Friday, February 3, 2017

Nyum Bai: Cambodian Street Noodles Find a Home in an Emeryville Food Court

by Luke Tsai
Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 4:15 PM

Nyum Bai chef-owner Nite Yun is bringing Cambodian street food to an Emeryville food court - NITE YUN
  • Nite Yun
  • Nyum Bai chef-owner Nite Yun is bringing Cambodian street food to an Emeryville food court

When Nite Yun started her Nyum Bai pop-up series
last year, her goal was to shine a light on aspects of Cambodia that not many people in the Bay Area know about — the country’s legendary psychedelic rock scene, for instance, and, especially, its vibrant street-food culture.

Now, Yun will have her biggest platform yet: For at least the next six months, Nyum Bai will have its own stall in the revamped Emeryville Public Market food court. Reached by phone, Yun told the Express she had been keeping the news under wraps, but the food stand will have its first trial run Feb. 3 — TODAY — from 4–6 p.m.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Hawker Fare Aims to Go Out With a Bang

If James Syhabout's pioneering Lao-Isaan eatery wasn't safe, no restaurant in Oakland is.

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Jan 31, 2017 at 2:47 PM

James Syhabout at Hawker Fare. - ANDRIA LO/FILE PHOTO
  • Andria Lo/File photo
  • James Syhabout at Hawker Fare.

Restaurants close all the time. If you write about food for a living, that’s par for the course. Still, my jaw dropped when the news broke a couple of Fridays ago that the Uptown Oakland location of Hawker Fare was closing permanently. Its last day of business will be February 18.

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Photo Exhibit Celebrates the Historic Restaurants of San Francisco Chinatown

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Jan 19, 2017 at 10:29 AM

Eastern Bakery is one of four classic San Francisco Chinatown restaurants highlighted in the exhibit. - ANDRIA LO
  • Andria Lo
  • Eastern Bakery is one of four classic San Francisco Chinatown restaurants highlighted in the exhibit.

If you find yourself in San Francisco Chinatown in the coming weeks, here's a photo exhibit that should appeal to anyone with a fondness for creaky old restaurants and/or good old-fashioned Chinese cooking: "Eat Chinatown" tells the stories of four classic San Francisco Chinatown restaurants and bakeries — New Lun Ting Cafe, Capital Restaurant, Hon’s Wun-Tun House, and Eastern Bakery, each of which has been around for at least four decades.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

How to Eat Cheaply and Well at Oakland Restaurant Week

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Jan 17, 2017 at 1:52 PM

Indian-inspired burritos are part of Curry Up Now's $30 prix-fixe, which will feed two people. - CURRY UP NOW (VIA FACEBOOK)
  • Curry Up Now (via Facebook)
  • Indian-inspired burritos are part of Curry Up Now's $30 prix-fixe, which will feed two people.

It’s that time of the year again: Oakland Restaurant Week, that annual bonanza for prix-fixe bargain lovers, will run from Thursday, January 19 to Sunday, January 29.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

AS B-Dama’s Chicken Paitan Ramen Is the Perfect Antidote to Winter

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Jan 3, 2017 at 2:06 PM

The soup is made by boiling the bejeezus out of a large quantity of chicken bones and chicken feet. - AS B-DAMA (VIA FACEBOOK)
  • AS B-Dama (via Facebook)
  • The soup is made by boiling the bejeezus out of a large quantity of chicken bones and chicken feet.

These chilly winter nights beg for bowls of hot noodle soup, but there’s a certain sameness to the East Bay ramen scene — everyone doing their own take on the same handful of mostly pork-centric Japanese soup styles.

I was intrigued, then, to hear that AS B-Dama (907 Washington St., Oakland) is serving chicken paitan ramen, a style rarely seen in the East Bay, as a recurring weeknight special.

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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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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Where to Buy a Cake for Your Upcoming Holiday Party

Three East Bay recommendations for my fellow procrastinators.

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Dec 20, 2016 at 11:39 AM

The panettone at Sam's Patisserie. - SAM BUTARBUTAR
  • Sam Butarbutar
  • The panettone at Sam's Patisserie.

The year is coming to one helluva rocky end, so you can be excused if you’ve been too preoccupied to finalize the dessert plans for your upcoming holiday party. Never fear, fellow procrastinator: Here are three East Bay spots that should have you covered, even at this eleventh hour.

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Where to buy Christmas Tamales in the East Bay

by Luke Tsai
Mon, Dec 19, 2016 at 12:29 PM

The jumbo-size tamales at Tamaleria Azteca. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE PHOTO
  • Bert Johnson/File photo
  • The jumbo-size tamales at Tamaleria Azteca.

Depending on your cultural background, staples for the winter holidays might include mulled cider, ugly sweaters, or Christmas dinner at a Chinese restaurant. And in many parts of Mexico, and elsewhere in Latin America, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a huge steamer full of tamales.

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Friday, December 16, 2016

Actual Cafe and Victory Burger to Close on December 23

Owner cites restaurant-industry labor shortage.

by Luke Tsai
Fri, Dec 16, 2016 at 9:53 AM

Friday, December 23 will be your last chance to snag a burger at Victory Burger. - CHRIS DUFFEY/FILE PHOTO
  • Chris Duffey/File photo
  • Friday, December 23 will be your last chance to snag a burger at Victory Burger.

After seven years anchoring what had become a bustling corner in North Oakland, both Actual Cafe (6334 San Pablo Ave.) and its adjacent sister-restaurant, Victory Burger, will have their final day of business on Friday, December 23.

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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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