Café Leila opened this week on San Pablo across the street from Popeye’s. My first visit left me loving Leila’s.
Lelila is currently open 7x7x7 … 7 days from 7am to 7pm. It is the perfect place to have a lazy breakfast or a wrap, salad or sandwich. Also a great place just to hang out and enjoy tea and coffee.
Most of the menu is organic and the tea and coffee is organic and free trade.
For breakfast I had a delicious Greek omelet with spinach, feta, farm eggs, fresh dill and scallions. The fresh dill folded into the egg made this omelet. Nicely browned home fries were topped with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkled with chopped fresh green onions. A slice of tasty watermelon and two slices of buttered toast completed the dish. The raspberry jam was good too.
The coffee is French and uses organic, fair-trade, Arabica beans. It is a nice strong cup.
Other breakfast items are omelets, muffins, bagels and oatmeal. Pancakes or Belgium waffle with organic maple syrup and fresh fruit are $4.95
Sandwiches: chicken Caesar, meatball marinara, chicken club, tuna salad, grilled, California (avocado, jack/cheddar, roasted red peppers).
Salads: Mediterranean, Caesar, green salad and chicken and baby spinach
Hot sandwiches, burgers, pesto chicken, grilled chicken with hummus
Wraps: tofu veggie, grilled veggie, falafel, California (chicken, avocado, cucumbers), Sam’s (sliced sirloin, caramelized onions, mozzarella and mixed greens)
Smoothies – fresh fruit & ice
Tea Bar – organic & fair trade
Sweet Matcha green tea latte – version of germaica, soy milk, stone-milled matcha from Kyoto and sweet roasted rice powder.
Ancient Emerald Lily
Moonlight White (Yue Gang Bai)
Pu-erh with ginger and orange
Jamaica red bush (jaimaica, rooibos, honey bush)
Peppermint, green cardamom, licorice
Fruity ice tea (strawberry, peaches, mint, lemon and honey)
The restaurant, like the food, is well thought out and inviting. There’s lots of exposed brick and nice art.
The front has five marble tables, the bakery case and the counter where orders are placed. There’s a beautiful antique stove used as a counter for cream and sugar. In the back is a large restaurant with eight tables and large windows overlooking a patio with lots of greenery, a dozen tables and two fountains. There’s a cozy nook with two green couches.
The painted walls are a surprisingly harmonious and pretty lavender and lime.
Very cool music plays at just the right volume. They are just starting up. Service is friendly, but they are still working out the details.
This place seems somewhere between 900 Grayson and Guerilla Café. The menu is not as ambitious as the first and more extensive than the latter. It’s a very comfortable place.
Looking into my crystal ball, I’m betting this place will be wildly popular. It has its own unique vibe that isn’t anywhere else … and there’s parking.
1724 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702
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