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Restaurant Suggestions in Walnut Creek

I'm from Charlotte, NC, and am a cuisine/pastry graduate of Le Cordon Bleu-Paris. So, I like excellent quality, 'real' food that is perfectly prepared; I'm less interested in a fancy atmosphere or uptight service. In early October, I'll be in Walnut Creek for business with a few colleagues. I am looking for a few restaurant suggestions. We will have a car. I'd like a couple of suggestions for New American and a couple of suggestions for ethnic/asian fusion cuisine. Would like to stay in the moderate price range, unless there is a "must eat here" recommendation, then we'd push the budget a little. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

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  1. Pizzaiolo and Dopo in Oakland. Sea Salt in Berkeley.

    For a splurge, Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Oliveto in Oakland.

    1. in walnut creek: very good seafood/walnut creek yacht club; expensive and very good italian/prima; expensive small plates/va de vi. have fun, bob

      1. Second the rec for Walnut Creek Yacht Club. The seafood is extremely fresh with many different preparations available. The raw oysters are excellent and they have a very good variety.

        1. LeCheval just opened in Walnut Creek. http://www.lecheval.com/

          There are few "excellent" restaurants in the Creek. Agree w/the Oliveto, Chez Panisse- which I would consider moderate for the upstairs cafe. Dona Tomas in Oakland is also quite good. I enjoyed Pizzaiolo but IMHO thought the pizza at Pizza Antica was better.

          I enjoy Prima in Walnut Creek, it is one of my " go to" when I want to eat local. Memo in Concord used to be excellent, went downhill ,but I have heard many reports from friends that they are back. Anyone been there lately?

          4 Replies
          1. re: frangelica

            Wow, thanks all for the great suggestions! This is the first time I've used Chowhound to find restaurant suggestions; I think I'm hooked! I can't wait to try some of these places.

            1. re: vanneneff

              You must report back to us! Enjoy WC...it is a nice burb

            2. re: frangelica

              Le Cheval is three of the least interesting, most Americanized Vietnamese restaurants in the Bay Area.

            3. Va de Vi is a great restaurant in downtown Walnut Creek with a great atmosphere. They serve tapas that are great. I went twice with colleagues from work. We all really enjoyed it. Here's their website. Reservations are highly recommended.


              1. Yes on the Yacht Club, try a Latini cocktail! The owner Ellen is just so great and welcoming. IDK but not a fan of Prima, although I think I should try again. Postino in Lafayette is always fun and food is very good.

                1 Reply
                1. re: walkoffdinner

                  I'm going to be the one person who hated the Walnut Creek Yacht Club. It has been a few years so maybe it is better these days. I had quite a few business meals there working in the area and it's ok, but I wouldn't spend my own dime there.

                  It is fine for the suburbs which is true of many of the restaurants in that area. There are a few exceptions but they aren't the cuisines you are asking for. The Berkeley suggestions are the best but be aware that there is lots of traffic on the ride back to Berkeley at rush hour.

                  For a nice Chinese restaurant ... not fusion though ... there is Lily's in nearby Lafayette.

                  Walnut Creek Yacht Club
                  1555 Bonanza St., Walnut Creek, CA 94596

                2. For fresh inexpensive and good if not deeply authenticChinese, Oi-C is good. Maybe more for lunch though. Chow in Lafayette is good and inexpensive American. I always like their gingerbread with pumpkin ice cream and their cobblers are usually good.

                  1. I am not from WC, but used the board to find this Turkish place last month. It was a very memorable meal, salmon and chicken kabobs-perfectly spiced and prepared, the meze platter presented in person was double yum, best of the bunch were a roasted eggplant salad, bulgar (oh, that bulgar made my mouth sing) lettuce wraps, a white bean salad, and their layered borek. Service was knowledgeable without being hovering, it's a low key white table cloth place, casual and friendly.

                    Ephesus Kebab Lounge
                    1321 Locust Street
                    Walnut Creek

                    Link: http://www.ephesuslounge.com

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: deelish

                      I had a good meal at Ephesus. Only Turkish place I've found that serves kisir ("bulgur lettuce wraps").

                    2. A couple of weeks ago I heard Graceane Walden interview a chef of a new restaurant in Walnut Creek. I was up on a ladder painting my bedroom and didn't catch the name clearly -- something like GG or Gigi. Anyone know what that might be and what it's like?