BERKELEY’s BEST ●Restaurants
Platano 2042 University Ave./Shattuck Ave.; downtown. Salvadoran food is the specialty in this cheery, spacious spot. Lunch specials are mostly pupusa plates--choose from nine versions and sides of fried plantains, creamy beans, or creama; full dinner plates include two sides and handmade corn tortillas. Platillos (small tapas-style plates) make up a large section of the menu. Sweet unfilled tamales and various fish dishes are also available, as are vegetarian and vegan options (the only vegan item is Papa Guisada, a Salvadoran stew of potatoes, carrots and green beans). Complimentary curtido—vinegar-steeped cabbage salad--accompanies all meals.