Pleasanton/Dublin dinner advice (three dinners).
- Janet Goff
We like what other chowhounds seem to go for: good, well prepared, inexpensive eats with not cranky service and maybe a (ethnic) granny in the kitchen. So, will we have any luck in Pleasanton/Dublin? Please advise. (We are willing to go a bit afield for someplace fabulous.)
re: Robert Lauriston
> That's a very whitebread area.
Robert must not get out much. San Ramon, Dublin, Pleasanton, and Livermore all have _lots_ of new ethnic restaurants and grocery stores to serve the thousands (yes) of new homes. Dougherty Valley alone will have 11,000 new homes. (Do the math.) Dublin has thousands of new condos and apartments. There are 3 Korean restaurants on one street in Pleasanton (Santa Rita Rd). Livermore has always had a large Hispanic population. First St has 4 taquerias in a two block stretch. Two are great (Ancestros and El Charro) and two are decent. Plus all the others around town. I had lunch today at a Korean restaurant in Pleasanton that I hadn't been to before. Another Korean restaurant will open soon in the Ulfert's center in Dublin, and one opened a couple of months ago in downtown Dublin, a couple blocks west of the new Chinese (Yu Yu), Japanese (E-Sushi) and Thai (Bankok 101) restaurants. You gotta get out more Roberrt. Well, east of the Caldecott anyway.
Well, I live in Livermore, and have found some good places. First on the list is a vegetarian southern Indian place, Udupi Palace, which is located just north of 580 off of First St. There is a huge Hindu temple nearby, and this restaurant is tasty and (for me) unusual. A high-quality (slightly more expensive) northern Indian place is Sansar, located downtown on the main drag. Someone else mentioned Casa Orozco, which is good, but we also like Anita's Taqueria, near downtown on Railroad. Jalisco-style, and they have specials on various days (if you like tripe soup :).
Pleasanton is not exactly a hotbed of cheap food. In Dublin, you could do worse than Red Tractor or Fuzio, both small chains located in the Hacienda Crossing shopping center. The former is all comfort food, meatloaf, chicken, burgers, and everything is served with a cheese biscuit. Try the bread pudding, too. Fuzio is a fusion restaurant that somehow manages not to suck. Think moules mariniere crossed with yellow curry. Yum. Pasta and salads have always been good. Sometimes they have a prix fixe app., main dish, and glass of wine. Plus, big, stiff drinks and a fine bar area. Good luck!
We like Sozo Sushi in Pleasanton. Despite its dubious location in a strip mall (on the corner of Hopyard and Valley Ave) the relatively spacious interior of this Japanese restaurant has a suprisingly fun decor.
We are vegetarians, and their selection of veggie sushi was more than adequate. The prices are good too.
Downtown Livermore is getting better daily. For straight-up family Mexican food, Casa Orozco is hard to beat. Family run, clean, a great outdoor patio, and a good menu. I lived in Fremont/Newark for 7 years and sit-down family Mexican was never a strong point. So I was happy to find this place. Also worth checking in downtown Livermore is Uncle Chu's at the Vineyard, right next to the main flagpole. On a recent visit I had the best service I've had in years anywhere, including at restaurants of supposedly far higher caliber. Sophisticated, good food, and a voluminous wine list to boot. A good place for a date (if the date likes Chinese food). Finally, a new place called Fire and Ice is basically an upscale Mongolian Barbecue. Like a salad bar but including raw meats, and you give it all to a stir-fry chef who cooks it up to order for you. Loud rock music, garish Vegas decor, great people watching, good cocktailing... not what you'd expect in Livermore, but that's what's fun about it. They're talking about an 1800 seat arts theater downtown, and if that happens we should see another uptick in restaurant quality there. I'm still waiting for the celebrity-chef wine-based restaurant to open somewhere around here... sooner or later one will see that we're in the middle of a great wine region 45 min. from SF and take the chance.
I will second the OTC rec, even with the bad service. Additionally, I like Little Home Thai. I like Sendo Sushi for the fancy rolls with all the sauces and stuff. For simple, fresh and well executed sushi I'd go with Momi Ji in downtown Pleasanton. Pleasanton has a few mediocre Indian restaurants, the best IMO is Chef India. Chef India runs a buffet most of the time, which I hate, but the food tends to be relatively fresh and tasty.
While I disagree with Robert's take on Swagat, I agree that Fremont and Milpitas have much more to offer when it comes to cheap ethnic eats.
Little Home Thai Cuisine
4000 Pimlico Dr Ste 106, Pleasanton, CA 94588
4555 Hopyard Rd, Pleasanton, CA 94588
Momi Ji Japanese Restaurant
411 Main St, Pleasanton, CA 94566
Chef India Cuisine
5100 Hopyard Rd, Pleasanton, CA 94588
re: Fussy Foodie
Chef India (in its earlier incarnation before it was sold; Gold India, I think) was the best Indian restaurant east of the Caldecott. Sadly, that chef left shortly after it was sold.
Prior to the original Chef India opening, our favorite was the _original_ Chutney's when it was in Blackhawk. The owner sold it and it later closed as the new owners weren't up to the task.
The chef at original Chutney's went to Masala in Danville. I've been there once, but Indian "fusion" cuisine served "European" style (i.e., courses with no family style serving) is just wrong.
The current Chutney's (in the center with Whole Foods) with the original owner and Hispanic cooks (see for yourself) is a mere shadow of the old place.
Tonight we had dinner at El Charro in Livermore. Three of us had special quesadilla, fajitas, sopes, chille relleno, tostada, beans, rice, and homemade tortillas. We love the food in Mexico. Frankly, it's better here.