Arabica Restaurant, as described here on Yelp, is a good traditional and innovative Mediterranean restaurant in downtown Berkeley. With several movie houses close by, Arabica Restaurant is a good choice for pre- or post-movie dining.
My friend, Linda, and I are taking a class at Dharma College, more on that later. So, after our class ends at 11:30am, we have to scurry to a lunch spot before the students at Cal and Berkeley High School get out of their classes. Because we are in downtown Berkeley, there are lots of choices, however. Near where we park near Shattuck on Kittridge is Arabica Restaurant, and we liked the feel. Since we were late getting out of class, we wanted to find somewhere not quite so busy.
Linda’s Salmon Salad, the feature image, had a nice Mediterranean herb crust and was laid onto a bed of nicely dressed romaine with crisp potatoes, sliced cherry tomatoes and crisp green beans along with parsley leaves that added loads to the flavor.
I had the chicken kabob salad which was clearly Mediterranean, but the way classic ingredients were used, combined with some innovation, made for a great salad. Large spinach lettuce leaves were dressed in a delicious cherry vinaigrette and accompanied by the chicken kabob chunks, nice slices of strawberries, blue cheese and candied pecans. What a delightful combination.
Lovely house-baked pitas were served hot with olive oil and a clearly Mediterranean spice mixture.
I really liked Arabica Restaurant. Although not a destination, if you’re in the area, you can’t go wrong.
Arabica Restaurant Wrap-Up
- Innovative use of Mediterranean ingredients
- Reasonably priced
- Waiter didn't know menu
- Chicken can be dry