Berkeley: La Note

On the final day of The Lost Weekend, CL, AF, T, and I headed cross the Bay to watch Chinglish at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre.  The play is about an American businessman trying to make it in China and the cultural awakening he experiences there.  Witty, funny, some pretty bad Chinese, and an overall good time.  Thanks, Awkward B for inviting us!

Before we were due at the theatre, we stopped by La Note for brunch:


As usual, the wait on a Sunday morning was pretty brutal, but we toughed it out and eventually made our way in:


La Note was one of my favorite haunts back when I was in undergrad.  Anyone who knows of my love for potatoes knows that I've always considered La Note to have the BEST HOME FRIES IN THE WORLD.  Every time I have home fries, I compare it to La Note.

Or at least what I remember the home fries at La Note to taste like.  It'd been so long since I'd gone back that I was starting to wonder if the La Note home fries in my head was just an exaggerated fond memory.  This visit was meant to test that theory.

The four of us each picked an entree and we shared everything by rotating plates.

I ordered the cote ouest or three egg omelette with ratatouille ($12.50):


It of course came with home fries and toast.  La Note's raspberry jam is just ridiculous.  The best way to eat toast there is to slather it with a layer of butter and then a layer of jam.  You can also do the same thing with the home fries.  Yea.  Don't knock it until you've tried it.

AF went with the omelette fromage et jambon ($12.95) or emmenthal cheese and ham omelette:


While CL decided on the cote sud or two eggs sunny side up with spicy merguez sausage ($12.95):


To break up all the savoriness, T chose the brioche pain perdu ($11.95):


So were the home fries really as spectacular as I remembered?  Yes and no.

The potential was there, but the execution wasn't quite perfect...this time.  The home fries were still garlic-y (love the whole cloves!) and fragrant with rosemary, but they would have been infinitely better if they had been allowed to form a crispy crust.  I could taste hints of the home fries of my dreams, but they fell slightly short.

Well, you can't be perfect all the time.  We all have our off days.

So let me amend my previous statement.  The home fries at La Note are the best in the world...when done right.  Yes, I was slightly disappointed, but home fries aside, La Note offers much more to tempt people back through its doors.  It is probably one of the least pretentious French restaurants you'll ever find, the atmosphere is quaint and friendly, and the food is just solid.

You haven't lost me, La Note!  I'm still a believer!


La Note
2377 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 843-1535
http://www.lanoterestaurant.com/

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