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You won’t soon forget who’s behind Johnny Garlic’s: The face of Food Network star Guy Fieri greets diners from cookbooks, T-shirts, and a TV playing his Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Fieri’s first East Bay restaurant delivers a similarly big personality—from artfully misshapen handblown glass above the bar to the eclectic, quasi-Italian menu. Try not to fill up on complimentary focaccia, which is loaded with herbs and onions, and served with rosemary-infused olive oil. You’ll want to save room for creamy Cajun chicken fettuccine or skewers of plump bacon-wrapped shrimp drizzled with chipotle barbecue sauce. Adventurous carnivores will enjoy the Hunter’s Creation menu, with rotating offerings such as alligator, elk, and wild boar. Sides fall a little flat: On our visit, the garlic mashed potatoes were dry and steamed broccoli overly seasoned. A cayenne-laced s’mores pizza makes for a zippy finish, or cool down—and neutralize that garlic—with the breath-mint pie. Lunch and dinner daily.
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