Berkeley & Chez PanisseMonday, 12 December 2011
I think you'd all have a place or two (or more) where you really wish you can visit one day in your lifetime. I too have some. In this holiday, I actually made it to the 3 places of my dreams, I feel so fortunate. Chez Panisse was one of them. I had been dreaming of going there for quite some time, I knew it was somewhere in California but didn't know where exactly it is and when it turned out that most flights going to Mexico from Japan goes via west coast of the US, it came to my mind the possibility of stopping over somewhere in California to go visit my dream restaurant. When I found out that it is in Berkeley, that it is near San Francisco, and that there are available flights that goes via San Francisco, my heart went wild. I.am.going.to.chez.panisse - somewhere that felt so so far away that it seemed like it will never happen but only in my dreams. I can not explain the excitement I felt, but soon we decided to stay in Berkeley within a walking distance from this dream place so that we can fully enjoy being there and that is how we ended up staying in Berkeley and not seeing enough of San Francisco.
Berkeley is only about 20 minutes or so from San Francisco on the subway, which I felt a little nervous at first but soon got used to and found very convenient. We probably could still stay in San Francisco and travel to and from Chez Panisse, but I'm glad we stayed in Berkeley. It's a charming little town, everything seemed to move slowly there which I enjoyed. And the dream restaurant? It.was.marvelous! I just loved the food, wine, the service, atmosphere..., everything. We ended up going there twice while we were in Berkeley (which was only for 3 nights), but still couldn't get enough of it! I would go back to Berkeley just for this place, seriously! It is the kind of place that we would never find in Tokyo, no matter how hard anyone tries to make the similar place. It can only happen there, it is just perfect. So perfect.