Friday, April 27, 2012

INNA Jam Celebrates New (Allergen-Free!) Kitchen

by Luke Tsai
Fri, Apr 27, 2012 at 3:38 PM

In this golden age of pop-up restaurants and specialized small-scale artisan food makers, commercial kitchen space is as hot a commodity as it’s ever been. So in a small, 500-square foot kitchen, you might find one guy smoking a batch of pastrami, someone else straining fresh cheese, and yet another person pickling some radishes and carrots — one after the other, or sometimes side by side.

It’s a wonderful tribute to our diverse food economy — but for people with serious food allergies, for whom one tiny smidge of dairy or nut might be a matter of life or death? It’s a nightmare.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mid-Week Menu: Cocina Criolla, Comal, and a Chop Bar Spinoff

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Continuing the tradition started by my predecessor, Jesse Hirsch, I'm happy to present the Mid-Week Menu, a weekly roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Grub Street brings news of a fledgling Puerto Rican pop-up called Cocina Criolla, to be held at Piedmont Avenue's Dopo. The project is the brainchild of Dopo cook Ian Hernandez — the first dinner is scheduled for Sunday, May 6, with a $45 four-course menu that includes octopus salad and skirt steak with rice and beans.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Kitchen 388 Ready for Reboot

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Good news for fans of seemingly short-lived Adams Point newcomer Kitchen 388: After an abrupt four-month hiatus, the popular breakfast-and-lunch spot is set to reopen, with dinner-only service starting next Wednesday, May 2.

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Changing of the Guard

by Jesse Hirsch
Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 9:09 AM

As you may have inferred when Luke Tsai introduced himself as the new Express food writer, I’m moving on. I’ve received a few emails in the past week, asking for salacious dirt on why I’m leaving so soon. Sorry gossip-hounds, I don’t have much to give.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Fusebox Opening Next Week in West Oakland

by Jesse Hirsch
Mon, Apr 23, 2012 at 5:03 PM

In a striking West Oakland industrial property, without a single restaurant or shop in sight, chef Sunhui Chang’s new street-Korean experiment Fusebox (2311A Magnolia Street, Oakland, 510-444-3100) is slated to open next week. Housed in a tiny space carved out from a former oxygen plant, Fusebox has preserved a stark simplicity well-suited for the neighborhood.

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Beauty’s Bagel Shop Says: “Please Don’t Forget Us”

by Jesse Hirsch
Mon, Apr 23, 2012 at 9:19 AM

The Express has been sounding the air horn on Beauty’s Bagel Shop for almost a year, since shortly after Delfina chef Blake Joffe and his partner Amy Remsen started baking Montreal-style bagels at Addie’s Pizza Pie in Berkeley. More recently, the Wall Street Journal, Bon Appetit, and Sunset have also given shout-outs. There's just one problem: Beauty’s shop still hasn't opened, and Remsen is afraid people are losing patience.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

New Bar Alert! All About The District, Opening Next Week in Old Oakland

by Ellen Cushing
Fri, Apr 20, 2012 at 12:10 PM

So! As you may have heard, San Francisco's The District is coming out with an East Bay offshoot, and while the butcher paper's still in the windows and the official opening isn't until next Friday, I stopped by this morning to gaze longingly at all the wine get some background from Wine Director and Sommelier Caterina Mirabelli. According to her, the place'll be much like the OG District, with its upscale-ish feel; eclectic selection of forty-plus wines; and menu of shareable small plates, pizzas, and desserts ($4-$17; sample items include "applewood smoked trout, spinach, and fontina arancini," "pear and huckleberry pecan crisp," and the intriguingly-named "braised oxtail sombreros") — but this one has the added bonus of a slightly more "easygoing" vibe and an extra focus on spirits, including forty (!!) whiskeys. The emphasis, Mirabelli says, will still be on sipping — "just like with the wine, we want to introduce people to whiskeys. So many people say they don't like whiskey, but maybe they just haven't had the right one." A noble goal! (And, NB, for all you whiskey and wine-haters out there, there'll still be sixteen draft beers, a handful of cocktails, and your standard vodkas, gins, and tequilas).

Official address is 827 Washington, at the corner of Ninth Street; hours are Monday through Friday starting at 4 and Saturday starting at 5, with a happy hour from 4 to 6 on weekdays and Saturday from 5 to 7. As mentioned, opening date is next Friday, April 27, but in the meantime here are some photozzzz just for you:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Noble Cafe Breaks Ties With New Chef

by Jesse Hirsch
Wed, Apr 18, 2012 at 12:47 PM

You know today's story on Noble Cafe's brand-new menu, created by Make Westing chef Melinda Vaca? Please scrub it from your brain, because it's not happening.

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Mid-Week Menu: Hot Links

by Jesse Hirsch
Wed, Apr 18, 2012 at 11:59 AM

It's my last week at the Express and wouldn't you know it: not a lot of fresh East Bay news. Luckily I'm a hoarder, and I've got some hot link action from the vaults.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Food on the Barter System

by Jesse Hirsch
Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 10:22 AM

In the East Bay barter economy, eggs are the hot ticket. “Everybody must be doing the backyard chicken thing, because we’re seeing tons of eggs right now,” said Kendra Poma, founder of East Bay Homemade Food Swaps. “Last fall I think everyone was making home-brewed beer … You start to notice trends.”

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