Thursday, February 28, 2013

UPDATE: Scream Sorbet to Close on March 10

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 9:10 PM

A recent thread on the online food discussion forum Chowhound reported shocking news for East Bay frozen-dessert enthusiasts: Temescal’s Scream Sorbet (5030 Telegraph Ave.) will be going out of business, as soon as early next month.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mid-Week Menu: El Gusano Opens, Caffe Venezia Says Goodbye, and Betty Crocker Gets Veganized

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 7:00 AM

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

1) El Gusano (1015 Clay St.), the new Old Oakland venture from the owners of San Francisco’s Tropisueño, is now open, according to Inside Scoop. It’s a taqueria by day and a full-service restaurant by night. I haven’t been able to track down a menu yet, but Tropisueño’s menu should serve as a good reference point. Entonces, more Baja-style fish tacos for Oakland.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

High Tea at the Pardee Home: A Hidden Gem

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 10:00 AM

A few months ago, the following Chowhound discussion header caught my eye: “Best Bay Area high tea? In a museum in Oakland!” The poster, “jaiko,” raved about crustless, open-face finger sandwiches and warm hospitality — as though s/he’d been invited over by “a group of good cooks [who] were in friendly competition to see who could produce the best ‘goodies’ that day.” By the time I’d read there were lemon curd tartlets to be had, I knew further investigation was in order.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mid-Week Menu: Noble Cafe Is Closed, Olde Depot Public House Is Open, and an Oakland Firehouse Is Turning into a Restaurant (Maybe)

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 7:00 AM

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

1) Diablo Dish has the scoop on Hutch Bar & Kitchen (2022 Telegraph Ave.), a new restaurant coming to Uptown Oakland next month from chef-owner David King, a native Tennessean who recently helped open San Francisco's Southpaw BBQ. The basic concept sounds somewhat similar to the one at Old Oakland’s yet-to-open The Cook and Her Farmer — a kind of hybrid between a raw bar and a Southern-inspired restaurant. There will be a couple of different crawfish preparations and lots and lots of grits, and pork fetishists will happy to hear that Allan Benton's legendary country ham will be on the menu.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

New Bar Bites at Hawker Fare

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Hawker Fare is on a short list of maybe three or four restaurants I bring out-of-town guests to if I want to show them what Oakland’s food scene is all about. I love the casual vibe and the way the food perfectly straddles that line between “elevated” and “down-home.” The restaurant’s only flaw was that the short menu never changed — day in, day out, it was always the same set of rice bowls, the same limited selection of snacky appetizers.

So I was excited when I heard that, to go along with its newly-granted full liquor license, Hawker Fare has very quietly done its first significant menu revamp in the two years since it’s been open. Rest assured, all your favorites are still intact, but the “snack aisle” section has four new items — all available in limited quantities after 5 p.m., all designed to pair well with booze.

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Cholita Linda to Bring Fish Tacos and ‘Eclectic Latin’ to Temescal

by Luke Tsai
Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 2:49 PM

The fish tacos, they are a comin’: It’s been a year since rumors started circulating that Cholita Linda, the popular Bay Area farmers’ market vendor, was planning to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood.

Now, husband-and-wife owners Murat Sozeri and Vanessa Chavez are finally making it official: Construction on their new 4923-27 Telegraph Avenue restaurant, which will also be called Cholita Linda, has started in earnest. Chavez and Sozeri are optimistic that the 1,800-square-foot restaurant, with room to seat 45 diners, will be ready to open by the early summer.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mid-Week Menu: Miss Ollie’s and Grand Lake Kitchen Launch Dinner Service, Jon’s Street Eats to Be Reborn as Marrow

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 7:00 AM

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

1) A couple of recently reviewed, previously lunch-centric Oakland restaurants — Miss Ollie’s (901 Washington St.) and Grand Lake Kitchen (576 Grand Ave.) — are launching dinner service. Miss Ollie’s kicked off its evening hours (starting at 5:30 p.m., Tues.-Sat.) last week, and, as Inside Scoop observed, it’s worth noting that some of the rotating lunch specials — like the fried chicken — are available for dinner every night. Check out the full menu here, but know that chef Sarah Kirnon will almost certainly have some adventurous specials up her sleeve each week.

Meanwhile, tonight is the first night Grand Lake Kitchen will serve dinner, starting at 5 p.m. The sample menu I perused didn’t have a single sandwich, and the entrées featured a healthy sprinkling of Eastern European influence: a gulyás (or goulash) with wild mushrooms, kohlrabi, and spring onions; a hunter’s plate featuring veal schnitzel and Hungarian kolbasz sausage; and so forth. There’s also beef brisket and a roasted half chicken served with rye dumplings.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Preview: Lots of Sausages and Lots of Beer at The Hog’s Apothecary

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Feb 12, 2013 at 11:00 AM

The Bay Area’s bar food scene has evolved to the point where boozehounds don’t even blink when they encounter menu items like roast pheasant or poached halibut cheeks served inside a little glass jar. But classic is classic, and recent openings in Oakland reflect a resurgent interest in the tried-and-true pairing of sausages and beer: Uptown’s Telegraph and the new Rosamunde Sausage Grill outpost in Old Oakland.

The Hog’s Apothecary (375 40th Street), an “American-style” beer hall coming soon to Temescal’s 40th Street corridor, will be the latest contender to enter this meaty, boozy fray.

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Oakland Chefs to Cook ‘Every Little Bit’ for Japanese Pop-Up in SF

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Feb 12, 2013 at 7:00 AM

A pop-up event in San Francisco’s Mission district next week will star a soba master from the Japanese countryside and two Japanese chefs from Oakland, all of whom share a penchant for cooking with offal — animal and vegetable parts that typically get thrown away.

On Thursday, February 21, from 6 p.m. until late, Oakland chefs Chikara Ono (of the Piedmont Avenue izakaya B-Dama) and Sylvan Mishima Brackett (proprietor of the Peko Peko catering company) will hold court at the Mission night club Bruno’s (2389 Mission St.) for an event they’ve dubbed “Mottainai-kai,” or “Eat Every Little Bit.”

They’ll be joined by Kanji Nakatani, who runs two small soba restaurants (Soba Ro and Soba Ra) in Japan in the Saitama prefecture to the north of Tokyo, as well as Nancy Singleton Hachisu, a writer and Slow Food educator who lives on a traditional organic farm in Japan.

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Friday, February 8, 2013

The Eight East Bay SF Beer Week Events You Shouldn't Miss

by Ellen Cushing
Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Feel that rumbling in your stomach? Why, that's your liver gearing up for SF Beer Week! This year, the annual, week-plus celebration of that holy union of hops, malt, grain, and yeast — which starts tonight in SF and runs through February 17 — is, as usual, kind of overwhelming, but never fear: I combed through the whole massive list and found the eight East Bay events to be most excited about.

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