2142 Center St, Berkeley
Very authentic but mediocre quality. Seems like a poor attempt at recreating the fly restaurant experience but without the cheap prices. If your looking for authentic hunan cai definitely eat here just don't expect it to be that good
Very nice staff, looks like a comfortable dining room, although I picked up take-out. Lots of very spicy hot dishes, one I got was good, but too hot for me to eat. :( The fried rice was the best! I hesitate to call it buttery, but that's what I was thinking. Also, the portions are huge. This one is now on my list.
Pros: Group was seated quickly, despite the restaurant being packed. Delicious cuisine was served promptly. Cons: Over-priced.
I've heard a lot about Easterly so I figured it was finally to try this place out! Maybe I went in with too high of expectations, but I felt that the food was just alright. My friend and I ordered the Poached Fish in Sour Soup, Orange Chicken, and Garlic Stir fried Chinese Cabbage. The chicken and cabbage were pretty good, but the soup with the poached fish was WAY spicier than I expected and there were some flavors that were a bit off-putting at first. However, the fish itself was flavorful and delicious especially with the bean sprouts. The portion sizes were no joke--truly family style!
I've come here a few times, and it's probably one of my favorite Chinese restaurants in the immediate Berkeley area :). Unfortunately, I have a pretty low spice tolerance, so I haven't tried many of their spicier options, but what I've gotten I like! It's kinda pricey, but I don't mind paying because the food is solid (though kinda heavy) and it feels a little bit classier than other places. Mao's braised pork: pretty solid! The meat is pretty tender, and they cut in really huge chunks so you can really see the layers of fat (there's a lot of it). This is super rich and filling, but tasty. Steamed shrimp: pretty good, but the way they cut the shrimp with the shell makes it hard to eat :(. That aside, the noodles are actually super tasty because they're soaked in the seasoning, so I wish they gave more of it. Shrimp is a bit overcooked? I think, but taste pretty fresh. Presentation is really pretty （*´｀*）. Sticky rice: this is my favorite thing here! And I crave it pretty regularly! The sticky rice is well cooked, and underneath it, they give a good amount of yummy, tender ribs: the sauce also soaks into the rice above, so it's flavorful. Corn is nice too! Honestly, I would just get this because I really like sticky rice and I really like meat, so this is everything for me. Deceptively filling. Eggplant: there's so much garlic omg. Pretty pungent and oily, but the flavor is no joke. It comes very pretty with the eggplant underneath :). There's not that much eggplant in my opinion, but it's overloaded with the toppings, making it super flavorful. This is so good when you start eating, but for me, after some bites, it gets overwhelming and too much for me (I'm weak). I don't think we've ever finished this because of how heavy it is, but definitely delicious though -- would get ti with more people. Stinky tofu: I'm weak with spicy, and they put a lot of chilis on top that made me cry :(. Also, I haven't really tried stinky tofu, but my friend said it wasn't too stinky: she liked it though. Also got the dessert with the balls soaked in syrup? It was definitely better than we expected: despite being saturated with syrup, the dough actually wasn't too sweet, and they were nice and soft and chewy. It came slightly warm, which was a plus. All in all, the food's tasty and a bit more upscale, and I've come a few times in the span of like 2 months haha. Would recommend, especially for a gathering where you can split more dishes :).
Found a bug mini fruit fly in my orange chicken hence why I'm giving them a 1 star because they made a big deal about it and they didn't want to bring me out a new one. But in the end they did. This restaurant is right next to UCB which makes it a popular spot amongst students. Most of the food here could use more seasonings. They should make the general tso chicken less sweet. Overall the workers here are kinda complicated to deal with I wont be returning.
I've eaten here and had too-go food several times but most times the food was gone too fast to take pictures of. Love their glutinous rice with pork ribs and corn and because my most recent visit wAs without the kids, my friend and I went all out with the spicies. We had a fish tofu seaweed stew (spicy) and a beef stirfry (also spicy). Both were delicious, not too salty and even worth packing up to bring home. So good, you should definitely come if you like good food. Not cheap though. Fish stew serving two was $30 but we got it as a special and cost just about $18.
TL;DR: A solid choice for authentic spicy Hunan dishes in Berkeley. Maybe a bit too spicy...? Thoughts: I would say the food is in general tasty, although most of the dishes my friends and I ordered are a bit too spicy for me, perhaps because I am more used to Cantonese cuisine. I also found that the flavor is a bit monotone; the dishes taste (kind of) similar to each other. Maybe my tongue is not well cultured enough to decipher the flavor of a dish that is too spicy. For me this place is 3 stars (I don't see myself coming here often), but I think if you enjoy spicy food this place is certainly 4 or even 5 stars. This is why I end up giving this place 4 stars. Tips: 1. You order through a tablet. 2. If you are not used to this level of spiciness, be prepared for some bathroom trips. 3. You may want to order rice to balance out the strong flavor of the dishes.
Great food. Don't expect great service.
I really wanted to promote this restaurant since it's one of the authentic Chinese Hunan restaurants near Berkeley with good location. But overall I would say it's a mixed experience. The waiter was very nice to hand us the iPad menu with pictures and prices as soon as we arrived at 8:30 pm on a week day. Food was ready super fast: Mao's Pork belly: nice presentation but the portion was on the small side. Taste good and authentic, but nothing special. 3.5 stars Garlic pea sprouts: stringy and old, but the flavor was good. 3 stars Beef soup: there were three noodles options on the menu but we were told we could only choose the expensive handmade one, the other ones were sold out. When they brought the bowl to our table, I asked why the noodles didn't look like handmade. I was told they were bought from outside vendors. I can definitely see it is fresh noodles but not handmade. Also, it's not flavorful- it's spicy but that's it. I realized I liked Sichuan cuisine better than Hunan food because Sichuan's spicy is more flavorful and delicious with different seasonings, more than just spicy. 2 stars Service: no service during the meal, nobody came to check on water, whether the food was good, or whether we needed anything else. Additional information: Credit card is accepted. Parking: I heard they have parking in the back, but couldn't find it. Center street where the restaurant is located is under construction as of - avoid this street.
Very tasty, and quiet different experience compared to franchise Chinese restaurants.
based on the plastic bag I received from my UberEats delivery - this restaurant is supporting Mark Zuckerberg being ab*sive.. Also I passed by several times, as soon as I walked by, they had someone delivering napkin - their #food is not bad - but the servers R probably more in2 #drama than their #jobs.. it is pretty common w/ LESS educated ppl..
I celebrated my birthday earlier this evening in this delicious restaurant. Well we had a terrific evening and the venue was undoubtedly one of the reasons for that successful celebration. The waiters contributed in a pleasant manner, the food was very good and my guests were extremely happy. We shall no dout visit again for more joyful events. Thank you very much.
I have been trying to avoid eating at a chinese restaurant due to them known to be unsanitary, today i decided to give it another chance. This place made me to bow not to ever eat at a chinese restaurant ever again. Never have i once seen any of the staff wash hands worst one of the server's nose was bleeding and hes trying to stop the blood from spurting out where all the utensils and plates are, never washed and and he went straight back to serving. If i could give this store to "close it now rating" i would! Never again. Want proof? Got video of it just ask
Probably the most authentic Asian place for dinner to go to in Berkeley. The inclusion of an iPad to order makes the process a lot simpler and reduces ordering issues from people writing down orders. Food has really good flavors all around with options for spicy and not spicy. Been back twice in 2 weeks. Definitely will go again in the future.
2142 Center St, Berkeley, CA 94704