Five at Hotel Shattuck Plaza, Berkeley CA

I have a rule when im traveling, Dont eat at the hotel restaurant/bar.  Usually cause the food sucks, and even when it is good... im already staying at the place, so i might as well go out and see whats out there.  Traveling to Berkeley a lot has allowed me to uncover most of its gems.  One of those gems is a restaurant in a hotel- Five at Hotel Shattuck Plaza.  Whenever I am in Berkeley, I usually hit this place twice in a week.  Ive become a regular and the bartenders hook me up.  Bartenders Q and Tanya will take great care of you.  If your drinking wine- make sure and get a flight, way better value than buying one glass.  For the same price as one glass, you can get three!!  Five has been awarded the Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand award in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, which is an award for the gourmet quality of food you get for the value of the price.  some of my favorites;

Gougers- whenever I have ordered them, they bake them off to order and they come to the table piping hot.  Nommy Cheesy Bread Balls!

Oricchiette Mac and Cheese- made with lobster bisque and bay shrimp

Fried Sweetbread Sliders with quail eggs?  Ummmm, yeah!

Braised Pork Cheeks with Fired Polenta?  Doi!  Dude, the polenta cakes are little fried squares and when you bite into them, molten polenta pours out. 

I accidentally deleted the picture of the house burger- which is bonkers.  Also deleted the pic of my favorite dish there- the Gnocchi with Boar ragu- its off the hinges.  Will have to eat it all again to re-take pics.


Santa Rosa

When in Santa Rosa- make sure to take a drive to Petaluma to taste ALL the beer at Lagunitas- its worth it.  And if you happen to be lookingfor some amazing food there- hit up Willi's Wine bar- its dope.

We ate damn near errythang

Like Goat Cheese Fritters with lavender honey

Oyster Rockerfella

Duck Liver Mousse with Cherry Moustardo

Some Bomb- Ass Mac n Cheese with peas.  Me likey peas in my mac n cheese!

Pulled Duck BBQ on polenta

If Bone Marrow is on the menu, its gonna get ordered

Lamb Chops!




What'd Eliana Eat All Summer

Starting off the summer with 2+ weeks in Hawaii added a few pounds to the mid section. But it didn't end there. Here's some of what we grubbed on this summer
Pots of mussels
Piles of spot prawns
Umami burgers- filled with soy sauce, fish sauce, and furikake
Oysters, straight out of the sound, gifted from an island neighbor
Puget sound surf and turf
A badass lunch at Ba Bar, with congee pork belly and other goodness
Kalua Pig and Cabbage

Ramen with spot prawns and tocino
And some sizzling tacos pastor
Tom douglas doughnuts send her off


Townie, Berkeley CA

I walked off the street in Berkeley and into a restaurant and bar in Portland. Townie- is a derogatory term the college shits use for the locals. But it's also a new bar on university in Berkely. The chef has experience at Gather and some other spots. Food and drink is simple, but great. Bartenders are cool tattooed and skinny jean wearing hipsters. Floor is concrete. I like it here.
I want more food but I'm by myself. So I noshed on an oyster potato croquettes and a dope hanger steak. I must return for chicharones chicken liver mousse, and something else I forgot. Good job bartenders. I haven't had beer in over a week.


Berkeley Ca; Corso Trattoria

If you know my dining preferences at all, you already know that in choosing restaurant, Italian would be close to my last option. But sometimes there are gems. Ones that make all the pasta in house. Ones that happen to have line cooks that all wear ninja style bandanas. I'm by myself in Berkeley (really hope you aren't bored by my regionals as of late). Since I'm by my lonesome, a pile of fresh pasta sounds awesome. And it was. I land at the chef counter at Corso Trattoria in the gourmet ghetto
I started of with braised escarole.  I was schooled in escarole on the line at Cafe Campagne and good lord is it under used. I ordered it and holy crap! It was like cassoulet without the duck (sad face). Not that it was bad at all, I just love me some duck. But cranberry beans, braised escarole, topped with duck fat croutons... The shit was fucking good. My daddy told me that I'm not allowed to use the eff word, unless I really mean it. I really mean it daddy. It was fucking good!
I got to watch everything being cooked at the chef counter. Watching and hearing the order, fire, pickups made me remember the past and the feelings of nightly victory after service. Because it's only me I could only stomach one more dish- bucatini with red chili, house pancetta, tomatoes ands ricotta salata.  Nom nom.
I will return. I watched "butter roasted chicken" being cooked in literally a fistful of butter. I don't usually eat chicken, but when I do, it's cooked in a fistful of butter.