Thursday, May 29, 2014

Norikonoko Ready to Reopen

by Luke Tsai
Thu, May 29, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Good news for longtime customers of Berkeley’s Norikonoko (2556 Telegraph Ave.), a tiny Japanese restaurant that was shut down by a fire last October: The repairs are complete, the kitchen has been upgraded to get everything up to code, and the restaurant is finally ready to reopen.

Owner Noriko Taniguchi told What the Fork that she’s aiming to open officially by the middle of June, but the restaurant will likely have a soft opening — quiet and unannounced, so that the crowds don’t come swarming in all at once — in the next week or two.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Mid-Week Menu: Berkeley Welcomes Perdition Smokehouse, Los Cilantros, and Westbrae Biergarten

by Luke Tsai
Wed, May 28, 2014 at 12:30 PM

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

1) The Dock at Linden Street (95 Linden St., Oakland) — a collaboration between chef-restaurateur James Syhabout and Linden Street Brewery’s Adam Lamoreaux — will open in West Oakland next Tuesday. Check out our preview for details about Syhabout’s globally-inspired, beer-friendly menu: falafel waffles, pumpernickel-crusted onion rings, and giant punch bowls, oh my.

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The Dock at Linden Street to Open Next Week

by Luke Tsai
Wed, May 28, 2014 at 8:30 AM

Beer lovers and lovers of food that goes well with beer, take note: The Dock at Linden Street (95 Linden St., Oakland), the highly anticipated collaboration between James Syhabout (of Commis, Hawker Fare, and Box & Bells) and Linden Street Brewery’s Adam Lamoreaux, is ready to take off.

Although final inspections won’t take place until later today, Syhabout told What the Fork that he’s confident that the restaurant and beer garden will be ready to open for business on Tuesday, June 3.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cover, the Uber for Restaurants, Launches in the Bay Area

by Luke Tsai
Tue, May 27, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Anyone who’s ever been frustrated while attempting to hail a waiter to pay the bill at the end of a meal might want to try Cover, an app that allows diners to settle their check via smartphone. Eight months after its initial launch in New York, Cover made its Bay Area debut last week, starting with an initial roster of about twenty mostly high-end restaurants, including Daniel Patterson’s three Oakland establishments: Haven, Plum Bar, and the newly revamped Ume.

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Friday, May 23, 2014

The Kingfish Is Moving

by Luke Tsai
Fri, May 23, 2014 at 6:15 AM

First, the bad news: The Kingfish Pub (5227 Claremont Ave., Oakland), a beloved dive bar in Temescal, is going to have to move in order to make way for a new condominium complex.

The good news: The pub’s owners have already found a new home for the tiny, 92-year-old bait-shop-turned-watering-hole, practically right across the street. Later this year, they hope to move the Kingfish — to literally pick the whole building up and set it down again at the new site. If all goes according to plan, the new Kingfish will be the same as the old — the same green paint job, shack-like exterior, oversized Seven-Up sign, and happy customers.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mid-Week Menu: Ume’s Japanese-Inspired Small Plates, Encuentro’s New Menu, and Cinnaholic’s Expansion Plans

by Luke Tsai
Wed, May 21, 2014 at 10:45 AM

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

1) Uptown Oakland’s kind-of-new kid on the block is Daniel Patterson’s Ume (2214 Broadway), which opened last night in place of Plum, which completed its last weekend of service after three-and-a-half tumultuous, occasionally brilliant years. Check out Ume’s Japanese-inspired menu that Patterson and chef Brett Cooper have put together here. The menu skews, izakaya-like, toward small plates, mostly in the $6 to $10 range, with just a handful of larger “bowls” such as a fried-chicken-and-egg ramen ($17).

Sticky pork and brown rice bowl at Ume (via @umeoakland on Instagram)
  • Sticky pork and brown rice bowl at Ume (via @umeoakland on Instagram)

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

R.I.P. Plum

by Luke Tsai
Tue, May 20, 2014 at 8:06 AM

Last Friday brought news that Plum (2214 Broadway), Daniel Patterson’s restaurant in Uptown Oakland, has closed after three-and-a-half somewhat tumultuous years that saw numerous chef changes and a handful of minor conceptual tweaks. In its place, a new restaurant called Ume (after the Japanese plum varietal) will open tonight with a Japanese-inspired, significantly less expensive menu developed by Patterson and a new chef: Brett Cooper, formerly of San Francisco’s Outerlands.

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Uptown Shuffle: Captain & Corset Replaces 2212 Wine Bar

by Luke Tsai
Mon, May 19, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Change is on the way in Uptown Oakland: A new restaurant called Captain & Corset (2212 Broadway) is softly opening on Friday, May 23, in a prime Uptown location — part of the same facade shared by Plum (now Ume, as announced last week) and Ike’s Lair, in the space previously occupied by a string of short-lived wine bars.

The most recent incarnation, an Ike's spinoff called 2212 Wine Bar, was open for just four months. When owners Paul Fitzpatrick and Sam Patel (both execs in the Ike’s sandwich empire) decided to close the wine bar, they put together a team of prominent Bay Area restaurant folks to give the place a complete overhaul. (The prior occupants — The Punchdown and, before that, Franklin Square Wine Bar — were also wine bars.)

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Cook and Her Farmer Softly Opens Tomorrow

by Luke Tsai
Thu, May 15, 2014 at 4:00 PM

The inspections are passed, the beer and wine license is in, and the oysters are on the way: After a months-long buildout, The Cook and Her Farmer (907 Washington St., Oakland), the newest arrival at Swan’s Marketplace in Old Oakland, will softly open on Friday, May 16.

Co-owner Romney Steele, the “cook” in the name of the restaurant, has described The Cook and Her Farmer as an oyster bar that has roots in both the South and in Northern California’s local-and-seasonal-sourcing tradition. The menu will include, yes, plenty of oysters (shipped in fresh from Tomales Bay), but also things like gumbo and po’boy sandwiches. It’ll be a casual place, where customers order at the counter and then seat themselves in the market's communal dining area.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mid-Week Menu: Sausages and Beer in Fruitvale, a Bar in the Cathedral Building, and New Restaurants on Grand Avenue

by Luke Tsai
Wed, May 14, 2014 at 1:00 PM

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

1) Right on the heels of What the Fork’s post on longtime East Oakland favorite Taco Grill’s across-the-street move (and name change, to Obelisco), Berkeleyside Nosh reports that the restaurant’s old spot in Fruitvale Public Market has a new tenant: The Half Orange (3340 E. 12th St., Ste. 11), a sausage-and-beer joint owned by Jay Porter and Katie Mayfield. Porter and Mayfield are the husband-and-wife team behind Salsipuedes, a Mexican restaurant that they’re opening in North Oakland. It sounds like The Half Orange, which is slated to open sometime this summer, will be an updated version of The Linkery, the now-shuttered sausage-centric (and tip-free) restaurant that Porter ran for many years in San Diego.

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