Slice House in WC, Poke Don in SR, New Thai Bistro in P-Town, and Mario’s Link’s ‘n Hops in Livermore

Slice House

Slice-house-WEBWALNUT CREEK – Slice House joins the ranks of Rooftop and Telefèric Barcelona on Mt. Diablo Blvd. in Walnut Creek. Owned by Fremont native Tony Gemignani, who has won multiple awards in Italy, the tiny eatery features pizzas by the slice, whole pies, pastas, salads and more.

Friends and I opted for the award-winning Cal Italia pizza topped with asiago, imported gorgonzola, mozzarella, sweet fig preserve, prosciutto di parma and parmigiano-reggiano. It was decorated with a balsamic reduction drizzle. If you’re so inclined, order this as an appetizer pizza to share among friends and then choose a meat or veggie pizza to share as a main course.

Slices start at $5. Pizzas start at $18. Beer and wine only. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. or 925.448.8077. 

Poke Don

Poke-Don-WEBSAN RAMON – Think Chipotle with a Hawaiian twist and you’ll know what to expect when you arrive at San Ramon’s Poke Don, the newest in the build-it-yourself meal trend.

Start with your base. Then pick your protein from a list of choices including albacore, scallops, ebi, salmon and tuna. Add a sauce and as many sides and toppings as you like.

I found all the options overwhelming, but finally decided on spicy tuna, real crab meat ($1 upgrade) on a romaine base with onions, carrots, cucumber and sweet corn mixed in spicy mayo. I topped it with ginger, avocado and seaweed salad. I suggest reviewing the options online before heading out for your first visit.

Bowls start at $8.50. No alcohol. Open daily for lunch and dinner. or 925.718.5244.

New Thai Bistro

New-Thai-Bistro-WEBPLEASANTON – Flowers weren’t the only things popping up this spring. New restaurants seemed to be opening everywhere I looked. New Thai Bistro is just one of the new arrivals in Pleasanton.

Although satays, rangoons and dumplings are on the menu, I opted for a lighter start, having the summer roll, a salad-like mix of celery, romaine, carrots and cilantro wrapped in rice paper and topped with a dollop of savory peanut sauce.

For my entree, I selected  green team, which consisted of chicken breast, bell peppers, zucchini, bamboo shoots and onions sauteed in a garlic sauce. The chicken was tender and the veggies al dente, making this dish a winner in my book.

Dishes start at $9.50. Beer and wine only. Open Monday-Friday, 11am-3pm and 5-9pm. Saturday and Sunday 12-9pm. 925.425.7333.

Mario’s Links ‘N’ Hops

Marios-links-WEBLIVERMORE – Mario, of Livermore’s Mario’s French Dips fame, is at it again, this time, with a links ‘n’ hops spot, next door to French Dips. If you’ve been craving a good dog, you need to try this place.

I had the Italian sausage Italian-style, with marinara, peppers, garlic and onions. All dogs come with fries. I upgraded mine to garlic. Or select potato salad, cole slaw, onion rings or chili cheese fries. Polish sausage, Cajun hot links, linguica, bratwurst and more are also on the menu.

Traditionalists will be in dog heaven when they order Chicago-style, with mustard, relish, tomatoes, onions, peppers and a pickle spear.

Links start at $6.25. Beer and wine only. Open daily. Call for hours. 925.292.7603.