When I first started blogging, my idea was to write about reviews of restaurants that we have tried during our Saturday date nights. (We were on the height of “foodie-ness” back then.) Over the years, my blogs have evolved into a diary of sorts where I wrote about my day to day life in the Bay Area. Then they also became my gratitude and travel journal, recipe keeper of the food that I cook, and album for my food photography.
I enjoy posting all of these but I also enjoy reminiscing about our delicious meals over the years. It is like getting second helpings of dishes that we had and the happy memories that come with those dining adventures.
Since the pandemic I have not posted any restaurant reviews. Well, mostly because we have stopped going out since the lockdown that started in March 2020. We had our meals delivered. When the restrictions eased last June 2021, Mr Sweetie and I were excited to eat out again. We were still not comfortable with indoor dining. My challenge has been to find restaurants with outdoor patio dining.
Where we live in the Bay Area, we are surrounded by hundreds of restaurants even during the pandemic. Many restaurants have constructed parklets on the sidewalk and the streets. I am sorry to say I do not feel that parklets are safe, as fun and as necessary they seem. Diners at parklets have to co-exist with cars and street traffic. My challenge, as I have mentioned earlier, is to find “real” outdoor spaces, preferably patios.
As of today, I gave up looking for outdoor dining spaces that were not parklets. With the rise of the Delta variant, even though Mr Sweetie and I have been fully vaccinated, we are concerned about breakthrough cases. I also find it too much work to scour places where we feel we can dine comfortably. So we are back to food delivery or pick up just to get out of the house on Saturdays.
What I really want to do with this post (sorry for the long-winded intro), is to celebrate outdoor dining and post a restaurant review after almost a year and half of not doing so. I would like to highlight ” Lovely Day” which is befitting the restaurant’s name as it was truly a lovely place. Lovely Day is a restaurant in North Oakland. It is a diamond in the rough. The surroundings are urban, industrial and unpolished. In its raw environment, Lovely Day was a sight for sore eyes.
The outdoor space was lovely and almost replete with Southern charm. It must have been the giant tree, Edison hanging bulbs and the perfectly cool summer evening.
Lovely Day describes their cuisine as “elevated comfort. craft cocktails. friends.” The dishes were on the healthy side. Too healthy for Mr Sweetie (LOL!) but perfect for me!. We enjoyed our meal. These were what we had:
- We were given a complimentary freshly fried potato chips.
- For me: Ancient Grains & Shiitake Slider (V, GF): Pickled kale, piquillo pepper chermoula, avocado, flatbread and Fried Polenta Bits with Tomato
- For him: A order of a beautiful salad and Pork Shoulder Plate (GF): Chile pork broth, cabbage, avocado, lime, served with a cheesy sopa
I will let the pictures do the talking. If you are in Bay Area — San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley or Emeryville, or surrounding cities, Lovely Day is a nice and safe place to have a lovely dinner during the pandemic. The prices are reasonable and the portions are on the generous side. The outdoor space is perfect to hangout with friends or for a date night where you can have a cocktail or two with creative comfort food.