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Lunch at Va De Vi, Walnut Creek

anli | Jan 13, 200506:05 PM

Stopped in for a late lunch while window shopping. At 1:30, there was barely a 2 minute wait for a table to be cleared off. The restaurant now takes reservations, as I overheard a woman confirm a lunch reservation for another day. The lunch menu is very inviting and completely frustrating for a solo diner (too many choices). The waiter assures me that the plates are on the small side, but I have my eye on one of the larger sized offerings - the lobster club. It normally comes with root veg. "chips", but the waiter offers to substitute the frites, as I had asked if they were worth trying. Normally the club is a 3 decker of toasted brioche, but the kitchen is running low on brioche and I agree to just a sandwich (don't need that extra carb anyway). While waiting for my meal, the couple next to me is presented with the 4 dessert sampler - very impressive looking. My sandwich ($11) comes within ten minutes. While there is not an overly generous amount of lobster salad, the sandwich is very tasty, with 2 large slices of applewood smoked bacon, a slice of tomato, lettuce and avocado spread. I tasted a bit of anchovy mixed in with the lobster, which gave a flash of unexpected saltiness, but not unpleasant. In fact, I take the next few bites hoping for another taste. The frites are very garlicky, but just a tad overfried. Once cooled down, they are not as good. I finished them off, nonetheless.

Because the restaurant is a long narrow space, there is a lot of bustle between the kitchen in the back and the front of the dining room. Most of the waitstaff are young and friendly. I saw chef Kelly Degala, chatting with the staff and some patrons. I noticed that the hostess greeted all who came through the door in a welcoming fashion. I'm glad they now take reservations. I can't wait to come back for dinner.

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