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Persimmon Place provides plenty of places to please your palate

Testing out and reviewing some local eats

Amanda Su and Karen Wang

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Persimmon Place has become the newest “trendy” and “hip” place for Dougherty Valley High School teens to hang out, hosting businesses such as Whole Foods, Nordstorm Rack and Sur La Table. However, its highlight is its food, offering known favorites such as Chipotle and Vitality Bowl, as well as several new restaurants. Naturally, we decided to test out these up-and-coming local eats!

Address: 5200 Dublin Blvd, Dublin, CA


URBAN PLATES:

Ambience: Urban Plates would be more accurately named if it were called “Suburban Plates.” The cafeteria-esque setup and wood decor immediately gave off a cozy and homelike feeling. Customers were expected to seat themselves among a variety of vintage wooden tables, as well as a large patio for outdoor seating. We entered around 12:15 p.m., and there was plenty of space despite the lunchtime rush. Drinks were served in mason jars and the entire restaurant was lit with lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling. The entire arrangement screamed “hipster.”

Service: Initially, the setup of Urban Plates confused us. It’s reminiscent of a middle school cafeteria line in which everyone takes a tray and moves down a line.  However, instead of waiting in one long line and hitting each station, you are expected to just head directly to the one of your choice. Once we figured that out, the service was fast and high quality. Each employee we encountered was friendly and helpful. It took about five minutes from entering the restaurant to sitting down with food.

Pricing: The pricing of Urban Places varies. The cheapest item on the menu is a pizette, which is $5. However, for a meal that will really fill you up, a full plate costs $11.

Food review: Urban Plates offers salads, sandwiches, soups and meat plates. The portions were large enough to split between two people. We ordered the free range chicken sandwich, a side of macaroni and cheese and chips. The sandwich was the highlight of the meal. It was, to say the least, beautiful. We almost cried. The tangy slow-roasted tomatoes perfectly complemented the well-seasoned chicken, and the sourdough bread was toasted to a pleasant crisp. However, the macaroni and cheese was unexpectedly thick and had a hint of black pepper. It was a unique twist on traditional macaroni and cheese, but also an unfortunate one. The texture of the cheese was a bit grainy, which was off-putting. The potato chips were as good as potato chips can get. Urban Plates claims to make everything from scratch everyday, and even offers a gluten-free menu.

Recommended for: The casual dinner. If you want to grab a meal with friends, we recommend Urban Plates. The comfortable ambiance, affordable pricing and wide selection of food are sure to please anyone.


YALLA MEDITERRANEAN:

Ambience:  Yalla’s setup is similar to that of Chipotle, Spice Kit and Four Flavors. The decor was modern and fresh with a cool-toned color scheme. The most eye-catching piece was a lemon tree growing in the middle of the restaurant. Yalla also offers a nice outdoor seating area, but we chose to sit inside in a booth. There was soft coffee shop music playing, which we enjoyed. We entered around 3 p.m. and the restaurant was surprisingly full. However, we noticed that most people seemed to get their order to go instead of eating in the restaurant.

Service: Yalla’s order process was straightforward. There was an employee near the entrance to explain the process and the food selection to “newbies.” It took about 10 minutes for us to get our food because the meat had to cook, but overall, it was a very efficient process.

Pricing: Yalla was the most affordable option out of all the new restaurants we tried in the plaza. A wrap costs $8.50, and while salads and plates cost $8.95. Additional toppings are also available for an additional cost.

Food review: Yalla offers three types of meals: wraps, salads and plates. With a quick perusal of the restaurant, we saw that the portions for each type were large enough to split between two. We ordered the Greek wrap with chicken skewers and baklava frozen yogurt. The wrap was difficult to eat as a wrap since it was too large to fit in our mouths and the filling kept falling out. So we ended up dismantling it and eating the separate parts with a fork to “maintain our dignity.” The chicken was excellently seasoned. The feta ranch sauce was slightly overpowering, but you can request to have less put on your food if you can’t handle it. The baklava frozen yogurt was tart, yet still rich. But make sure to eat it right away because once it starts to melt, it loses its appeal and just tastes luke-warm and watery.

Recommended for: The diner on-the-go or on a budget. All of Yalla’s food comes in containers that are easy to take on the go, and it was the least pricey among all the restaurants we visited. The unique flavors were also a huge plus.


PACIFIC CATCH:

Ambience: Pacific Catch was without a doubt the most sophisticated restaurant in the area. The color scheme was mostly dark blue with polished decor and furniture. All the other patrons were adults or children with their families. To eat without an adult, as two high schoolers, was a bit uncomfortable.

Service: When we went, there was a noticeable lack of hosts and waiters. But once we were seated, the service was faster than we expected. Our waitress was attentive and made many food recommendations. Our water was also constantly refilled, sauce replenished, and we were often checked on.

Pricing: Pacific Catch was definitely the most expensive restaurant we tried, even when we attempted to choose the least expensive option possible. The average meal looked to run from $15-$19.

Food review: Pacific Catch’s name makes one think of it as simply a seafood restaurant. However, the menu actually consisted of many Asian-fusion items such as teriyaki rice bowls and thai coconut shrimp. We ordered the two-piece fish and chips with seasoned fries. Our waitress ended up bringing us three pieces because the pieces were exceptionally small. The fish was mediocre at best. For the most part it was crispy and well-cooked, but there was one piece that was a little rubbery on the bottom. It was also bland and had to be eaten with a sauce, either ketchup or jalapeno tartar, to be enjoyable. The fries were a pleasant surprise because they were strongly seasoned with paprika and several other spices, and we enjoyed them with and without dipping sauce.

Recommended for: The dinner that’s with your family. Pacific Catch isn’t the place to hang out with friends. Especially friends on a budget who have to eat at and review four restaurants in a day. But it’s certainly suitable for a family dinner where the higher prices won’t be such a concern.


PATXI’S PIZZA

Ambience: When we entered at around 6 p.m., the indoor area was quite empty and the environment inside honestly felt very stiff and plain. But we requested to be seated in the outside patio to get the best feel for Patxi’s ambience. Outside, various tables are placed all around in a rather spacious gated area. What made the climate of Patxi’s especially appealing was that the evening weather was nice and that the view of the sky and area around was easily visible so we were able to watch the sunset while eating. Our only complaint would be the fact that it was overcrowded since a lot of people wanted to sit outdoors.

Service: Patxi’s seemed understaffed considering the dinner rush, because it took over 15 minutes for us to get a waitress. One we did, the waitress was thorough in explaining how Patxi’s worked. During the meal, we were rarely checked on. When it came time to pay, it took around 10 minutes for them to come back to our table with change. Everyone was very kind while we had their attention, but a lack of staff made the meal move very slowly.

Pricing: The cheapest pizza offered was the margherita pizza, which was $12 for a 10 inch and $18 for a 14 inch. The most expensive pizza was the barbeque chicken deep dish which was $25 for a 10 inch, $30 for a 12 inch, and $36 for a 14 inch. But sadly, if you really want to feel full after the meal, a thin crust 10 inch pizza for only $12 isn’t going to cut it.

Food review: Patxi’s specializes in deep-dish pizza, but we ordered the 10-inch thin crust margherita pizza to spare our wallets. The pizza took around 10-15 minutes to make, and once it was brought to us on a silver platter and placed on a stand. The pizza itself looked delicious. The cheese was melted nicely and the basil was generously placed on top. Regarding taste, the pizza tasted as a margherita pizza should. The pizza didn’t have anything special that made it different from other margherita pizzas and we didn’t notice any unique flavors. So unless you’re looking for a new experience, Patxi’s is a good place to get a well-made, classic and familiar pizza.

Recommended for: People with time and money. Since service can take a while, especially for deep dish pizzas which take half an hour, those who need a quick bite might be better suited to go to a Pizza Hut. Also, the pricing is on the expensive side and the portions are relatively smaller than those of Pizza Hut. A meal at Patxi’s would cost more than a casual meal should, so unless you plan on going out with a large group of people to buy multiple pizzas and divide the bill, Patxi’s may leave your wallet empty as well as your stomach.


OVERALL IMPRESSION

Because of the variety of restaurants Persimmon Place offers, it’s the perfect place to go for any kind of food craving. Although some restaurants may be better suited for high schoolers hanging out with friends than other, overall the entire plaza will not disappoint. The only notable complaint we have of Persimmon Place is that after asking a kind Whole Foods grocery store employee, we were devastated to find out that Persimmon Place does not in fact have persimmons.

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Persimmon Place provides plenty of places to please your palate