The Alameda Sun named Mona's Table the 2007 Fearless Fork Award winner for it's warm eggplant sandwich, panini, bread pudding, beef stew, vanilla-brined pork-loin sandwich, and green-goddess dressing. The East Bay Express also reviewed the restaurant and Yelpers give it a four-star average.
Boats slowly glide across the blue water of the Oakland-Alameda Estuary, their white sails puffing and billowing in the gentle breeze. Some dock in guest berths reserved for guests of Pasta Pelican. With its windows overlooking the water, this restaurant provides the perfect location for gazing at the passing vessels or shouting at the seagulls for refusing to wax your boat.
Inside, glowing embers flicker from the dining room's stone hearth, lighting the dark wood tables where guests savor classic appetizers or soups, such as the clam chowder. Pastas dressed in rich sauces or tender cuts of veal, chicken, and seafood make up the main course. Each Friday night, live musical performances draw crowds to the dance floor in Pasta Pelican's lounge as bartenders pour glasses from the extensive wine list.
Shawn Shay grew up on the East Coast, feasting upon that region’s sandwiches, which rely heavily on meatballs, steak, and other meats. His future wife, Wendy, was enjoying California-style sandwiches, sprinkled with emerald fistfuls of veggies. In Shay’s Café, the two now combine their culinary passions beneath the eatery’s blue and gold walls, which glow in the natural light from floor-to-ceiling front windows. The light pierces the steam that rises from soups wrought from adventurous ingredients such as kaffir lime leaves, leeks, and fresh asparagus. The menu divides signature sandwiches by coast, with Eastern favorites including philly cheese and Western options laden with pesto, brie, and grilled salmon. Glasses of beer and wine form toasts, plinking occasionally like a xylophone player with only one mallet.
Notes of roasted garlic, pesto, and feta intertwine with fresh pastas, seafood, and veal, launching aromatic dispatches from Zeytini's kitchen. Beneath the steam floating off simmering wine sauces, Mediterranean influences slip onto plates to introduce hummus, meat kebabs, or grilled fezzes. The dining room’s red and gold draperies cinch together against canary-hued walls, and paintings of the Italian countryside preen beneath arched wooden frames. Warm breezes tug at diners lounging beneath periwinkle umbrellas on the outdoor patio, and a clay-tile awning hangs over guests perched at the bar and protects them from Bacchus' efforts to rappel into drinks.
At India Palace, ambrosial Indian aromas waft between turquoise curtains of beads and colorful landscape pictures splashed across the walls. Lunching pairs dig serving spoons into the buffet, arranging steamy fare onto plates alongside towers of soft naan. Between sips of chai teas or creamy mango lassis, chums catch up and fuel high-stakes thumb wars with dishes that range from curry chicken to palak paneer. Garlic naan works double duty as a sauce sponge when diners clear their plates of chicken tikka masala. Dollops of soft-serve ice cream close lunch curtains and cleanse palates with sweetness.
Mariner Square Athletic Club's cheery color scheme and 50,000+ square feet of floor space lend an airy, upbeat vibe to every fitness session. Geared-up guests can traverse the short-circuit resistance-training room's line of machines or take to the floor to hoist free weights and crank cardio machines using upper-body, lower-body, or vestigial-tail muscles. Floor-to-ceiling windows brighten the six-lane indoor pool, heated to comfort swimmers and deter ice monsters from skinny-dipping. The gym's amenities also include racquetball, a sauna and whirlpool, locker rooms, free parking, and childcare services (extra fee, not included in the value of this Groupon).