What people are saying about us…
“All in all, it seems like Top Hatters’ gamble paid off. On all my visits, the restaurant was busy with locals, who seemed to respond to its level of service and aesthetics. It’s great to see an original spot like this received well by its community. I hope we see more ambitious and genre-defying concepts emerge outside of city centers, not only because of how much more affordable such spaces can be, but because folks who live in those places deserve to have cool things, too.”
“…We were thrilled when Top Hatter’s Kitchen set up shop in San Leandro! Open last week, the restaurant, which began as a food truck, took up residence in a midcentury hat shop, and they kept the name, the architecture, and the stunning bonsai trees. They turned the space into a contemporary hangout with clean lines, bright tile, and an incredible, vegetarian-friendly menu, like ricotta donuts, mushroom pâté served with As Kneaded Bread, and a beautiful cauliflower and hen of the woods entrée.”
"Everything about this new restaurant is A+!”
Sunset Magazine’s Instagram Story, April 2019
“Vu is sensitive to the fact that San Leandro is socio-economically and racially diverse, so she’s put a lot of thought into how Top Hatters Kitchen will not limit her creativity, yet reflect and serve the neighborhood too. The family-style concept, she said, will allow for a variety of plate sizes and price points, which she feels will allow for more diners to enjoy meals here.”
“Vu hopes that everyone feels at home at Top Hatters Kitchen — even those who may not be accustomed to upscale dining. [Vu says], "In our cultural training, I tell our staff [....]Our menu may look and sound elevated […] but I want people to feel comfortable here."
“The menu’s Cal-Vietnamese dishes are so much like the new wave of Asian American cooking you’d find in Los Angeles: less tortured updates on the classics, more channeling of the ephemera of Vietnamese American cuisine in novel forms. In an interview with Berkeleyside, Top Hatters chef-owner DanVy Vu admitted to a love of mixing fish sauce into her spaghetti, marrying the briny umami of anchovies with the acid of tomatoes. You do that when you understand ingredients like those intimately — not as bits of flair to tack on or “make nice,” but as complementary parts of a whole. Now that’s cool.”