Friday, December 10, 2004

Charmed by O Chame

Last week I was at Cody's to listen to Kermit Lynch read from his new book Inspiring Thirst. The book is a collection of essays from Lynch's wine brochures. His readings were delightful, as was the wine that he served from his own winery in France. Being so focused on food in the Bay Area I asked him, in the question and answer period following his reading, where he likes to eat in the Bay Area, perhaps places where the wine lists were exciting and interesting for him. Of all the questions of the day, this one stumped him the most. "Uh, Chez Panisse", he responded, "And um...", he hesitated, "Well Chez Panisse. That's it really. They treat us well there." The crowd was silent, waiting for more. "And well, O Chame is good."

So off we went one night this week when both of us had to be in Berkeley. O Chame is a cozy Japanese restaurant with a one page simple menu that I would liken to Japanese comfort food. We started with the seared tuna sashimi with braised leeks and horseradish, followed by 2 big steaming bowls of udon. I had the grilled rock cod with mustard greens and Nino had the roasted oyster and wakame seaweed udon. Everything was incredibly fresh and tasty.

Chez Panisse it is not, but O Chame rightly deserves its spot on the Chronicle's Top100 list.