The cooks at Red Pepper Pizza stretch crusts up to 18 inches to allow for a plethora of toppings, whether they come from the predesigned plan for a specialty pie or the whims of customers. The signature creations include the Rockridgian, which is like a margherita pizza beefed up with roasted red peppers, fresh garlic, and ricotta cheese, and the Kitchen Sink, which is loaded with nearly every topping available?from salami, sausage, and canadian bacon to mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, and black olives. Diners, in turn, can choose from that same roster of ingredients to personalize their own pizzas or stuff inside calzones and stromboli. The eatery also serves classic Italian pasta dishes, such as platefuls of spaghetti and meatballs hand-rolled by the same people who hand-roll baseballs for the MLB.
After sharing the basketball court with Wilt Chamberlain and Guy Rodgers while playing for the San Francisco Warriors, Al Attles became the head coach in the 1970s—one of the first African American coaches in the NBA—leading the team to a 1975 championship. His current endeavor, which he began in 1995, pleases crowds in a different way with Al Attles' California Cheese Steaks, crafted in an authentic Philly style similar to those from his native East Coast. Inside the restaurant, sports memorabilia adorns the walls and the menu with items named after athletes including the Mully sandwich, named after Chris Mullin, and the Destroyer burger, christened with Al’s own nickname. Cooks grill the chopped steak with sliced cheese, in addition to crafting more health-conscious fare such brown rice bowls packed with vegetables, grilled Alaskan salmon, and miniature food pyramids
Chef Clive opened Sweet Fingers as an homage to his grandmother, Aunt Lu, who taught him about food, hospitality, and perseverance. He spent his early years in Jamaica learning recipes and life lessons in her kitchen after she took over her husband's fruit-selling business following his death. Building on that robust culinary education and inspired start, Clive moved to New York City at age 18 and went on to graduate from culinary school.
Eventually he worked his way up to the role of supervising chef during a 10-year career at the Marriott hotel. But his career’s turning point came in 2003, when he relocated to California and met the woman who would become his wife. That’s when the pair founded Sweet Fingers, giving locals a bar and eatery that now shines a light on Aunt Lu's recipes and the love she taught Clive to cook with.
By all accounts, Chef Clive has done his grandmother proud. Matthew Stafford of the East Bay Express praised the "juicy" jerk chicken and "creamy" fried plantains, adding that "the escovitch-style snapper, curry goat, brown stew chicken, and braised oxtail are uniformly rich, spiky, and tantalizing." Inside, the yellow and royal blue walls boast Jamaican flags and pictures of the island, and the bar serves a large assortment of cocktailsthat are no less colorful. Patrons also flock to the cozy spot for entertainment that includes live reggae, as well as open-mic nights filled with poetry and music, which often consists of impromptu compositions about intense feelings for the food.
It isn't uncommon for Daimo Chinese Restaurant's head chef, Kwong Soon Lee, to pop into the dining room for a friendly chat with guests. Otherwise, the chef?who began his career decades ago cooking in a restaurant in China?spends hours in the kitchen perfecting both familiar and more unusual dishes.?
He creates classic dishes including sweet and sour pork, braised spareribs covered in plum sauce, and bok choy dressed in garlic sauce, as well as regular-favorites lobster and peking duck. Some of his more eclectic options include jelly fish coated in sesame seeds and stewed pig's feet. He also crafts various congees, rice porridges that are as comforting to the soul as a picture of a baby and puppy snuggling.
Kai Bistro's spacious, earth-toned interior invites guests to enjoy plates full of Chinese food. The expansive menu includes curries, fried rice, mu shu, and pan-fried noodles with various proteins, including tofu, shrimp, and beef. Additionally, the chefs whip up 14 specialty dishes, from fresh fruit stir-fried with prawns to a Szechuan-style dish so spicy it requires the supervision of local firemen.
Good for a hearty breakfast, a lunchtime pick-me-up, or a sandwich just because it's sandwich time, Joan's Bakery Coffeehouse & Deli offers culinary staples of both the chewable and drinkable variety. Early visitors can feast on fresh fruit bowls, ham and cheese croissants, and espresso, or they can skip past the breakfast-appropriate foods and head straight for the brownies and popular swiss mocha rolls. For later meals, deli staples, such as club sandwiches and turkey wraps, compete for attention with more unexpected offerings, like the smoked ham house muffuletta, the chicken shawarma wrap, and the rib-eye blue cheese sandwich. Regardless of the time of day, patrons can phone ahead for one of the bakery's biggest treats. Both the strawberry cheesecake and the tiramisu cake take a full three hours to prep, but toting home the indulgent full-size desserts might just be worth the wait.