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Rachel Hope | Mar 14, 200010:35 AM    

My new favorite in Berkeley is Shanghai Clay Pot on San Pablo Ave, just past Solano. This place strikes a wonderful balance between offering authentic chow and appealing to its gringo customers. The menu (especially the specials) is studded with offal, from Pig's foot to stomach, but when a white customer (such as myself) orders something divergent from the standard American palatte they are given a polite warning (such as: "the preserved pork in that clay pot is Shanghai style -- very fatty"). Everything I've had there's been wonderful. Most wonderful was salt and pepper tofu with shrimp -- puffy golf balls of soft and creamy tofu, one or two shrimp inside, rolled in salt&pepper and deep fried, mmm... Also good, the vermicelli, ground pork, and dried shrimp clay pot. Because of the dynamic specials board there are no end of things to try. Whole fish (and crab) looks great, but I haven't tried it yet.

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