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Restaurants & Bars 4

Picante Playa, Alameda

Ruth Lafler | Dec 11, 2002 12:04 AM

I dropped by the new Picante Playa at the site of the former Lyon's at Southshore Center in Alameda.

Picante is best described as a California-Mex taqueria (same ownership and concept as Picante Cocina in Berkeley, and the menu is almost identical). You order at the counter and they bring you the food ... my order came quickly.

Traditional taqueria offerings that come with rice and your choice of black, pinto or refried beans. Niman Ranch meats, hand-made tortillas from organic corn, lots of vegetarian options. My carnitas tostada was nice and juicy, full of rich pork flavor -- not too light or "healthy" [vbg]. Prices are reasonable (most items between $4.75 and $7.95).

Full liquor license, so they have a limited menu of cocktails (Margueritas, pina coladas) plus wine and beer, aguas frescas, etc.

Plexiglass-enclosed outdoor patio has heat lamps, but they didn't seem to be on tonight. The restaurant seems to be an overnight hit: it was almost full at 7:30 on a Tuesday. I know I'll be back.

Open 11-10 seven days a week. Brunch menu with various egg dishes including two versions of chilaquiles from 11-3 weekends.

Picante Playa
South Shore Shopping Center

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