This Shattuck Avenue bistro, just down the street from the heavy hitters in Berkeley’s famed “gourmet ghetto,” offers unpretentious French fare in a friendly atmosphere. Executive chef and proprietor Kenneth Todd Kniess formerly starred as chef de cuisine at the popular Left Bank restaurants in Larkspur and Menlo Park. Liaison has a similar French-but-not-fussy feel, and the menu features hearty favorites like beef Burgundy stew, niçoise salad, and French onion soup, as well as several vegetarian choices. A wine list with numerous Northern California and French selections complements the fresh cuisine. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat.–Sun.