Pomegranate - Berkeley
Is this place any good? I couldn't find much on CH, and the Yelp reviews seemed pretty poor. Any other opinions?
I've been invited to lunch here today, and am wondering if I should go or not.
I remember enjoying it, but that was years ago. I'd be curious to hear a more recent report. The interior was more pleasant than I expected. Go and report back!
I think i've gone twice during the last year and I liked it both times. I think the combo appetizer plate, hummus, babaganoush, olives tabouleh and those little balls of rice wrapped in grapeleaves? with pita bread. Yum. The pomegrante chicken has been good. The Salmon, only okay, a little dry. Nothing too fancy, the people were nice and pretty casual. They have an open kitchen, so you can watch them cook.
We've had a number of really enjoyable meals at Pomegranate. One dish that stands out was a celery root stuffed with a lamb/rice mixture. God, it was good. I've never seen it since. I asked the owner about it & he said he had trouble getting the proper size celery roots. That seems unlikely, but there you go. If you ever see it on the menu, get it.
I did. Sorry, been running nonstop since lunch with no time to post. It was good, but not great. Good enough that I would go back if in the area and craving med food, but not so great to make it a destination. I was with several Brazilian colleagues who all loved it though, so there you have it.
The place was empty. We were the only ones dining which seemed weird to me at the heart of lunchtime, but maybe its more of a dinner place. Decor is nice, white tablecloths, etc. Two guys in chefs coats were working the place. That's it. The older man seated us, took our order, brought us complimentary hummus and bread (not pita, and not lavash, some sort of hybrid). We were told that they were out of bread so we couldn't order sandwiches, even though we were eating bread at our table. That seemed weird to me, but whatever. The hummus, as others mentioned, had an unusual flavor to it. It didn't taste like roasted garlic to me, but rather more reminiscent of pepperoni? Odd. It didn't taste bad, just different. There was a dusting of some kind of chili powder/flakes on top of it, so maybe that's where that flavor was coming from.
I ordered the baba ghanoush appetizer, falafel platter, and a pomegranate lemonade. The falafel platter came with Greek salad and tzatziki on the side.
The baba ghanoush was also unusual. It had a bit of a yellow hue (sorry I didn't take any pics) possibly from the addition of curry powder, although it didn't taste decidedly like curry. It was coarser textured than traditional baba ghanoush, you could see the eggplant, and it had flavors of mint and parsley. Pretty good.
The falafel came as two large patties, deep fried , and very light and crispy. The inside was sort of creamy/crumbly like dry refried beans. I know that doesn't sound appetizing, but they were actually pretty good, though maybe a bit too salty for my taste. The menu said that they were made from garbanzos and fava beans. With the tzatziki, they were good, it seemed to mellow their saltiness. They were hard to eat, though, b/c they crumbled when you cut into them, and I would've liked to have whole pieces of pita to put them in, but all the bread that came to the table had been cut into squares, about 2"x2", so very difficult to eat like a sandwich. The Greek salad was nice; lightly dressed, olives, feta, tomatoes, romaine. The lettuce could've been cut smaller, but its ok. I also am not a huge fan of feta, so I wouldn't have minded a little less, but if you like it, then it was a good deal b/c there was a lot on the salad.
The pomegranate lemonade was very good. Not too sweet and with good pomegranate flavor. I was impressed that I could actually taste the pomegranate, as it seems that the trend is to put pomegranate in everything, but I can rarely actually taste it. Also, the fact that it wasn’t overly sweet made it nice and refreshing.