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Feb 9, 2008 08:19 PM

Drinks & apps before dinner!

Looking for some places to grab some pre-dinner cocktails and perhaps a snack or two!

Slanted Door : I was thinking Hog Island Oyster Co for some apps?
Aziza: ?
Chez Panisse: Maybe cheese board for some snacks?


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  1. For Chez Panisse (if you really want pre-dinner food/drinks), I'd go to Cesar.

    7 Replies
    1. re: lmnopm

      Thanks! Our reservations are on the late side...

      1. re: lavendula

        Cesar can be packed and noisy in the evenings, but it's the only bar in the immediate neighborhood. The bar at Downtown Restaurant is nice, but that's about eight blocks away.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          There's a bar at La Paz. Don't know how good it is ... bar-wise

          1. re: rworange

            Right you are, I thought they were just beer and wine.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              actually, assuming they are still there, there is a bar at Spats, just a few blocks south on Shattuck. NOT that I am recommending the place mind you (Actually, I hate it with a passion, but part of that is being coerced to go there for drinks or dinner by a clearly not houndly boss who loved it for reasons I never understood)...but technically, yes it is a bar. Complete with umbrella drinks and old couches that look more grungy as what I sat on in college, and are probably just as old. If one is going to walk that far, (four or five blocks maybe?) one could keep going a few more blocks to Downtown...

              but yes, give me Cesar any day.

              Bar C├ęsar
              1515 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

              Shattuck Avenue Spats
              1974 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

              Cafe De La Paz
              1600 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA

              1. re: susancinsf

                Spats is more a bar than a restaurant. Either way it's a gross dive, that's why I didn't mention it.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  agree on all counts, but in all fairness, it does meet OP's request for a place for a cocktail and perhaps (emphasis on the perhaps I guess) a snack or two.....I suppose if one is desperate, willing to keep to something simple (I mean, how can you ruin Maker's Mark and a splash of soda on the rocks, just to name one of my favorites) and can't get a seat at Cesar (which I've never had problems with, but unlike OP, my reservations at CP are usually on the early side, not the late side, and you mentioned that Cesar can get crowded, presumably a bit later in the evening than I have generally been there....)

    2. What time are your reservations at Aziza? Based on the following thread, you don't want to miss the cocktails there.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ceekskat

        agreed, though one other option is to go across the street and west a block or so to Tommy's, which has an amazing Tequila selection....only problem with that is that I have found it very easy to get carried away at Tommy's and then you might not appreciate the food at Aziza as much.

        Cesar is always where I go for a pre-Chez Panisse drink. and yes to Hog Island for a glass of wine and some oysters.

        1. re: susancinsf

          Cesar was great - we got 3 seats at the bar and hung out for a half hour before dinner. Cheeseboard was totally full with a line out the door...