News

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Nellie's Soulfood Will Reopen in JK's Brickhouse in West Oakland

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Dec 22, 2016 at 12:12 PM

NELLIE'S SOULFOOD (VIA FACEBOOK)
  • Nellie's Soulfood (via Facebook)

Just in time for the holidays, a bit of happy news: As previously reported, Nellie Ozen, the proprietor of Nellie's Soulfood, has been working to reopen the 50-year-old West Oakland institution ever since it shuttered earlier this year. Now, Ozen has set Tuesday, December 27, as her tentative reopening date. She's leasing the kitchen at the sports bar JK's Brickhouse (360 Adeline St., Oakland), located just around the corner from the old Nellie's spot, and will operate the restaurant as a permanent pop-up, essentially.

See also:
After Fifty Years, Nellie's Soulfood Restaurant Says Goodbye

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Cafe Rouge and Grand Bakery Are Closing, and Starline Launches a Tea Parlour

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 12:50 PM

Cafe Rouge's meat market was an underrated gem. - CAFE ROUGE (VIA FACEBOOK)
  • Cafe Rouge (via Facebook)
  • Cafe Rouge's meat market was an underrated gem.

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

1) The East Bay is losing another legacy restaurant: Berkeley’s Cafe Rouge (1782 Fourth St.) — which just recently celebrated its 20th anniversary — announced that its last day of business will be December 30, Inside Scoop reports. The restaurant/butcher shop was an early pioneer in the hybrid model that places like Clove and Hoof have since adopted. Owner Marsha McBride attributed the decision to ongoing staffing shortages and said the new business that’s taking over the space — stay tuned for details — won’t be keeping the butcher shop component in place. I’ll miss their dry-aged steaks and their ground beef, which made for some mighty fine burgers.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Grocery Cafe Hopes to Reopen After Health Department Shutdown

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Dec 13, 2016 at 10:45 AM

Grocery Cafe's vaunted tea leaf salad. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE PHOTO
  • Bert Johnson/File photo
  • Grocery Cafe's vaunted tea leaf salad.

You wouldn’t guess it based on outward appearances, but Grocery Cafe (2248 10th Ave.) is one of Oakland’s most singular restaurants, slinging the city’s best tea leaf salad and fried samusas out of its funky, unassuming storefront tucked inside an East Oakland residential neighborhood. In the nearly two years since it opened, the Burmese restaurant parlayed its budding local acclaim into some degree of national prominence — most notably, a shout-out in a Bon Appétit feature about Oakland.

See also:
This Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurant Is Doing What No Other Restaurant in Oakland Is

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Ozumo, Curry Corner, and Taste of Africa Close

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Dec 1, 2016 at 1:56 PM

The "Championship Roll." - OZUMO OAKLAND (VIA FACEBOOK)
  • Ozumo Oakland (via Facebook)
  • The "Championship Roll."

1) Big news in Uptown Oakland: Ozumo Oakland (2251 Broadway), perhaps the city’s quintessential power lunch spot, closed last week after eight years of business, Inside Scoop reports. Along with neighboring Pican, the ritzy sushi restaurant was one of the first ambitious upscale dining establishments to set up shop in Uptown — a precursor to the neighborhood’s current restaurant boom. Ozumo’s San Francisco location remains open. No word yet on who will take over the gigantic (8,000-square-foot) Uptown space.

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Super Duper Is Coming to the East Bay; Berkeley Social Club and Fort Green Arrive

by Luke Tsai
Fri, Nov 11, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Coming to Berkeley. - SUPER DUPER BURGERS
  • Super Duper Burgers
  • Coming to Berkeley.

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

1) Smart Alec’s Intelligent Food (2355 Telegraph Ave.), a Cal campus institution for twenty years and a forerunner to today’s ubiquitous healthy-fast-food restaurant genre, has closed due to a rent increase, the Daily Cal reports. But, as Berkeleyside Nosh reports, students didn’t have to wait long to find out about what some might consider to be a more exciting replacement: the first East Bay location of Super Duper Burgers, a well-regarded San Francisco-based burger chain.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Cosecha Is (Hopefully) Coming to the Oakland's Dimond District

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Nov 8, 2016 at 11:19 AM

A drawing shows what Cosecha's proposed firehouse location might look like. - COSECHA
  • Cosecha
  • A drawing shows what Cosecha's proposed firehouse location might look like.

For several years, residents of Oakland’s Dimond District have been asking the city to turn the neighborhood’s abandoned firehouse into a restaurant. Now, it appears that the old Dimond Firehouse (3455 Champion St.) will be home to a second location for one of the city’s most prominent Mexican eateries.

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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Grand Fare, Claremont Diner, and Pathos Close

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 3:51 PM

Closed for good. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE
  • Bert Johnson/File
  • Closed for good.

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

1) Grand Fare (3265 Grand Ave., Oakland) has closed suddenly just three months after reopening, Eater reports. Sound like deja vu? That’s because the same thing happened to the first incarnation of the food hall/restaurant/prepared foods market hybrid, except the first time around, it went dark after just six weeks — a few days before my review was scheduled to drop, it turned out. This time the closure will be permanent.

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Aztecali Shutters, But Will Remain a Mexican Restaurant

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Oct 27, 2016 at 12:18 PM

Tacos at Aztecali. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE
  • Bert Johnson/File
  • Tacos at Aztecali.

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

1) Let’s start with the bad news: Aztecali (303A Oakland Ave., Oakland), probably the most promising new taqueria to open in Oakland this year, has closed for business suddenly. Co-owner Claudia Mercado told What the Fork that she and her partner, Juana Ojeda (who is the chef), made the difficult decision to close because of a family emergency in Mexico. Thankfully, everyone is okay, but the frequent trips to Mexico made it infeasible for them to hold onto their sublease.

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Oakland Restaurants Once Again Snubbed By Michelin Inspectors

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Oct 20, 2016 at 3:19 PM

Crusted king trumpet mushrooms at Millennium — one of only three Oakland restaurants Michelin deemed worthy of Bib Gourmand honors. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE
  • Bert Johnson/File
  • Crusted king trumpet mushrooms at Millennium — one of only three Oakland restaurants Michelin deemed worthy of Bib Gourmand honors.

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

1) Earlier this week, Michelin released its 2017 list of Bay Area “Bib Gourmand” winners — a designation reserved for restaurants that fall short of receiving any actual stars, but that Michelin’s anonymous inspectors recommend for “excellent food at a reasonable price.” This year’s honorees include eleven East Bay restaurants, with the brick-and-mortar location of Tacos Sinaloa (2384 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley) joining the list for the first time, and Gather (2200 Oxford St., Berkeley) dropping out from last year’s list.

The other 2017 East Bay Bib Gourmand picks are China Village (Albany), Comal (Berkeley), Corso (Berkeley), FIVE (Berkeley), Great China (Berkeley), Ippuku (Berkeley), Michel Bistro (Oakland), Millennium (Oakland), Thai House (Danville), and Wood Tavern (Oakland).

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Nellie's Soulfood Plots a Triumphant Return to West Oakland

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Oct 18, 2016 at 1:45 PM

Fried catfish, yams, and greens. - NELLIE'S SOULFOOD (VIA FACEBOOK)
  • Nellie's Soulfood (via Facebook)
  • Fried catfish, yams, and greens.

The past year has seen a slew of iconic, decades-old Oakland restaurants close their doors — Genova Delicatessen, Dorsey’s Locker, and Art’s Crab Shack, to name just a few. And whether they’ve shuttered because of rents or because the owner was ready to retire, one thing is clear: Once an old-school place like that closes, it’s almost always gone forever.

See also:
In Praise of Old Restaurants

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