Definitely where you want to go to find out whether that is or isn't Penny's boat, Portal is a brand-spanking-new American pub-cum-beer garden from a chef-trained former construction manager and the lady behind Rosamunde, and features an actual, porthole-equipped front door with two very distinct spaces beyond it.
There's 1) a 25-seat interior with a reclaimed wood-slatted back wall & a U-shaped bar filled with backlit pickling jars, and 2) an outdoor, glass-enclosed beer garden that's twice the size of the interior and equipped with picnic tables, umbrellas, and a view of Lake Merritt -- clearly a badge of honor for the space.
Gourmet-style pub fare includes four mini burgers that come in twos with toppings like chevre and tomato aioli, "Garbage Bread" (grilled pesto-marinara pizza rolled like a burrito), and three different fry options: sweet potato (w/ a ginger aioli dipping sauce), herbed garlic, and smoked chili, or what T-Boz says whenever Rozonda Thomas's all "Yo T, how you like your salmon?".
And because you'll need a beer you can pour out for Left Eye/your homies, Portal's offering 10 bottles (Session Lager, Allagash Dubbel, Ommegang Hennepin...) and a constantly rotating draft list, which currently includes the likes of Eye of the Hawk Ale, Sierra Nevada Hoptimum, and Arrogant Bastard -- too many of which are sure to get you Lost and scared of Others.
Published: August 17, 2012 at 4:00am EDT
1611 2nd Ave
Oakland, CA 94606
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