Good food in Berkeley
Okay, that’s a pretty simple headline, but Lalime’s is a pretty simple restaurant, on Gilman St. in the very far north of Berkeley. Quiet ambiance, attentive yet not obtrusive service, excellent food, reasonable prices. You just can’t ask for more.
The building Lalime’s occupies was originally a home, but was converted more than 30 years ago; Lalime’s has been there about 25. The entrance is up a long walkway on the side of the building, then when you get in you end up going back down stairs to the street level. Lighting is muted, the carpets and tablecloths keep the noise to a minimum, the decor is simple and warm. This is a great place to have a quiet meal and just enjoy your food and your companions.
The cuisine is your basic California modern–fresh, in-season, organic, preferably local, ingredients well prepared.
I can’t pass up a cold soup, and this one was first rate–spicy, tangy and rich.
Gail raved about this salad and insisted that both Kate and Brad try it. The dressing is excellent, and we realized that buttermilk is non-fat so it isn’t even very bad for your caloric consumption.
Here’s my dinner–lamb shank, rice porridge, carrots. Every part of the dish worked. The lamb was just right, the carrots were neither too soft nor too woody, the rice was an interesting take on risotto.
There is nothing at the Colonel like this–buttermilk fried chicken with a maple-porcini glaze. Gail isn’t much of a chicken eater, but this was surely worth the exception.
The slaw was made with no mayo, and had a very spicy, Asian taste. I thought it was a cross between cole slaw and a green papaya salad, and Gail, Kate and Brad polished it off in short order–it was a trifle too spicy for me, but I’m a sissy about these things.
There was a fantastic looking butterscotch blondie on the dessert menu, but Kate is avoiding sugar and I couldn’t sit there and eat it in front of her. Not to worry, it’ll be there the next time, and there most certainly will be a next time–Lalime’s is just a wonderful place to have dinner.