Welcome to Ivy Moon Restaurant

Where the main ingredient is love.

Welcome to Ivy Moon, a family owned restaurant spearheaded by owner Tanesia’s love of Louisiana cuisine.  When we say love is the main ingredient it’s true. We are passionate about providing fresh, organic ingredients to give you the finest down-home cooking to tantalize your taste buds. So come on down and join us for great food, ambiance and good old-fashioned hospitality.  We serve all day brunch from Friday through Monday. And we also offer delivery through our partnerships with UberEats and GrubHub and would love to cater your special events.

Ivy Moon
3112 Market St., Oakland
510-735-9115
Hours: Wed.–Mon. 8 a.m.–9 p.m.

Testamonials

  • Black Business Spotlight: Ivy Moon Restaurant

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    Everyone can agree that good food can bring people together. Whether it is your traditional American barbecue or having a taco Tuesday, food makes everyone happy. One family-owned restaurant is bringing back that good ol’ home cooking to one of the most diverse communities in the country. Ivy Moon restaurant is here to keep your stomach and soul fed.

    Ivy Moon restaurant is a traditional American restaurant based in Oakland, California. The owner, Tanesia Sellman, was raised in Virginia, so many of their dishes are southern influenced. Sellman grew up watching her grandparent’s cook, which is how she developed a love for food. Her dream was to own her own restaurant one day. She would move to California eight years ago with her family as that dream recently became a reality.

    “I just love sharing with people, being happy, and eating good food. Now I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to have a restaurant where my babies can visit, and bring their friends and be proud of their mom,” said Sellman.

    waffle

    What makes Ivy Moon different from most restaurants is that the quality they put into making the food. All of the food is organic and locally grown which gives customers a clean feeling. The staff that help run the restaurant are all very close and committed to making this a fun and productive environment. As for how the name Ivy Moon was chosen, Sellman was planning to have another girl after her oldest daughter but ended up having three boys after.

    “I had the name Ivy sitting in my pocket every time. So now this restaurant is my new baby and I named her Ivy. Moon is a part of my husband’s favorite restaurant in New York,” said Sellman.

    As they continue to get more popular around the city, Ivy Moon hopes to expand their franchise into a few more locations while opening up a balcony level to the original site. Whatever they do next, just know Ivy Moon will always be here to provide good food vibes for everyone to enjoy.

    To learn more about Ivy Moon restaurant visit their website ivymoonrestaurant.com and Instagram @ivymoonrestaurant

    Remedies for the black soul

  • The West Oakland restaurant offers fun, surprising takes on chicken and waffles and other soul food specialties.

    Ivy Moon's best dish marries blackened shrimp with creamy and crispy grits.

    Tanesia Sellman takes issue with most renditions of fried chicken and waffles. First, the presentation. It’s usually a piece of chicken plopped down haphazardly onto a waffle — and that’s about it. With maple syrup, it’s brown and beige and blah.

    And then there’s the whole eating debacle. You’re expected to cut the waffle with a fork and knife, but if you’re going to really tear into that boney chicken, you need to pick it up with your hands. If you drizzle maple syrup over the whole thing first, then you’ve got quite a sticky situation.

    “I hate constantly cleaning my hands,” Sellman said.

    So Sellman did something kind of ingenious. She made chicken nuggets.

    At her three-month-old restaurant Ivy Moon, the chicken and waffles are a hit — and they’re plated beautifully. Microgreens top a pile of nugs on one-third of the plate, while four waffle quarters fan across the other side, kissed by a cascade of strawberries, blueberries, and edible orange flowers. I can’t recall a more aesthetically pleasing version of the dish.

    At first glance, it may be tempting to label Ivy Moon a soul food restaurant in the vein of Brown Sugar Kitchen — after all, both places sit in West Oakland, are helmed by black women, and draw crowds for modern takes on chicken and waffles. But Sellman actually calls Ivy Moon a New American restaurant, though it’s certainly informed by her upbringing in Arlington, Va., watching the stove with her grandparents. Her grandfather, a farmer, taught her about cooking with local produce, while her South Carolina-raised grandmother left her a blueprint for great grits.

    Unlike Brown Sugar Kitchen’s celebrity chef-owner Tanya Holland, Sellman has no formal culinary background. Her experience comes purely from her home kitchen, feeding her four children the past 20 years.

    Perhaps it’s that home-cooking background — combined with Sellman’s clear ambition and knack for aesthetics — that makes dining at Ivy Moon more interesting and fun than most New American restaurants. There is soul in her flavors, comfort in her simple techniques, and delight in her surprising flourishes.

    That said, I caught Ivy Moon in a period of transition. Sellman said folks haven’t been coming in for dinner much, so she’s planning to try out a single, all-day menu instead — the change should happen any day now.

    It sounds like the right move. While my brunch visits were all impressive, my dinner experience was spottier. Overall, everything was cooked perfectly and well-portioned, but some dishes needed editing.

    The grilled lamb chop, for example, arrived a gorgeous medium-rare on top of an ethereally smooth sweet potato mash. But the barbecue sauce on top was a little too sweet, heightened by the already-sweet mash underneath and a potent balsamic reduction swirled on top. The final component of fried cabbage had the potential to bring some acidic balance to the dish, but it was bland and watery.

    An appetizer portion of scallops was extremely generous, with four blackened and delicious scallops accompanied by, well, a lot of stuff. There was a creamy cauliflower purée, roasted florets, a tangy corn salsa, peppery greens, fried jalapeños, pickled radishes, and chili oil. The dish had at least three too many elements distracting from the main attraction.

    Chicken and waffles, dressed up.

    But I loved the mac ‘n’ cheese, which was basic but so ideal — proof you don’t need a bunch of fancy cheeses or béchamel to do the dish right. A banana bread pudding — laced with thick caramel and soft whipped cream — capped off the night with just the right amount of sweetness.

    By switching to an all-day menu, the restaurant can allow the business lunch crowd to finally experience that mac ‘n’ cheese, and, more importantly, folks can order the shrimp and grits at dinner.

    It’s almost certainly Ivy Moon’s best dish. The grits are creamy but still retain a nice bite, and the colossal-sized shrimp that come with it are so juicy that it’ll make you have second thoughts about all the other shrimp you’ve consumed in your life. There’s a small pile of tender greens, a sunny-side-up egg, lots of black pepper, and the kicker: deep-fried morsels of grits, making the dish a true feast for the texturally inclined.

    A close second is the restaurant’s only sandwich: blackened cod, lime-chive aioli, fresh dill, red cabbage slaw, and pickled radishes and peppers all piled into a toasted bun. The flavors are bright and vibrant, and the slaw gives it just the right amount of crunch. The side of fries seasoned with smoked paprika doesn’t hurt, either.

    With Oakland’s skyrocketing rents, many restaurants have been forced to close over the years. Ivy Moon has a great chance at longevity, though, because Sellman bought the building. She has big dreams for Ivy Moon: She wants to expand the seating by adding a second story and, eventually, open another location.

    You can see that ambition on the plates — nearly every dish is prettily arranged and finished with colorful flowers, just like the chicken and waffles.

    The ease of eating those chicken and waffles was pretty glorious, but chopped-up chicken breasts are far less forgiving than bone-in thighs. So, it wasn’t shocking that my nuggets were a touch too dry. Still, the sweet-salty flavors were on point, with ample spices coating the chicken. True to her Southern roots, Sellman wouldn’t reveal any of her flavor tricks. “The secret is love,” she said.

    EAST BAY EXPRESS