Located in a tight "strip mall" with four other small restaurants, Brandy Ho's is an East Bay extension of a 30+ year old San Francisco institution. One item that sets it apart is the lack of MSG. You don't even need to ask.
Favorite Dish: Excellent Sweet and Sour soup as well as Cachew Chicken with vegetable.s
Contemporary Mediterranean is the ambiance, and the food is wonderful. Located in the back of a "strip mall" that is more like a group of independent businesses in the center of Danville (Clock Tower), the place is relatively hidden, yet easy to find.
Very few restaurants in Danville command reservations on weekends, let alone during the week. Yet this young restauranteur has developed a "cult following." Originally located in the next town, in a very out of the way location, Rodney Worth's talents quickly forced him to seek larger facilities.
The Danville location allowed him to triple the seating while still retaining a "down home" atmosphere.
Favorite Dish: As the restaurant has just opened in Feb 2006, I've only eaten there twice (ok, in the last week). The food is just wonderful. The fried calamari has the lightest of batter and at $8.95 for the appitizer it is almost a steal.
The Cobb Salad is excellent as is the "Flat-bread" Pizza's. The "Mount Diablo" with mushrooms is my favorite so far....but more to come.
Following an interior upgrade closure, China Paradise has taken over the former site of Ha's. the food however continues to provide Danville with excellent Chinese dining. Lunch, Dinner or Take -out they always deliver.
Favorite Dish: I'm fond of the Mu Shu Pork, but everything I've tried has been greaat.
Wonderful find. Small strip mall in San Ramon (next to Danville) this is an unlikely place for a restaurant of this quality.
Rather small, but has gathered a great following since its opening. Now reservations are not only suggested, they are almost a MUST.
Favorite Dish: Main dishes...oh...my wife loves the the Duck L'Orange; me, I prefer the more mundane (as some would say) Le Coq du Maison.
BUT the Grand Marnier Souffle....oooohhhhh..(you must order it with the main course however).
Unfortunately for us..Margarita's has closed. Max has been doing more Special Olympics fund raising in LA and has decided to move south.
BUT A great new Thai restaurant has taken it's place so watch for tips on Similan Thai Cuisine
Favorite Dish: Guacamole Fresca; This is more of a dip than a main course, but the fresh avocados, tomatoes, spices make it a culinary delight.
The recession was fast in claiming this restaurant.
Since the loss of Margarita's a few years ago, we've been lacking a really good Mexican restaurant. There are a couple of ok ones, but none that are a "destination."
The menu is not extensive but the dishes are prepared and presented very well. The tequila list goes on like most restaurant wine lists. Plus there is a selection of wine and beer as well.
Favorite Dish: My first trip I had the Carnitas which tasted outstanding. The refried black beans were a little "soupy" but the taste was excellent.
The fresh made guacamole "dip" is incredible. Made fresh at your table to your taste, it is a must try item.
Located in a large shopping "mall" San Ramon's newest pizza restaurant is quite interesting. It features very unique names for it's fare, all of which relate to snow boarding or surfing. The walls are decorated with boards and skis of all types.
Favorite Dish: Most always I get fresh tomatos, garlic, onion and mushrooms with artechokes on part for my wife.
The restaurant creates "take and bake" versions or you can eat it there. They have a number of beers on tap as well as a variety of sodas.
Prices vary with the size: Individuals start at $5.95, Medium - $11.95, Large $13.95, X-large $15.95 and "HUGE" $17.95. Quite reasonable compared to other pizza restaurants in the area.
The Blackhawk Plaza is being renovated and with the change, three new restaurants are coming into being. Stomp is the first to open. It features a small plate (tapas like) sharing menu and an excellent wine list.
The location is in the middle of the Blackhawk Plaza overlooking the central fountain. The outside dining area has been expanded and includes a large fire place. "Space heaters" are available for cooler evenings.
Seating is somewhat limited both inside and out, but there are about 8 areas that can hold 4 people each in both the inside and outside dining areas.
Favorite Dish: This is hard to describe as everything was excellent.
We started with Hummus; fresh fava bean, with Moroccan spices and crispy pita bread with cured olives ($7). Next came Cassoulet of baked French cheeses with roasted garlic squash blossoms and chervil on crusty baguette slices ($8). Shrimp empanadas with avocado followed ($9) and we finished with Moroccan spiced flank steak with spicy mustard aioli and house pickled onions ($8). All were excellent.
Father Nature's Shed has been an institution in Danville for years. It is primarily a breakfast/brunch place serving relatively good food. Any item on the menu with the word "shed" in it will likely feed more than one person.
Mon-Thu. 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Fri-Sat. 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Sun. 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Favorite Dish: I like their hot cakes. They are done just right and are very tasty. My wife likes the omelettes.
Located in the historic Danville Hotel (much of which is about to be demolished) the Sidwalk Cafe is one of a number of establishments in the location. This one may just make it with a bit of work.
The service is good once you get their attention. The "drill" is to enter and ensure they know you exist, get a "number" then order (all inside the building, not on the patio where much seating exists).
Once through the "basics" the service is relatively good.
Favorite Dish: My wife had the French Toast and inhaled it so I can't comment personnally, but ah...she loved it.
The granola is "home made" and with the added yougurt it was just wonderful.
Actually located in San Ramon, next to Danville, Izzy's is located in a small strip mall which is a bit of an unusual location for an upscale steak restaurant. Izzy's started in San Francisco on Steiner Street, then expanded to San Carlos. The success there lead to the benefit of the "East Bay" with the opening of the San Ramon establishment.
The menu consists of multiple forms of steak and chops. There are seafood and pasta dishes for those that do not eat "meat."
Formerly an Irish Pub, Izzy's has completly renovated the location to become more formal.
The wait staff are efficient, helpful and knowlegable about the menu. On the night we first dined, we were greeted and seated by the owner Sam Duvall.
Favorite Dish: The ribs are "to die for" according to my wife. The meat practically falls off the bones and is very tasty. If she says they are good, they must be as they are one of her favorite foods and she's VERY particular.
I had the filet medalians au pouvre. The sauce as expected was quite peppery and the filets were extremely tender. I prefer meat very well done, and most chef's don't. So...my "well done" request was more like medium well, but still extremely tasty (I didn't send it back to be cooked more).
Norm's is your basic place to hang and have a good time. It tends to attract more of a party crowd and they do party.
Modeled a bit after Pete's Brass Rail, Norm's caters to the local crowd with basic fare and plenty of beer.
Favorite Dish: Burger's of course.
Tucked in the back of "The Clock Tower" in the heart of Danville is a new arrival - The Tower Grille. From the decor it has the appearance of an upscale sports bar, but the menu is far from bar/pub fare.
It has just opened (July 2007) and already has a large cult following.
The food is prepared to your request, and is scrumptious.
The beer and wine is less expensive than in surrounding restaurants which probably is why the place is mobed during "Happy Hour."
Favorite Dish: Only had two dishes so far as it has just opened. The Chopped Salad is great with nuts, berries, and a hint of Blue Cheese mixed in with the lettuce.
The Burger is huge. Cooked just right and extremely tasty. The shoestring french fries are also excellent. I like mine extra crispy and that's exactly how they were served.
Small establishment, tucked away in the corner of a "strip mall," Shan a India (formerly Chutney's) owner brings a friendly smile to welcome all who come.
Favorite Dish: There's just too many to name just one. but...Chicken Tikka is most often served at my table.
If you like Thai food, this is the place. Chico and Ing will perform their magic and provide not only a delightful presentation, but a true culinary experience. In the last month since they opened I've eaten there 6 times, each time choosing something different and I've never been disappointed.
Favorite Dish: I've not tried everything on the menu yet, but the spicy chicken with bean and the shredded chicken with pepper are my favoirtes so far. But everything is delicious.