Dinner near Berkeley Rep?
I'm looking for a good casual place for dinner within a block or two of Berkeley Rep.
Zabu Zabu is a good option, but I'd caution the OP to start early. My officemates and I eat there once or twice a month, and sometimes have to wait quite a while for our food to arrive.
I've had some good food at Bistro Liaison, and some things that were not so good.
1849 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA 94709
I'm not sure what you mean by casual. Downtown is right up the block. It's not inexpensive, but it's not formal.
In theme with the solar system and all...you might check out Venus. Casual but nice, good food. I've always had solid meals there, quality ingredients. My sister even picked this place to take my Dad for a low key birthday and it worked. I hear they do a pre-theater special.
2327 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704
Comparing the options and adding my own:
Jupiter has good beer, pizzas. Is loud inside, cold outside (this time of year, anyway) can be crowded. In the UC pantheon, more of a grad student place. Probably wouldn't get you in the mood for berkeley rep, but I am fond of the place.
Zatar has great recs, much more relaxed, haven't been myself. Could be perfect.
Venus I haven't been since the most recent chef.
There are several indian resturants downtown, the ones worth trying are Chaat Cafe (very casual - counter service - small menu - chaat and tandoor and a few curries), Khana Peena (bright spice tastes, otherwise fairly average), and the veggie place across from Chaat Cafe is well reviewed.
For chinese I can recommend Taiwan. I'm happily surprised every time I eat there - mostly the standards, well executed, in a fairly standard sit-down environment.
There are a slew of new restaurants on Addison (of which Zabu Zabu is one) which are newer, fancier, and I haven't been to.
I'd also consider both Cafe Gratitude and Cafe de la Paz. Although both are a re-park, the restaurant park is easy, it's close, and I would consider both to be a good match with berkeley rep. Depending on what's playing, I suppose.