I'd like to take my fiancé out to his kind of restaurant for his birthday, as we usually go to my type.
His kind means adventuresome: he likes to ask for the non-English menu, to try the unusual (chicken tendons, frogs legs, chrysalis soup, whole sheep head, that's his thing). Spicy food is great, he is always asking for food served not white person spicy, actually spicy (my paraphrasing) but hasn't met his match yet (he's searching for it). The food should be actually really good, not just unusual. He loves big, bold flavors. He likes big filling portions and peasant food, and is not a big fan of fusion/pan asian/California cuisine, especially when it comes with small plates. He wants to be full after a meal.
I'm thinking maybe Asian: Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Thai you name it. I can't eat pork or shellfish, so there needs to be an English menu or a waitstaff who can find me something I can eat, but I'm not picky. This is about indulging his love of the new.
I can go up to about $60 for two people, no drinks, no dessert, but if I can do less, that would be great. We'll be going on a Wednesday night. It doesn't have to be a romantic feel if it's great, but I would like a place where it's quiet enough that we can actually hold a conversation.
Looking for someplace in Berkeley, Oakland, etc. If it's amazing and affordable, I'd go a little further afield but not into the city. Either with reasonable parking nearby or near BART.