Western Pacific - Berkeley

Opened November 1 in the old Pasand space that has been closed for how many years? except for the short time it was Build, the prototype for an ill-conceived pizza chain. This was originally going to be a Berkeley branch of Boot & Shoe, but Charlie Hallowell sold that name to his former employees who took over the original as part of his attempts to atone for his sins. It’s pretty much like a big, spacious, less noisy Boot & Shoe with a few Penrose-ish menu touches.

Chicken liver toast with quince saba and sea salt ($9): Sweet, sour, salty, creamy, not really livery at all. I said to the person next to me at the bar who had also ordered one, “Doesn’t that taste like peanut butter and jelly?” and the bartender said, “That’s what we call it.” Really good.

Puntarelle etc. ($14): lots of citrus and anchovy, like they do it in Rome. Excellent for the season.

Housemade sausage, hot pepper, & panna ($21): very tasty, one of the few pizzas I’ve ever been served that was spicy enough that I didn’t want to add any pepper flakes. Slightly crisp at the edges, a little chewy, like Pizzaiolo. Great reheated in a pan for lunch, the bottom crisped up a bit.

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Housemade bread was good, old-school white loaf with chewy crust.

Hazelnuts were a great touch, really made the dish.

Nice oeuf mayonnaise. I presume this is the same egg as on the breakfast menu.

Great meatballs, very juicy.

Lovely chicories. Overdressed, still good but In the future I think I’ll ask if we can get the dressing on the side.

Buffalo milk soft-serve with olive oil and salt.

Almond cardamom blood-orange upside-down cake. Lovely.

I guess breakfast is 8am - 2pm?

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