After traveling around the world with the Ritz-Carlton, the arrival of a kid finally made a homebody of Grégoire Jacquet. Lucky for us, home turned out to be North Berkeley. Seeking to have both a restaurant and a family life, Jacquet transformed a tiny cottage of a storefront into a takeout restaurant. Fax or call in your order (the month’s lunch and dinner menus are all posted online), and twenty minutes later you can drive by, double-park, and pick up stacks of little brown octagonal boxes containing the kind of to-go food that goes better with Pinot Noir than Mountain Dew: smoked-salmon triple-deckers and roasted leg of lamb with manchego sandwiches during the day; nighttime entrées like roasted quails stuffed with chanterelles and bacon; or baked wild bass wrapped in a banana leaf with a cilantro vinaigrette. Jacquet’s potato puffs, a miraculous cross between a beignet and a Tater Tot, have earned cult status.
La Cascada Taqueria
Two Berkeley locations: 2164 Center St., 510-704-8688; 2975 College Ave., 510-704-1789