Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

A ‘Bijou’ in the Heart of Hayward

By awoodall
Wednesday, October 1st, 2008 at 4:40 pm in restaurants.

Bijou Restaurant Showcases French/California Cuisine from Chef Christian Nam-Hee…

Bijou Restaurant & Bar provides the East Bay with a chic new dining option. Created by co-owners Benjamin Young and Phillip Chan, Bijou showcases contemporary French/California cuisine, offered at reasonable prices, prepared by Executive Chef Christian Nam-Hee using seasonal, fresh and often locally sourced, organic ingredients. The word bijou means “a little gem” in French.


Notable dishes on Chef Nam-Hee’s opening menu include such starters and small plates ($5.00 to $12.00) as Steamed Mussels with an A l’Ardennaise sauce; Salmon Tartar; Sautéed Prawns; and a Crab and Avocado Salad. Among the main courses ($11.00 to $22.00) are Seared Duck Breast with a Champagne grape sauce; Pork Chop a l’Orange; and Oven Roasted Sea Bass. For dessert, diners can enjoy Crème Brulée with hint of green tea or Crêpes Suzette. A separate lounge menu is also available.


Chef Nam-Hee, 30 years old and a native of Paris, France, graduated from the Ecole de Paris des Metiers de la Table. His subsequent career includes time at a number of elite French restaurants such as Le Grenadin (under 2-star Michelin Chef Patrick Cirotte), La Chaumiere and Le Bienvenue. Nam-Hee also did an apprenticeship with Pastry Chef Christian Thierrel. His appointment at Bijou Restaurant is Nam-Hee’s first in the United States.


The Bijou wine list, compiled by Tom O’Connor of Manresa fame, is international with more than 30 vintages. The restaurant’s full bar offers classic, contemporary and signature cocktails. Working to insure that the service at Bijou is professional and attentive are co-owners Benjamin Young and Phillip Chan with over 30 years of entrepreneurial and hospitality industry experience between them.

Bijou’s interior design is by Pia Thomas who was the lead designer and architect for Restaurant Equipment Design before starting her own company, DesignPlus, in 2005. Highlights of the sleek, sophisticated environment include one of a kind glowing ring chandeliers, comfortable leather chairs from
Italy, and a substantial lounge area with plush velvet cushions. Bijou’s main dining room seats 72 guests, with space for 19 more in the lounge, 11 at the bar and 32 on the outdoor sidewalk patio.


Bijou Restaurant & Bar is located at 1036 B Street, near Main, in Hayward, California. The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner. Lunch is served Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Dinner hours are Sunday through Wednesday 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to midnight.  Parking is readily available on the street and in an adjacent public parking lot. Visit Bijou at www.bijouexperience.com or email to dine@bijouexperience.com. Reservations can be made on the restaurant’s Web site, through OpenTable.com or by calling (510) 888-1092.

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3 Responses to “A ‘Bijou’ in the Heart of Hayward”

  1. Monica Ruiz Says:

    We’ve been to the Bijou twice and we’ve enjoyed a relaxing and attentive experience. We’ll definetly go back for the atmosphere and food.

  2. Cathy Jones Says:

    Bijou is ok. Food takes a long time to get from kitchen to table, and the specialty drinks are really sweet. Don’t go late on Fridays or Saturdays unless you like the cramped, meat-market vibe. Has a lot of potential. Hope they don’t sell-out and start catering to the club/thug, “Jagermeister” crowd. Only time will tell.

  3. Night Owl hoots on Bijou - The HayWord - The ordinary and extraordinary goings-on in Hayward, Castro Valley, San Lorenzo and San Leandro. Says:

    […] The Night Owl has posted an entry on Bijou, downtown Hayward’s newest attempt at a hot spot. Will it be successful? Have you visited and developed an opinion? Head over to the Night Owl and leave a comment. Or leave it here. We love comments. […]

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