Da Lian 1674 Shattuck Ave./Virginia St.; Gourmet Ghetto. Named for a coastal city in northeast China, this spot inside a colorful tiled moon-gate entry provides a serene atmosphere in which to enjoy tasty Chinese fare. Seafood is a specialty, and garlic is used liberally. Menu favorites include traditional dishes prepared exceptionally: crispy fried won tons; spicy hot-and-sour soup; a sautéed version of General’s chicken; spicy kung pao chicken; delicate Sichuan prawns; braised eggplant in garlic sauce; terrific chow fun (favorite versions are vegetable and beef). Brown rice is an option. Lunch specials are a bargain and include salad and soup.
Here since 1925, Virginia Bakery (1690 Shattuck Ave./Virginia St.) made Huey Newton’s wedding cake. It also produces excellent breads and pastries—don’t miss the applesauce cake, mini Holland coffee cake, and fruit-topped Danish—and a killer fruitcake at Christmas.