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Early dinner in Berkeley/Oakland before Warriors game?

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Hey Chowhounds,

Me and my wife are new to the Bay Area and still getting the lay of the land foodwise. Tomorrow we're heading to an evening game at Oracle Arena to see my horrible Wizards mail it in against the Warriors. Anticipating a bad game, we're hoping to pregame with some good eats in the East Bay, but we're at a loss as to what makes sense in terms of location. We're looking for good food, casual setting, open to any cuisine, just want to be convenient to the freeway to get to the game. Any advice?

Thanks!

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  1. If you're coming from farther west--i.e, Berkeley, other parts of Oakland--your best bet is probably Jack London Square. A lot of people like Bocanova, I'm a fan of Encuentro--it's vegetarian, I'm not; but I still find the food and wine to be very good.
    It's a straight shot, and a short drive, on 880 southbond from JLS to the Arena.

    1. Jack London Square is a good suggestion. There's also Chop Bar in the JLSq area. If you want a beer (Beligum) and some gastropub-ish food, try the Trappist, a few blocks north of JLSq.

      Also might try Luka's...take the 27th St exit off 980, which is 3 minutes away.

        1. re: sydthekyd

          Thanks for the recommendation. Any taco joints in particular you have in mind? Yelp shows a bunch, all with similar ratings.

          1. re: brendankelleher

            Taco Grill, by the Fruitvale BART station, is great, but unfortunately closed on Sundays. For tacos, the trucks tend to be best, but that may not be what you're looking for. Otherwise, Jalisco Cafe makes excellent carnitas. El Huarache Azteca and Otaez are both very good, extremely casual, sit-down Mexican, but not taco joints per se.

            For another JLS rec, I had an excellent Peruvian meal at La Furia Chalaca recently.

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5747...

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            El Huarache Azteca
            3842 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

            Otaez
            3872 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

            Taco Grill
            3340 E 12th St, Oakland, CA 94601

            La Furia Chalaca
            310 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607

            Jalisco Cafe
            1721 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

            1. re: brendankelleher

              El Huarache Azteca is great. On the weekends they have smoked lamb / mutton (barbacoa de borrego), they might not give you the special salsa de barbacoa if you don't ask. Otherwise, the fresh masa items are the stars: gorditas, huaraches, sopes, quesadillas. The chicken tinga is awesome.

              Also great in the general area is Jalisco for carnitas.

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              El Huarache Azteca
              3842 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

              Jalisco Cafe
              1721 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606