Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Mid-Week Menu: Bucci’s Retirement, Black Restaurant Day, and a Minor in Food

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Aug 26, 2015 at 12:29 PM

The end of an era (via Facebook).
  • The end of an era (via Facebook).
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Sad news for fans of Emeryville’s homey, East Coast-style Italian restaurant Bucci’s (6121 Hollis St.), which the Mercury News reports will close at the end of September. The owners, including the restaurant’s namesake Amelia Bucci, have decided to retire after nearly thirty years of business. “After nearly three fulfilling and memorable decades of pizza, pasta, friends, and more, we have decided to end this chapter of our career here, and allow ourselves to pursue other endeavors,” the co-owners wrote in a Facebook post. The restaurant is now for sale; the current listing price is $225,000.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

How to Dupe a ‘Moderately Ok’ Food Critic

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Aug 25, 2015 at 10:41 AM

The fish was "ok" (photo courtesy of Yelp user "Sung L.").
  • The fish was "ok" (photo courtesy of Yelp user "Sung L.").
The East Bay’s most exclusive underground Chinese restaurant can be found inside an unassuming bungalow on a residential street nestled high in the El Cerrito hills. Chiu’s Moderately Ok Chinese is a dining establishment that’s so far under the radar it doesn’t have its phone number or hours of business listed anywhere on the internet — but, according to Yelp user “Sung L.,” it’s so popular customers routinely have to wait in line, and it serves wonton soup and salt and pepper spareribs that are, in the words of Yelp user “Shirell B.,” where “heaven can be found on earth.”

Oh, and there’s also this: Chiu’s doesn’t exist.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Mid-Week Menu: Dinner at Clove and Hoof, a Farewell to The Growlers’ Arms, and Lots of Free Ice Cream

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Aug 19, 2015 at 1:14 PM

Owners John Blevins (left) and Analiesa Gosnell. - CLOVE AND HOOF
  • Clove and Hoof
  • Owners John Blevins (left) and Analiesa Gosnell.
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Clove and Hoof (4001 Broadway, Oakland), Temescal’s hybrid butcher shop/sandwich shop combo, won my heart by serving some of the best damn sandwiches in the city. Owners Analiesa Gosnell and John Blevins have been gearing up to start dinner service for a while now, and yesterday they sent me a copy of a typical dinner menu, which — no surprise — looks like it’s going to be a meat lover’s delight. How do pig head cakes sound to you? Or the restaurant’s signature fish sauce caramel fried chicken, but served with waffles and red-eye gravy instead of on a sandwich? Or a steak of the day served with horseradish bone marrow mash?

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

OUSD Beefs Up School Lunch with Meat from Retired Dairy Cows

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Aug 18, 2015 at 11:52 AM

The beef Oakland students will soon be eating comes from retired dairy cows. - KATRINA LOPEZ
  • Katrina Lopez
  • The beef Oakland students will soon be eating comes from retired dairy cows.
What do Oakland public school cafeterias have in common with some of the trendiest restaurants in the Bay Area? When school opens next week, the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) will start serving organic ground beef sourced from Mindful Meats, a Point Reyes Station-based purveyor of beef that comes exclusively from retired dairy cows. It’s the same beef whose gourmet qualities have earned the praise of some of the Bay Area’s top chefs.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Mid-Week Menu: Calavera and Drake’s Dealership in Uptown, an Iced Tea Truck for Oakland, and Big Plans at the Pyramid Alehouse Site

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Aug 12, 2015 at 1:45 PM

Yellowfin tuna ceviche. - CALAVERA
  • Calavera
  • Yellowfin tuna ceviche.
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) The big news from this past weekend is that Calavera (2337 Broadway) — the upscale Mexican restaurant that is the latest, and perhaps most ambitious, project from the Oakland restaurateur Chris Pastena (Chop Bar, Lungomare) — is now open for dinner in Uptown Oakland’s Hive complex, as first reported by Inside Scoop. You can check out chef Christian Irabien’s menu here, with Oaxacan chapulines (aka fried grasshoppers) as the most striking appetizer option, scratch-made corn tortillas, and entrées that range from chili-chocolate braised birria to whole grilled red snapper. Meanwhile, I expect boozehounds will geek out over the selection of rare mezcals and Mexican wines.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Where to Get Taiwanese Fried Chicken in the East Bay

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Aug 11, 2015 at 12:21 PM

Fried chicken in a bag at Chick & Tea. - BERT JOHNSON
  • Bert Johnson
  • Fried chicken in a bag at Chick & Tea.
We are living in a golden age for Asian fried chicken. Discerning gastronauts are well versed in the gochujang-tossed, double-fried delights of Korean fried chicken, and the clean, understated flavors of Japanese karaage.

But what about Taiwanese fried chicken? Here in the Bay Area, people rarely speak of it. In Taipei, however, you’ll see folks snacking on this popular street food at all hours — an affectionate couple bent over a paper sack of Taiwanese popcorn chicken (aka yansu ji, or “salted crispy chicken”), or a flock of middle school girls in their school uniforms strolling through the night market, each one munching on a fried chicken cutlet roughly the same circumference as her head.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Mid-Week Menu: Salsipuedes Opens, Odd Bagel Launches Online Ordering, and Homestead Hosts a Clam Bake

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Aug 5, 2015 at 1:23 PM

An octopus dish from the popup incarnation of Salsipuedes. - JAY PORTER
  • Jay Porter
  • An octopus dish from the popup incarnation of Salsipuedes.

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


1) This just in: Salsipuedes (4201 Market St.), a collaboration between restaurateur Jay Porter (The Half Orange) and chef Marcus Krauss (formerly of The Restaurant at Meadowood), softly opens Wednesday, August 5 — tonight — in North Oakland. Porter tells me they’ll kick things off at 6 p.m. and stay open until the food runs out (as late as 10 p.m. or thereabouts). The official grand opening will be on August 20, but the restaurant is open to the public starting tonight.

Check out the menu — highlighted by surf ’n’ turf dishes like beef tongue with uni, and octopus bao with shrimp and cracklins —



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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Trouble Coffee's Toast for The Town

by Gillian Edevane
Tue, Aug 4, 2015 at 11:01 AM

Giulietta Carrelli at her new West Oakland cafe. - BERT JOHNSON
  • Bert Johnson
  • Giulietta Carrelli at her new West Oakland cafe.
Trouble is now brewing in the East Bay. In June, Giulietta Carrelli, who is often credited with starting San Francisco’s artisanal toast trend, quietly opened the third branch of Trouble Coffee at 1545 Willow Street in West Oakland after a year of planning.


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