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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: A Polynesian Food Calamity, a Pasta Tasting Menu, and the Long-Awaited Start of Dungeness Crab Season

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 12:47 PM

One of the hefty combo plates at Mo's Hut. RIP. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE PHOTO
  • Bert Johnson/File photo
  • One of the hefty combo plates at Mo's Hut. RIP.
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) We’re halfway through February, but news is still trickling in about restaurants that didn’t make it into the new year. One of Oakland’s biggest losses: Mo’s Hut (2676 Fruitvale Ave.), a low-key Samoan/Hawaiian spot that was one of my favorite new restaurants to open last year, had its last day of business on December 31. According to the restaurant’s Facebook announcement, the owners are searching for a new permanent location — but possibly not in Oakland. I will miss the grilled meats, crab mac salad, and warm hospitality.

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Antoinette Opens, Hawker Temporarily Suspends Lunch Service, and Blue Bottle Launches New Food Menu

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Feb 11, 2016 at 11:58 AM

Dominique Crenn (via Facebook). - ED ANDERSON
  • Ed Anderson
  • Dominique Crenn (via Facebook).
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Earlier this week, Dominique Crenn, the latest big gun to hit the East Bay restaurant scene, unveiled her first project on this side of the bay, Eater reports. Located inside the newly rebranded Claremont Club & Spa (in the former Paragon spot), Antoinette (41 Tunnel Rd.) aims to be a French brasserie with a luxurious bent (not to mention an amazing panoramic view of the bay). And whoa if the opening night menu — posted here by Inside Scoop — doesn’t have some seriously eye-popping dishes: roasted monkfish tail for $95? A whole duck with foie gras and abalone mushrooms — meant to serve three to four — for $200? The brasserie also offers versions of French classics such as coq au vin ($29) and salade Lyonnaise made with mangalitsa lardo ($15).

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Oakland Aims to Allow Food Trucks to Operate All Over the City

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Feb 9, 2016 at 10:53 AM

An evening event at Tacos Sinaloa in East Oakland. - BERT JOHNSON
  • Bert Johnson
  • An evening event at Tacos Sinaloa in East Oakland.
Off the Grid-style mobile food gatherings might have taken the Bay Area by storm, but here in Oakland, the food truck revolution hasn’t gained much traction. It’s been limited, for the most part, to East Oakland’s vaunted taco truck scene and a handful of high-profile events elsewhere in the city.

But all that may be about to change. The city recently unveiled a proposal for a new mobile food policy that would greatly expand opportunities for local food truck operators. In theory, your favorite Fruitvale taco truck would now be able to set up shop on, say, Piedmont Avenue. And it would become much easier for individual food trucks to get permission to pull up to a metered parking space in Oakland to do business, the way they do in other cities that have a vibrant street food culture.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Genova Deli’s Landlord, Marzano’s Rebirth, and Pretty Lady’s Ownership Change

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 1:28 PM

Genova Deli's stock-in-trade. - _E.T/FLICKR (CC)
  • _E.T/Flickr (CC)
  • Genova Deli's stock-in-trade.
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Last week’s big news was the possibility that Genova Delicatessen’s Oakland retail shop, a fixture in Temescal since 1926, might close due to an impending rent increase. According to longtime general manager, Julio De La Cruz, the deli’s lease is set to expire at the beginning of June. Not much has changed since the Express first broke the story on Friday, but here’s a brief update:

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Friday, January 29, 2016

Rent Hike May Force Oakland's Genova Delicatessen to Close

The Oakland institution has been located in the city's Temescal district for ninety years.

by Luke Tsai
Fri, Jan 29, 2016 at 9:15 AM

Genova's current retail store has been open since 1996. - JOSE AND ROXANNE/FLICKR (CC)
  • Jose and Roxanne/Flickr (CC)
  • Genova's current retail store has been open since 1996.
Don’t look now, but another Oakland institution might be in danger of being priced out of The Town. Genova Delicatessen (5095 Telegraph Ave., Oakland), which has been a fixture in the Temescal neighborhood since 1926, may be forced to shut down its retail store in the spring due to a looming rent increase.

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Belcampo Meat Co. (Probably) En Route to Oakland, Homeskillet Brings Fresh Doughnuts to Alameda

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 12:31 PM

Belcampo Meat Co.'s restaurant in San Francisco's Russian Hill neighborhood (via Facebook).
  • Belcampo Meat Co.'s restaurant in San Francisco's Russian Hill neighborhood (via Facebook).
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Today brought news that Belcampo Meat Co. has shut down its butcher shop in San Francisco’s Mission District, citing, among other reasons, logistical/marketing challenges and a desire to prioritize a new “SF location” that it plans to open (or at least announce) in March. Could that new location actually be across the bridge in Oakland, where Belcampo has its offices, rather than San Francisco? Six months ago, the sustainability-minded meat company hosted an open house at its “soon-to-be new location” at 369 3rd Street, a 5,000-square-foot warehouse in the Jack London district. And the company appears to have applied for a Type 47 (aka full bar) liquor license for that site.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Burmese Barbecue Is Coming to Oakland

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 1:34 PM

Grocery Cafe is expanding its Burmese offerings to go way beyond tea leaf salad. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE PHOTO
  • Bert Johnson/File photo
  • Grocery Cafe is expanding its Burmese offerings to go way beyond tea leaf salad.
Hidden away in an East Oakland residential neighborhood, Grocery Cafe (2248 10th Ave., Oakland) is already a one-of-a-kind restaurant. Regulars at this tiny Burmese cafe sit on repurposed church pews while feasting on tamarind-spiked deep-fried samusas, steaming bowls of catfish chowder, and the most potent fermented tea leaf salad in town. And if chef-owner William Lue has his way, customers will soon be able to enjoy one more hard-to-find specialty: Burmese-style barbecue.

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


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Friday, January 22, 2016

Cholita Linda to Bring Fish Tacos, Peruvian Chicken to Lakeshore Avenue

by Luke Tsai
Fri, Jan 22, 2016 at 11:30 AM

CHRIS DUFFEY/FILE PHOTO
  • Chris Duffey/File photo
East Bay fans of Baja-style fried fish tacos won’t find a much better version than the one served at Cholita Linda’s farmers’ market stands and its popular Telegraph Avenue restaurant. Now, you can add another brick-and-mortar location to the list: The owners of Cholita Linda plan to open their second branch in the old Burrito Shop location at 3256 Lakeshore Avenue, as first noted on the Splash Pad Park neighborhood group’s Facebook page.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: An Asian Mall Shuffle, Gluten-Free Beer, and a California Burrito Sighting

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Jan 20, 2016 at 2:33 PM

The status of Ran Kanom, a Thai restaurant inside the Pacific East Mall, is uncertain. - CHRIS DUFFEY/FILE PHOTO
  • Chris Duffey/File photo
  • The status of Ran Kanom, a Thai restaurant inside the Pacific East Mall, is uncertain.
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) A New York investor group has purchased Richmond's Pacific East Mall (3288 Pierce St.) for $31 million, the Contra Costa Times reports. Anchored by a 99 Ranch Market supermarket, the mall is home to an eclectic mix of Asian-centric shops and restaurants. According to some observers, its popularity as a one-stop shop for many East Bay Chinese Americans, is partly to blame for the recent struggles of Oakland Chinatown.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: BBQ Hut Shutters, Ike’s Plans Rockridge Branch, and CORE Kitchen Brings All-Produce Fast Food to Downtown Oakland

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Jan 13, 2016 at 3:13 PM

BBQ Hut's slow-smoked baby back ribs. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE PHOTO
  • Bert Johnson/File photo
  • BBQ Hut's slow-smoked baby back ribs.

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

1) For whatever reason, the East Bay just can’t seem to support a good barbecue restaurant. This week’s loss really smarts: North Oakland’s BBQ Hut (6400 Shattuck Ave.) — pound for pound, the finest barbecue restaurant that we had in Oakland — has closed. RIP to some of the best baby backs I ever did eat.

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