A group of us like to go out once a month to a "value" place to eat, not necessarily inexpensive. We usually bring wine, so cheap corkage is always appreciated.
Some places we have enjoyed so far:
Spettro, Lakeshore, Oakland
an Italian place (name?), Hayward, A street near Main
Purple Plum, Park Blvd, Oakland
JoJo, Piedmont, Oakland
We occasionally venture to SF (Baker St Bistro next month), but usually stick to something along 880, 24 or 680.