best choices for Berkeley Restaurant Week? (Jan 21-31, 2016)

any good bets among the restaurants participating in Berkeley Restaurant week? (Thurs Jan 21 - Sun Jan 31, 2016)
I’m going to be up in Berkeley this Wed.

They are offering a prix-fixe menu ($25-35 for dinners) during that time, the menus are available on the website:

Has anyone been to Tigerlily? sounded interesting (Indian-influenced California), but they are one of the few that has no pop-up prix-fixe menu on the website.

The 23 participating restaurants:

44 Restaurant, Bar & Lounge
AKEMI Japanese Cuisine
Bay Grille
Bistro Liaison
Easy Creole
His Lordship’s Restaurant
Julia’s at Berkeley City Club
Longbranch Saloon
Mission Heirloom
Nico’s Hideaway
Pathos Organic Greek Kitchen
Revival Bar + Kitchen
Riva Cucina
Rivoli Restaurant
Skates On The Bay
Spenger’s Fresh Fish Grotto
The Advocate
Tigerlily Berkeley
Zatar Restaurant

Tigerlily is in my rotation of local places to eat - great cocktail program and the food is inspired. If you don’t get down to Berkeley often, I’d say go for it. They used to have a prix-fixe meals every week (Sunday? I haven’t checked the website to see if this is still the case), so if that is still the case and Berkeley isn’t an unusual destination for you, then perhaps try somewhere else.

I ate at Julia’s last year, and it was an unexpectedly good meal (California cuisine, friendly service, pretty plating) in a beautiful building. I had fork-tender short ribs there, but the menu is seasonal so what I ate and what’s on the menu has changed. Other places I like on that list are Comal, Longbranch, and Revival. I’ve had good meals at FIVE, Riva Cucina, Rivoli, and Zatar, but I haven’t been to those places recently so I can’t say if they’re still as good as I remember. I’ve also heard great things about The Advocate.

A review of Julia’s here:

Spenger’s is now owned by McCormick and Schmick’s.

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thanks to wildtomato and sck for replies!

The previous chef at Julia’s (Alan Grimaud) is now back, see reply in that thread.

Although no menu for Tigerlily (one year old this January) in their visitberkeley entry, I found out by phone. They no longer do Sunday prix-fixe. Menu also described in the visitberkeley video of four featured restaurants (with Mission Heirloom, Pathos, Longbranch) - here is the direct youtube link, starts at 3:20

Tigerlily restaurant week menu (dinner, $35):

  • Roasted Avocado and Beet Salad
  • Stuffed Piquillo Peppers with Quinoa and Sunchoke Puree
    or Tikka Masala Fried Chicken with Butermilk Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Cauliflower Caponata, Fried Sage
  • Chocolate Almond Layer Cake: with Almond Sponge Cake, Chocolate Ganache, Espresso Custard, and Whipped Cream

That tikka masala fried chicken is one of my indulgences! You can ask for it spicy, too, and they’ll deliver. Else, it’s a 5/10 as far as heat goes. For brunch, they pair the tikka masala fried chicken with waffles.

I love their vegetarian dishes, too. They had a fried baby potato curry dish one evening that I still think about, and some of their salads are interesting and hearty enough to have as a main course.

I tried it for the first time based on your recommendation and everything was delicious. The portion of chicken was very large, especially after the large appetizer salad, so I took a piece of chicken home. I added it to an Asian style salad the next day for lunch and it was still fantastic. I’m looking forward to trying more of their dishes, the flavors are unique, in a good way. Thank you for telling us about it!

You’re most welcome! I’m actually returning the favor since I made a trip to Guilin Rice Noodle based on your recommendation.

I can never finish Tigerlily’s friend chicken, either, and I always bring a container to take the rest home.

Now, I’m craving their kabocha squash and green garlic fry bread, Tigerlily’s twist on a bhatura. I’ll have to go back soon.

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