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May 24, 2008 10:20 AM

21st B-day near Berkeley NOT Mediterranean/Italian

It's my sister's 21st B-day and we are looking for a fun/atmospheric place to have dinner for 4. Problem is she's been in europe (Spain, France, Italy, Greece & Egypt) for 6 months and so we're trying to find a place that's NOT tapas/italian (i.e. cesar, a cote).

Asian Fusion? High-end Indian?

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

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  1. Ajanta

    how about Asian tapas? Vanessa's Bistro

    Vanessa's Bistro
    1715 Solano Ave, Berkeley, CA 94707

    Ajanta Restaurant
    1888 Solano Ave, Berkeley, CA 94707

    1. Flora's the nicest place I can think of that isn't Italian- or French-influenced (at least as filtered through Chez Panisse).

      O Chame's not fancy but the atmosphere's very nice.

      Ajanta's not exactly high-end but it's much nicer than other Indian restaurants hereabouts.

      O Chame
      1830 4th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

      1900 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94612

      1. I eat there frequently, so it's not a special occasion place for me, but Soi 4 in Rockridge might meet your needs. The food is Thai and generally quite good. The room is more upscale than most Thai restaurants (it was a more upscale Euro place for a brief moment before its current tenants took it over). Best of all (in my opinion, mandatory) for a 21st birthday, it has a full bar and decent cocktails. It's no Cesar or A Cote on the cocktail front, but it's far better than adequate in that department.

        Another fun option with great cocktails and good food is Dona Tomas in Temescal. Mexican food w/ reasonably high end ingredients. Noisy and hectic on weekends, but definitely fun.

        Dona Tomas
        5004 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609

        1 Reply
        1. re: lexdevil

          Place link wouldn't take for second place, so here it is...

          Soi 4 Bangkok Eatery
          5421 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

        2. How about Fonda or Sea Salt?

          Fonda is "Latin American/Mexican" small plates (tapas) but more Mexican. It's fun and you can get very decent adult beverages given it's a 21st. The duck tacos and tequila sampler might just do it.

          Sea Salt isn't as 21st B-day but the seafood will be very good.

          There's also Tamarindo Antojeria in downtown Oakland, small plate Mexican.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ML8000

            I thought of Fonda, Sea Salt, and T-Rex, but they seem pretty casual for the occasion. The food at Fonda's kind of spotty.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              I don't think that a 21st birthday is that formal of an occasion, though, especially since she wanted some place fun. I'd vote for T-Rex, Flora, or Dona Tomas -- all have fun atmosphere's and good drinks.

          2. Thank you for all the recs and so quickly too!! Vanessa's Bistro is just the type of place we were looking for and, besides Soi 4, I haven't been to any of these restaurants so this is an awesome list to try!

            I'll forward this on to my sis and definitely report back if we end up at any of the restaurants recc'd.