"Chez Panisse in North Berkeley is a block away from where I grew up. It's legendary. If you can't get a reservation in the main restaurant, then the Chez Panisse Café upstairs is always available, and the food is fantastic. It's that [owner/chef] Alice Waters magic. Whatever the definition of California cuisine is, she invented it. It's an art form. The menu changes every day based on what fresh, organic ingredients they have. My favorite thing to get there is the Tamales Bay oysters with mignonette sauce. They do really good grain-fed free-range chicken. And lots of wines from the wine country. I go there almost every time I go home."
"In San Francisco, there's a whole series of sort of dive bars in the Mission District, anywhere between 15th and 30th. The Mission is mostly Latino, and it's a real cool part of San Francisco. There's a great place to go dancing in Berkeley called Ashkenaz. On any given night, they've got different types of dancing - reggae, salsa. It's kind of funky and casual, and it's just got a great vibe. Slim's is a favorite club in San Francisco. There's a great place called The Townhouse in Emeryville, which is sort of an industrial area that's now becoming cool. There are a lot of hidden little joints down there, and The Townhouse is where I would go and have a drink. Their food is fantastic, too. They have meatloaf there that I love."
"Fat Apple's in Berkeley is just your typical breakfast place. The decor has a lot to do with Jack London because he was from that area. My dad, who is a local woodworker, redid all the woodwork inside, so I'm particularly fond of it. I always have scrambled eggs, a waffle, and chicken apple sausage. The best coffee is at Peet's in Berkeley, a block from the house I grew up in, and right around the corner from Chez Panisse. They've got Peet's Coffee in Los Angeles and a couple of them in New York at this point, but it's the best coffee I've ever had. When I was a kid, the lines would go all the way down the street just for a cup of coffee."