For those of you who have been living under a rock and haven't heard about Jack London Square's latest attraction that opens this Friday, Oct 10, this post will quickly get you up to speed in a little over a minute. For everyone else, I want to divert your attention away from all the wonderful entertainment options and focus on the food instead.
plank is a new entertainment hot spot offering a full-service restaurant, 18 bowling lanes, outdoor beer garden with 3 bocce ball courts, 3 full bars, interactive games with prizes and live entertainment.
I recently attended a media preview with Christina of East Bay Dish, Diane of Diane Bezucha Photography, and Sandy of Foodhoe and we got to tour the space, play bocce ball, and taste a variety of food options.
Plank in a Nutshell
- The entire space is 50,000 square feet
- Indoor: 35,000 square feet
- Outdoor: 15,000 square feet
- Seating - Restaurant: 125 / Indoor: 500 / Outdoor: 325
- Private Events: up to 1,000 reception style
- The outdoor beer garden has 48 local and handcrafted draft beers and a bourbon selection
- Three 60 foot bocce ball courts
- Fire pits
- Two indoor bars to get your drink on
- 40 HDTVs throughout the venue to cater to serious sports enthusiasts
- 12 lanes are available for classic bowling / 6 lanes are offered in The Boardroom for guests 21 and over
- 60 interactive games where guests will be able to win a variety of exclusive prizes
- Two 8-foot billiard tables available in The Boardroom for guests 21 and over
- Live entertainment every weekend (and the possibility of karaoke?!)
plank has a diverse menu offering shared plates like chicken yakitori, ceviche and short ribs to entrees such as ahi tuna tacos, udon, burgers or hearth-oven pizza. Here's everything we tried during the event.
Pickles & Mixed Nuts
The pickles were a mix of carrots, string beans and radishes that hit you with a powerful vinegar force once you go in for a bite. I wasn't a big fan and felt that it needed more balance. For those of you who really like acidity in your pickles, this is for you.
The mixed nuts were pleasant, sweet and spicy. It's a perfect pairing with a few beers on tap.
Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Coleslaw
The chicken wings were served with three sauces and a side of blue cheese coleslaw. I wasn't a fan of the coleslaw and thought the blue cheese was too overpowering. On the other hand, the wings were cooked nicely.
Ceviche with Plantain Chips
The ceviche was my least favorite dish from the tasting. While I enjoyed the plantain chips, the ceviche lacked brightness and I couldn't taste the freshness of the seafood mix.
Sausage and Vegetarian Pizza
We tried two pizzas, sausage and vegetarian, cooked in a hearth-oven. I am a meat lover but found myself enjoying the vegetarian option much more. I liked the variety of vegetables and peppers offered and found that the sausage was a bit on the salty side. Christina and I agreed on this, while Sandy liked the sausage more.
Char Siu Pork Belly Tacos
Everyone's favorite dish was the char siu pork belly tacos. I wish I didn't have to share because I could easily eat 4 tacos by myself and call it a day. The pork belly is prepared Chinese BBQ style, so you get that five spice and sweet honey-like taste.
plank is an exciting new addition to Oakland and the food is enjoyable. It's steps above the standard greasy food you'd expect at a regular bowling alley. We only tasted a small set of the food from their menu, so I look forward to trying out more dishes, although it will be hard to resist ordering anything else but pork belly tacos.