News

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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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Buma’s Pizzeria and Rumbo al Sur Close in Oakland, Modu to Bring Cal-Asian Fare to Temescal

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Jan 6, 2016 at 11:48 AM

The 'Shroom pizza at Buma's (via Facebook).
  • The 'Shroom pizza at Buma's (via Facebook).
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Buma’s Pizzeria (325 19th St.), Jon Kosorek’s East Coast-style pizzeria in Uptown Oakland, rang in the new year by announcing that it has closed for business. Kosorek posted the announcement last night on the restaurant’s social media accounts, citing the rigors of the long commute since the chef and his family moved to Napa 2011. Buma’s — an excellent pizza shop and winner of the award for “Best Pizza for Umami Lovers” in the Express’s most recent "Best of the East Bay" edition — was the second restaurant that Kosorek ran out of the tiny 19th Street storefront. I still miss the first, a whole-animal sandwich shop called Marrow.

Kosorek is currently seeking a manager or buyer for Buma’s, which leaves open the possibility that the pizzeria might eventually reopen in some form, with someone new running the show.

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Mid-Week Menu: The Dock Shifts Gears, Rockridge Gets Another Italian Restaurant, and Lucky Three Seven Hosts a Free Food Day

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Dec 17, 2015 at 9:00 AM

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

1) With Commis having garnered its second Michelin star and Hawker Fare humming along like a well-oiled machine, James Syhabout continues to turn his attention to his third restaurant, The Dock (95 Linden St.), which has undergone a series of menu changes and concept tweaks in the past couple of months. Earlier in the fall, the restaurant had introduced a new prix-fixe option. It's unclear whether Syhabout and chef de cuisine Geoffrey Davis will keep that option moving forward, but Inside Scoop reports that The Dock will now shift away from its original small plates focus, moving toward a “supper house” menu format that’s set up more traditionally, with starters, entrées, and so forth. The restaurant is also now baking its own bread and biscuits in-house.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Mid-Week Menu: Starline Social Club Goes Burmese, Cafe 88 Is Closed, and Two New Ramen Shops Gear Up to Open

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Dec 9, 2015 at 1:23 PM

Grocery Cafe's funky tea leaf salad. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE PHOTO
  • Bert Johnson/File photo
  • Grocery Cafe's funky tea leaf salad.
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) In what may be the unlikeliest restaurant collaboration of the year, the Starline Social Club (2236 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, Oakland) — the highbrow bar-food specialist — will now serve mostly Burmese dishes by way of East Oakland hole-in-the-wall Grocery Cafe (2248 10th Ave.), Inside Scoop reports. Apparently, chef Austin Holey will assume a more advisory role at Starline, and, under the tutelage of Grocery Cafe owner William Lue, the bar’s remaining kitchen staff will start cranking out samosas and tea leaf salads (while keeping a handful of popular bar-snacky items on the menu).

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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Juhu Beach Club Goes Global with New Hong Kong Location

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Dec 8, 2015 at 9:00 AM

The interior of Juhu Beach Club's newly opened location in Hong Kong. - JUHU BEACH CLUB
  • Juhu Beach Club
  • The interior of Juhu Beach Club's newly opened location in Hong Kong.
For fans of Juhu Beach Club (5179 Telegraph Ave., Oakland), Temescal’s hot-pink purveyor of fragrant Indian curries and slider-like pavs, it will come as no surprise that the wildly popular restaurant would eventually open a second location — but in Hong Kong?

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Grand Fare Market on Hold

by Luke Tsai
Mon, Nov 23, 2015 at 6:24 PM

The hybrid prepared foods market and restaurant closed suddenly over the weekend. - BERT JOHNSON
  • Bert Johnson
  • The hybrid prepared foods market and restaurant closed suddenly over the weekend.
On Saturday morning, I was all set to file a mostly glowing review of Grand Fare Market (3265 Grand Ave.), the sparkling-new hybrid prepared foods market and restaurant in Oakland’s Grand Lake neighborhood, when my phone started buzzing. People on Twitter were asking if I knew why, after having been open just six weeks, Grand Fare had suddenly gone dark, with no explanation other than a sign in the window saying the business would be “closed until further notice.”

See also:
A Hybrid Market for Grand Avenue

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Mid-Week Menu: Nick and Aron’s Closes, Firebrand Set to Open, and Comal Introduces ‘Oaxanukkah’

by Luke Tsai
Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 2:44 PM

R.I.P. Nick and Aron's. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE PHOTO
  • Bert Johnson/File photo
  • R.I.P. Nick and Aron's.
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news — a little late this week, but better than never!

1) In case you didn’t hear, Nick and Aron’s (4316 Telegraph Ave., Oakland), Temescal’s oven-centric restaurant, had its last day of business earlier this week, a little more than half a year after it opened. When reached by email, co-owner Nick Yapor-Cox cited financial struggles as the main reason for closing. Nick and Aron’s is the second short-lived restaurant-bakery to shut down in that space in the past two years — Barkada closed in June of last year. Fans of the restaurant’s sourdough-based “Oakland-style” pizza can still get their fix not too far away, at Yapor-Cox’s original restaurant, Nick’s Pizza (6211 Shattuck Ave.). Yapor-Cox said he’ll continue to bake bread there, but for now, Nick and Aron’s extensive pastry program will be put on hold.

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