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Best Brunch in the East Bay

mustardgirl Sep 10, 2006 02:30 AM

Friends from NYC are here. Where to take them for the Best Sunday Brunch? Berkeley, Albany Oakland, Alameda - even San leandro/Hayward- if we have to

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  1. k
    kc72 RE: mustardgirl Sep 10, 2006 02:45 AM

    do you mean brunch buffet? or just a nice place to have brunch?

    1. Morton the Mousse RE: mustardgirl Sep 10, 2006 03:42 AM

      My favorite brunch in the East Bay is 900 Grayson, but they're closed on Sundays. Sundays I'll opt for Eccolo, but you have to be willing to pay for quality there (the eggs beny is $14 but the ham is fricking incredible and the hollandaise is perfect). One nice thing about Eccolo is you can hit up Sketch Ice Cream across the street for dessert. I'm not a fan of the usual suspects like Rick and Anns, Bettes, etc.


      1 Reply
      1. re: Morton the Mousse
        mustardgirl RE: Morton the Mousse Sep 10, 2006 01:13 PM

        I was more think of places like Luka's , Mamma royal cafe?
        meal ticket?

      2. rworange RE: mustardgirl Sep 10, 2006 04:33 PM

        Really, NOT Mamma's Royal Cafe. I'm not that enamoured with Meal Ticket either ... not enough to take visitors.

        Luka's (though I haven't been) seems the best of what you mentioned.

        One of my favorites is Kennsington Bistro ... especially those Sunday-only scones.


        T-Rex has a pretty good, if pricy brunch, and it is not crazy-crowded like most places.


        1. Hungryfina RE: mustardgirl Sep 10, 2006 05:04 PM

          I actually love Rick and Ann's bruch - their potato pancakes and french toast are couple of my favorites.

          I'm also a fan of Jimmy Bean's at 6th and Gillman (very good Eggs B. -get extra cilantro pesto!), The waffles and eggs at Guerilla Cafe on Shattuck are always good but it's not a "special" sunday brunch atmosphere, and while I havn't been people also seem to like the nearby La Note.

          My all time favorite sunday brunch, and I think a good way to show off the bay to visitors, is the thai buddhist brunch on MLK.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Hungryfina
            rworange RE: Hungryfina Sep 10, 2006 05:48 PM

            Yeah, but Jimmy Bean's is kind of downscale, serve-yourself. Mayge I'll give those eggs benedict a try someday but JB is WAY down on my own list of places to eat ... tho I love almost every other Lalimes restuarant ... T-Rex still is auditioning for my favor. Guerilla is just waffles and poached eggs and sort of like eathing at Cafe Fanny ... there's an idea if you want to go the self-serve route ... and Acme bread next door and a wine shop. Get the caramel ice cream if they have it.

            1. re: Hungryfina
              Robert Lauriston RE: Hungryfina Sep 10, 2006 06:19 PM

              La Note is really good, but if the weather's nice my favorite is Wat Mongkolratanaram.

              Haven't tried Luka's brunch yet but everything I've had there has been great.

              1. re: Hungryfina
                ML8000 RE: Hungryfina Sep 11, 2006 01:46 AM

                I think the Thai Cultural Center Brunch is very Berkeley/Bay Area and has a high hip factor as an experience but find the actual food only okay. The food is definately not bad if it were served in a restaurant, not sure it would cut it. Dining however is half the experience and in that sense it's unique and it can't be duplicated in the U.S. that's for sure.

                1. re: ML8000
                  Robert Lauriston RE: ML8000 Sep 11, 2006 04:24 PM

                  The papaya salad's better than any I've had in a Thai restaurant and I've never seen the wonderful coconut-chive dumplings on a menu.

                  Some of the steam-table stuff's probably not as good as if it were made fresh in the restaurant that donated it.

              2. c
                chompy RE: mustardgirl Sep 10, 2006 10:52 PM

                We had brunch at Luka's a few weeks ago, and it was the best brunch I've had in recent memory. I had the eggs Luka - scrambled with smoked trout and chives - with real grits that were perfect and good toast. Others at my table had ham & cheese crepes with eggs on top (I snuck a bite, they were quite good) oxtail hash (delicious) and veggie scramble. I would go back anytime. The coffee was pretty good, too and prices pretty reasonable. The only thing that didn't seem worth it were the beignets - nothing wrong with them really, but everything else was so good and they just didn't excite me for some reason.

                1. Kitchen Imp RE: mustardgirl Sep 11, 2006 03:27 PM

                  I haven't been in a long time, but the Inn Kensington was always my first choice. It recently got an enthusiastic writeup here:


                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Kitchen Imp
                    Robert Lauriston RE: Kitchen Imp Sep 11, 2006 04:27 PM

                    In that report, rworange seemed impressed mostly by the cook's speed.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                      Kitchen Imp RE: Robert Lauriston Sep 11, 2006 04:58 PM

                      True, but there's a lot of very good information packed into her report, including an overview of what's on the menu, the ambience, prices, and the quality of the food she ordered. Seemed like a positive review to me.

                      1. re: Kitchen Imp
                        Robert Lauriston RE: Kitchen Imp Sep 11, 2006 05:07 PM

                        All she said about what she ate was, "... hot omelet with sautéed fresh mushrooms and perfectly melted cheese, warm and comforting home fries and two warm house-made buttermilk biscuits. ... It was a good omelet and at $6.75 a major deal. The potatoes were skin-on with herbs mixed in and a bit of sour cream on top. Two large, lovely, light biscuits were very nice with the house-made jam."

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                          rworange RE: Robert Lauriston Sep 11, 2006 05:11 PM

                          OK, officially I prefer Kennsington Bistro to Inn Kennsington. Nothing wrong with either.

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston
                            Kitchen Imp RE: Robert Lauriston Sep 11, 2006 06:01 PM

                            Thanks, rworange. I certainly didn't mean to suggest that your vote would be to direct the OP to Inn Kensington -- was just citing your post because it gives a thorough description of the place that matches my experience.

                    2. The Dive RE: mustardgirl Sep 11, 2006 03:32 PM

                      I would recommend Luka's for brunch, especially for visitors. Great drink list, good food (one note -- the biscuits and gravy are decent, although the biscuit is a little tough) and a fun atmospher. The bloody mary is excellent.

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