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Cosecha Cafe: Decent Food For Fancy-Ass Prices

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After Miss Ollie’s denied the possibilities of an afternoon affair with their fried chicken lunch special (they were out), I had to turn the corner for Cosecha.

Cosecha is housed in the newly renovated Swans Building in Downtown Oakland, next to Miss Ollie’s, Taylor’s Sausage, and Rosamunde. Yup, they’re all in that very same building. Cosecha is inviting right from the jump, with its sliding glass garage doors that catch and direct any breeze into its spaciousness and flow over its finished concrete floors. Only problem is, for me anyway, it’s a Mexican food joint without any Mexican people eating in there. That’s always a red flag. But, maybe it’s because it’s so fancy, so let’s give it a try anyway.


Cosecha’s Tacos

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I ordered their blue plate special, denied. They were out. I’m two-for-two. I shall settle on their two tacos and an aqua fresca for $9 deal. Had I really given it some thought, and not ordered in a hunger-starved panic?  Two tacos and a drink for $9? Alas, the tacos were delicious. The braised beef was, of course, tender. Large chunks of meat served in its beef-hulking cherrywood-coloured sauce and topped with white onion and cilantro on a homade corn tortilla. This crinkly-looking tortilla so fresh the smell of freshly ground corn permeates through your nostrils long before your taste buds have had a chance to analyze. Toothsome, textured and yet velutinous like a succulent’s leaves. The braised pork? Equally delicious. Melting puerco with a smoky cumino sauce with pickled red onion (necessary) and cilantro.

Four bites and I was done. I dared my best friend to request a bite. I did offer some of my aqua fresca, as it was warm and crazy acidic. Yes, it was strawberry and lime- lime is acidic. But, this was starting to put my stomach into remission and thus had to back off. You buss your own dishes. You stare at the knife and bits of food confetti-ed on the floor during a slow period of customers. You listen to the music. And basically what you have is a restaurant that, in any other location, would be your standard taqueria and the meal around $5. But, this one is shrouded  in a fancy building and so, you have been hoodwinked out of $9.


907 Washington Street (@ 9th Street)

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  1. Carlos
    June 23, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Hi – I am glad you like the food and the space. We strive to make everything fresh. We hire a person who only makes fresh tortillas. So you don’t get the bland, stale tortillas you find at other places. We also pay our workers well above minimum wage – with raises and time off. We support local farmers. The strawberry drink you had was from a local farm that produces organic strawberries and the workers have a United Farm Workers contract. They are respected. The produce is expensive and the meat is local and choice. It may sound like a bunch of hippy stuff but it makes a difference in people’s lives to have a few extra bucks. If I charged you $5 for what you ate I would be out of business. I mean – I could buy everything from Costco and pay the employees $8 an hour so that I could lower costs all around, but those places are a dime a dozen – and I hope that, and the quality of the food, is what sets us apart.

    • illyannam
      March 26, 2014 at 4:42 pm


      I’m sorry that I didn’t get back to you sooner. I respect the hard work that goes behind (and the quality) the product that you guys produce. And I don’t think what you’re trying to accomplish by buying directly from the local farmers is in any way “hippy stuff.” On the contrary, I think that is the status quo in restaurants nowadays. The common “foodie” consumer is equipped with what goes into recipes, what they’d like from their purveyors/favorite eateries, and most would like to know where their ingredients are coming from. The common restaurant/food truck/food stand has a mile long purveyor’s list of where their ingredients came from. The quality wasn’t on trial, the taste was. Yes, everything was fresh, but not everything was fantastic. And I think it’s only fair that the consumer get fantastic, if we are to pay fantastic prices.