My birthday is coming up, and my mother will be calling me soon to ask where I want to have my family birthday dinner.
Not terribly expensive: more in the Lalime's price range than Oliveto, Chez Panisse, etc.
Comfortable and quiet enough for my over-70 parents and my three-month-old niece
Reasonable access and parking (last year we went to Aziza, and although the meal itself was great, fighting the traffic from the East Bay to the Richmond and dealing with parking destroyed the celebratory mood)
Good, interesting food (any cuisine); reliable service (it's become a running joke that no matter where we go for my birthday dinner, the service is terrible -- it's a jinx I'd like to avoid this time)
I'm pretty familiar with the East Bay restaurant scene, but there are undoubtedly places that are flying under my radar or that simply haven't occurred to me. I was thinking I might want try Postino, but I haven't been there since the Cat Cora days and I haven't seen any reports recently.