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First Bite: Go Fish

Walnut Creek reels in Pacific Catch.


Courtesy of Pacific Catch

Having expected a bland chain character, I was duly impressed with the creative quality of my first Pacific Catch meal in Dublin when it opened more than two years ago. Thus, when I headed to Walnut Creek last week—opening week for their eighth location—my expectations were high.

There were a couple of finding-their-sea-legs hiccups, but I was beyond satisfied; happy hour (4 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday) offers tremendous value. The trio of pokes, served with a myriad of scoops—including airy wonton chips and brilliant watermelon radish slices—is tasty, fun, and filling. And the $7 stack of meaty Korean-style ribs was well matched to my $8 Spicy Pacific cocktail—a piquant passion fruit and Tito’s vodka sipper.

Don’t hesitate to pay full board from the vast regular menu, however. From the mix-and-match daily-catch menu, to the succulent Hawaiian kanpachi ($25) with crunchy Thai brussels sprouts, to the luxurious crab mashed potatoes—everything was as fresh as it was flavorful. (When available, be sure to order the kanpachi poke; firm yet tender and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds, it was the most dazzling of the four pokes I tried.)

Pacific Catch is committed to sustainable fishing practices and environmentalism, and it shows in the young staff’s enthusiasm. The new space feels ultra-sleek—at one point I had the odd sensation of being trapped in an architect’s virtual world—but once the crowds descend, humanity will surely fill the void.

1305 S. Main St., Walnut Creek, (925) 378-7565, pacificcatch.com. Lunch and dinner daily.

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Happy Hour Bar & Bites at
The Cooperage

Monday through Friday
3pm – 5:30pm


This isn’t your typical happy hour. This quintessential neighborhood spot offers high-quality craft cocktails on tap and tasty bites. Menu features: $10 cocktails on tap, $5 select beer & wine, $1 oysters, $7 bacon cheeseburger sliders, $7 crispy beer battered shrimp sliders, $9 sashimi-grade ahi tuna tartare. 

32 Lafayette Circle, Lafayette
​Reservations: www.thecooperagelafayette.com or 925.298.5915

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