Tribune Tavern And Marrow Bring Meat Back To Oakland

Two new restaurants built on meaty premises

Central Oakland may have one of the highest concentrations of vegan restaurants in the state, but two new restaurants there don't quail at the thought of a side of beef:

Tribune Tavern: At this handsome, window-wrapped restaurant in the Tribune Tower, Huw Thornton, last the chef of Locanda da Eva, gives both halves of the word "gastropub" their due with dishes such as Welsh rarebit and shepherd's pie. We relished Thornton's pork-trotter-and-cheek fritters ($10), the meat encased in crisp breadcrumbs, and his garlicky pork-shoulder bangers ($18), once we rescued them from a puddle of mash. The kale salad with roasted cauliflower and chunks of cheddar ($10) proved as tasty as it was necessary.

Marrow: Jon Kosorek scored one of the chichi street-food movement's early successes with Jon's Street Eats (R.I.P.), so it's nice to see him back at this tiny lunch spot. His daily menu is built around the whole animals he butchers. On our visit, we ate crisp, skinny fries cooked in beef tallow ($3), and tacos ($7 for 2) filled with cubes of ham-like cured pork, the heaps of shredded vegetables and cilantro on top acting as a shout-out to banh mi. Meat-centric, yes, but more light than lardy.