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Sep 29, 2006 03:07 AM

Best restaurant in Contra Costa, Orinda

Wondering what the best restaurants are in Contra Costa, Orinda?

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  1. La Piazza(across from the Orinda Theater)or Casa Orinda.

    1. I believe that this needs a little expansion. La Piazza is a mediterrean restaurant about ten years old. It is reasonable and incredibly consistant. Owned by the charming Charles from Lebanon. He also owns Vincino in Danville. Never a bad meal and very convenient to the landmark Orinda Theater. The Casa is a landmark in itself. Three reasons to go there: The ambiance of the Bar, the Famous Fried Chicken (a bit inconsistant, I feel, but it can be great) and the prime rib. The wine list is weak at both places. They are are my favorite resaurants in Contra Costa.

      1 Reply
      1. re: biseball

        Orinda? Yeah, it's "Set the Way-Back machine, Sherman, to the 1950s and Casa Orinda." ("Right away, Mr. Peabody!")

      2. I am new to this board and I live in Walnut Creek (this is my very first post). I am pretty amazed at the lack of Contra Costa restaurant info on here, so I am going on a personal mission (hopefully many others will join me) to help solve this problem!

        Although I do admit that of course REAL Foodie heaven is on the western side of the Caldecott tunnel, we do have a few spots out this way worthy of attention, and even a BART trip!
        A FEW of my favorites in CCC are (in no partiular order):

        Caffe Delle Stelle, WC (great un-pretentious casual Italian)

        Zheng Long, WC (Pan-Asian, creative, some good, unusual dishes as well as decent standards. Not your typical Chinese)

        Los Toros Taqueria, Monument Bl., Concord (I am amazed at all the taqueria posts and info on here. Now it is time for everyone to discover one of the BEST places to discover GREAT taquerias - MONUMENT BLVD. IN CONCORD!!! There are at least 5 on this street worthy of mention among the Bay Area's best. Los Toros is great!)

        Patrick Davids, Danville (Cal/Med. Not quite the same as many of SF's finest, but among this area's best)

        Kane Sushi - 2 locations: Danville and Lafayette. Fun, lively neighborhood sushi spot, with unique creations that can't be found anywhere. Husband and wife owner team know their customers, create a warm environment, and best of all, customers can create their own sushi roll inventions, and have them posted on the wall with creative names for everyone to try!

        Va de Vi, WC; Curious to see what others here think. I am not totally wowed by the food, but the wine choices are very good and the prices for the wine flights of 3 2-oz. tastes are great. Check out the entertaining wine descriptions by the owner...

        More to come...

        1. My mom lives in WC so I eat there and in the surrounding areas a fair amount of the time. You're quite right, I don't think there are any destination places in that neck of the woods, but there are decent restaurants to be had. I'm a big fan of Zheng Long, but for traditional Chinese food I like Tin's Tea House near Marie Calendar's in downtown WC. I also like Cafe Delle Stelle. I have never been to Patrick Davids or Va de Vi but they sound promising. Recently we went to La Finestra in Lafayette. It was pretty good. However, I dislike intensely Petar's, which is nearby and way too old school for my tastes. My mom likes, it though. :-) I haven't found any really good Japanese restaurants in the area (I'm picky) but I remember Hana in Danville as being good (and operated by a Japanese proprietor), though I haven't been there for a long time. There have also been good reports on this board for a Japanese restaurant in Orinda called Hana Zen, but I have yet to go there. As for reliable chains, we enjoy Pizza Antica and Chow (Lafayette). We also had a pleasant lunch recently at Lark Creek Cafe on Locust in WC.

          1. The question of "best" restaurant is a pretty broad one. There are some decent ones in the Lamorinda area and beyond in Contra Costa, but not many destination places such as might exist in SF and Berkeley/Oakland. Here are some names not mentioned as yet, though I haven't been to some in a few years:

            Postrio, Lafayette - A higher end Cal/Ital/Med place made famous by Cat Cora who left a few years ago for Iron Chefdom.

            Lily's House, Lafayette - Authentic Shanghainese. Best Shanghainese smoked fish. Also excellent shrimp dish and tofu dish.

            Amoroma, Moraga - Authentic Roman cuisine. Best appetizer is the Suppli al Telefono (Roman version of arancini).

            Hana Zen, Orinda - Run by a husband and wife team. He used to work at Kirala in Berkeley.

            Il Cocina, Orinda - Local Mexican place with a good chicken mole.

            El Jarro, Lafayette - Excellent burritos and taco salad.

            Most of these places are casual, with the possible exception of Postrio.

            1 Reply
            1. re: anli

              Hi Anli:

              I agree with many of your choices, but to correct a few names...It is La Cocina Mexicana in Orinda, and Il Postino in Lafayette...

              Lily's is my favorite on the list, of the ones I've tried. Will have to get to Hana Zen soon!