Oakland's Rockridge neighborhood has plenty of restaurants but the newly opened A16 Rockridge is packed most nights. Seems to be a favorite of the locals living nearby. The cuisine is southern Italian but the real star is the cocktail menu. Food is a bit pricey so go with friends, split a pizza and enjoy the cocktails. Nice simple decor without a lot of noise so you can actually have a conversation! Good vibe but can be wallet buster if you get carried away with ordering.
Original A16 is still located in San Francisco on Chestnut Street.