Friday, October 31, 2014

What’s Eating You: Dim Sum in Oakland and Beyond

by Luke Tsai
Fri, Oct 31, 2014 at 5:34 PM

Sugar egg puffs and Typhoon Style daikon cakes at Peony. - LUKE TSAI
  • Luke Tsai
  • Sugar egg puffs and Typhoon Style daikon cakes at Peony.
What’s Eating You is a semi-regular feature wherein I provide incredibly helpful answers to your most pressing East Bay-centric food questions. Send questions to Luke (dot) Tsai (at)  EastBayExpress (dot) com, with the subject line “What’s Eating You.”

Dear Luke,

Back home, I knew all of the best dim sum spots, but since I have moved to Oakland I feel totally lost. I'm looking for a real deal experience, with the carts and chicken feet and all. Can you throw me some recommendations?

Signed,
PorkBunLuver


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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mid-Week Menu: New Burger Joints, No-Tip Restaurants, and Places to Eat Before You Die

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 11:39 AM

A farm-to-table burger courtesy of Farm Burger (via Facebook).
  • A farm-to-table burger courtesy of Farm Burger (via Facebook).
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) This week, it's all burgers, all the time. First off, Boss Burgers (1187 Solano Ave., Albany), the new burger venture from Little Star Pizza’s John Guhl, should open in the next week or so, Inside Scoop reports. The most notable revelation: Guhl said he plans to cook all of the restaurant’s fried items — the fresh-cut crinkle fries and the chicken for the fried chicken sandwiches — in rendered beef fat.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

‘Doswaffle’ Time: Juhu Beach Club to Kick Off Brunch Service on Nov. 9

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Oct 28, 2014 at 12:53 PM

Are you ready for the Doswaffle? (Images via Wikimedia Commons.)
  • Are you ready for the Doswaffle? (Images via Wikimedia Commons.)
Temescal’s newest brunch contender aims to add a bit of South Asian spice to your humdrum pancakes-and-bacon weekend routine: Juhu Beach Club will begin serving Sunday brunch on Sunday, November 9, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Now Closed: Vo’s in Uptown Oakland

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Oct 28, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Via Facebook.
  • Via Facebook.
Sad news for fans of Vo’s Restaurant (59 Grand Ave.): The upscale Vietnamese fusion spot in Uptown Oakland has closed.

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Oakland Schools Lead Statewide Initiative to Serve California Food

by Luke Tsai
Fri, Oct 24, 2014 at 10:33 AM

CALIFORNIA THURSDAYS
  • California Thursdays
For the past year, students in Oakland have been getting something a little bit different on their cafeteria trays on Thursdays — not frozen pizza or a prepackaged burrito assembled in a factory several thousand miles away, but a healthy meal made entirely out of California ingredients: a baked chicken leg seasoned with lemon and oregano, or a yakisoba noodle bowl with tofu.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mid-Week Menu: Poutine in Berkeley, Chow’s Plans for Piedmont Avenue, and a Michelin Star for Commis

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Oct 22, 2014 at 1:35 PM

1375636_866620066683611_8789875824670596171_n.jpg
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) As if the East Bay didn’t have enough of an abundance of artery-clogging, loaded French fry dishes, Berkeley is getting an entire restaurant dedicated to the genre: the first US location of Smoke’s Poutinerie (2518 Durant Ave.), which, as Inside Scoop reports, will kick off an aggressive Stateside expansion plan for the Toronto-based chain. Smoke’s, which, among its other claims to fame, hosts the annual World Poutine Eating Championship, serves traditional poutine (fries topped with gravy and cheese curds), but also versions topped with everything from pierogies and bacon (the Perogy Poutine) to chile and guacamole (the “Nacho Grande,” pictured above). Look for the Smoke’s Berkeley location to open in November.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Four Vegan Dishes to Tempt a Meat Eater

by Luke Tsai
Mon, Oct 20, 2014 at 5:19 PM

The vegan juk at Spoon. - STEPHEN LOEWINSOHN
  • Stephen Loewinsohn
  • The vegan juk at Spoon.
It’s a well-documented fact that, even here in the vegetable-loving Bay Area, finding a restaurant that will please a mixed group of vegans and omnivores isn’t always an easy task. And, even as “Meatless Mondays” gain traction, trying to convince the dedicated meat eater to willingly choose a vegetarian entrée (or restaurant) can often seem like an exercise in futility. That said, here are four vegan dishes, served at non-vegetarian restaurants, that just might do the trick. Note: Some of these restaurants aren’t open on Mondays, but when vegan food tastes this good, it might inspire you to keep Tuesdays or Wednesdays meatless, too.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Michelin Guide Honors Fifteen East Bay Restaurants

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Steamed surf clams at Great China. - CHRIS DUFFEY
  • Chris Duffey
  • Steamed surf clams at Great China.
Yesterday, the Michelin Guide's anonymous inspectors dropped their 2015 Bay Area "Bib Gourmand" list, which honors restaurants that offer "good cuisine at a reasonable price."

Of the 78 restaurants honored, fifteen are located in the East Bay, including four newcomers: Iyasare, Michel Bistro, China Village, and Great China. (The latter two are both Chinese restaurants that reopened in the past year after an extended post-fire absence.) 

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Now Open: JJ Burger, a New Burger Joint in the Grand Lake Neighborhood

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Oct 15, 2014 at 12:12 PM

JJ BURGER
  • JJ Burger
Here’s good news for those in Oakland’s Grand Lake neighborhood who lamented The Kwik-Way’s sudden (and rather dramatic) departure: There’s a new burger joint on the block.

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Mid-Week Menu: A Saloon in West Berkeley, a Butcher Shop in North Oakland, and Bocce Courts in Jack London Square

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Oct 15, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Potential menu offerings at Longbranch (via Facebook).
  • Potential menu offerings at Longbranch (via Facebook).
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Tablehopper clued us in that Longbranch (2512 San Pablo Ave.), the saloon/gastropub that has taken over the long-vacant Sea Salt spot in West Berkeley, may have sneakily opened without telling anyone. As it turns out, when I called last night, Longbranch was in the middle of a private friends-and-family event, and I was told that the restaurant would be softly open to the public starting Tuesday, October 21, from 3 p.m. to midnight every night except Mondays. Dinner service will be 5-9 p.m., but there will be a shorter menu available before and after that.

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