I grew up in the South Bay so venturing outside of the city and exploring the East Bay is still fairly new territory for me so when I was invited to join FIVE restaurant in Berkeley for brunch, I was excited not only to have a chance to try their menu but to also to check out an area I am less familiar with.
Jason and I hopped on Bart and headed on over to Downtown Berkeley. There was a bit of calm before the storm as they are about to start their fall semester over there so there was a vague essence of that new year excitement but still that happy undertone of summer. We looked around and headed into FIVE which was gorgeous. It is attached to a hotel and the décor is stunning, clean, and has a vintage feel with it with a beautiful bar to the ceiling, exquisite chandeliers and intricate tiling and ceiling details. It almost reminded me of some of the brunch spots I have been to in Austin or New Orleans. There was a lot of character there.
This was the first thing that stuck out at me, the second was the friendly faces that greeted us and took care of us the rest of the afternoon. The chef, hostesses and waiter were all very nice. They were helpful, welcoming, and my bottomless mimosa stayed true to its name!
Now for the good stuff! The food was so yummy and I left feeling like I had that perfect balance of breakfast and lunch. You may remember my summer list here. Well I wanted to make a good watermelon and feta salad and I never got around to it but FIVE took care of that for me and served us a phenomenal, refreshing and yummy one that hit the spot and helped cleanse the palate before we dove in to a more rich dish. We also had another delicious salad that had a sweet and savory blend and had a healthy dab of goat cheese, which I love. We both wolfed down the salads and were excited for the entrees.
When they arrived, we were not disappointed. We had yummy shrimp tacos that were fresh, perfectly cooked and topped with a flavorful aioli (I’m all about sauces!). We also had a fried chicken goodness with a poached egg on top and let me tell you, I was in HEAVEN. It was so good and absolutely one of my favorite brunch things I’ve ever had. And I mean at any brunch, anywhere. Runny egg yolk is one of my favorite foods as is cheese so between the fried chicken and the yolk and cheesy sauce, I was in heaven.
We finished off the meal with a pistachio crème brulee that was to die for and I sipped on the rest of my mimosa which Jason drank a beer. It was the perfect amount of food and definitely an exciting brunch with all the flavors.
When venturing out to the East Bay, I would absolutely suggest FIVE. Not only was our experience and food amazing, but there were so many other things that I want to go back and try too! The breakfast burrito and blueberry pancakes for instance…
Check them out soon and mangia!