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Jul 21, 2006 04:47 PM

The reviews are out - 900 Grayson Updates?

Both the East Bay Exprss and Chronicle just did reviews on 900 Grayson. Sorry Morton the Mousse, no mention of how organic the menu might be.

Any Chowhound updates?

East Bay Express Review

Chronicle Review, sort of, in Cook's Night Out

Previous Chowhound Reports

900 Grayson
900 Grayson (on the corner of 7th, about a block from Ashby
)Berkeley, CA 94701
510 704-9900

Closed Sunday
Mon - Sat: 8am-3pm


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  1. The Chron piece mentions the use of Fulton Valley Chicken, which usually means the rest of their meat is hormone free.

    Lord, I miss Kauffman.

    1. This is my new favorite place. I have been 4 times and have enjoyed it everytime. The staff is pleasant and sitting in the back patio amongst the flowers is charming.

      To start, I am a fishaterian (I don't eat chicken, beef, pork, but do eat seafood). Even though the menu can seem meat-heavy, there is something for everyone. The soup is always veggie, sometimes vegan. On my last visit this week they were offering a chilled tomato-watermelon. Have tried the carrot-ginger and potato-leek which were both yummy.

      VISIT 1:

      -LadyBoy salad appetizer size ($8): Lemongrass-Kaffir Lime Prawns, Mint-Mango Rice Noodle Salad, Dragon Chile-Lime Dressing, Toasted Rice Powder, Micro Wasabi Greens. The prawns were cooked to perfection and this was very refreshing and light while being flavorful. A favorite I will order again.
      -Also had a side of Shoestring Onions & Sriracha Aioli ($4). More like grilled onions than onion rings with a tasty seasoning salt-like coating. Served with a large portion of sriracha aioli. What's not to love, I'd been making this aioli at home myself for years now. Figured out that the best way to eat these is with chopsticks. They're not substantial enough for a fork or your fingers.

      VISIT 2:
      -Ocean View 1853 salad appetizer size ($8):Tombo Tuna Confit, Roast Peppers, Cannelini Beans, Lemon Braised Fennel, Smoked Spanish Pimenton, Fleur de Sel & Chive Oil. Wasn't crazy about this, though it looked great. No greens here. All ingedients piled into a cute artsy mountain. Had many orange pieces which I wasn't a fan of. Good concept, but I've had better versions of similar salads elsewhere. Olives would be a noce addition.

      -Side of herb french fries. Similar size as McDonald's and sprinkled with herbs (could've had benefited from more herbs). Yummy and simple.

      VISIT 3:
      -Seitan Lover ($9) Seitan (wheat gluten-based meat alternative) coated in "fried chicken" batter, Buttermilk Waffle & Old-Fashioned Cream Gravy. This was amazing. Also offered with real fried chicken if you like. The batter was spicy and so good you'd never miss the chicken. Waffle was thin and buttermilk gravy rich. Ultimate comfort food and a dream for non-meat eaters.

      -7th & Grayson ($6.50)
      Organic Tofu, Red Onion, Tomato, Mint & Spicy Moroccan Harissa Scramble Olive Oil Hashed Browns, Toast Acme Levain. One of the lightest tofu scramblers I've ever had. Not really spicy, but very flavorful. Just barely cooked it seemed. This serving size was a little small, luckily we split both dishes. Also got some of their house made strawberry-ginger jam (which they call Spring Fruit “Confiture” and don't charge for anymore even though menu says $1) for the toast. Great, but the ginger was not very pronounced. Tasted like just-picked berries.

      VISIT 4:
      -Daily TV Dinner special. Changes everyday. It was local seared sole over roasted purple fingerling potatoes, grilled cabbage?, green and yellow wax beans, cherry tomatoes ($15). Superb and the fish and veggies were cooked perfectly.

      -Finally tried some dessert and split the dessert panzanella. Lightly toasted angel food cake chunks tossed with nectarines, strawberried, and blueberries, drizzled with a nectarine syrup. Oh yeah, there was a mound of fresh whipped cream in the middle too. A heavenly summertime sweet treat. I'll definitely get it again. Tropical iced tea is great too.

      my meat-eating dining companions have been very happy with their lamb burger & chopped salad meals. Meat eaters should be happy here with daily sausage choice, and lots of other choices like pulled pork shoulder sandwich.

      The restaurant is still never packed when I'm in there and I think they're serving some of the best food around. Service is friendly and paced. The check always comes with some sort of candy (asian white rabbit, asian fruit, tootsie roll, bubble yum). I also love the serving items. Glasses, bowls, plates, & silverware are stylish and modern yet functional. Wish I had them at my home. Even the straws are stylish!

      I definitely recommend it and hope they do get a chance to serve dinner someday if Berkeley allows it. Ridiculous.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kimchee

        Dropped in yesterday for brunch and they were packed. Mrs. Mousse and I opted for a seat at the bar because we were too hungry to wait for a table. Our server told us that they've been packed every day lately, and with the recent press waits have been a standard. Considering how great the food-quality:price:portion-size ratio is, I bet they're just going to get more and more popular. This is not the sort of place that is popular for two months and then fades away. This is the sort of place that will develop hordes of passionate regulars over time.
        As for the food: scrambled eggs with smoked salmon were ethereal, and the Demon Lover with IPA is turning into my Saturday crack. We also tried a house made berry jam that was delicious - up there with some of the June Taylor products I've tried. And every time I get the bill I'm always pleasantly surprised.
        The servers seemed pretty confident that they'll be able to get their dinner service permit. Sounded to me like they just have to jump through some hoops and pay some significant fees and will hopefully be serving dinner in about 3 months.

      2. Dropped in for lunch today - LOVED IT! The fried chicken and waffles and a half glass of Drake's IPA is a perfectly decadent way to start a lazy Saturday. This will definitely become a regular weekend lunch spot, I just wish they would open Sundays. They were hopping this afternoon so maybe those reviews got the word out.

        I really hope they win their struggle against our bloated, arbitrary city government and get their dinner permit.

        1. I've been to 900 Grayson thrice so far, the first for take-out lunch to eat at work, the second time for a Saturday lunch and the third time with a biggish group from work on a Friday.

          The first time, I got what they call 'Tiffin' - it came in two neatly stacked chinese takeout containers all tied up with pretty strings! That day it was a lunch sized portion of pasta with goat cheese and chorizo in the bigger bottom container and a fortune cookie and some bing cherries in the smaller top one. Perfectly sized for lunch and tasty - though in a more homestyle way.

          The second time I had the Maharajah Mac, very tasty - very lamb-y. The fries were amazing - I feel like getting the fries everytime I go there. One issue I had with the burger (and the salad on my next trip) per se was a slight overuse of salt. That could be just me though as I tend to prefer undersalted food generally.

          The third time I had the Maureen salad - a very refreshing and tasty salad combo of goat cheese and beets and orange slices. I was not very hungry that day so this was more than enough for me though my lunch companions gave me this look of "how can that be enough for lunch??" I did steal fries from my friends as most of them had ordered either the Grayson burger or the Maharajah Mac. Some of them had ordered their burgers varying levels of doneness and it looked like the medium rares were nice and pink at the centre. A vegetarian friend got the soup of the day and an eggplant parmesan s'wich which was special for the day.

          They did have a little trouble putting a table together for us (there were 9 of us) - mostly because the one big table they have, was occupied by a group who were taking their time after paying the bill and the table being cleared. The service was fabulous and very friendly. One of the owners, who'd gotten me lunch the previous day remembered me and even asked if I wanted the Maharajah Mac like the previous day!

          All in all I am so happy to have a place pretty close by with very interesting food choices and lovely service. Very home-y and neighborhood-y without being precious in the least bit and modern at the same time. Two big thumbs up!!!

          1. I ate at 900G twice this week. Some comments:

            --pulled pork burger was ok, but maharaja mac was really good.
            "very lamby" [lambic?] is indeed an apt description. nice of
            them to layer in a couple of basil leaves gratis.

            --the "togo agua fresca" seems much smaller than the dine in
            agua fresca. i liked the one i got the second time ... lychee,
            passionfruit and something else, but the first one, cantaloup,
            tasted a bit soapy. they offered this other fellow a free sample
            before ordering, so maybe that is an option [it's twice as
            expensive as a typical Mission AF, $3].

            --the real star was the espresso pot chocolat. this is a
            great, great dessert at only $5. better than anything at
            crixa, except maybe the vatrouchka after you have been
            denying yourself a taste for a while.