Some of you may have thought, after that last post, "Where the hell is Chez Panisse? I mean, it's got be French, since it's got 'Chez' in its title, right?" Well, I grouped it with other California Cuisine places -- ones that steal from the French, from Asia, from your own back yard, if you're not careful.
These are the kind of places you go to for special occasions, like birthdays, anniversaries, and successful leg amputations.
Camino (Cal Cuisine, Grand Lake) - Been wanting to try this place, but I'm nervous. Very limited menu that changes daily, so the reviews I've read have said you pays your moneys and you takes your chances. Megan likes the drinks. (ds)
Chez Panisse (Cal Cuisine, Gourmet Ghetto) - Everybody's been, and yet no one I know really raves about it. For prices this high, it should be better than organic and regionally grown. (ds)
Flora (New American, Downtown Oakland) - Sweet atmosphere, great drinks, good food (ds).
Franklin Square Wine Bar (American, Uptown) - Small portions, outdoor seating, good wine (ds).
Lalime's (Cal/French, North Berkeley) - Only went once, but was underwhelmed by the food and atmosphere. I think Karen's a fan, though. (ds)
Mua (American/Asian Fusion, Car Dealer Row Oakland) - Great space, tiny portions, hefty prices. Go for the drinks and the decor (ds).
O Chame (Cal/Asian Fusion, 4th Street)
Rivoli (California, Solano)
Sea Salt (Seafood, NW Berkeley) - I hate seafood, but Thaddeus does too and he said this place rocks. (ds)
Wood Tavern (California, Claremont) - Thinking about going here for my birthday. I know Matt & Wendy love it. (ds)