San Bruno and Berkeley restaurants named best places to eat in 2021
Yelp came out with his The 100 best places to eat in 2021, and Bay Area restaurants landed two spots on the coveted list.
Mazra, a relative newcomer to San Bruno, moved up to number two, while Berkeley’s Creekwood ranked 36th in this annual ranking of restaurants diners visited in 2020 and hope to return this year.
“Whether you’re looking for a white tablecloth experience or a vegan deli sandwich to go, there’s something for every taste and budget on the list,” the Yelp editors said.
Indeed, the range is vast and fascinating, with places for hot dogs, bakeries, cafes, steakhouses, sushi bars, fusion specialists and farm-to-table restaurants.
How does Yelp bring all of these together into one rating system?
“This year’s list was determined, in part, by user submissions. From the restaurants submitted, we narrowed the list down with the expertise of our community managers, our trend expert and our data science team to finalize the rankings, ”said Brenae Leary, Senior Communications Manager for Yelp.
Mazra opened on the Upper Peninsula in March 2020, just as pandemic restrictions hit the industry. Despite the challenges, the Makableh family decided to move forward with their plan to transform the store they had owned for 12 years, Green Valley Market, into a restaurant. The fully halal Mediterranean menu features traditional family recipes brought to this country by parents Randy and Ahlam Makableh when they emigrated from Jordan.
“We are a family of true gourmets. We have spent a lot of time in the kitchen together and love how great food brings people together, ”said son and chef Saif Makableh, Mazra co-owner with his brother Jordan.
“I spent time in Sydney, Australia, and really admired the food scene there. Style makes fine dining accessible without sacrificing quality and affordability. That’s why we like to call ourselves a “fast-fine restaurant”. I wanted to bring some of this culture back to my hometown of San Bruno while staying true to my roots in Mediterranean cuisine.
Yelpers who gave Mazra five stars were delighted with the wood-grilled Double Kebab plate; the 6 hour lamb shank, the crispy cauliflower appetizer and the urban style wraps filled with steak or chicken shawarma and “to die for” fries.
The only other restaurant in Northern California to make the Top 100 is Berkeley’s Creekwood.
This calo-Italian restaurant was started just over two years ago by childhood friends Greg Poulios and Mark Louie, both Zuppa veterans in San Francisco. A former Zuppa chef, Liam Bonner, runs the kitchen, according to the newspaper’s first glimpse.
The restaurant, “hidden in plain sight” on Sacramento Street, has garnered praise from Yelpers for the homemade Gnocchi with pork stew, romanesco and pecorino cheese; Agnolotti; Asparagus pizza and other Neapolitan pies; and the Roasted Beet Salad, served this season with an apple, almond praline and apple cider vinaigrette.
Other California restaurants listed as ‘must-see’ for 2021 are Nova Kitchen & Bar in Garden Grove, at # 11; The Vox Kitchen in Fountain Valley, at # 28; and Higo Bakery in La Habra at n ° 72.
Square # 80 is just over the state border in Reno. Paisan’s Old World Deli & Catering serves Italian and Mexican dishes in a traditional restaurant and food truck.
Details: Mazra is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday at 504 San Bruno Ave. West, San Bruno; www.eatmazra.com. Creekwood is located at 3121 Sacramento St., Berkeley, and serves brunch / lunch / dinner with varying hours Tuesday through Sunday; www.creekwoodrestaurant.com/home