So Long, Summer: East Bay Eateries for Busy Schedules
As we say goodbye to a fun-filled summer and hello to busy fall agendas, here are some recent finds with kitchens in Walnut Creek, San Ramon, Dublin and Livermore that know how to keep your schedule on track.
WALNUT CREEK – If you like Thai, you’re in luck. Locals no longer have to make the trek to downtown Walnut Creek to enjoy a great meal. Instead, head over to Thai Thani, where you’ll find all your favorites—and maybe even discover some new ones.
I wanted to try some “new-to-me” dishes, so in lieu of spring rolls, I opted for an order of angel wings. The dish consists of boneless chicken wings stuffed with pork, water chestnuts, mushrooms and noodles. With flavors perfectly layered, these may be my new go-to appetizer.
For our main course, my date and I shared the tiger tear beef, a Northern Thailand dish featuring grilled steak and veggies. The steak was grilled to order and packed with flavor. Steak lovers should give this dish a shot.
Entrées start at $12.95. Beer, sake and wine only. Open daily 11am-9pm (10pm Friday and Saturday). 2892 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek. ThaiThaniWalnutCreek.com
SAN RAMON – For those who prefer their Mexican cuisine to be inspired, head over to San Ramon’s C Casa where dishes are filled with sustainable, seasonal, albeit somewhat unusual, ingredients.
C Casa showcases more than a dozen taco selections, including buffalo, lamb, duck, salmon, crab and sweet potato along with the more customary chicken, beef and prawns.
On a visit, I enjoyed the Dungeness crab salad, built with mixed field greens, a generous amount of sweet, real crab meat, grapefruit segments and avocado. Caesar salad with grilled prawns is also an excellent choice.
Friends and I shared a plate of nachos to go with our salads, opting for the half and half black and white beans with pico de gallo, goat cheese and chipotle aioli. They’re unlike any other nachos you’ll find—in a good way!
Tacos start at $5.50. Beer and wine only. Open Mon.–Sat. 7:30am–8:30pm and Sun. 7:30am–8:00pm. 6000 Bollinger Canyon Rd., #1207, San Ramon. MyCCasa.com
Rahma Mediterranean Grill
DUBLIN – A great spot for lunch or to pick up dinner to-go, Dublin’s Rahma Mediterranean Grill satisfies the craving for good food that won’t take a bite out of your pocketbook.
My date and I were on the hungrier side on a recent visit and devoured an order of slightly spicy fried zucchini while waiting for our meals.
I enjoyed the chicken shawarma plate filled with sliced chicken and sides of hummus and coleslaw. The hummus is plenty enough for two to share, which you may want to keep that in mind when ordering. Although the chicken had good flavor, our favorite of the evening was the beef shawarma sandwich, a pita filled with tender and flavorful shredded beef, tomatoes, red onion, and hummus then drizzled with tangy tahini sauce.
Entrées start at $8.99. Kids entrées start at $4.99. No alcohol. Open Monday-Friday from 10am and Saturday from 11am. 7108 Dublin Blvd., Dublin. RahmaGrill.com
LIVERMORE – If you’ve got chips, salsa and a plate of carnitas on your mind, set the GPS to Livermore’s Old Mexico Bar and Grill for a fix.
Happily, Old Mexico’s margaritas paired well with a basket of chips and their spicy house-made salsa on a recent visit.
After reviewing the menu, my date and I decided on Camarones a la Diabla and carnitas. The shrimp was butterflied and sautéed in a smoky, spicy chipotle sauce. It’s a simple dish but one that is filled with flavor. The carnitas, a generous serving of crispy, yet tender pork, was excellent. Both came with sides of rice and beans.
Entrées start at $13. Full bar. Open Monday-Thursday from 10am and Friday – Sunday from 8am. Tip: Dine in the bar or on the patio for better ambiance. 1848 Portola Ave, Livermore. OldMexicoBarandGrill.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 the September 2019 East Bay editions.
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