Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between


By awoodall
Thursday, December 11th, 2008 at 2:02 pm in Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl, Oakland nightlife, restaurants.

So now that Mua has been open for a while I’d like to know how people are feeling about the lofty (as in archicture not attitude) restaurant over on Auto Row at 24th and Webster. I still haven’t made it over although I was eager for it to open. The owners seem to have taken their super low-key approach from Soizic and applied it to Mua. The only sign that it’s a restuarant (lunch, dinner, bar) rather than the owner Hi-Suk Dong’s painting studio (his art is on the walls) is a graffiti-style tag reading “We are open” or something like that on the sliding metal door like on garages, which is what the space used to be once upon a time in Oakland. They even left the original signage up instead of plastering MUA on it. They stay open late (bravo) and after 10 p.m. a DJ takes over.

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2 Responses to “Mua”

  1. Ed Stanton Says:

    Hi Angela,

    It’s Ed, of Oakland Happy Hour.

    I have now visited Mua twice – once for dinner and once for a beer at the bar.

    Dinner was tasty. Short menu, but good. It’s tapas style but not Spanish. Service is not at the level of price, but it should improve (must improve). Owner was standing around near the bar, looking over the dining room both times I visited. Dining room is a great space – big skylights, tall ceilings, industrial look. They have soundless video projected on the walls, which is a bit distracting.

    Bar: not very comfortable but cheap beer – that alone will bring me back (and I live across the street). I was never a fan of Luka’s and now there’s real competition for that older venue. When I was visiting the bar, however, my friend wanted something from the drink menu yet they did not have ingredients for half the drinks on the menu. That did not go over well because it took 20 minutes to figure out what drink to create from the specialty mixers they did have on hand. Bartender saved the day by taking that much time to work with the customer to determine what she was lookign for in her drink – and she ultimately was happy with her ($9) drink. Soundless video on multiple screens at the bar showing cult films, again its just distracting.

    Upstairs lounge area is nice and Oakland Happy Hour should feel comfortable there. Downstairs at the bar, the door sticks open all the time and it is freezing cold. Upstairs is cozy warm. Two staircases to get up – no bar upstairs just a lounge.

    Hipster crowd. Dining room was mostly full both times I visited, and I always see people coming and going when I’m passing by. Word has spread quickly.

    I think you should visit. I’d be happy to join you. You know how to reach me.

    Happy holidays.


  2. Angela Woodall Says:

    Yay! Good to hear from you and thanks so much for sharing your experience with Mua. I’ll take you up on that offer soon hopefully, if the holidays don’t kill me.

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