Be honest, what comes to mind when you think about the city of Oakland, California. Is it perhaps gangs, crack, violence and maybe a little Too Short!? I’m here to tell you that while those things may still exist in the Biggity Biggity O, there are also a lot of exciting new developments happening, like the booming culinary scene. Did you know that last year the New York Times named Oakland the top 5 city in North America to visit!? I’m sure it had something to do with the eclectic restaurants, and diverse population. Obviously I needed to check out what was hot in the hood so a few months back I visited Encuentro; a modern, super hip Vegetarian restaurant and wine bar in the New Jack London District. It was a cozy neighborhood hangout with a crowd of happy people who seemed to be having a great time. This place was recommended to me by not only the Michelin Guide San Francisco but my brother who happens to be a local AND a well known delicious food connoisseur. We went on a particularly busy night and had to wait for over 40 mins, but I’m happy to report that the food was definitely worth it. Just check out the drool worthy photos of the organic, local, flavorful, mouth watering yumminess below.