Livermore may not seem like a go-to spot for inventive California cuisine, but this charming newbie from husband-and-wife chefs Bill and Sarah Niles would be the envy of any city slicker. The rustic space with big arched windows and plenty of succulents screams "hipster hotspot," but few big-city restaurants can offer such an enthusiastic, passionate staff and friendly local crowd. Order up a refreshing tequila-lime "Range Water" and dive into the appealing menu of beautifully plated bites like duck liver toast with roasted cherries on chewy house-made bread; flavorful artichoke and chickpea curry; as well as rich and creamy chocolate budino with cinnamon whipped cream. A jar of house-made fermented chili sauce from the on-site market makes a delicious souvenir.
- MICHELIN guide inspectors