Help, need Vegetarian in East Bay
Looking for a nice restaurant in the East Bay to take a vegetarian for her birthday. Ideally would also have some non vegetarian choices for other diners. Asian would be fine, but she is not a big fan of Indian cuisine.
How about Burma Superstar? The tea leaf salad, the rainbow salad, the samusa soup--all tasty vegetarian options that non-vegetarians will enjoy too. The Temescal location is nicer than the one in Alameda.
4721 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA
But didn't you say that you wanted non vegetarian items too? You're not going to get a vegetarian focus and also meat items at the same restaurant. There is Cafe Gratitude, and I wouldn't recommend it for a birthday dinner (or, really at all, even though I know that some like it), and there's Herbivore in Berkeley, but I don't know if it's nice enough for a birthday. I don't know when the dinner is, but there's a new place coming to Jack London Square sometime in November that's vegetarian http://sf.eater.com/archives/2009/10/... But if your dinner is before that, you'll get better food at a non vegetarian place. Or you could take her up to Napa to Ubuntu.
Another option would be Camino. Gorgeous space, fresh high-quality ingredients. The only downside is that it's a small menu that changes daily, so you might want to check beforehand to see what the veggie options are on a given day. But on the menu currently displayed on the website (from last night), I count two out of the four appetizers as vegetarian, one out of the two second courses, and one out of the three main courses. So that's almost half of the menu.
"Wood oven-roasted chanterelle mushrooms with fresh shellbean gratin and grilled artichokes" sounds great.
3917 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610
I think Camino always has two or three vegetarian appetizers, one second course, and one third, so a vegetarian won't have much choice. On the other hand, the vegetarian dishes are among the best I've had anywhere.
The other night one of the appetizers included an eggplant salad that was one of the two best cooked eggplant dishes I've ever had (the other being maybe 20 years ago at Chez Panisse). One of the second courses was a nettle soup with garlic custard that was the first dish I've really loved with the dark green nettles people grow here. It was earthy and haunting, something like molukhia.
My wife ordered the vegetarian entree, wood oven-roasted chanterelle mushrooms with artichoke gratin, not because she's vegetarian but because she loves chanterelles and artichokes, and was very happy. And I was happy with my duck leg braised with quince and grilled breast with amazing polenta. Neither of us really wanted to share more than a bite.
We also had a great pork salad with lardo toast and some lovely grilled sardines with preserved lemon.