Oculto is found on the second-floor mezzanine of a suburban food hall in Castro Valley. Chef Mikey Ochoa’s fascination with vegetables always shines through the seasonal menu, which might offer a smoky eggplant tostada ($14) slathered with tangy romesco and topped with crunchy summer beans. But it’s the chicken ($39) that’s the showstopper with a thin, crisp skin that glistens with salsa macha. Just like the lauded roasted chicken from San Francisco’s Zuni Cafe, it takes a while to make, so put in the order early. Of course, there are plenty of comfort dishes to explore, too, like a mollete ($13), a slice of brioche topped with well-spiced, creamy black beans, heirloom tomatoes and queso fresco, or crisp papas bravas ($18) finished with gooey cheese and onion aioli.
Also featured on Top Fries in the Bay Area.
PAYMENT OPTIONS: Credit cards accepted
DRINKS: Full bar
HOURS: Lunch and dinner daily