Just moved back to bay area, went to Ochame and Eccolo on 4th street in Berkeley for two of my first meals. Really enjoyed both.
Got there 15 minutes late for our reservation, but we had called to tell them and they held our table. It was really busy, and the staff seemed fully extended, but they were polite and efficient, and other than moving constantly, they were always there when i needed them and did not rush me or the table in any way. All the food arrived hot or cold as it was supposed to, straight from the pan to the dish to the table.
Appetizers we ordered:
Grilled eel with Belgian Endive. Hot and delicious, sweet salty rich and sl. smoky. The endive provided a nice cool and slightly bitter contrast. Really good. Two pieces cut three ways each, this was a smaller serving than I would have liked, but absolutely yummy.
Arugula greens with golden beets and grilled sea scallops.
Rich and buttery sea scallops hot and delicious, I only got a tiny piece because my family scarfed it up. My wife said it was incredible. Again, serving size was small.
Seared Tuna Sashimi with braised leeks and horseradish sauce. Excellent. The horseradish sauce was sort of a wasabi mayonaiise, rich with a hint of wasabi but not overly so. The leeks were really nice.
Crimini Mushroom and Green onion pancake. Came to the table piping hot. A large serving of eggy mushroom and onion pancake. Absolutely tasty, with a sort of sesame based dipping sauce that was really good.
Blanched spinach with sesame dressing. This is so good we ordered three servings between the four of us. Oishitashi I think its called in Japanese restaurants. Cool sesame salty and delicious.
Miso soup also good, with sea vegetable and green onion pieces.
Udon with Roasted pork tenderloin mustard greens and Takuan. I dont know what takuan is, but the dish was great. My kids split this two ways, and there was alot in each dish. A bargain at 10.50
My wife had the udon with roasted arsters, wakame seaweend and bean sprouts. Similarly copious, hot and tasty.
I had the Roeased local king salmon with napa cabbage, mushrooms and edammame beans. My notes say good, hot and tasty.
I had a little bottle of junmai sake as wellas a glass of urakasumi. I would describe them as clean and floral tasting. I know nothing about sake other than that it is delicious so I am somewhat lacking in descriptors.
Overall, the experience was great. Service food atmosphere. The restaurant was crowded, but the service was always warm never rushed. there was a single diner sitting next to us who read a novel through a meal about one tenth the size of ours, who they did not rush to get her table open for the next party. Really classy. If you wanted to do the restaurant on the cheap, two people could eat the pancake and split the udon for under 20 dollars, but you can also pay alot like I did if you want to play the field. I will be a frequent diner here.
Wow, that was more than I planned to write, I will follow up with Eccolo later. It was good but not as good as this place.