5337 College Avenue
The Permanent Pop-Up RestaurantThe creativity in Oakland's dining scene has ratcheted up dramatically in the past few years. One of the most novel innovations is Guest Chef, a cozy brick-and-mortar location in the Rockridge district where chefs come in for two-week stints and present their personalized menu. The visiting cooks range from established restaurant pros and caterers to accomplished home chefs who want to test their skills in a more demanding setting. Because the space is so comfortable and intimate, it makes you want to come back to try the various cuisines, from Mexican to French and Italian to Southern soul food and pan-Asian. The fare trends slightly upscale, the wine lists are typically first-rate. Guest Chef has taken on the feel of a neighborhood institution even though the kitchen team changes fortnightly.