Savor Spring at These 4 New East Bay Restaurants

The slow-braised short rib at Social Bird in Lafayette. Photo: Janet Fazio

As we get ready to say “so long” to winter, here are a few new spots that will get you in the mood for spring. This month we visited Social Bird in Lafayette, Kabila in San Ramon, Brava Garden Eatery in Pleasanton and Elevation LVK in Livermore.

Social Bird

LAFAYETTE – The creation of Esin and Curtis deCarion of Danville’s Esin and Revel fame, Social Bird, has taken flight, wowing Lafayette residents.

The fried chicken and buttermilk biscuit sliders are every bit as good as they sound and my table couldn’t pass them up. They top the crispy chicken breast with cheddar cheese, red pepper jelly and garlic aoili. An ample serving of house-made potato chips completed the dish.

Keeping with the comfort food theme, we moved on to the slow-braised short rib. The tender beef was presented on a bed of creamy polenta and topped with mushroom ragout. A roasted beet salad rounded out our meal.

Be sure to save room for dessert. We indulged in a lemon meringue tart that was just as tasty as it was beautiful.

Entrées start at $14.75. Full bar. Open daily from 11:30am.

Social Bird is located at 3593 Mt. Diablo Blvd. in Lafayette. |

Photo: Kabila/Yelp


SAN RAMON – Interested to see what the new owners did with the former Uncle Yu’s space, my date and I headed over to San Ramon’s Kabila to check it out. Chic and sporting a fresh color palette, the back wall houses an enormous buffet at lunch while formal table settings will greet you at dinner. 

We started with veggie pakora dumplings stuffed with potato and onion. Unlike other pakora dishes I’ve enjoyed, these were simmered in buttermilk gravy, giving them a new (to me) twist. 

While the chicken tikka masala and the prawn curry had excellent flavor, our hands-down favorite of the evening had to be the butter chicken filled with tender chunks of meat in a velvety sauce. It was so tasty we ordered another plate of garlic naan for dipping.

Entrées start at $12. Liquor license pending. Open daily 11am – 3pm and 5 – close.

Find Kabila at 2005 Crow Canyon Place, Ste. 160, in San Ramon. | 925.415.3223

Photo: Brava Garden Eatery/Facebook

Brava Garden Eatery

PLEASANTON – Kudos to Brava Garden Eatery for creating a fresh new dining experience in downtown Pleasanton. The cozy restaurant has a modern look with a menu featuring traditional Italian recipes alongside some of the owner’s Argentinian favorites. 

On a recent visit, my date and I created a delicious three-course meal from the menu, starting with an order of bruschetta. For our next portion, we split a plate of homemade fettuccine tossed in “grandma’s” ossobuco tomato sauce. The ossobuco was rich and flavorful, but not enough to overwhelm the delicate pasta. For our main course, we shared the pork bondiola. The fork-tender pork was served with generous dollops of whipped sweet potatoes. 

Entrées start at $18.95. Beer and wine only. Open for dinner Wednesday – Monday, 5pm to close with brunch served Saturday and Sunday, 11am – 2pm.

Brava Garden Eatery is located at 724 Main Street in downtown Pleasanton. |

The signature paella filled with flavorful chicken, shrimp, scallops and mussels served at Elevation LVK in Livermore. Photo: Janet Fazio

Elevation LVK

LIVERMORE – A first for me, I went to an airport not to board a flight, but for the sole purpose of having dinner. New to Livermore’s dining scene, you can find Elevation LVK at the Livermore Municipal Airport. As a side note, LVK in its name pays homage to the airport’s location identifier code.

During their soft opening, my date and I savored selections from the dinner menu. I opted for the signature paella filled with flavorful chicken, shrimp, scallops and mussels served in a skillet. My date decided on pistachio encrusted salmon accompanied by roasted potatoes and vegetables. Both were delicious!

Entrées start at $16. Full bar. Monday – Friday 11am – 9pm, Saturday – Sunday 7am – 9pm.

Find Elevation LVK at 682 Terminal Circle, Livermore. |

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 March 2020 East Bay editions.

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