I've been to the Ghanaian/Caribbean restaurant Tropical Paradise about four times since they opened a few months ago, and had a good meal every time. Most dishes come with jollof rice (cooked with bay leaf, anise and tomato), ginger plantains, salad and either greens or black-eyed peas. The rice is dry and boring, and the salad's just a generic green salad, but the plantains are great (not much ginger in evidence, though) and the peas are pretty good, too - warming and cuminy, if I remember right. I've had the greens, but I don't remember them well. The main dishes are generally very good. I don't exactly remember most of the ones I've had, since until my last trip, a few days ago, I hadn't been there for a couple of months, but I know that the meat pie impressed me with its nice, flaky crust, although the inside wasn't much more than pleasant. The restaurant has lunch specials for about $6, substantially less than dinner prices, and the other day I had the jerk chicken. It doesn't come spicy, which surprised me, since the jerk I'm used to is inseparable from its heat, but I asked for it "as hot as you want to make it," and they came through. I was given a big, healthy skewer of juicy and well-cooked hunks of chicken, really thoroughly sauced - not just some little brushing, but gobs of nice, comforting jerk sauce, very hot (not too much, though) and really salty, in a satisfying way.
Tropical Paradise Restaurant.
2021 University Ave. Berkeley, CA 94703
Mon-Fri: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm Sat: 5:00 pm - midnight