Celebrate Dads & Grads at These East Bay Restaurants

Linguine Bella Napoli served at Locanda Positano in Lafayette, California. Photo: Locanda Positano

Whether you’re celebrating dad, a recent grad, or maybe both this month, here are a few new spots to enjoy lunch or dinner with the family.

Locanda Positano 

LAFAYETTE – Lafayette residents no longer need to make the trek down 680 for authentic Amalfi Coast cuisine and the exceptional service that goes hand-in-hand with it. Owner Enzo Rosano is a transplant from a town near Naples, Italy. He has opened a sister restaurant to his Locanda Ravello in Danville, this one called Locanda Positano.

If you have a hankering for pasta, try the strozzapreti, an ancient variety with great tales about its origin that you can find online. Porcini mushrooms, Italian sausage and fresh peas tossed in a light cream sauce gave this dish excellent flavor.

Pizzas have thin crusts and follow the “less is more” rule when it comes to toppings. They are perfect to share.

Don’t forget to ask about the daily specials. They are usually family recipes that are to die for.

Entrées start at $18. Full bar. Open Tuesday–Sunday, 11am-10pm. 1005 Brown Ave., Lafayette. Locanda-Positano.com

Photo: Andaman Thai/Yelp

Andaman Thai 

SAN RAMON – One of my favorite things about Thai cuisine is that most chefs have a commitment to creating artful food displays. In San Ramon’s Andaman Thai’s case, their pineapple fried rice presented in a hollowed out pineapple lends itself to producing a dining experience that you’ll want to repeat again and again.

If you’re the sharing kind, start with an appetizer. An order of crispy stuffed lady fingers pairs perfectly with a glass of wine.

Two entrées are generally plenty unless you want lots of leftovers. I loved the tender beef pra ram. It’s served on a bed of spinach and topped with peanut sauce. If you like spicy, try the pad prik pao with green beans and red chili garlic sauce. As with most entrées, choose from chicken, beef, pork or vegetarian.

Entrées start at $9.95. Beer and wine only. Open Monday-Saturday for lunch and daily for dinner. 400 Market Place, San Ramon. AndamanKitchen.com

Photo: Mary M./Yelp

Sri Vasantha Bhavan 

DUBLIN – With a menu filled with dosas, uthappams, biryanis and more, Dublin’s Sri Vasantha Bhavan is a haven for vegetarians craving authentic Southern Indian food. If you’re like me and not well versed in the cuisine, don’t hesitate to ask your server for suggestions so you have the best possible dining experience.

Wanting to sample a few specialties, I decided on a thali, a platter laden with an assortment of comfort food favorites, including a mini masala dosa with a savory potato filling and an aromatic porridge-like dish. Vada (which looks like a donut but isn’t sweet like you’d expect), a soft, fluffy rice cake, a spicy rice dish, and a dessert completed the platter.

My dessert, a cardamom-spiced kheer, instantly brought forth memories of my grandmother’s rice pudding.

Combos start at $9.49. No alcohol. Open Wednesday-Monday for lunch & dinner. 7150 Village Parkway, Dublin. SriVasanthaBhavan.com

Photo: Roopa V./Yelp

Cinco TacoBar 

LIVERMORE – It doesn’t have to be Tuesday to enjoy a meal at Livermore’s Cinco TacoBar. A modern take on the Mexican taqueria, Cinco TacoBar may have a limited menu, but since you select from a host of toppings, possibilities are endless.

I enjoyed a steak taco with corn salsa and a veggie one loaded with zucchini, onions and peppers. Tacos start with a homemade corn tortilla that was thicker than what I’m accustomed to but was quite flavorful. It did an exceptional job holding up under my topping selections.

For something different, try the waffle cut fries served nacho-style with meat, sour cream, guacamole and cheese.

Tacos are $3.95 each. Full bar. Open daily from 11am. 4526 Las Positas Road, Livermore. CincoTacoBar.com

Janet Fazio writes ‘Tastes of Your Town’, a monthly feature on East Bay dining in the print editions of Your Town Monthly. A version of this article was originally published in June 2018 editions.

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