Friday, January 29, 2016

Rent Hike May Force Oakland's Genova Delicatessen to Close

The Oakland institution has been located in the city's Temescal district for ninety years.

by Luke Tsai
Fri, Jan 29, 2016 at 9:15 AM

Genova's current retail store has been open since 1996. - JOSE AND ROXANNE/FLICKR (CC)
  • Jose and Roxanne/Flickr (CC)
  • Genova's current retail store has been open since 1996.
Don’t look now, but another Oakland institution might be in danger of being priced out of The Town. Genova Delicatessen (5095 Telegraph Ave., Oakland), which has been a fixture in the Temescal neighborhood since 1926, may be forced to shut down its retail store in the spring due to a looming rent increase.

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Belcampo Meat Co. (Probably) En Route to Oakland, Homeskillet Brings Fresh Doughnuts to Alameda

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 12:31 PM

Belcampo Meat Co.'s restaurant in San Francisco's Russian Hill neighborhood (via Facebook).
  • Belcampo Meat Co.'s restaurant in San Francisco's Russian Hill neighborhood (via Facebook).
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Today brought news that Belcampo Meat Co. has shut down its butcher shop in San Francisco’s Mission District, citing, among other reasons, logistical/marketing challenges and a desire to prioritize a new “SF location” that it plans to open (or at least announce) in March. Could that new location actually be across the bridge in Oakland, where Belcampo has its offices, rather than San Francisco? Six months ago, the sustainability-minded meat company hosted an open house at its “soon-to-be new location” at 369 3rd Street, a 5,000-square-foot warehouse in the Jack London district. And the company appears to have applied for a Type 47 (aka full bar) liquor license for that site.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Burmese Barbecue Is Coming to Oakland

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 1:34 PM

Grocery Cafe is expanding its Burmese offerings to go way beyond tea leaf salad. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE PHOTO
  • Bert Johnson/File photo
  • Grocery Cafe is expanding its Burmese offerings to go way beyond tea leaf salad.
Hidden away in an East Oakland residential neighborhood, Grocery Cafe (2248 10th Ave., Oakland) is already a one-of-a-kind restaurant. Regulars at this tiny Burmese cafe sit on repurposed church pews while feasting on tamarind-spiked deep-fried samusas, steaming bowls of catfish chowder, and the most potent fermented tea leaf salad in town. And if chef-owner William Lue has his way, customers will soon be able to enjoy one more hard-to-find specialty: Burmese-style barbecue.

See also:
This Hole-in-the-Wall Is Doing What No Other Restaurant in Oakland Is


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Bun Mam Soc Trang Closes Suddenly Due to Expired Lease

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 9:56 AM

The signature dish. - CHRIS DUFFEY/FILE PHOTO
  • Chris Duffey/File photo
  • The signature dish.
Sad news for fans of hard-to-find Vietnamese noodle soups: Bun Mam Soc Trang (1326 E. 18th St., Oakland), which, for my money, was the best Vietnamese restaurant in Oakland, has closed. 

When reached by phone, co-owner Hien Tran, who ran the popular noodle shop along with her mother Dieu Tran, said Bun Mam Soc Trang’s last day of business was December 21.

See also:
The Other Noodle Soup

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Cholita Linda to Bring Fish Tacos, Peruvian Chicken to Lakeshore Avenue

by Luke Tsai
Fri, Jan 22, 2016 at 11:30 AM

CHRIS DUFFEY/FILE PHOTO
  • Chris Duffey/File photo
East Bay fans of Baja-style fried fish tacos won’t find a much better version than the one served at Cholita Linda’s farmers’ market stands and its popular Telegraph Avenue restaurant. Now, you can add another brick-and-mortar location to the list: The owners of Cholita Linda plan to open their second branch in the old Burrito Shop location at 3256 Lakeshore Avenue, as first noted on the Splash Pad Park neighborhood group’s Facebook page.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: An Asian Mall Shuffle, Gluten-Free Beer, and a California Burrito Sighting

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Jan 20, 2016 at 2:33 PM

The status of Ran Kanom, a Thai restaurant inside the Pacific East Mall, is uncertain. - CHRIS DUFFEY/FILE PHOTO
  • Chris Duffey/File photo
  • The status of Ran Kanom, a Thai restaurant inside the Pacific East Mall, is uncertain.
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) A New York investor group has purchased Richmond's Pacific East Mall (3288 Pierce St.) for $31 million, the Contra Costa Times reports. Anchored by a 99 Ranch Market supermarket, the mall is home to an eclectic mix of Asian-centric shops and restaurants. According to some observers, its popularity as a one-stop shop for many East Bay Chinese Americans, is partly to blame for the recent struggles of Oakland Chinatown.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The East Bay’s Most Interesting SF Beer Week Events

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Jan 19, 2016 at 2:18 PM

The Japanese beer selection at Umami Mart. - VANESSA CASTANEDA
  • Vanessa Castaneda
  • The Japanese beer selection at Umami Mart.
SF Beer Week, a weeklong celebration of the Bay Area’s craft beer scene, will take place January 22–31 this year. It seems as though a notable beer-centric business opens in the East Bay every couple of weeks, so it only makes sense that many of SF Beer Week’s most intriguing events will take place on this side of the bridge. Here are a few that caught my eye:

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: BBQ Hut Shutters, Ike’s Plans Rockridge Branch, and CORE Kitchen Brings All-Produce Fast Food to Downtown Oakland

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Jan 13, 2016 at 3:13 PM

BBQ Hut's slow-smoked baby back ribs. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE PHOTO
  • Bert Johnson/File photo
  • BBQ Hut's slow-smoked baby back ribs.

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

1) For whatever reason, the East Bay just can’t seem to support a good barbecue restaurant. This week’s loss really smarts: North Oakland’s BBQ Hut (6400 Shattuck Ave.) — pound for pound, the finest barbecue restaurant that we had in Oakland — has closed. RIP to some of the best baby backs I ever did eat.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Best Bargains of Oakland Restaurant Week

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Jan 12, 2016 at 2:01 PM

Steak & eggs taco, fries, and iced tea at Belly. - BERT JOHNSON
  • Bert Johnson
  • Steak & eggs taco, fries, and iced tea at Belly.
Prix-fixe bargain hunters, take note: The sixth annual Oakland Restaurant Week kicks off on Thursday, January 14 and will run through Sunday, January 24, with approximately 100 restaurants running special deals during the promotional period — $20, $30, $40, and $50 prix-fixe menus that will be offered during lunch or dinner.

The record-setting number of participating restaurants — up from last year’s total of eighty — means that there can be an intimidating amount to information to sort through when trying to figure out where to book a reservation. Luckily for you, I did the grunt work of crunching the numbers to figure out the best bargains among restaurants that had posted their Restaurant Week menus as of Monday afternoon. Here are my six favorite deals, in no particular order:

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LocoL Fast Food Chain Announces Surprising New Location in Uptown Oakland

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Jan 12, 2016 at 7:30 AM

Test version of LocoL's chicken burger (via Instagram).
  • Test version of LocoL's chicken burger (via Instagram).
In 2014, we brought news of LocoL, an ambitious new fast food chain helmed by two of the most prominent chefs in California — the Bay Area’s Daniel Patterson (Coi, Plum Bar, Haven) and the Los Angeles-based Korean taco pioneer Roy Choi. In announcing their project at the 2014 MAD Symposium, Patterson and Choi spoke of nothing less than revolution — of bringing healthy, affordable, and delicious fast food that would appeal to any Mickey D’s customer to the low-income food deserts of the world.

See also:
Fast Food Is Going Loco'l

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