As studious Berkeley students, it can be easy to become so overwhelmed with work that even walking to Downtown Berkeley or Elmwood for a bite to eat seems like a long trek. The opening of Poke Parlor and re-opening of Mezzo, two new restaurants on Telegraph, add some variation just a few blocks from campus. Students can now save time while enjoying some quality food. I visited both places to see whether or not the new restaurants lived up to the hype.

Poke Parlor 

Heather Held

Although Hashtag Poki opened on Telegraph near Whole Foods last semester, Poke Parlor is a new restaurant that offers a twist on Latin and Hawaiian cuisines. The poke bowls offer three or four protein options with the choice of brown rice, white rice, salad, or tortilla chips. All of the choices are put on a display similar to Chipotle's, so customers see an array of proteins and other toppings while they watch their meal get put together. This also helps customers choose their fish and toppings based on how appetizing it looks.   

Heather Held

In addition to the traditional poke bowls, there are also Pokenini sandwiches and Pokeria poketacos. The Pokenini sandwiches come with similar contents of a poke bowl, but raw fish, ponzu sauce, and avocado are pressed between two pressed pieces of bread. Similarly, the tacos come with tuna and albacore options that are served with similar sauces of chipotle aioli and citrus ponzu that are found in standard poke bowls. 

In all of the different types of dishes, the freshness of the fish is the star of the dish. Additionally, the mix of toppings such as edamame and cucumber help compliment the fish nicely. While all sauces are different, the tangy and savory ponzu sauce option that can be mixed in with the fish brings the meal together as a whole. 


Heather Held

It's been six years since Café Intermezzo burned down. Now, the new restaurant is revamped and back in business with a new name: Mezzo. Inside, there are trendy, freshly painted murals and an abundance of seating that works well for meals with friends. Those who are 21+ can enjoy drinks at Raleigh's Bar and Grill, which is attached to the restaurant and has an open courtyard complete with an outdoor bar, fireplace, and bocce courts. 

Heather Held

Mezzo is best known for large-portioned salads that can be saved for one or two leftover meals. While the restaurant offers sandwiches, soup, chili, and even breakfast options, I would recommend the Veggie Delight. The Veggie Delight salad is a fresh mix of lettuce topped with sprouts, tomatoes, carrots, croutons, sliced egg, kidney & garbanzo beans, and cucumbers. It also comes with fruit (usually a slice of watermelon) and a hearty slice of honey wheat bread, for only $9.50.

The cherry on top? Avocado lovers will love it here—Mezzo gives a substantial serving of avocado without extra cost. Overall, Mezzo is a refreshingly healthy choice amid the countless boba and pizza shops in Berkeley. 

These new restaurants on Telegraph welcome a greater variety of food to Berkeley. With Poke Parlor’s Latin-Hawaiian fusion of foods and Mezzo’s more health-conscious food approach, Berkeley students have more restaurants to add to their bucket list. These restaurants provide a positive outlook on the future of Berkeley's restaurant industry and the possibility of changes to come.