A February 2007 trip
to California by jgalal
Quote: Bay Area dining
Hana Japan was an excellent Japanese restaurant. For those of you who are familiar with Benihana, it is very similar. However, it was a little cheaper and less crowded. This restaurant was on the Berkeley Marina. It sits on the top floor and may have views of the bay during the day but I did not notice anything spectacular in the dark.
The chefs cook at your table. They are able to put on quite a show while doing so. Our chef built a volcano out of fresh onion rings and poured oil in the center so it would smoke. The meat was cooked perfect to order. All main meals include shrimp appetizer, salad, soup, and rice. It does cost a bit extra for fried rice but it was worth it. Anybody who is picky or has never been to this type of restaurant should be aware that the salad comes with a specific ginger style dressing and the soup is the traditional onion style soup. No choices on these items, but that is typical, and both the salad and soup are good. Items on the menu included combinations of steak, chicken, lobster, shrimp, scallops, and salmon. They also offered sushi. We had an appetizer of California rolls which were very fresh and delicious.
All of the staff at this restaurant were very courteous and aimed to please. We had reservations and were promptly seated, which was more than I could say about my last trip to Benihana. Although we were not there to celebrate a birthday, many guests that night were. The restaurant offered free items for birthday guests. They also sang and provided a group picture for those celebrating.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 8, 2007
235 University Ave.
My family and I had a wonderful Valentine's meal at Hungry Hunter. Reservations were definitely a must on this day, but we were seated within 15 minutes of arriving. Hungry Hunter does an excellent job on blending the fancy with the rugged. They keep the restaurant dimly lit for privacy with candles on every table. The decor is classy but outdoorsy. The chandeliers are antlers, there are pictures of wildlife and a very homey fireplace with a deer head over it in the waiting area. The staff were very friendly and aimed to please. Although the restaurant seems more geared toward couples or adult groups, they were also kid friendly. We brought our kids (ages 5 and 6) and they have a kid's menu with crayons. However, they did not have kid friendly cups, only grown up sized glasses.
That evening the restaurant had a special couples menu for Valentine's Day. This meal included a shrimp cocktail appetizer, main meal and dessert for two. Every meal comes with soup or salad and two sides. They have what they call a table side salad bar. This is where the waiter brings a large tray to your table with lettuce, cabbage, carrots, cheese, croutons, beans, peppers and sunflower seeds. They ask what you want and make the salad up exactly how you want it right in front of you. Then give you dressing on the side. They also have many side dishes to choose from including garlic mashed potatoes, baked potatoe, red potatoes, rice pilaf, fresh vegetables, fries or onion rings. My husband and I both ordered strip steaks and they were cooked excellently. I had a fully loaded baked potato and fresh veggies on the side. Dessert was a wonderful fudge cake which they packed to go since we were so stuffed. I highly recommend Hungry Hunter. This was not our first time there and we are always satisfied.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 28, 2007
2470 Martin Rd.
Fairfield, California 94534