Japanese dining spot Ippuku has been named a Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant for the first time this year. Photo: Ippuku

Seven Berkeley dining spots have been named Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurants. The ‘Bib’ is bestowed to restaurants where the Michelin judges deem one can eat well for $40 or less (plus tax and tip), and Michelin selected 77 such places for its 2012 San Francisco area guide.

Ippuku, the Japanese dining spot on Center Street, received the accolade for the first time. The other six are: Corso, eVe, Five, Gather, Rivoli, and Thai House.

Ippuku serves traditional yakitori and a wide selection of the Japanese spirit shochu, and has found a loyal following since it opened in July 2010. Not long after its launch, Alice Waters told Berkeleyside that it was one of her favorite haunts. “I really don’t want to tell too many people about it because I don’t want the place to get too busy,” she said.

Michael Bauer included Ippuku in the Chronicle’s Top 100 restaurant list for 2011 and praised chef Christian Geideman for his grilling expertise, and his partner Paul Discoe, who designed the restaurant, for his mastery in carpentry.

Many of the Michelin Bib Berkeley restaurants are relatively new. Corso, eVe, Five and Gather all opened in the past couple of years. Corso, whose chef Rodrigo Da Silva recently left the trattoria to be replaced by sous chefs Scott Eastman and Steve Walker as co-chefs, is the second restaurant of Wendy Brucker and Roscoe Skipper who own Rivoli.

Winners of the coveted Michelin stars will be announced on October 25. Chez Panisse was the only Berkeley restaurant in recent history to have a (single) Michelin star, but it lost it in 2010.

[Hat-tip: Inside Scoop SF.]

Five’s Banks White: Berkeley “keeps me on my toes” [06.17.11]
The culinary couple behind Berkeley’s Corso and Rivoli [05.27.11]
Ippuku in Top 100, five Berkeley restaurants make the cut [04.11.11]
Berkeley Bites: Christopher and Veronica Laramie, eVe restaurant [07.16.10]
Berkeley Bites: Ari Derfel and Eric Fenster, Gather restaurant [03.26.10]

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...