Livermore Valley, CA: Try This

Oh, the places you’ll go if you’re into ethnic cuisine and find yourself in the Livermore Valley! Who would have thought that you could travel the world without leaving the east bay area?

Published: 6/28/2017

DAY 1

Sichuan Province

You don’t have to go to southwestern China to savor the pungent aromas of genuine Sichuan cuisine. Start your international tour of the palate at Pleasanton’s China Lounge Restaurant & Bar and lose yourself in the authentic and exotic Sichuan dishes prepared in an open kitchen under the direction of a master chef who hails from Sichuan. The menu features a stunning lineup of traditional fare along with the less typical and intricate, like Chengdu diced rabbit, fried bites of grass fed rabbit, lightly fried with dried chiles and Sichuan peppercorns. Besides fabulous food, China Lounge has a full bar, draft beer, an extensive wine program, and a bar food menu available until midnight.

DAY 2

Afghanistan

The fruity, earthy, spicy flavors of the Afghan table greet you at your next stop. You may doubt your GPS for a moment when you pull up to a busy strip mall in Dublin, but you’re about to discover some excellent cuisine. Pamir Restaurant was founded by a local Afghan family who wanted to share their family recipes that had been passed from generation to generation. Local favorites include the tender lamb shank and quabli palow, the national dish of Afghanistan, which is a heady mélange of carrots and raisins that goes well with everything else on the menu.

DAY 3

Korea

Thought to be one of the world’s healthiest with an emphasis on vegetables and simply prepared meats, Korean food has earned due respect in the Livermore Valley. Jee-Oh Chung, chef and owner of GAN Restaurant in Pleasanton showcases local, seasonal, and sustainable ingredients, preparing dishes that include house-made pickles, preserves, and other flavorful bases. One favorite dish is Wedding Cheeks, tender beef that has been braised for four hours. Kimchee appears in many fabulous forms from fried in the form of a croquette, to a tasty sauce drizzled over duck breast and noodles.

DAY 4

India

The cuisine of India encompasses a wide variety of spices, herbs, and other ingredients. They’re all ready to be discovered right here. Pleasanton’s Blue Fox presents an impressive array of the best dishes from both North and South India. One of the restaurant’s most ordered dishes is the chicken tikka masala, tender chunks of chicken bathed in a succulent tomato cream sauce. Gongura Mutton, a spicy goat dish, vegetable biryani, and lamb curry are other favorites. If you still have room, try the Gulab Jamun, golden brown cheese balls in sugar syrup, for dessert.

DAY 5

Singapore/Malaysia

Here is where everything gets blurry. The cuisines of Singapore and Malaysia are as ethnically diverse as their people. In Pleasanton, A Taste of Sing Ma (Singapore and Malaysia) delivers it all. The menu presents many tantalizing dishes that cross borders in a most delicious way. The traditional Roti Prata, a flaky bread with curry dipping sauce, is a great way to start the adventure. Another traditional Malaysian dish is Rendang Beef, a sumptuous stew of meat slowly simmered in coconut milk and spices. It’s a favorite across Malaysia, and now in Livermore Valley, too.

DAY 6

Mediterranean

Fresh baked pita bread is the signature item at Gotta Eatta Pita, a dynamic eatery with five locations including Danville and Pleasanton. The menu is built around pitas and bowls. Guests choose one and go from there. Opt for All Natural Chicken Shawarma, a vegetarian Falafel, or half of both. For the Mediterranean Platter, guests choose a protein and add six tempting accompaniments—which isn’t always easy because choices include tabbouleh, couscous, marinated eggplant, shredded purple cabbage, hummus, and more. Room for dessert? The baklava is flaky with the right amount of nuts and honey.

DAY 7

Mexico

Boasting bold and innovative Southwestern cuisine, Livermore’s Posada Restaurant can’t deny its Mexican roots with exquisite tapas featuring Queso Rajas and succulent entrees such as enchiladas verde, braised lamb flautas, and pineapple tamales. But it is bold— with goat cheese appetizers and spices for a “build-your-own-crostini,” and it is innovative— with braised short ribs cradled in blackberry mole. Oh, what can we say? Eat, eat, eat, and then order the churros and Mexican hot chocolate for dessert.


As seen in the issue Summer/Fall 2017 of Touring & Tasting Magazine.