Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mid-Week Menu: Ramen in Emeryville, Pho in Albany, and Vegan Brunch in Jack London

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 at 1:16 PM

Coming soon to a food court near you. - SHIBA RAMEN
  • Shiba Ramen
  • Coming soon to a food court near you.
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Shiba Ramen, a fast-casual ramen shop opening at a previously undisclosed spot in Emeryville this September, has formally announced its location: The noodle shop will be part of the first crop of vendors to open in the newly renovated Emeryville Public Market (5959 Shellmound St.), as will a second brick-and-mortar location of the rice-bun burger specialist KoJa Kitchen, Berkeleyside Nosh reports.

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


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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Oasis Grill Open on Grand Avenue

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Apr 28, 2015 at 12:42 PM

A sample of the Middle Eastern offerings at Oasis Grill. - LUKE TSAI
  • Luke Tsai
  • A sample of the Middle Eastern offerings at Oasis Grill.
Good news for falafel and shawarma lovers: Oasis Grill (344 Grand Ave.), a new Middle Eastern restaurant from the owners of Telegraph Avenue’s Oasis Food Market, opened for business on Monday in Oakland's Adams Point neighborhood.

When the owners first announced their plans for a second Oasis location in the fall of 2013, they had said they were planning a sit-down restaurant that would be integrated with the hookah lounge that they eventually opened on the second floor of the building.

See Also:
Oasis Food Market Plots a New Restaurant and Hookah Lounge
Neighborhood Comes Together Around New Market


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Monday, April 27, 2015

Will Burger and Burrito Eaters Embrace a Fast Food Restaurant That Only Serves Produce?

by Luke Tsai
Mon, Apr 27, 2015 at 1:51 PM

A "burrito," served in a collard leaf wrap. - CORE KITCHEN
  • CORE Kitchen
  • A "burrito," served in a collard leaf wrap.
At CORE Kitchen (499 14th St.), a new fast food restaurant opening in downtown Oakland, burritos will be wrapped in collard greens, and “pasta” dishes will feature zucchini that has been shaved into long, spaghetti-shaped strands. The absence of, say, actual spaghetti is central to the business, whose founders aim to create the world’s first 100-percent produce-based fast food venture — one they say will be “the world’s most nourishing restaurant.”

See Also:
Fast Food Is Going Loco’l


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Friday, April 24, 2015

Taste of Africa: Cult-Favorite Cameroonian Pop-Up Is Now a Restaurant in East Oakland

by Luke Tsai
Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 8:30 AM

Heaping combination plates are A Taste of Africa's stock in trade. - TASIN SABIR
  • TaSin Sabir
  • Heaping combination plates are A Taste of Africa's stock in trade.
The first, and best, West African meal I ever ate was handed to me from the dim recesses of a crowded Oakland bar — a paper plate piled as high as you can imagine with smoky fried tilapia, ginger-spiced yams, stewed black-eyed peas, fragrant jollof rice, and the peanut-spinach stew (ndole) that is Cameroon’s national dish. Malong Pendar, the man responsible for the delicious spread, has been bringing his Taste of Africa pop-up to bars and clubs all over the East Bay ever since the Cameroonian restaurant that he’d operated under the same name in South Berkeley closed in 2010.

If you haven’t had the good fortune of stumbling upon the pop-up, or aren’t inclined to hang out at nightclubs, here’s excellent news: A few weeks ago, Pendar opened a Taste of Africa brick-and-mortar restaurant at 6638 Bancroft Avenue, not far from the Eastmont Town Center in East Oakland.

See Also:
Your Tuesday Night Food Adventure: Cameroonian Food at Room 389
Best Food in a Parking Lot


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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mid-Week Menu: Blue Bottle Acquires Tartine Bakery, Build Pizzeria Is Incommunicado, and The Barrel Room Is Serving Latin-American Food

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Apr 22, 2015 at 12:39 PM

Blue Bottle founder and CEO James Freeman.
  • Blue Bottle founder and CEO James Freeman.
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Yesterday’s piece of blockbuster food news: Inside Scoop reports that Blue Bottle Coffee, the Oakland-based roastery and cafe chain that appears set on world domination, and Tartine Bakery — the Mission district bakery famous for around-the-block lines for loaves of fresh bread — have merged. Or, to put it more precisely, Blue Bottle has acquired Tartine, though the bakery will continue to be operate as a separate company under the Tartine brand name.

See also:
The Next Peet’s?
Surfing Coffee’s ‘Third Wave’


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Monday, April 20, 2015

In the Wake of Controversy, Hi-Life Reopens Under New Management

by Luke Tsai
Mon, Apr 20, 2015 at 4:05 PM

Hi-Life has reopened under new management. - EVA STOYANOV
  • Eva Stoyanov
  • Hi-Life has reopened under new management.
Hi-Life (400 15th St.) has reopened under new management after Damon Gallagher, who had been the public face of the downtown Oakland bar and late-night pizza spot since it opened in 2013, sold his share of the business. The change comes in the wake of controversy sparked by Gallagher’s actions after a stray bullet killed local musician Emilio Nevarez in front of The Golden Bull in downtown Oakland earlier this month.

See also:
Vinyl Nightclub Wrongly Blamed for Shooting in Downtown Oakland
Rico’s Reborn


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Friday, April 17, 2015

Oakland Veg Week Wants You to Know That Veganism Isn’t Just for White People

by Luke Tsai
Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 12:45 PM

Vegan chef Bryant Terry reading at last year's Oakland Veg Week. - OAKLAND VEG WEEK
  • Oakland Veg Week
  • Vegan chef Bryant Terry reading at last year's Oakland Veg Week.
At the fourth annual Oakland Veg Week, which will run from April 19-26, the featured events include a broad-ranging celebration of multiculturalism, a youth-oriented hip-hop show, and presentations by more than a half-dozen prominent African-American health experts and food activists. And if that isn’t the kind of cultural slant you’ve come to expect from the Town’s weeklong celebration of all things vegan and vegetarian — well, according to Oakland Veg Week organizer Katie Cantrell, that’s precisely the point.

See also:
The Vegan New Wave
Oakland Veg Week Goes Gourmet


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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Mid-Week Menu: Indian Food with a Pedigree, an Ambitious New Diner, and Salumi with a Side of the Warriors’ Playoff Run

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 10:39 AM

Curry with a pedigree (via Facebook).
  • Curry with a pedigree (via Facebook).
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) A Chowhound poster first caught wind of the fact that the Uptown Oakland space last occupied by the short-lived Captain and Corset — which closed abruptly with acrimony and ill will to spare — has been replaced by an Indian restaurant called Bombay B’s Indian Bistro and Wine Bar (2212 Broadway). Tablehopper reports that the restaurant is now open for business, with a menu that runs the gamut from curry-house-standard masalas and vindaloos to fusion-y street food dishes such as masala fries, naan pizzas, and curry-topped “Indian tacos.”

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What's Eating You: Korean BBQ

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 3:46 PM

What time is it? Gogi Time. - LUKE TSAI
  • Luke Tsai
  • What time is it? Gogi Time.
What’s Eating You is a semi-regular feature wherein I provide 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,

As a Yelp-addicted wannabe foodie I'm constantly looking for new spots to eat. I've been feeling lately that my Instagram could use a little more color and excitement and, as a resident of north-ish Oakland, I've become more and more intrigued by the bountiful Korean BBQ spots that line Telegraph. To be clear, I appreciate taste, texture, and atmosphere just as much as perfect lighting for a picture. If you could give me a breakdown of where to get some dank KBBQ it would be much appreciated.

Much love,
@kimchi_kraver_92


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Friday, April 10, 2015

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

by Luke Tsai
Fri, Apr 10, 2015 at 8:30 AM

Beta version of a clear-broth ramen that customers might find on the menu. - SHIBA RAMEN
  • Shiba Ramen
  • Beta version of a clear-broth ramen that customers might find on the menu.
Have two ex-chemists unlocked the secret to serving delicious, fuss-free ramen in the East Bay? Dedicated noodle slurpers will have a chance to decide for themselves when Shiba Ramen, a fast-casual ramen shop that aspires to be authentically Japanese, opens this fall.

The PhD-certified brains behind the project are Jake Freed and Hiroko Nakamura, a husband-and-wife tandem of former chemists who are making their first inroads into the restaurant business. They’ve signed the lease on a prominently-located space in Emeryville (they’ll reveal the exact location when the deal is finalized), and plan to open Shiba Ramen in September.

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