Couple more good bets that I've encountered NW of the UC Berkeley campus:
Cambodiana -- good firm "curly" texture on the fresh, clean flavored catfish is evidence of sound fundamentals in this Cambodian kitchen that marries French and South East Asian cooking. Said catfish comes with a slightly oversweet Mekong sauce, but get past the sugar -- there's a fragrant tone from caramelized shallots that sets the sweet and tangy sauce apart. Almost greaseless fried chicken wings also bode well -- stuffed with a dark woodsy mix of mushrooms, vermicelli and minced meat. Sharp pleasing contrast provided by simple pickles and light sweet sauce. Excellent down-to-earth service. Recommended!
Phoenix Pastifico -- bluntly al dente spinach ravioli was nice but it the was the bright summery vegetable mix of ripe tomato and eggplant that I loved. The lovely pecan chocolate cookie has the light powdery crumble of a meringue.
Chaat Cafe -- had a pretty good meal there with David and Cyrus. Fine basic Indian. (I still need to try Kabana.)
Tokyo Curry House -- an interesting spotlight on this side of the Japanese cooking. Got a good chicken cutlet on rice with requisite worchester sauce and a large bowl of Japanese curry -- light, with a bit of potatoey graininess. Anime fans will appreciate the framed posters.
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