Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.51mi
  2. Distance: 0.52mi
  3. Distance: 0.61mi
  4. Distance: 0.62mi
  1. Distance: 0.51mi
  2. Distance: 0.52mi
  3. Distance: 0.61mi
  4. Distance: 0.62mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.51mi
  2. Distance: 0.52mi
  3. Distance: 0.61mi
  4. Distance: 0.62mi
  1. Distance: 0.51mi
  2. Distance: 0.52mi
  3. Distance: 0.61mi
  4. Distance: 0.62mi

About donato&co.

Rustic Italian cuisine w/ a contemporary twist, featuring house made pastas & locally sourced seafood & meats cooked over a live fire.

2635 Ashby Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Italian

Hours of Operation:
Lunch and Dinner:Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 9:30pm, Saturday: 11:30am - 10:00pm, Sunday: 11:30am - 9:00pm

Cross Street:
College Ave

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(510) 838-1131

Website:
http://www.donatoandco.com/

Executive Chef:
Donato Scotti

donato&co. Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

3.9

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

3.8

service

4.0

ambience

4.2

value

3.8

Noise

Moderate

80% would recommend it to a friend

Neighborhood Gem (44)
Fit for Foodies (37)
Good for a Date (32)
See All
Bar Seating (28)
Creative Cuisine (27)
Authentic (27)
Local Ingredients (24)
Casual (22)
Handcrafted Cocktails (21)
Quiet Conversation (21)
Good Vegetarian Options (19)
Special Occasion (19)
Pre/post Theatre (18)
Good for Groups (18)
Good for Birthdays (17)
Fun (15)
Good for Anniversaries (14)
Comfort Food (12)
Healthy (11)
Organic (11)
Worth the Drive (11)
Business Meals (10)
Cozy (10)
Hot Spot (10)
Notable Wine List (10)
Seasonal (10)
Vibrant Bar Scene (9)
Sunday Lunch (8)
Great for Lunch (8)
Tapas (7)
Disabled Access (6)
Great Beer (6)
Quick Bite (6)
Great for Brunch (5)
Happy Hour (5)
Romantic (5)
Late-night Find (4)
People Watching (4)
Tasting Menu (4)
Kid-friendly (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Vegan (2)
Live Sports (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
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124 reviews
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·Dined 3 days ago

Gina, our server, was very attentive without being in our faces. She explained some of the more unusual items on the menu and helped with wine selection. Food came almost too fast, if that is possible. Had a great conversation with folks at the next table and felt very comfortable in the restaurant. Food was tasty and flavorful.
No complaints!

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Bar Seating
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 5 days ago

Food was mediocre at best.
Wait staff was great.
The angry, scowling man at the wait station did not improve the situation.
I always hate to leave a bad review because it impacts good, decent people.
But we will not return.

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food1
ambience2
service5
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 5 days ago

Very limited menu. Tasty but nothing great. Nice place.

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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 5 days ago

The food was good and the atmosphere relaxed. This is a place to return to. The only issue was that the tables were a bit too close together.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Fun, Good for Birthdays, Handcrafted Cocktails, Notable Wine List, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 6 days ago

Perfect! The bartenders are amazing; the restaurant runs like a finely oiled machine. Northern Italian inspired food
was as delicious and created as I’ve had in Piedmonte

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 10, 2018

As a long-time Elmwood resident, I have been to Donato & Co. on multiple occasions and would very much like it. to succeed as a neighborhood restaurant, but I have mixed feelings. On the plus side, the food is authentically Italian, with good, if unchanging choices. It would be good to see one seasonal special that changes weekly in each of the categories--small plates, main course, and dessert. The quality of the food is acceptable but not excellent and could be more consistent. The main drawback is the service, which can be inattentive, almost to the point of rudeness. On more than one occasion our service has been delayed; hosts and servers seem overworked or under-experienced. The bar isn't always coordinated with the kitchen. Almost every time the cocktails came late, and all the dishes, appetizers and main dishes, arrive almost at the same time. Service at Desco, the sister restaurant in Oakland that closed recently, was much better. These service issues and menu variations can be fixed--I hope they are so that we can enjoy Donato for a long time to come.

Tags: Authentic
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food4
ambience4
service2
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 10, 2018

Service was great. We loved the food - had ravioli, lamb, spaghetti.
Very good beer. great ambiance, pleasantly quiet. We could all easily converse.

Tags: Great Beer, Authentic, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 9, 2018

This is my third visit to this neighborhood spot. I had special friends in town and it was perfect. Unique food with small plates to share and enjoy. The ambiance was great and perfect for conversation. The service was attentive but not intrusive, great for us to enjoy our time together.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Organic, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 7, 2018

The food was good, but the service was terrible. Not enough servers and ours seemed overwhelmed. We had to wait an hour for our meal--after many inquiries as to its delay. We were told that the cooks were preparing a catered meal for an event "across the street" which made us feel like we were not a priority.

Tags: Casual
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food3
ambience4
service1
value2

vip
 (New Mexico)·Dined on February 6, 2018

Service was excellent. Food was salty. Squid was not adequately cleaned and overpowered by a caponata like sauce.

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food2
ambience3
service5
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 5, 2018

First time dining here after this new place went up in the neighborhood. Unfortunately it didn't live up to it's predecessor. The menu was mostly italian so i just with with the pollo because i knew what it was! That aside, we ordered the "small" portion of two dishes to have as appetizers, but received (and paid for) 1 small dish and 1 full dish followed by our two main dishes. The price was kind o expensive for the not very filling dishes as well as just overall a bit too interesting for my taste.

Tags: Special Occasion, Hot Spot, Great Beer, Handcrafted Cocktails, Business Meals, Fit for Foodies
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food3
ambience5
service4
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 5, 2018

Good Italian option. Very good fresh, homemade pasta. Salads fresh, unique and much better than average. Was there on a Monday for lunch. Only 5-6 eating, so was quiet and easy for visiting. We’re told evenings much busier.

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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 4, 2018

Made a reservation a couple of weeks in advance through Open Table. The day before the reservation, the restaurant called and said they forgot to notify Open Table that the restaurant was closed on Super Bowl Sunday. They didn't say why it was closed. Needless to say, at that late date, it was impossible for us to get a reservation at an appropriate restaurant, so we were not happy.

Last time we ate at Donato before this problem, they were short a bartender and our drinks didn't arrive til after the appetizers, after our main course, almost til dessert, an hour and a half we waited. Food was off a bit, pasta so spicy as to be inedible and it was not noted anywhere on the menu, so we are not likely to return, especially since the manager we dealt with wasn't there the next time and the new manager (a male) couldn't have been less interested in making our experience enjoyable. Not going again.

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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 3, 2018

Everyone was nice, but no one quite know how to do their job. It was as if they were not properly trained. Everything was a step behind, from getting seated, to bringing water and taking drink orders, to delivering food, clearing the table and on and on. I had high hopes, but it will be a while before I give them another try.

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food4
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 3, 2018

Excellent foods and wines
Nice services and hospitality
I’ll come back again with more friends!

Tags: Great for Brunch, Sunday Lunch, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Birthdays, Tapas, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 2, 2018

The mostly Italian menu has options for all—meat, pasta and fish dishes, but with creative presentation and clean uncluttered flavors. The bar is amazing——the bartenders are knowledgeable and creative; the wine list is Italian-leaning, but the sommelier is so adept at describing the options, that I just leave the choice to him, and I’ve not been steered wrong yet. The background music is well-chosen, and is engaging without interfering with conversation.

Tags: Casual, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Notable Wine List, Bar Seating, Special Occasion, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 31, 2018

The large space has been re-thought to suggest Italian countryside, actually very nice. It was full with a nice buzz when we arrived, but my request for a booth was ignored (this was a birthday dinner) and the service was just sloppy. We like the food well enough, easy to share if that's your thing, and several vegetarian options which were really good, as well as the grilled calamari. We both find it extremely annoying when the server whisks away 1 out of 4 diners' plates and then disappears for some time. This seems to be the case, sadly, in many places and we so wish staff would be trained to let everyone finish their meal before being left to eat 'hurriedly' and catch up.

Tags: Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Groups, Bar Seating
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food4
ambience4
service2
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 31, 2018

So-so food in small portions and overpriced. Menu is odd: it describes sides for some entrees and not others; it included an ordering option (half-portion) that was a "typo;" the use of quotation marks was distracting: e.g., cookie "salami" because the cookies were like salami but not really salami and "crostini" because?? I had to ask if there was something unusual about the "crostini" on the menu; the answer was "no," but they weren't available anyway. The waitress also failed to tell us that the fried egg that was essential to a salad), although she was knowledgeable about the wine list.

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food2
ambience3
service2
value2

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 29, 2018

Love any restaurant that Donato opens! Outstanding menu selections with wonderful variety. Gianluca is a wonderful host and his desserts are phenomenal!

Tags: Quick Bite, Casual, Business Meals, Quiet Conversation, Hot Spot, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 28, 2018

We had a nice experience for restaurant week. The appetizer was kind of strange but we enjoyed the beet risotto. The space is awesome and the wait staff was really nice. I also enjoyed my hibiscus drink. And dessert was pretty tasty too. It was a bit pricey on the regular menu but we got a good deal with restaurant week. I will go back.

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food4
ambience5
service5
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 26, 2018

The chicken liver with quince jelly was delicious as was the pappardelle with duck. The bacalao - usually one of my favorite dishes in any restaurant - was disappointing: kind of a deep-fried nothing. We went during Restaurant Week, but that menu did not look very appealing.
Tables were so close together, it was really challenging to get in and out. On the plus side, we were able to hear each other. Decor is very attractive.

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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 25, 2018

Great menu!. The fact that you can order half portion of the pastas, give you the opportunity to try other delicious items. Good cocktails and nice space.
The service was not that great, but i guess they are just starting....
We will go back!

Tags: Romantic, Bar Seating, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Cozy
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food4
ambience4
service2
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 25, 2018

I wished it was better. My wife was going to order the price fixe dinner but they didn’t have the dish she really wanted. I shared the baccalau with a friend and neither of us was impressed. The fish wasn’t tasty but the salad around it was good. I had a frisée type salad with an crispy poached egg which was good. My pasta with duck breast was very good as was my wife’s squid and octopus entree. Our friends had the swordfish in a tomato sauce with olives etc and the didn’t like it. I tasted it and it was fine but not special. It was their second visit and they won’t return. We may give it a second chance. Beautiful surroundings and a great Meyer Sound system meant one could converse.

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food3
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 20, 2018

Donato was fabulous....warm, friendly and knowledgeable staff, great drinks and family

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 20, 2018

Fairly new place. Excellent, imaginative food; fine service. Not cheap but great value for money.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 19, 2018

we chose the special restaurant week menu for lunch..the appetizer was interesting..the main dish or primer plati was terrible..it was like having a bowl of morning oatmeal with some beet juice poured over for coloring..it may have been ok as a side with some chicKen or meat but as a stand alone a real disappointment.we barely ate half of the bowl..so dense and a pure filler-upper....the desert was creative and scruptious..the wait staff were attentive and knowledgeable and smart..we will return becuase it is close ot home and we will give it a second try.

Tags: Casual, Tasting Menu, Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine
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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 17, 2018

Wonderful Italian food. Many dishes that are not routinely found on the menu of other Italian restaurants. Excellent for sharing. Some unique combinations of ingredients.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Gluten Free Options, Good for Birthdays, Quiet Conversation, Organic, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 14, 2018

Donato & Co gave us an evening of absolute frustration. It was not the server's fault, but the restaurant was ill prepared to serve diners. Arriving at 5:30 pm to an almost empty place we ordered cocktails expecting them to arrive in a timely manner. Instead it took one hour to get all four, and each drink came one at a time. The martini and cosmo came in tiny wine or sherry glasses. The excuse was one of the bartenders called in sick. As a customer that is not my problem but as an owner you get a substitute or fill in yourself.
The food is decent, but again came very slowly. After complaining we were not charged for the drinks, but we were still overcharged for our entrees. Our expected pleasant experience was a disaster and shows a very inept and inexperienced ownership.

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food2
ambience2
service2
value1

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 13, 2018

Our server was excellent and very accommodating; however, the food was terrible. We tried a salad and a calamari appetizer both of which were bland and unseasoned. For our entrees we had the special (branzino) which was not seasoned and not filleted so I was left removing every bone from the fish. The seafood pasta special with mussels and clans had 5 clams that did not open. We sent the dish back and they kindly replaced it with a dick ragout pasta which was also bland tasting. The service was great but the food a big disappointment. We won't be going back again.

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food1
ambience4
service5
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 12, 2018

I was surprised at the stingy wine pours. The whole branzino was quite small, really a single portion, and not especially moist or tasty. The cauliflower was very nice, and pastas were fine. Nothing objectionable, just not particularly special, and pricey for what you get. I live in the neighborhood and am offering this by comparison with similarly priced alternatives.

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food3
ambience4
service4
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 10, 2018

The food was outstanding, our server told us the specials and I choose the fergola sarda and it was one of the best dishes that I have ever had!!!!!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 10, 2018

A welcome addition to the Elmwood. We had a salad of frizzled greens with an egg that had been barely soft boiled, peeled, battered and deep fried so when I cut into it the yolk was still runny. Spectacular. The squid ink pasta was so delicious!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 9, 2018

This was the poorest meal I've had in a long time. Seafood with couscous was a tiny portion. Couscous was hard and undercooked, the seafood tasted old with little taste, and the dish was terribly salty. Dessert was supposed to be choc cake and it was a tiny soft choc cookie with choc sauce on it. Even though I live in the neighborhood, I will not be back

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food1
ambience3
service3
value1

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 7, 2018

Went with a friend I hadn't seen during the holidays. We both really enjoyed Donato & Co. In fact, we already have a reservation to go back again.

I had the Il Maiale (pork rib, pork belly, pork sausage over cabbage and beans). It was so delicious! The pork belly was the least fatty I've ever had, and fell apart when touched by my fork. Even the cabbage was wonderful, and I normally am not a cabbage fan. The Nebbiolo we had was excellent and well priced. I like that you can order a glass, a half-bottle, or a full bottle of any of their non-sparkling wines (which you can get by the glass or bottle). We had the Torta al Cioccolato for dessert, and practically fought over who would lick the plate (we decided to be polite and neither of us did, but it was tempting). Also, the Pera Invernale cocktail was DELICIOUS (gin, pear liqueur, lime, and spiced syrup).

I look forward to going back!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 6, 2018

The setting is lovely, the ambiance great. The staff were friendly but inattentive. There was no offer of bread or olives whil waiting for our meal. The food was beautifully presented, but perfectly bland. The wine was a small pour for a large price, and both the Italian reds we tried were so awful we sent them back. Overall these guys are more about image than quality.

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food2
ambience5
service3
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 6, 2018

The food was delicious! One issue was the dungeness crab pasta- it was supposed to come cracked already but it wasn't thoroughly done...so we had only 1 small fork and had to crack it apart and pull it out- would be helpful to have a cracker, and a pick, and a wet-wipe. It was unclear from the menu we had to do the work....It should be clear so you know what you are getting into.

Service was spotty- slow, although attentive...Seemed like everyone wanted their check at the same time so that would be tough for any server.

We will be back and hopefully they will sort out some of those issues.

Tags: Organic, Authentic, Quick Bite, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for a Date, Local Ingredients
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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 5, 2018

The restaurant was out of several drink items. They said it had been a very busy New Year’s. There is no excuse for that.
The service was terrible in the beginning- we sat without anyone coming over for quite a while. It got better, but it set a bad tone, and then it didn’t help to be out of something you wanted to order.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Neighborhood Gem
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food3
ambience4
service3
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 5, 2018

Donato is new but I predict in a few mo’s the it will be hard to get a rsvp. Restaurant is spacious with big comfy booths and a feeling like you stepped into an old Sephia photograph of Italy. Frisée salad with deep fried soft boiled egg was perfect. The charcuterie plate was a bit small for our expectations- with 4 in a group we could all barely manage a very small bite of each item. The cured meats were superb in quality- the roast pork was a bit bland and not on par with the preparation of the other items. We had the black ink spaghetti w/calamari, calamari +octopus guancale and Dungeness crab pasta. The first 2 were superb, the last was a bit bland but with exquisitely prepared crab. However our wait staff did not provide bowls for the crab shells nor wipes, so that put a bit of a damper on the service with trips to the bathroom. Either serve the crab as lump, or provide us stuff to keep us tidy plz. Overall I think they will work out the kinks. The chef is quite skilled, we will be back

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience5
service4
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 5, 2018

The pasta with Duck rags was just fair, very adente pasta and sauce needed to be more sauce like. The salad with egg was good, apple crumble desert not great. We would try again and stick to the small plates

Tags: Quiet Conversation
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food2
ambience5
service5
value3

vip
 (Detroit)·Dined on January 4, 2018

A great addition to the Elmwood neighborhood. Authentic Italian cuisine, generally well prepared. Attractive, but casual, interior. Soft jazz plays -- allows for conversation.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Cozy, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

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