Nice Places to Eat for Prom

If you're thinking about eating at one of these restaurants, go there first, on a weekend, and check them out to see if you like them. Tell them you're thinking about eating there, and ask if you can see a menu and have a look around inside. American/French cuisine unless noted. Figure that dinner is going to cost you between $100 and $150 per couple. Check the menus online before you go.

San Francisco:

Tonga Room:

In the Fairmont hotel.  Large. Not so formal.  Asian food.  Tiki theme.  Famous since the ‘50s.  “Rains” (fake rain--you won’t get wet) every 20-30 minutes or so.  Pool in the middle has a boat on which musicians play on some nights.  This is a famous touristy place, so you will see casually-dressed people.

Max’s Opera Cafe:

American food.  Less formal, but the food is good and it’s about a block from City Hall.  Some waiters sing in the evening.  Many people in casual dress.  Significantly less expensive than the other places. Avoid tables right next to the stage; it can be harder to have a conversation there.

Closer to home:

Limewood, the restaurant at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley:

The Claremont is an old-school resort hotel; it'll remind you of The Great Gatsby.  Spacious.  Nice view.  I ate here on one of my prom/ball nights...nice place. The most expensive place on this list.

Neumanali (in Hayward):

California cuisine in a converted Victorian.  You will probably see casually-dressed people.  Not very big.  Nice inside.  

Paradiso (in San Leandro):

Upscale and consistently good Italian food.