BERKELEY’s BEST ●Restaurants
Epicurious Garden food court 1509-1513 Shattuck Ave./Vine St.; Gourmet Ghetto. A pleasant courtyard with soothing waterfall in the back of this unusual food court provides informal seating.
●Imperial Tea Court This gem is hidden away in the very back of this enclave. An assortment of dim sum dumplings and entrees--my favorite is the wonderful chewy hand-pulled noodle dishes--are prepared in-house. They pair nicely with exotic teas, which come in Standard and Imperial designations. Among the options are monkey-picked oolong, a nutty Superior Dragon Well green, and an Imperial White Peony. Blossonming teas are also an unusual option. The original restaurant is located in the Ferry Plaza Marketplace in San Francisco.
●Kirala A branch of the popular Japanese restaurant down the street, this branch dispenses sushi and bento boxes.
●Lush Gelato So many flavors, so little time.
●Guacamole 61 Burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and full-husk street corn topped with queso (cheese).
●Soop Just soups.
●Mint Leaf A broad range of wines can be tasted here. Diners purchase a plastic card credited with $20 and then just go to the hi-tech Italian wine-dispensing machine, place their glass under the wine they want to try, and return to their table with an ounce to sample along with their meal. The menu is composed of mildly spiced, seasonal Indian food.