East Bay View (a blog about several things)

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Dopo: It's Italian for "after", disappointingly

Since Pizzaiolo is perennially compared to Dopo, and I'm near-worshipful towards the former, I decided I needed to take the 51 down to Piedmont and give Dopo a shot. The area seems to be rapidly yuppifying, and while Dopo is part of this, it's also very casual. I snuggled up to the counter and began salivating.

From the short menu, I picked a sand dab crostone ($12) and the tagliolini with hen and radicchio ($15) -- maybe I should've chosen dishes that contrasted more but the prevailing opinion seems to be that the pasta beats the pizza. The crostone was pretty small -- Dopo has a rep for being a little cheaper than Pizzaiolo, but the latter has bigger portions -- and pretty good, with a hint of lemon to the fish. The tagliolini, flat egg noodles a little narrower than fettucine, were made in-house with no mean skill: very uniform. The braised Hoffman Farms hen, the bitter radicchio, and some pork product made for a neat mix of flavours. The ingredient quality seemed high, though nothing was exceptional on this basis alone: the closest was, of all things, the parsley garnishing the sand dabs. I think the key ingredient was salt: they're not afraid to use it.

So: very good meal; I have no trouble believing the consensus that this is one of the top ten places in the East Bay, any style or price. I still strongly prefer Pizzaiolo at this price point, but Dopo has the non-negligible advantage of being open for lunch (on weekdays; it's open for dinner every day but Sunday). Need to come back for the pizza before I give out the fifth star.

Dopo 4293 Piedmont Ave @ John St, Oakland


40 favourite songs of the Nineties, #32: Arto Lindsay, "Q Samba" (download)

Hip to the point of parody, baby. On one hand, he's admitting he'll never be as cool as any given Brazilian. On the other, he knows what's important isn't coolness: it's drums.

Coming: The First Annual Berkeley Ice Cream Crawl.

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