Greater East Bay
Bijou Restaurant & Bar 1036 B St./near Main St., downtown, (510) 888-1092. L-D daily; $$. Reservations advised.
“Bijou” means “a little gem” in French. And this sleek, chic venue is an unexpected gem of a find in suburban Hayward. It showcases reasonably priced contemporary French/California cuisine. Lunch offers sandwiches, including a French hot dog or hamburger on a baguette, a croque monsieur or madame, and sometimes a crab melt. Dinner items might include crab and avocado salad, grilled skirt steak in peppercorn sauce, and oven-roasted sea bass in mushroom sauce. Smaller appetites might be satisfied with a small plate of sliders or sautéed prawns. Desserts are elegant, perhaps crème brulée with a hint of green tea, crêpes Suzette, or a selection of macaroons. A full bar offers specialty cocktails and an international wine list, and a sidewalk patio is available in good weather.
Be aware that on Sundays this area closes up tight, except for the Century at Hayward movie complex ((800) FANDANGO) that is just across the street.
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