Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mid-Week Menu: Local 123 Goes Mobile, Authentic Bagel Company, and Blue Bottle's Beehives

By Luke Tsai
Wed, May 16, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our weekly roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Berkeley coffee shop Local 123's second location will be a 1969 Streamline Airstream trailer that will be parked permanently in front of Flowerland Nursery, at 1330 Solano Avenue. Owner Frieda Hoffman says she's now in the final stages of the permitting process with the Alameda County health department — assuming that final inspections all go according to plan, she has tentatively slated the café's three-year anniversary weekend, June 16-17, for the trailer's grand opening. According to Hoffman, the trailer will sell individually brewed drip coffee, espresso drinks via a La Marzocco Linea espresso machine, and a variety pastries.

Ippuku: now serving lunch.
  • Ippuku: now serving lunch.
2) Inside Scoop brings news that the Berkeley izakaya (and critics' darling) Ippuku is now open for lunch on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a soba-focused menu: ten cold versions and about six hot.

3) According to Diablo Dish, the new owners of Rockridge's Cafe Zoe, brothers Mark and Jason Scott, will be transforming the café into a bagel shop and deli called Authentic Bagel Company. The pair of New England transplants have been selling their bagels at a number of local cafés, including The Coffee Mill and Telegraph, for several months now. What they're claiming? A "real chewy bagel" that's boiled, not steamed. The Cafe Zoe relaunch is slated for sometime in June. Meanwhile, with Beauty's Bagel Shop also on the way, things might be looking up for the area's long-suffering East Coast bagel purists.

4) Other Rockridge news from Diablo Dish: The Trappist will be opening a new shop in College called Trappist Provisions, in the former Heartware space. Also, Wood Tavern has a new executive chef, Yang Peng, who was promoted from in-house.

5) The Chronicle has a story about Comal's state-of-the-art audio system. In the meantime, both Berkeleyside and Bay Area Bites filed early, mostly-positive reports on the food.

6) Also in the Chronicle: A nice story about Commis chef James Syhabout sharing a quiet meal at home with his wife and 10-month-old daughter (lucky baby!). Included is a recipe for Yen Ta Fu-style hot pot that I'm looking forward to trying.

Rooftop beehive shoot (via Blue Bottles Facebook page)
  • Rooftop beehive shoot (via Blue Bottle's Facebook page)
7) Via a segment on NBC News, apparently now you can get local honey in your coffee drinks at Blue Bottle's Oakland headquarters. How local? They've installed beehives on the roof of their building.

8) Finally, in case you missed it, check out my story about new food pods in Oakland and a few mobile food vendors' efforts to navigate the city's new policy by implementing a friendlier fee structure.

Got tips or suggestions? Email me at Luke (dot) Tsai (at) EastBayExpress (dot) com. Otherwise, keep in touch by following me on Twitter @theluketsai, or simply by posting a comment. I'll read ‘em all.

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