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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Kitchener Oakland Launches Online Ordering

Also: North Oakland Gets a Kebabery, and Temescal Brewing Opens for Business

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Jun 15, 2016 at 4:48 PM

The Kitchener's Sophia Chang. - BRAD WENNER/FILE PHOTO
  • Brad Wenner/File photo
  • The Kitchener's Sophia Chang.

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

1) Long-time What the Fork readers may recall a 2014 story I wrote about the Kitchener Oakland’s plans to open ambitious new takeout window that would showcase dishes from a rotating selection of the food artisans who use the commercial kitchen as their home base. At the time, I said it had potential to be “the most innovative food-business model to hit the Bay Area” since Guest Chef.

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Pal's Take Away Abruptly Shuts Down Operations at Oakland's Firebrand Artisan Breads

by Luke Tsai
Mon, Jun 13, 2016 at 11:21 AM

Jeff Mason is now looking to open a brick-and-mortar deli of his own. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE PHOTO
  • Bert Johnson/File photo
  • Jeff Mason is now looking to open a brick-and-mortar deli of his own.
East Bay sandwich lovers got some unpleasant news over the weekend, as Jeff Mason, the sandwich-maker-in-chief at Uptown Oakland's Pal's Take Away, tweeted this brief announcement on Sunday morning: "To all Pal's pals: as of right now Pal's is no longer making sandwiches at Firebrand in Oakland."

See also:
Pal's Take Away Isn't Your Typical Delicatessen 

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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Icey Cream Opens, Grand Lake Kitchen Expands, and Berkeley Gets a Poke Restaurant

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Jun 2, 2016 at 3:22 PM

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

1) For more than a year, the residents of Oakland’s Adams Point neighborhood have been eying the hot-pink facade of Icey Cream (346 Grand Ave.) — the long-delayed ice cream parlor from the folks behind Oasis Kitchen, the shawarma joint next door. Icey finally opened for business this week and immediately takes the crown for the pinkest ice cream shop in The Town, even if it doesn’t wind up being the best.

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Tian Jin Dumplings No Longer Sells Dumplings, Josephine Temporarily Shuts Down, and Beer Bike Tours Come to Oakland

by Luke Tsai
Thu, May 12, 2016 at 12:51 PM

Sadly, the dumplings at Tian Jin Dumplings' are no longer available. - CHRIS DUFFEY/FILE PHOTO
  • Chris Duffey/File photo
  • Sadly, the dumplings at Tian Jin Dumplings' are no longer available.
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) It saddens me to report that Tian Jin Dumplings (989 Franklin St., Ste. B, Oakland), purveyor of the best damn dumplings in the East Bay, is no longer selling its signature item. Following up on a letter from a distressed reader, I confirmed the news this morning. Owner Amy Liu said it was “too tiring” for her to keep making the dumplings — a sentiment I’m sympathetic to: She must have been making thousands of them each week, basically single-handedly.

See also:
The Dumpling of Champions

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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Salsipuedes Closes, Hi-Life Rebrands, and Mockingbird Gets Ready to Move

by Luke Tsai
Thu, May 5, 2016 at 1:44 PM

Beef tongue and uni at Salsipuedes. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE PHOTO
  • Bert Johnson/File photo
  • Beef tongue and uni at Salsipuedes.

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

1) After about a nine-month run, Salsipuedes (4201 Market St., Oakland) has closed in North Oakland. The restaurant specialized in New Baja-style cuisine, a genre of food that isn’t really represented anywhere else in the Bay Area, and served one of the better fried chicken sandwiches in Oakland. But it seems that in the end, the restaurant — with its delicate, and somewhat expensive, small plates — wasn’t the best fit for the mostly-residential neighborhood.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Barclay's Pub Forced to Leave Rockridge after 25 Years

by Luke Tsai
Tue, May 3, 2016 at 1:50 PM

Barclay's was a popular spot for soccer fans to watch the World Cup in 2014 (via Facebook).
  • Barclay's was a popular spot for soccer fans to watch the World Cup in 2014 (via Facebook).
In today’s Oakland, it’s a tale that is unfortunately becoming all too common: After nearly 25 years in Rockridge, Barclay’s Pub (5940 College Ave.) will be forced to find a new home.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Delage to Softly Open at Swan's Market with Michelin-Starred Sushi Chef at the Helm

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Apr 26, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Via Instagram, @as_bdama.
  • Via Instagram, @as_bdama.
Don't look now, but Oakland is about to get a serious addition to its sushi scene: A few months ago, What the Fork reported that Chikara Ono, chef-owner of AS B-Dama (907 Washington St., Oakland), was planning to open a new sushi restaurant at Swan's Market, in a stand-alone space at 536 9th Street, adjacent to the main "food court" area that houses AS B-Dama.

That restaurant, which Ono has since dubbed Delage, will softly open with an omakase-style prix-fixe dinner menu this week, with preliminary hours from about 5:30 to 9 p.m., Wednesday through Friday.

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Handlebar Shifts Gears, Cupkates Changes Owners, and Lost and Found Hosts a Sour Beer Fundraiser for Betti Ono Gallery

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Apr 21, 2016 at 12:38 PM

The burger and tater tots at Handlebar. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE PHOTO
  • Bert Johnson/File photo
  • The burger and tater tots at Handlebar.
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Some pretty significant changes are on the horizon at Handlebar, the burger- and tater tot-serving West Berkeley bar, Berkeleyside Nosh reports. The main thing is that owner Jennifer Seidman has brought on Farm League — the design and management group behind Tigerlily and a handful of other East Bay bars and restaurants — to tweak the overall concept and approach to service, which will now skew even more casual: Moving forward, customers will order food directly at the kitchen window — a more “fast-casual” approach that seems designed, in part, to keep down the bar’s labor expenses. Handlebar will close temporarily at the end of April, and when it reopens it will have a new name.

See also:
All You Can Handle


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Monday, April 4, 2016

Cholita Linda Won’t Be Coming to Lakeshore Avenue After All

by Luke Tsai
Mon, Apr 4, 2016 at 10:10 AM

Cholita Linda's signature fried fish taco. - CHRIS DUFFEY/FILE PHOTO
  • Chris Duffey/File photo
  • Cholita Linda's signature fried fish taco.
Earlier this year, I reported that diners in the Lake Merritt area would soon be feasting on Baja-style fish tacos, as Cholita Linda, Temescal’s wildly popular taqueria and pan-Latin restaurant, was set to open a second location at 3256 Lakeshore Avenue — the old Burrito Shop spot.

It turns out I jumped the gun: In an interview, Cholita Linda co-owner Murat Sozeri told me that landlords Barry and Elaine Gilbert backed out of their months-long “handshake agreement” last week, and have instead decided to lease the storefront to a falafel shop — despite the fact that the proprietors of Cholita Linda had already invested a significant amount of money into the restaurant.

See also:
Que Linda!


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Friday, April 1, 2016

El Cerrito Gets a Himalayan Market

by Luke Tsai
Fri, Apr 1, 2016 at 4:49 PM

A new shopping option in El Cerrito. - HIMALAYAN MARKET
  • Himalayan Market
  • A new shopping option in El Cerrito.
For many true food adventurers, restaurants are a dime a dozen, and it’s the international markets — tucked away in ethnic enclaves and at remote suburban strip malls — that are often the real treasure trove.

Here in the East Bay, the latest addition is Himalayan Grocery (10340 San Pablo Ave.), a Nepalese-owned grocery store in El Cerrito that will have its first day of business on Sunday, April 3, according to Taniya Acharya, whose father, Kiran Acharya, is one of four Nepalese friends who are opening the store together.

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