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Comment Archives: stories: Food & Drink: Restaurant Review

Re: “Italian-American Charm and Garlicky Flavor Bombs at Trattoria La Siciliana

Dear writer: "The trattoria's founders are two genuine Sicilian immigrants, Rosa and Guiseppe D'Alo, both of who still help cook...: That should be both of WHOM, just so you know. Thank you! - Denise Taylor

Posted by Denise Taylor on 08/22/2016 at 8:33 AM

Re: “Famous Bao in Berkeley Shines Spotlight on Xi'an-style Dishes

I enjoyed the spicy seafood hot pot I tried the other day, a bargain at $10.

Posted by Jonathan King on 08/18/2016 at 11:58 AM

Re: “Portal Owner Goes Pizza with Philomena in East Oakland

Loved the white pizza and the meat plate. And the mushroom pizza, focaccia, carrot salad and pickled veggies too! Great beer too. Well done!

Posted by eastbaygael on 08/18/2016 at 9:57 AM

Re: “Portal Owner Goes Pizza with Philomena in East Oakland

Love eating at out of the way places in yet undeveloped restaurant neighborhoods - and tried Philomena's on the recommendation of a friend. We were hoping for the best but it was not to be. Sam Lowry was right - soggy and flavorless and scant toppings too. Big disappointment on pizza night. This pizza can't hold a candle to The (new) Leaning Tower of Haddon Hill at Newton and Wesley off the lake which is our go-to joint. Isaac the owner has researched and developed his pizza crust down to a delicious science - best pizza in the East Bay. Philomena, you have to be better than this to get us back for a second try.

Posted by Francesca M. Austin on 08/17/2016 at 2:13 PM

Re: “Portal Owner Goes Pizza with Philomena in East Oakland

Looks like typical flavorless, soggy bay area pizza that every place is doing now.

Posted by Sam Lowry on 08/17/2016 at 11:26 AM

Re: “Portal Owner Goes Pizza with Philomena in East Oakland

great spot :)

Posted by Jeff San on 08/17/2016 at 11:02 AM

Re: “Guacamole 61 Brings the Meat to Epicurious Garden in Berkeley

I read this review/article yesterday so a co-worker and I ventured over there at lunch to try it. I'm with Jono...I wasn't impressed. I got the Hawaiian ham torta and she got the 5 taco platter. While they weren't "bad", they weren't "great" either. Let's just say I wouldn't venture over there JUST to stop by for a bite to eat. One thing I will say is their staff was very pleasant. So good job for that. Of course I recommend you give it a try, so you can come to your own conclusions, but I've had much better and cheaper tortas and tacos.

Posted by Melissa Kittell on 08/12/2016 at 12:38 PM

Re: “Guacamole 61 Brings the Meat to Epicurious Garden in Berkeley

I'm so not in agreement. Place has bland food and is insanely overpriced for Mexican. And don't tell me the price is justified by the neighborhood. Cactus on Solano and College is half the price and twice as good.

Posted by Jono Schneider on 08/11/2016 at 4:00 PM

Re: “Guacamole 61 Brings the Meat to Epicurious Garden in Berkeley

Come and enjoy the best the gourmet ghetto has to offer. You won't be disappointed.

Posted by Direll Venable on 08/10/2016 at 1:03 PM

Re: “Belotti Ristorante Serves the Best Pasta in Oakland

AGREE 100% - We had lunch 8/03 and it was likely the best food we'd had in over a year (including Farmhouse Inn, Auberge du Soleil, and Passionfish). Lunchtime Wed was empty and the waitress delightfully enthusiastic. By far the best Italian restaurant in Northern CA right now, even surpasses Perbacco.

Posted by Jean Komatsu 1 on 08/04/2016 at 2:46 PM

Re: “Stay Gold Deli Is West Oakland's New Neighborhood Delicatessen

I'm less than enthused by a picture of a meatball sub — probably 800 calories or more — on a half loaf of unappetizing white bread, for $8 (plus tax = closer to $9).

Posted by Robert Paege on 08/02/2016 at 12:06 PM

Re: “Stay Gold Deli Is West Oakland's New Neighborhood Delicatessen

I literally saw a $10 box of dried pasta in the grocery section of that shop.

They also very obviously went to a wholesale grocer, got various dry goods, put them in plastic bags with "Stay Gold Deli" stickers on them, and added price tags that are 50% higher than Whole Foods.

Posted by Mary McFarlane on 07/29/2016 at 5:15 PM

Re: “Teni East Kitchen Brings California-Burmese Cooking to Temescal

I have made this place a regular weekly excursion. Food is delish.

Posted by Tal H. M. Klement on 07/20/2016 at 8:16 PM

Re: “LocoL is Fast Food with Heart and Soul

Well, Sam, he already had the space and has been operating there since well before Uber decided to move there. That area serves a lot of people, not just the new white folk. I applaud Patterson for learning more about the community he serves, closing the pricey destination Plum restaurant (yes, Plumbar is still there, a scaled back version with more affordable food), and trying something that might actually appeal to the broader base of customers in that area. As to the "he is only employing people to help make his profit" ...well, yes. But a lot of hot Oakland restaurants are not at all concerned with employing or training people in the actual community, or providing healthy, tasty, affordable food. Could he change his business model and do more? Maybe. But he could have bailed on Oakland entirely and instead is is doing something.

Posted by Leigh Costain 1 on 07/07/2016 at 8:06 AM

Re: “LocoL is Fast Food with Heart and Soul

Why all the hate? I tell you what, when someone, maybe you Sam, can open a healthy, cheap, profit sharing, community, sustainable, local, unionized, happy happy fast food joint, I will be the first to go. But until then, I'm heading to Local. It's a fantastic vision & we should all support it. And if Patterson & Choi make a few bucks along the way, don't they kind of deserve it? I mean, I hope they do well so they will keep the vision going & who knows? Maybe they will convert to employee owned in the future.

It won't happen if we throw a bunch of hate on them & they fail. So, I say, go!

Posted by andrewdeangelo on 07/06/2016 at 6:58 PM

Re: “LocoL is Fast Food with Heart and Soul

I am very excited to try LocoL but my only question is why is the price for everything in the Oakland storefront one dollar more than everything at the Watts location? I feel as though they are trying to exploit the tech profits of the bay area. A dollar may not be a huge difference to the new influx of gentrification but to the original inhabitants of Oakland a dollar can make a big decision on where they spend their money. Especially if you're trying to feed a low-income family which I feel is their mission.

DaLe

Posted by Dale Gribbel on 07/06/2016 at 6:06 PM

Re: “LocoL is Fast Food with Heart and Soul

Michael's comment proves it - Tea Party Republican folks love LOCOL! haha

Posted by Sam Lowry on 07/06/2016 at 3:44 PM

Re: “LocoL is Fast Food with Heart and Soul

Sam-profit is good. The only obligation of a business is to obey the law-health codes, minimum wage requirements, and pay taxes to the minimum levels needed and make a return for their investors. Their menu, their locations, and their slogans is their own business, not the damn government's or these elusive "communities" people proclaim. I'm a teacher- don't eat out much, but like simple and low priced food.

Posted by michael.sagehorn on 07/06/2016 at 2:24 PM

Re: “Oliveto's New Rosticceria Serves Your Meat and Two

had dinner there last night, olivetos, with my family! Bravissimo! Incredible meats, pastas, etc. For a special occasion or just for the hell of it, this is the place to go. Very nice and quiet upstairs with terrific service. That young chef, jonah, cooks beyond his years.
the brooklyn foodie

Posted by harold banks on 07/06/2016 at 1:40 PM

Re: “LocoL is Fast Food with Heart and Soul

I'm really confused about what their "revolution" means...

Is it a stretch to think they are using vague positive, social slogans to simply push their brand? How well would a new low production cost fast-food franchise do these days, especially in CA without dropping vague slogans like "building community", "empowering", and so forth? What do they actually mean? My guesses:

It seems like they kinda use Republican "job creator" rhetoric as one of their benefits. What's going on here is that you are paying people to make profit for you. If this was purely about "community", you'd use a cooperative ownership model. But, nah, it is about profit...even if they pay their workers slightly more than minimum wage.

Next, you dropped one of your initial locations in arguably the most white, gentrified area in Oakland (a block from the new Uber HQ). There are loads of restaurants affordable to techies and hospital execs who live and work around here. If part of Locol's mission is about solving the food desert issue, why build one of your few locations in one of the richest parts of the Bay Area?

The whole line about "teaching job skills" is also bogus. Every company from Walmart to TGI Fridays acts like employees who are underpaid and don't benefit from profit sharing are actually "developing job skills" or whatever. Bogus corporate sloganeering that actually means "you are benefiting from exploitation."

Not selling sodas, and the political discussion on "soda taxes" is paternalistic and frequently has racist undertones. Another item that I wouldn't say is suspect at best and far from "revolutionary."

Without any clear benefit to any of the Bay Area's most deserving communities, their "revolution" seems like nothing more than to make the owners rich. Revolutionizing their pocket books.

Posted by Sam Lowry on 07/06/2016 at 11:41 AM

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