Self-described Sunset Capital of Texas, The Oasis makes anyone's top ten list of Austin places to eat.
6550 Comanche Trl (78732)
(note: these are Daylight Savings hours - the restaurant closes one hour earlier during standard time)
The panoramic view overlooking Lake Travis is spectacular and the primary draw. The restaurant sports a large number of decks and terraces. KVUE, the local ABC affiliate, maintains a webcam of Lake Travis from atop the restaurant.
[Hippie Hollow, the state's only public nudist beach, is also visible below, although not that visible. And on a side note, one of my favorite Hippie Hollow/Lake Travis stories occurred back in 2004 when a double decker party barge capsized off the Hippie Hollow beach. Although there were disagreements over what caused the capsize, some accounts suggested that it was caused by uneven weight distribution when all the passengers rushed to one side of the craft. Hmmm, I wonder what was so interesting there on one side of the boat? Fortunately, there were no fatalities, but all 60 onboard ended up in the lake.]
The restaurant itself is an absolutely huge establishment and can accommodate around 2000 customers as well as large special events (corporate events, wedding parties, etc.) There's also live music beginning at 7:00 pm Wednesdays thru Sundays (check out their live music calendar here).
The menu is a mix of Tex-Mex, some seafood, eclectic entrées, and sandwiches. Personally, I've always enjoyed my experiences here--the view, the wait staff, the food--but be forewarned: the restaurant has collected its fair share of unfavorable reviews of its food.
Nevertheless, I still classify The Oasis under the category Classy Austin. No other restaurant comes close to its view, and the atmosphere is relaxed and rejuvenating. The sunsets are great and, for me, it's always a nice treat for a weekend lunch.
Owner/developer Beau Theriot opened the restaurant in 1979, and it developed a loyal following over the years, becoming one of the default places everyone brought their out of town visitors. In 2005, lightning struck (literally) and much of the restaurant was destroyed by fire. Theriot salvaged what he could, quickly reopening a small portion of the restaurant while simultaneously rebuilding the rest of it.
A small gift shop is attached to the restaurant. Theriot also owns The Treasury, a multiple story fine furniture and antique store located right next door. Additionally, he's also the developer for the nearby Villa Montaña at Comanche Canyon Ranch.
The Oasis - Lake Austin Map - Austin Restaurants
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