order it again. He thought his squid dish was chewy. He enjoyed the slow-cooked duck leg but thought the sliced duck breast was chewy (though the bites I tried were tender). We both thought the desserts were outstanding--a piece of huckleberry torte and a plate of flavorful cookies. The service was very good. We will definitely be back.
The service was slow and the food uninspiring. We likely will not return.
As new to the east bay, I have asked for ideas of where to eat. Camino was mentioned but with caveats.
So I can confirm those caveats. This is an expensive local eats with reasonable ambiance. But I can’t get around the cost per bite. Average cork fee tin many places outside CA to open your own bottle of wine is $15 but at Camino they want $25. Please.
But was the food memorable? Nope. We had the whole fish. It was nicely cooked but the side dish was uninteresting.
Excellent food, fair service, too pricey
I know the gourmet experience comes with a premium, and that all the dishes are priced to contain a tip. But even allowing for a 20 percent tip, everything is priced $5-8 too high (or more). Portions are a decent size (depending on what you order), but $32 for a plate of vegetables, a little grain, a packet of mushrooms is a little over the top, delicious as it was (not exactly filling though... it needed a $20 appetizer to make a meal...). Seating is also not meant to maximize comfort for large or disabled patrons.
Amazing food, just need to serve us more of it. The cauliflower dish, for example, was amazing and had a grand two pieces. Two. For $14. But forget the price for a minute, we want to share food and how do you share that without more actual food? We were on a double date and everyone was worried they were taking too much of one dish. I am a small person and appreciate small portions but it was the most ridiculously tiny portions. Call it “a test of your friendship size”. Although I think the cauliflower was called “middle course”! Even more hilarious!
The food was very good (use the lovely salt on the table though). We had each of the entrees and the flavors were excellent. The service was a little underwhelming but fine. The bill was much more than I expected, however. My father in-law wanted to treat my husband to a birthday meal so I researched to make sure it wouldn't be outrageous. But the prices on the menu were actually significantly more than the prices listed on Camino's own website for the same menu. Annoying since I had done research specifically so he wouldn't feel sticker shock. Worth a visit and I would return for a special occasion.
Fine creative combinations and unique grilled fish and vegetarian dishes.
We enjoyed Camino and found the Oakland location appealing. I am always a bit hesitant about going into Oakland, since I am much too aware of the significant risk of crime exposure - armed robbery capital of the United States, many carjackings, 800-1,000 people shot on the street every year, 80-100 of whom die. That element seemed missing from Camino's North Oakland neighborhood, though maintaining full situational awareness is wise.
The food was excellent, and the service very good. Enjoyed the space, except for the long tables - we requested, and received, a separate table. Amazing that they can prepare complex cuisine using an open flame! Pricing was higher than anticipated given Open Table guidelines - $150 for two, with careful ordering and without wine.
The food was tasty and genuine. The service was friendly and knowledgeable, though we didn’t test her too much. Our biggest complaint was the slow service from the kitchen. The food arrived hot and perfectly cooked so it was not at all the fault of the wait staff. There cooks behind the counter were mostly standing around. It was bizarre. The restaurant was at most 60% full. Not sure how the kitchen service is when it’s packed.
We have been here three or four times. Each time is different and absolutely delicious. Innovative, interesting menu. One of our dishes was surprisingly expensive but so good we ordered an extra. It's not cheap but is very worth it. Love the feeling of the fires. Don't plan to stay too long because the wooden chairs and benches are not the most comfortable, but even they are interesting.
Camino's menu is spectacular... wonderful fresh choices; unique preparations and great flavors! I have to say we found the service to be lacking... no hustle, no real command of the menu when asked for descriptions as well as recommendations.
For a meal of $200 for 2 people (when we brought our own wine); we felt the service level sub-par at best.
Great food; but don't expect service levels commiserate with the price-tag.
I’m a repeat customer of Camino and I always enjoy my visits. This time I hosted two friends from Oregon who were new to Camino. They were very impressed with ambience, the cordial staff and the distinctive quality of the food. We had a lovely evening and a spectacular meal. They also enjoyed the creative cocktails.
I hadn't been to Camino for about 2 years and I left asking myself why that was. The ambiance is inviting and the food is simple, comforting and delicious. Its anchovy season and I could have eaten a pound of their fried little fish. We basically ordered the whole entire menu(save for two salads because I was starving) and enjoyed every single dish. A whopping 24 oz rockfish for 40 bucks could have fed us all and then some with maybe one or two appetizers to share. Julianna, our server, was attentive, inviting and knowledgable. She knew we all had distinctly different tastes in wine/cocktails and suggested a bottle for the table to satisfy everyone. The Occhipinti she had in mind wouldn't have never been my first choice, but the 25% of Nero D'Avola gave it just the itsy bit of barnyard, dusty funk I need in italian reds. I was finding any excuse to get to the east bay that weekend and have a low-key birthday dinner and it was unforgettable and such a pleasure to experience Russ and Allison's hospitality again. Id go back in a heartbeat.
Loved the location, overall feel, and food--- but menu was pretty limited with options.
We had an excellent meal at Camino! The food was fantastic and the wine was even better! Brian is extremely knowledgeable and is willing to take the time to talk to you about the wines on his wine list.
After reading so many stellar reviews, was so grandly disappointed with our experience here. Seating is long-table family style, which we are fine with. Feeds the Viking soul in us. Ambiance was lively; waitstaff was subdued-aloof friendly. Our meal, however, was a massive let down. Two of us ordered the whole rockfish, which was served with a separate plate of boiled, flavorless potatoes. The fish was generously endowed with dill but even so, was one of the most bland and indiscernible dishes I’ve ever eaten; having to pick through a million bones for tiny scraps of tasteless flesh added insult to injury (yes, I do like whole roasted fish, and yes I know that bones are part of the deal. But deliciousness is a prerequisite sadly not met by Camino’s version).
Others in our party ordered various foraged mushroom dishes, which were quite delicious, but that would be a testament to the mushrooms themselves and not the chefs. Foraged mushrooms are always amazing. Hard to fk that up. Japanese whiskey “cocktail” was also notingly disappointing - simply tasted like watered-down whiskey.
Considering the outrageous pricing (even in consideration of inflated prices to compensate waitstaff for their “no tip” policy), would not recommend this overpriced spectacle to any person I know.
Delicious food and great atmosphere. Little gem near Lake Merritt. Definitely coming back again!!
Good apart from ridiculous portion size and high prices. Literally ate a second dinner after spending $100+
Have now eaten here half-dozen Times. The food and drinks were delicious and the service was fine (not always the case). It was a little loud, as usual. We were a little shocked by the bill. Overall, a treat now and then but too expensive for regular dining out.
We had another great experience at Camino on Monday chicken night. The food quality is outstanding with great tasting veggies. Always enjoy dining there.
excellent and creative fare
Great food, but the portions were small - and I was floored by the prices. $7 for a small green juice, $2 just to get bread served at the table... The menu is designed with first, middle, and main courses, but ordering all 3 would be ridiculously expensive.
I don't often review places, but Camino is so consistent. The last date night, we opted for a different restaurant, which was cheaper but also had a nice ambience. Blech. Too extensive of a menu and uninspired (i.e. chicken piccata with steamed broccoli). Went back to Camino this time and AGAIN found each dish to be CREATIVE and WELL-CRAFTED and worth the extra pennies.
Another great dinner at Camino! Our son was home for spring break and wanted to go to his favorite local restaurant...Camino! We started with the oysters...our only complaint is that 2-3 oysters per person would be better suited for that dish (we'd pay more). The oysters are very succulent and flavorful...just need more! We ordered the roasted rock cod and the roasted duck entrees (shared family style). The fish was prepared perfectly...the meat was soft and moist, yet fell off the bone effortlessly. The duck never fails to impress us and pairs well with the fist.
As I said...yet another great dinner at Camino!
We decided to try Camino on our date night Friday, 8:15pm. The venue had nice enough ambiance, not too bright or noisy. Though after we were seated, our 1st order didn't come until almost 18 minutes later. We started with a miniscule whiskey sour and $22 dollars for 5 teenie tiny baked oysters. I could barely taste the oysters as they were so small. We ordered the salad that seemed to be dressed in oil but no acid/citrus on it. It was a very strangely bland tasting salad that had 4 shavings of cheese. Then comes another 20 minutes wait on the entree. Noone had checked in or apolized for the long wait on the entree. Our table was cleared yet we just sat and waited. Being pregnant and rarely eat later than 8pm, I was now ravenous and wanting a piece of bread. Almost 10 minutes later, a round piece of piping hot pita bread came out in a bowl without any oil or butter with it. It would have been a better service to precut this bread before it reaches the table. My husband tried to tear it off with his hands but it was too hot to successfully do so by hands. So again we sat and waited for the bread to cool. The entree finally showed up and at this time it was almost 9pm. Although the fish (order for 2) was well seasoned, the tiny portion of undercooked farro on the side again seemed to say that the portion spirit in this restaurant was far from generous. Everything felt skimpy and almost stingy in the cocktail and food. We did order a side of cabbage and that was a saving grace from the undercooked farro. We skipped dessert as the whole dining spirit has long eluded us. The bill came at around $140 for 2 people that felt overpriced. Oh and the charge for the pita bread made the experience extra unsavory. The food portion was skimpy. The service was okay but not attentive. Unfortunately, we won't be returning.