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At this oasis in the Jack London district, Tamearra Dyson’s barbecued tofu, garlic-and-pickle-spiked potato salad, cheeseless cheesecake, cheeseless macaroni and cheese, tender corn on the cob, and fresh fruit blends exude a sophisticated richness that flesh-eaters and even old-school vegetarians would say have no business being this far from bacon and Crisco. A lifelong vegetarian and a vegan since age sixteen, Oakland native Dyson started with a catering company and a booth in local farmers’ markets before opening this small storefront restaurant in June 2008. Inside a wrinkly, peppery cornmeal-batter blanket half an inch thick and fried in olive oil — the only type Dyson uses — the crispy tofu served here as a side dish or in a burger brings back fond memories of fried fish. Without the fish. Remember those funky oh-so-local holes-in-the-wall where, when you were a carnivore, you walked right in (no scouring the menu for the single dish your diet might allow) and just chowed down? Well, this is one of those.

Hours: Tue.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

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Price: $$

Payment Type: cash

ParkingChoice: Street

ReservationsChoice: Accepted

Attire: casual

Entertainment: live band from 5-9 p.m. on Fridays

Extra Info: Produce is organic; no white sugar or animal products are used.

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