Oh Kona Bistro...how I miss you!

I loved Kona Bistro in Oakley. I mean seriously - LOVED - it. It was one of my favorite restaurants in the city. The decor was OBNOXIOUS! With bright pinks and oranges all over - giant utensils and vegetables on every wall. And we can't forget the bathroom! It was the best! It was pink & orange with quotes about food painted on the walls. I loved it. I was sooooo sad when they closed. Kona does still live on in their original location in Oxford and I really need to make the drive up there one of these days.

So why am I going on and on about my long lost Kona Bistro? Well - I went to Sonoma American & Mediterranean Grill last week in the old Kona spot on Madison Road next to Deweys.

Larry is always a bit wary (haha that rhymes) about new types of food. I assured him he'd had this type before but it took a little convincing to get him in the door. Once we did though - it was easy to get him hooked!

We started with complimentary pita bread with olive oil and spices. The bread was nice - a little crispy but soft and the olive oil was very flavorful.

Can't help but comment on the "improvements" to Madison Road. They took a greatly congested spot and instead of widening or adding more parking - they made a big giant area in the middle for landscaping. Yes - that makes perfect sense. I'm sure whatever this monstrosity is will look pretty when it's done - but it seems ridiculous!

What is this picture for? To show the boring beige wall that now lives where my green pepper used to. Ugh - the decor is boring and bland.

  Nice bar though...

I got the Spanish Fried Cheese Pita ($7.95) with a side of the cumin roasted potatoes and onions. The pita was delicious! Lots of vegetables and the cheese was delicious. There was also this bright pink crispy vege and I had no idea what it was - but I ate it. It was a pickled turnip and it's pink because of the beet juice. Who knew? Really great! The cumin roasted potatoes & onions were also pretty good - a little crispy and maybe a little burned - but not too bad. Definitely a nice change from plain old fries. Would like a sauce with them.

Eating this dish reminded me of what was one of my favorite Greek dishes back home at the Vernon Inn - Saganaki! Flaming cheese! I love cheese and the only thing to improve it would have to be flames. Anybody know of a Greek place out here that serves it?

Larry got the gyro combo and it was really good as well. I grabbed a bite of the meat and loved it. (insert "that's what she said" joke here) He just got fries but I like that they have 7 sides to choose from. The tsatsiki was pretty good as well.

I'm really boggled by how different tsatsiki is from place to place...such a wide variety from runny to thick from yogurty to sour creamy. I'll pass along Michael Psilakis' recipe (who I met a month ago) - figure he's written a cookbook - we'll go with his!

After lunch we decided to have a free entertainment Saturday. First we went to the Krohn Conservatory - what a fun free thing to do! I love going when it's cold outside because it's HOT inside! They are all decorated for the holidays with their tree of poinsettias. And I love walking by a waterfall and seeing an orange tree when it's 25 degrees outside! If you haven't been - you should go. (It's in Mt. Adams.) We also stopped by the Art Museum to check out the wedding dresses and armor displays that are on now. Good stuff! Another free fun activity ($4 for parking) in Mt. Adams!  

Why Should You Go? Although Sonoma isn't Kona (tear) - it is pretty good. I'm a big fan of Mediterranean food so I really hope it makes it. Deweys was PACKED next door but as we were there - the lunch traffic did pick up. I don't think it's as good as Cafe Mediterranean but it's much closer - so we'll be back!

Also - our service was kinda bad. The server was very slow and disappeared a couple of times. Folks that had the hostess as their server faired much better on this day. But I'll just chalk it up to her being tired. She was good - when she was around. Just slow.

Sonoma American & Mediterranean Grill on Urbanspoon

PS. Thanks for voting in the "What Should I Buy Larry" poll! I love that "He doesn't need a gift, he already has you" won the vote. hahahaha


  1. You should not call something in a picture a monstrosity when it contains the reflection of your husband in the glass. Especially right before Christmas.

  2. CP - well I was talking about the construction - not my husband.

    And I must say - you just won the 2010 award for most random comment on my blog!


  3. Thanks! I'll be back next year to try to take two in a row!!