Are there any good places in Berkeley besides Chez Panisse?
My favorites are:
O Chame, on 4th Street near Hearst. Japanese inspired cuisine in an arts & crafts jewelbox space. Right in the middle of the trendiest shopping area in Berkeley.
Rick & Ann's, famous "homestyle" cooking with a fresh, Northern California edge. It's on the street just below the Claremont Hotel. Get there early for weekend brunch or prepare to wait!.
Lalime's on Gilman (check www.lalimes.com). California/Mediterranean/French food, focus on seasonal ingredients.
Rivoli on Solano. Light and tasty Italian/California.
In the Rockridge neighborhood in North Oakland (just minutes from UC Berkeley), two places on College Avenue just south of Rockridge BART station;
Oliveto: Italian/Mediterranean, chef is Paul Bertolli, well-known alumnus of Chez Panisse.
Citron: French/Mediterranean in a small-scale place.
All these places change their menus frequently and showcase seasonal produce, etc.
Here are 2 of my favorites:
2826 Telegraph Ave (just north of Ashby)
510 848 5599
Moderately priced Italian. On my last visit, I had the best grilled veal chop I've ever eaten. If the carmel ice cream is available, order it as soon as you sit down. Call ahead for a reservation.
Nizza La Bella
825 San Pablo Ave (just north of Solano)
510 526 2552
Nicoise/Southern French. Steamed mussels with aioli are the house speciality. I love the socca but my husband finds it a tad oily (probably why I like it!) Full bar, fronted by Tim, the best bartender around.