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Dinner and a Movie

redchair Aug 14, 2009 03:49 PM

Ideally, when I go out to see a movie and have dinner, I want to be able to park my car once, see a good movie and enjoy a decent meal that I can walk to afterwards. My movie selections are definitely influenced by the nearby restaurant selections. Some of my East Bay favorites are:

Piedmont Theater/ Dopo, Cesar or Xyclo
Elmwood Theater/ Wood Tavern (though too hard to get into most of the time)
Albany Twin/ Vanessa's
Grand Lake/ Sidebar

What are others' favorite dinner and movie combos? I have a preference for independent movie theaters, but recognize that there are times when the overwhelming AMC in Emeryville is unavoidable. I refuse to eat at California Pizza Kitchen, so I violate my one parking space rule and eat at Rudy's Can't Fail before or after AMC. Any other ideas?

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  1. wolfe RE: redchair Aug 14, 2009 03:57 PM

    California/ Great China
    Albany Twin/ Nizza la Bella, Rendez Vouz
    The Oaks is .2 miles from Vanessa's, the Twin is about a mile.

    3 Replies
    1. re: wolfe
      Paul H RE: wolfe Aug 15, 2009 02:21 PM

      Embarcadero Theatre and Kokkari Estiatorio. Edgy Independent films, and super tasty Greek food in a fun, rockin' venue.

      1. re: Paul H
        Robert Lauriston RE: Paul H Aug 15, 2009 02:23 PM

        I like Kokkari, but it has always seemed on the staid side to me.

        1. re: Paul H
          Ruth Lafler RE: Paul H Aug 20, 2009 10:00 AM

          The Embarcadero theater is also walking distance from Chinatown, parts of North Beach (Tomasso's), and Zinnia, not to mention Tadich and Perbacco.

      2. Windy RE: redchair Aug 14, 2009 04:16 PM

        In the city, the Sundance Kabuki gives you Japantown, Dosa, lower Fillmore.

        Or the Balboa and Shanghai House or the Vietnamese place next door. And the Castro plus Thai House Express.

        1. d
          dunstable RE: redchair Aug 14, 2009 04:25 PM

          Balboa / Shanghai Dumpling King
          Kabuki / Suzu
          Van Ness / Tommy's Joynt (I wonder if people are going to discredit me for that. Ah well!)

          Those are the only ones I ever found myself doing habitually, although there are decent cheap eats near pretty much all the SF movie theatres, with the possible exception of the Metreon.

          2 Replies
          1. re: dunstable
            Windy RE: dunstable Aug 14, 2009 04:30 PM

            Metreon now has the Island Earth "farmer's market" food court, along with TropisueƱo and Papa Beard. Also you could get to pretty much all of these places without driving at all, although the Balboa would take a while.

            dunstable, do yourself a favor and check out Shanghai House (directly across from the movies). I like the XLBs much better than Shanghai Dumpling King.

            1. re: Windy
              dunstable RE: Windy Aug 14, 2009 04:33 PM

              Ah yes? To be honest, I don't go to the Balboa much since they stopped being a rep house. That was a great tragedy; I considered it the best theatre in the city, and then it was forced to show popular fare. But, I do like me some dumplings, so I may check it out.

          2. m
            ML8000 RE: redchair Aug 14, 2009 04:30 PM

            Kabuki + O Izakaya Lounge is a good combo, depending on what you order. Of course there's many picks in Japantown.

            A 2nd on Shanghai Dumpling King and the Balboa, with the side option of coffee at Simple Pleasure Cafe between, waiting, after.

            1. m
              meemster RE: redchair Aug 14, 2009 05:53 PM

              The Alameda Theater has several restaurants very close to it. My husband and I tried Pappo across the street a while ago and it was good. They had a special movie menu.

              5 Replies
              1. re: meemster
                sydthekyd RE: meemster Aug 16, 2009 09:58 AM

                "Special movie menu?"

                1. re: sydthekyd
                  meemster RE: sydthekyd Aug 18, 2009 10:25 AM

                  Hmm, don't see it on their web site. As I remember, it was selections from the regular menu that they could get to the table pretty quickly. So you could go there before a movie and get in and out if that was what you wanted.

                  1. re: meemster
                    nerdigrrl RE: meemster Aug 19, 2009 12:53 PM

                    the movie menu was more a small plates menu for little items before your flick. they've since discontinued it, but there are still delish apps to choose from.

                2. re: meemster
                  Paul H RE: meemster Aug 16, 2009 10:47 AM

                  I want to eat there when the theater shows "Babbette's Feast"

                  1. re: meemster
                    Ruth Lafler RE: meemster Aug 18, 2009 11:10 PM

                    Yeah, in addition to Pappo there's Angela's Bistro, Asena, C'Era una Volta, Hob Nob, Havana, Barceluna and Zen Asian Fusion Tapas + Lounge. A couple of blocks farther is Speisekammer. For less expensive, there's a Burgermeister right next to the theater and a wine bar that serves food on the other side. There's Ark Northern Chinese and a number of other Asian (Thai, Vietnamese, Burmese, Japanese) and Mexican places, a Greek place, a couple of pizza places, and several ice cream/gelato/yogurt shops.

                  2. michele_corum RE: redchair Aug 15, 2009 11:35 AM

                    Downtown Pleasant Hill: Century Theater/The Left Bank

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: michele_corum
                      tomatoaday RE: michele_corum Aug 18, 2009 11:11 AM

                      That Left Bank is closed.

                    2. Robert Lauriston RE: redchair Aug 15, 2009 01:59 PM

                      I'm planning to check out Five one of these days after a movie at the Shattuck. Great China's often closed by the time we get out of the theater.

                      Wood Tavern takes reservations.

                      FIVE American Bistro & Bar
                      2086 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704

                      1. Robert Lauriston RE: redchair Aug 16, 2009 10:52 AM

                        SPQR would be convenient after a movie at the Clay.

                        Dopo after a movie downstairs at the Piedmont is my favorite. It's almost like they named the restaurant to promote that ("dopo" is Italian for "after").

                        1. n
                          neu RE: redchair Aug 18, 2009 03:19 AM

                          Grand Lake/Camino
                          and additional votes for California/Great China
                          and Shattuck/Five

                          1. r
                            redchair RE: redchair Aug 18, 2009 02:50 PM

                            Thanks, everyone. Some great ideas here. I agree that the Piedmont Theater/Dopo combo is the best -- especially if you go on Saturday night, the guy does the raffle with the ticket stubs, and then you are greeted by the warm and gracious Graham at Dopo. It's a peak neighborhood experience.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: redchair
                              neu RE: redchair Aug 18, 2009 10:53 PM

                              You asked about dinner, not just dessert, but (even though I love Dopo's desserts) Piedmont Theatre followed by Dopo and/or Lush would also be a fine evening. And Lush is literally across the street from the theatre.

                              1. re: neu
                                JasmineG RE: neu Aug 18, 2009 11:36 PM

                                And Piedmont followed by Adesso would be fabulous, especially if you get there late enough for the free snacks.

                            2. Robert Lauriston RE: redchair Aug 19, 2009 10:22 AM

                              Places I like in downtown Berkeley in rough order of how far they are from the Shattuck:

                              Angeline's, Creole/Cajun http://www.angelineskitchen.com

                              Great China, Korean-Chinese: "double skin," fried oysters, steamed surf clams, tea-smoked duck, wok-braised lamb http://www.greatchinaberkeley.com/men...

                              Jupiter, pizza and beer, live music http://www.jupiterbeer.com/jupiter

                              Anh Hong, Vietnamese http://www.anhhong.com

                              Jayakarta, Indonesian http://www.jayakartarestaurant.braveh...

                              Turkish Kitchen http://turkishkitchenberkeley.com

                              Liaison, French http://www.liaisonbistro.com

                              Udupi Palace, south Indian (vegetarian) http://www.udupipalaceca.com/3.html

                              Cha-Ya, vegetarian Japanese http://www.menuism.com/links/show/bzd...

                              Corso, Italian http://www.trattoriacorso.com/food.html

                              1. w
                                whiner RE: redchair Aug 20, 2009 05:34 AM

                                If SF proper is an option... I just park in the Marina, have dinner at... A16, Mamacita's, Laiola, Barney's, Three Seasons, then head off to the new Marina Theatre. (The big theatre is very very nice). The Presidio Theatre is also serviceable, though not as nice.

                                I've also been known to park near the Metreon, walk to Fringale for dinner, then walk back to the Metreon for a movie.

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