But I know it's really that the eggs are poached to perfection, the levain toast has just the right combination of texture and taste, the rosemary brown butter is rich and flavorful without being too heavy, the accompanying salad is fresh and not overdressed, and the hot chocolate (made with real chocolate) is the best I've ever had in my life.
914 Heinz, Berk. (510) 843-6000, www.cafecacao.biz
How is it that Venus is both pretty and unpredictable? With breakfast haunts, usually you have to choose one or the other. But not at this lovely, less crowded alternative to La Note. Brick walls and a map-inspired (or maybe collage-inspired) menu give it a homey feel. Creative options from a framboise mimosa to Indian breakfast served with banana raita make the food distinctive. And true culinary virtuosity the fresh fruit and cashew, almond, and poppyseed brittle over yogurt could make me give up omelets forever make the establishment worth trying again and again. Plus, everything here is seasonal, organic, and sustainable: good for your body and your conscience.
2327 Shattuck, Berk. (510) 540-5950, www.venusrestaurant.net