SF’s L’acajou Opens an Outlet at Woodminster Plaza

The menu is more expansive, because the Oakland space — formerly the Woodminster Cafe — has more sophisticated cooking facilities.


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Sweet goods and savory items pop up on the Lacajou.com menu in the Woodminster Plaza.

One of L’acajou bakery and cafe’s founding principles is to offer its guests “Bohemian hospitality” — which chef-owner Matthew Roder describes as “food and beverages enjoyed at a slower pace with family and friends, in a relaxed environment, harking back to a time when San Francisco was a bastion of arts and culture,” and the East Bay would soon follow suit.

Before opening the original L’acajou in San Francisco’s South of Market district in 2010, California Culinary Academy-trained Roder handcrafted artisanal baked goods in a SoMa commercial kitchen and sold these to local cafes. This February, he opened an Oakland location in Woodminster Plaza near Joaquin Miller Park.

“San Francisco is becoming more and more inhospitable to small businesses such as ours,” Roder explained. “So, seeing the writing on the wall, I wanted to preemptively make the move. Also, I live in the Laurel district, so this is a much better commute.”

During the cafe’s first few weeks, Roder found himself serving customers — “even slanging some lattes” — and baking and cooking “just about everything” on the menu, which features hearty egg dishes, bowls, sandwiches, salads, soups, and pastries such as cheddar-chipotle biscuits, peanut-butter pretzels, and herbes-de-Provence rolls.

This menu is more expansive than that of the San Francisco location, because the Oakland space — formerly the Woodminster Cafe — has more sophisticated cooking facilities.

Choosing his own personal favorite menu item “is a tough one: I love them all,” Roder avowed. “The croissants are definitely one of my faves, particularly the ham-and-cheese with spinach: It’s like a satisfying little hand-held meal — and since I’m always on the run, it’s perfect. Also, our breakfast sandwich, the Parisian, is really satisfying: The mixture of egg, Dijon mustard, tomato, bacon, and our cabbage slaw is quite delicious.

“For lunch, I would say the quinoa bowl, because you can choose whatever kind of toppings you’re in the mood for,” he added. The toppings range from chicken to goat cheese to avocado to the cafe’s namesake cashews and beyond. “So, it can change every day.”

 

L’acajou, 5020 Woodminster Lane, Oakland, 510-842-9308, Lacajou.com

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