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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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Juhu Beach Club Chef Brings ‘Indian Neapolitan-Style Pizza’ and Rotisserie Chicken to Emeryville

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Oct 13, 2016 at 1:29 PM

Preeti Mistry making one of her "Indian Neapolitan" pizzas. Coming soon to Emeryville. - PREETI MISTRY
  • Preeti Mistry
  • Preeti Mistry making one of her "Indian Neapolitan" pizzas. Coming soon to Emeryville.

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

1) If you are a fan of Juhu Beach Club and have perhaps hoped that the stylish Indian restaurant would stay open all day, or that chef Preeti Mistry would try her hand at making pizza or breakfast pastries — well, I have good news for you: Earlier this week, Mistry announced that she and wife/business partner Ann Nadeau are opening a new all-day cafe-restaurant called Navi Kitchen in Emeryville’s Triangle neighborhood, at the former Basic Cafe spot (5000 Adeline St.). The basic concept will be American cafe-style foods reimagined with Indian flavors: rotisserie chicken with a burnt masala brine, pizza with toppings like chaat masala frying peppers, and tikka masala mac and cheese — plus an assortment of housemade biscuits, quick breads, and other baked goods.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

What You Need to Know About the Fish-Shaped Ice Cream Cones at Uji Time in Berkeley

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Oct 11, 2016 at 4:17 PM

You will have to wait on line to snag one of Uji Time's fish cones — pictured here with black sesame soft-serve ice cream. - LUKE TSAI
  • Luke Tsai
  • You will have to wait on line to snag one of Uji Time's fish cones — pictured here with black sesame soft-serve ice cream.

I’m somewhat late to the game when it comes to the Instagram phenomenon and dessert trend du jour that is the fish-shaped taiyaki ice cream cone. The treat is available at Uji Time Dessert (2575 Telegraph Ave.), a newish Japanese dessert shop in Berkeley that shares a space with the shaved snow shop Vampire Penguin. But if you’ve been thinking about giving it a try, here’s what you need to know:

See also:
How to Eat Dessert All Day in the East Bay


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Thai-Style Ice Cream Rolls Have Arrived in Oakland Chinatown

There's durian ice cream, too.

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Oct 11, 2016 at 12:32 PM

Strawberry (left) and purple yam ice cream rolls. - LUKE TSAI
  • Luke Tsai
  • Strawberry (left) and purple yam ice cream rolls.

Japan has mochi ice cream. Taiwan has ice cream “burritos” (crepes topped with cilantro and peanut-candy shavings). And in Thailand, street vendors hawk something called the ice cream “roll” — a thin layer of ice cream that gets scraped up in a way that forms tight coils roughly the size and shape of a Fruit Roll-Up. 

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Ice Cream Rolls and Hermetically-Sealed Coffee

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Oct 5, 2016 at 4:40 PM

Some of Freezing Point Creamery's ice cream rolls.
  • Some of Freezing Point Creamery's ice cream rolls.

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

1) Oakland Chinatown is home to what appear to be the first Thai-style ice cream rolls to hit the East Bay. Freezing Point Creamery (349 7th St., Oakland) opened for business earlier this week with a menu that also features smoothies, regular ice cream, and “healthy cleanse detox juices.” But the rolls will be the main attraction. They’re made by pouring the liquid ice cream base onto a very cold grill-pan, which quick-freezes the mixture. The thin layer of ice cream that forms gets scraped up — like rolling up a carpet — and placed in a bowl with various toppings.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Least Remarkable Thing about the Mochi Muffins at Sam’s Patisserie Is the Fact That They’re Gluten-Free

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Oct 4, 2016 at 12:58 PM

The mochi muffins are crunchy and chewy. - SAM BUTARBUTAR
  • Sam Butarbutar
  • The mochi muffins are crunchy and chewy.

I hadn’t expected the Hawaiian mochi muffin at Sam’s Patisserie, a newish wholesale bakery in Berkeley, to give me a bad case of homesickness.

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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Airport Food, Food-Court Poke, and an Essential Dungeness Crab Update

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 4:19 PM

Hopefully, crab fishermen (and crab eaters) won't have to wait long for the Dungeness season to start. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE
  • Bert Johnson/File
  • Hopefully, crab fishermen (and crab eaters) won't have to wait long for the Dungeness season to start.

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

1) After a toxic algae bloom wreaked havoc on last year’s Dungeness crab season here in Northern California, Bay Area crab fishermen and crab eaters are keeping close tabs on the domoic acid levels in waters off the coast of California ahead of the traditional November 15 kickoff to the commercial crab season. So far so good, the Chronicle reports: While some domoic acid has been detected up and down the coast, state health department officials say the levels are normal for this time of year. Fingers crossed that that bodes well for those of us hoping to have Dungeness crab for Thanksgiving this year.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

This Year's Eat Real Festival Features an Anti-Sausage Party

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 5:05 PM

Katy Quinn (left) competed in last year's Eat Real butchery contest. - PHILLIP YIP
  • Phillip Yip
  • Katy Quinn (left) competed in last year's Eat Real butchery contest.

When Eat Real Festival hits Jack London Square this weekend, its annual whole-hog butchery demonstration — one of the street food festival’s signature events — will have a bit of a new look. The butchers will, of course, be as badass as they always are, with knives and hand-saws just as sharp. But this year, for the first time, all four participants will be women.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Shiba Ramen Is Coming to Downtown Oakland

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 3:39 PM

Spicy tantanmen-style ramen at Shiba Ramen. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE
  • Bert Johnson/File
  • Spicy tantanmen-style ramen at Shiba Ramen.

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

1) This week in vital noodle-related news: Shiba Ramen, the popular food court kiosk in Emeryville’s Public Market, has just announced that it will open a second location at 1438 Broadway in Downtown Oakland — the former Bittersweet Cafe spot.

See also:
Food Court Noodles

Ex-Chemists Aim to Bring Authentic, Fuss-Free Ramen to Emeryville


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