Berkeley dinner after lunch at Chez Panisse?
re: Robert Lauriston
A Cote is a good suggestion, and it would be nice to walk around Rockridge for a while. Was there last week, and fries, mussels, flatbreads, good drink list, all pretty tasty.
For Japanese that's comparable in quality with a shorter wait, there's Tachibana (also in Rockridge). They don't have robata, but have yakitori on the menu (not sure what the difference is - maybe just the setting?). I haven't been recently, so maybe someone can update.
Depending on what you like to eat, I would actually recommend having dinner at Chez Panisse and lunch at Gregoire's (gourmet take out!) or La Note (Traditional breakfast and lunch bistro fare with rustic Provençal dinner entrées <-- taken from their website). But if you were only able to secure a reservation for lunch at Chez Panisse, then I'd recommend the following, depending on your mood:
Kirala is a favorite of mine for Japanese food. Great extensive Robata grill menu, as well as fresh sushi and sashimi. Not too expensive--definitely not 100/couple--but the waits can be excruciatingly long. I think there's another restaurant opened by the same guys in Solano? but I haven't been there, so I can't make that recommendation or tell you how to get there. Maybe someone else can help out there :)
Next door to Chez Panisse is Cesar, a pretty decent tapas place, although I'm not sure what you plan to do in between lunch and dinner, so it might be silly to have dinner there...
If you want to branch out to other areas, I would suggest hitting up the College/Rockridge area. I've heard Oliveto (Italian) is fantastic, although my experience there was sour (but then again, it could just have been an isolated incident). People either love or hate La Mediterranee, but I love it, especially their pomegranate chicken! Or, if you feel like (maybe overly) flavorful, semi-Americanized, PF Chang-style Chinese food (not to be confused as being Fusion), there's Shen Hua on College. I've had tapas at A Cote, which didn't fail me.
Whatever you do, make sure you have time (and room!) for dessert at Ici. They close at 10 on weekends and 9:30 weekdays!
Ici Ice Cream
2948 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705
2936 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705
2914 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705
5478 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618
La Note Restaurant Provencal
2377 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704
1515 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709
2109 Cedar St, Berkeley, CA 94709
2100 Ward St, Berkeley, CA 94705
5655 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618
My favorite restaurant in Berkeley/Albany is Rivoli on Solano Ave... but make sure Wendy is in the kitchen the night you go (Wendy Bruckner, owner/chef). They recently opened a second place and she's been spending time there (Corso)
China village in Albany on solano has great chinese food.
1335 Solano Ave, Albany, CA 94706
1539 Solano Ave, Berkeley, CA 94707