Oakland, Berkeley, And East Bay News, Events, Restaurants, Music, & Arts
I mean, they are so hard to beat for this.
High quality ingredients prepared to order.
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Roasted Alaskan black cod, soy glaze, wasabi butter, orange oil, potato cake, ocean salad. Need I say more?
Let's see...what restaurant have my family and I been to more times than any other?? Easy - Lin Jia. It never gets old.
Had a really good time there during happy hour last night.
I've eaten everywhere, and I love Marica's. They do wonderful fish, are fairly priced, and have a wonderful wait staff who make the dining experience terrific. Zagat rates them a 27 on food, which is only one star less than chez panisse and stars ahead of Oliveto, Bay Wolf, etc. It is a great local place to eat.
I was taken to Metro Lafayette at lunch time for my birthday. I must agree that the entrance to the restaurant is hard to find and feels like you are coming in the back door. You end up passing the side of the bar and then there is a large open area. It was extremely noisy given all the hard surfaces (brown tiles, white walls, wooden tables without cloths, faux stone curved wall, rust colored chairs, etc.) It was unbearably loud but since it was a hot day we had to sit inside. It was hard to speak and it was apparent others were having the same problem as each person had to continue to raise their voices to offset the others in the restaurant doing the same. It was like a bad feedback loop.
The menu has is rather limited with appetizers, starters and entrees with about 4-5 choices each. Appetizers run from $7 to $15, starters are similar. We decided to get a selection of items (Spicy Tuna Poke, Crabcakes, Thai Salad and Bruschetta). Later we order the Croque Monsieur and a pasta dish with meatballs.
The best of all was the Spicy Tuna Poke which was served in something like a martini glass. Other dishes were so, so, especially given their prices. The crabcakes were tasty, but the strings of cucumber were just bland. The best part of the Thai Salad was the chicken but even that had a few pieces that were slighty "charred" and the rest of the ingredients were again bland. I barely remember the Bruschetta. For the entrees, the pasta dish again was devoid of much taste without sauces, but just long pasta tubes and meatballs and some small pieces of tomato, onion, etc. Finally the Croque Monsier was a piece of bread with ham and cheese melted on it, the rest of the plate was filled with french fries. We actually compared them to McDonald's fries because they were exactly the same dimensions and had a similar taste. We ignored the baby gerkin and red onion that were included.
Service-wise there were lots of waitstaff moving all about adding to the chaos and noice. If anything I felt they were too attentive constantly taking plates, refilling water/sodas after just a few sips, replacing silverware, etc. I had to laugh when they brought us a whole new set of plates at one point. I dutifully put my dirty plate aside and took the new plate. The waiter cleared the dirty plates and then seeing I had put a dirty fork on the new plate, took the new plate too.
Overall I see little value to this restaurant. It seems like it is trying to be a trendy place for people to come, but I don't find it an enjoyable experience. The noise is unbearable, the food is mediocre, the menu selection is limited, the prices are high and the staff hovers about constantly, and the restaurant isn't even a pretty, pleasant place to be (if you can find it through the parking lot by going in what seems like the back door). Don't even think of bringing children here because they won't find anything to eat on the limited menu and they will only add to the cacophany.
I'm sure the chef/owner is trying to bring a little of San Francisco to the East Bay, but it just all seems too pretentious a place, with very little value. If the food was outstanding, I could be more forgiving, but it lacks taste and excitement. If you do go, get the Spicy Tuna Poke to go and eat it outside. Oh the desserts were decent too.
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