Sidebar digs deeply into the history of mixed drinks and keeps abreast of the latest developments in artisan spirits, so cocktails are the crown jewels here where “classicist” and “locavore” options appear. Additionally, a compact, reasonable wine list, smartly conceived lunch, dinner and “in between” menus, and a neighborly tavern ambience with a Cheers-like copper-topped bar all conspire to make this vibrant bar/eatery a sure bet in Oakland’s restaurant renaissance. Owners Barbara Mulas (executive chef) with husband Mark Drazek (pastry chef), both of Zax Tavern fame, and business partner Anne Marie Adrain (general manager) have developed a winning approach to Mediterranean-based bistro small plates and satisfying main dishes. A legendary carryover from Zax—twice-baked goat cheese soufflé ($8)—is offered on Wednesdays only. Serves lunch, “in between” and dinner Mon.Fri., dinner only on Sat., closed Sun.