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dinner near Ashby BART

  • k

Any suggestions for dinner near Ashby BART? We're meeting some adventurous recent college grads there about 2 hours before an 8pm play at Shotgun. Walking distance would be great, but short drive okay. We're looking for a good place to sit down and talk (though flea market stall information is always welcome.)
Any forms of Asian, Latin American, African, bistro, pizza, good sandwiches - whatever. Last time this group got together for this we went to Breads of India, which I used to really like once upon a time, and it was okay, but I'd appreciate some other ideas. In any case, isn't that BOI closed?

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  1. That's my neighborhood. I think the best food in the immediate area is Simply Greek in the space that was most recently Rocky's. There's also Emilia's Pizza, which has only a handful of seats and you'd have to order ahead to be sure of getting a pie. Taqueria la Familia has good fish tacos. Smokey J's for barbecue and/or Frito pie.

    There's also Flaco's (vegan Mexican) and Cafe Valpariso, I've never eaten at either.

    A little farther away is Cafe Colucci, good Ethiopian. Allow plenty of time if you go there, service can be slow.

    The Sacramento St. Breads of India is closed due to a fire. I always thought Mehak across the street was better.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Avoid Cafe Valpariso. Even friends who go to La Pena avoid it and say it's not good.

      Kirala isn't far for Japanese.

    2. How far are you willing to walk? There isn't all that much in the immediate vicinity. Kirala is on Shattuck at Ward, a short distance--Japanese but very busy often and difficult to get into. Flacos vegetarian Mexican is quite near at Emerson on Adeline, just south of Ashby but it's very small with limited inside seating and the weather is pretty miserable these days. Taqueria La Familia is pretty good, just off Ashby on Shattuck and there's a new restaurant next (?hamburgers).

      I personally don't like Smokey J's on Shattuck south of Ashby but lots of people like their bbq. Not real ambiance-y inside but that's traditional for bbq.

      Avoid Cafe Valparaiso further south on Shattuck.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rccola

        Kirala always has a line.

        Rocky's was the burger place where Simply Greek is now.

      2. Another place I haven't got around to trying yet is Casa Vino on Sacramento.

        1. It's a short drive to the corner of Telegraph and Parker...Mt. Everest has some quite yummy Nepalese dishes...stick with those. Really interesting...and the Mustang Beer from Nepal is quite nice.

          Enjoy Woyzeck! We thought it was really well done...though some of the singing was less accomplished than it might have been. Otherwise, really nice staging, etc. Worth the time and $$. Interesting to see those Tom Waits tunes in context.

          4 Replies
          1. re: sambamaster

            Mount Everest is really good. Kiraku's also right there.

              1. re: rccola

                It wasn't busy when we went the other night. Maybe UC being on vacation helps.

                1. re: rccola

                  Kiraku is fantastic. I've been three times now and never had a hard time getting in. what time are you trying? or are you thinking of Kirala?

            1. Kayde, the short drive is not the problem. It's often the parking if you go to College Ave. or Telegraph. Might cut into your time together so just consider that. (Otherwise, I'd opt for Ethiopian up on Telegraph as a wonderful taste and sharing treat.)

              Have a wonderful evening with your friends!

              1. Thanks for all over these. Simply Greek looks good and most convenient, but Mount Everest and Kiraku are strong contenders. Will submit to the gang and report back.
                We're looking forward to Woyzeck.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Kayde

                  I don't think it's hard to park by Mount Everest right now, since most of the UC students are out of town.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    I'd say Mt. Everest offers the most chance of comestible serendipity! Had a mind blowing chicken dish a few weeks ago...it was a Sat. evening and parking was not a problem...

                    "...everybody row, everybody row..." you'll understand that in the first few minutes of the show!

                    1. re: sambamaster

                      Thanks to everyone. As it turned out, Mt. Everest was just right. With a dead campus, we could park at the corner, walk in to a good roomy table, linger over Mustangs and shared plates, and still arrived at Shotgun in plenty of time.
                      We especially liked the goat curry (Khasi Ko Mosu - Nepalese) and prawns in almond-coconut sauce (Kuauni Jhinge - monthly special). Also mint pepper naan.
                      And yes, everybody row. Woyzeck was wonderful. Tom Waits braided with a 19thC German opera tale hit that dark, dark sensibility - well, close enough to perfect for me.

                      1. re: Kayde

                        Thanks for the report back...and glad you enjoyed Mt. Everest...I need to explore it a bit more...

                        Yeah, Woyzeck was great, Tom's jagged music fit the story perfectly!!!

                2. Berkeleyside reports that the owners of Gecko Gecko are opening Gin Thai Canteen in the former La. Bayou space.

                  Also that an Ethiopian place will be going into the Tae Kwon Do place and a Domino's into the former Other Change of Hobbit.


                    1. I work in South Berkeley and our office tends to head over to the Starry Plough for early evening group get-togethers. A lot of us go for the burgers and fries more than the beer. It's just a couple of blocks from Ashby BART.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: heavysnaxx

                        Has the food improved? I've gotten burgers and/or fries there a few times and they were the kind of thing I'd eat only after three or four pints. Not that there's a better burger in the neighborhood.


                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          Well, my last burger was a few months ago. I'm not a regular and I've only gone in the late afternoon/very early evening. Could be I've been lucky. I'll just say, they cook it the way I want, they toast the bun, and everything tastes fresh. But it could well be that I'm usually really hungry and my expectations are not exactly high, going in. "It's South Berkeley, Jack."

                          FYI, if you like a Vietnamese pork meatball sandwich, try Nomad's outpost in the Ed Roberts Campus (ERC) on top of the Ashby BART station. Only available during weekdays. They've been operating a cart in the atrium but are moving into the building's cafe space.

                      2. A tad further but a nice addition to the neighb is the BBQ Hut on Shattuck at Alcatraz. Nice smokey flavor. Dry rub so not slathered in sauce.