North Beach in San Francisco is known for Italian food, but my favorite Italian place in the Bay Area is on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland. Lo Coco's is a cozy little place where you get what you see listed on the menu. In other words, there's no adding of chicken to a dish. The other quirky thing about it is that you can only pay with cash or personal check!
But don't let it's funny characteristics dissuade you. Lo Coco's is in great North Oakland neighborhood, a couple of doors down from the famous ice creamery, Fenton's. The people who work at Lo Coco's are nice and friendly, and the atmosphere is great.
It's been awhile since Seth and I ventured over to 4270 Piedmont Avenue, but we finally went last night. It was still yummy. Our usual choice includes sharing a large Gilberto's pizza and tortellini con sugo. By the way, we found this place via Yelp.