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Berkeley question

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This Friday night, I'm looking for a Berkeley restaurant in the 4th Street area. Delicious food, fun atmosphere and not too formal are my criteria. Reading comments here and elsewhere (eg. Gayot Guide), I'm between O Chame and Eccolo.

Any votes: O Chame vs. Eccolo?

Is there an alternative in the area I should consider?

Thanks very much.

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  1. I wouldn't consider the atmosphere at O Chame "fun."

    And another good restaurant in that area is Cafe Rouge, especially if you're into meat.

    1. O Chame is wonderful food but the atmosphere is pretty serene, and laughing super loud might not be ideal there.

      Eccolo (haven't been in a while) was extremely fun and I really enjoyed the food. I had the T-bone pork with marrow butter and an onion custard....my arteries screamed in protest but we managed to eat it all!

      1. They are so close, go early, check out the menus offered and choose one. Personally, I'd probably do Cafe Rouge. It just sounds fun.
        If you are a larger party, I can understand you need to plan ahead. Go to Cafe rouge and please, report back!

        1 Reply
        1. re: rabaja

          On a Friday night, both restaurants are likely to be booked solid. You might be able to grab a spot at the bar, but I wouldn't bet on a free table.

        2. O Chame's great but it's more serene and romantic than fun.

          I find Cafe Rouge livelier than Eccolo. Slightly younger crowd, brighter lighting, and having the bar run along the side of the dining room makes for a more casual vibe.

          1. They're both very good and very different. Depends entirely on what style of food you are in the mood for: Cal-Italian or Cal-Japanese. Cafe Rouge is the most fun spot on 4th St, though I prefer the food at O Chame and Eccolo. None of them are too formal.