← Return to search


Reem’s California

Map3301 E. 12th St.
Suite 133

Oakland, CA 94601
  • Middle Eastern & Mediterranean
Click a star to submit your rating.


For Reem Assil—a longtime community activist and daughter of a Palestinian refugee and Syrian immigrant—food and politics are unavoidably entwined. She modeled Reem’s California in Fruitvale Village after the corner bakeries common in the Arab world that serve as stabilizing community hubs in areas rife with political and social upheaval. The centerpiece is man’oushe, a traditional Arab flatbread that Reem’s makes by stretching slow-leavened dough out into pillows before cooking it a custom-made oven or a domed saj griddle. It can be eaten open-faced like a pizza or wrapped like a gyro or burrito. The traditional za’atar with the “veg mix” of tomatoes, cucumbers, and mint, plus a drizzle of labneh, a tangy Middle Eastern yogurt, is a good recommendation. The flatbread is great, balancing a crispy bottom crust with a pillowy, doughy top. The za’atar, a mix of wild thyme, sumac, and sesame seeds, provides an aromatic, sharply herbal punch mellowed by the yogurt. Tomatoes and cucumbers offer some acid, moisture, and freshness, but it’s the za’atar, and specifically the sumac, that gives it an exotic twist and what makes it “Arab” and interesting. Sumac also makes a cameo in another favorite: the Pali Cali wrap, one of the few items with meat. The mezze dips, however, steal the show, so don’t miss the baba ghanouj, the labneh yogurt, the beet hummus, the tahini purée, or the muhammara. Get the sampler. Serves breakfast and lunch Tue.-Sat.

Additional Information:

Location: Oakland-East Oakland / Fruitvale
Price: $-$$
Features: Credit Cards Accepted
Reservations Accepted

What People Are Saying

Reader Recommendations:
Edit ModuleShow Tags