Review: Hayward Japan Grill

Atmosphere: 3/5   ♦   Service: 2/5   ♦   Food Quality: 3/5   ♦   Value: 3/5
Times Visited:  One   ♦   Will I Return?:  Probably Not
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Hayward Japan Grill is located at 920 C Street between Mission and Main in Hayward. It seems to have been here for ten years or so (judging from Yelp reviews), though I’ll admit that I’ve never noticed it. We tried this place for the first time last week and I was not particularly excited about what we found.

The atmosphere isn’t fabulous by any means, but they’ve made a bit of effort with some hanging plants and traditional Japanese decorations. The dining room itself is actually quite large and could hold quite a few patrons if need be. I am curious if the “need” ever “be” though; the place was dead (though it was a Wednesday)…. 

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Review: The Ranch

Atmosphere: 3/5   ♦   Service: 4/5   ♦   Food Quality: 3/5   ♦   Value: 3/5
Times Visited:  One   ♦   Will I Return?:  Possibly
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The Ranch signHoly moly, I’ve finally done it. I’ve been to The Ranch. How is it that I’m a born and bred Hayward-ian and I’ve never been to The Ranch? If you’re a local you’ve surely seen and/or been to this place—the huge cow head on the sign (which, incidentally, I didn’t get a picture of) along Mission Boulevard at the corner of Jackson is hard to miss.

The Ranch has been around since 1948 and—prepare for history lesson—much of the random farm equipment and gold-rush-looking junk that adorns the walls was apparently donated by local farmers and ranchers of the day. This made me a good deal more excited to gaze at the seemingly-dangerous-in-an-earthquake decorations. This isn’t Applebee’s, folks, this is Hayward history…. 

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Review: Spettro

Atmosphere: 3/5   ♦   Service: 3/5   ♦   Food Quality: 4/5   ♦   Value: 3/5
Times Visited:  One   ♦   Will I Return?:  Yes, please
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SpettroSpettro can be found at 3355 Lakeshore Avenue in Oakland and is one of a huge many awesome restaurants which I’m only just finding out about in this area. Seriously, Oakland is pretty awesome. Our friends described this place as Mexican/Italian fusion, but after seeing the menu, it pretty much looked like Italian to me.

A variety of delicious-sounding salads; entrees including chicken marsala, chicken or eggplant parmesan, oven braised lamb and chicken risotto along with pastas and pizzas will start any mouth watering. Seriously, it was super hard to choose between the salads and the pizzas…so Friend #1 and I split one of each. This was a fabulous choice…. 

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Review: Shashamane

Atmosphere: 3/5   ♦   Service: 3/5   ♦   Food Quality: 3/5   ♦   Value: 3/5
Times Visited:  One   ♦   Will I Return?:  Happily
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Named after a town in Ethiopia, this Oakland restaurant at Broadway and 25th is one of the nicer Ethiopian venues I’ve been to. Shashamane is easy to miss from the front but has a clean, nice interior with hundreds of flags from around the world circling the rim of the large, open dining room and connected bar. I have to admit, these flags provide a lot of entertainment and trivia; I can identify far fewer world flags than I would have imagined.

shashamane restaurant

Bar area with world flags at Shashamane in Oakland.

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