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Fresh meat ; new to chowhound and want your experienced guidance.

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Two young college kids with a passion for food on a mission to broaden our view of restaurants in our area. We live in walnut creek but are willing to travel into SF. College type budgets ( we can do casual or fancy as long as the food is GOOD) but every now and then willing to splurge on a nice meal.

This stems from finding that we keep circling through the EXACT same restaurants each time we decide to go out. So its time too branch out ; and we committed to try a new place each time we go out. I'm entrusting you chow hounds to guide me to some fine establishments. We live in the bay area; a MELTING POT of great food experiences but we are definitely in a rut.

SO where should we go on our next date night?

Indubitably,
- B

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  1. Berkeley / Oakland area:

    Anh Hong
    Barlata
    Bocanova
    Champa Garden
    Great China
    Ohgane (make them seat you in the nicer front room)

    Some SF recommendations:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6369...
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/540021
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/606406

    1. For some nearby budget friendly choices (great for lunch or cheap dinner) try
      Bo's barbeque in Lafayette for brisket
      El Jarro Lafayette for tortas, enchiladas and great nachos
      Da Lat in Walnut Creek try the vermicelli bowels
      Lane Splitter pizza in Temescal
      Burma Superstar in Temescal
      Cactus taqueria in Rockridge for crispy tacos

      For a nicer date night:
      Wood Tavern in Berkeley
      Piazzolo in Temescal
      Dopo in Oakland
      A cote in Rockridge
      Camino Oakland

      1. Take a look at the Taco Truck map of Oakland. Lots of great, cheap eats. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/450404