Thursday, March 2, 2017

Mid-Week Menu: Old Kan, Drip Line, and a Korean Fried Chicken Heavyweight

By Luke Tsai
Thu, Mar 2, 2017 at 5:12 PM

click to enlarge The open-face meatball sandwich at Old Kan. - INSTAGRAM @OLDKANBEER
  • Instagram @oldkanbeer
  • The open-face meatball sandwich at Old Kan.

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

1) This week’s big new restaurant opening is more of a reopening: James Syhabout has rebranded the former Dock at Linden Street as a full-fledged brewery called Old Kan Beer & Co. (95 Linden St., Oakland). Head brewer Adam Lamoreaux, will focus on classic, all-American beers — a sensibility reflected in their no-nonsense names: “Old Kan Original,” “Old Kan Dark,” and “Old Kan Light.”

The West Oakland restaurant-brewery opened for business last night. The opening menu — which you can view here, courtesy of Eater — mostly consists of relatively straightforward comfort food. There’s a cheeseburger, a meatball sandwich, moules frites, and a couple of items that feature pimento cheese.

2) A few months ago, I wondered, wistfully, if an alcohol license filing for a restaurant in Berkeley called “Bon Chon” meant that the Korean fried chicken chain BonChon would be opening its first East Bay franchise. This week, Eater confirmed that my sticky, spicy, double-fried chicken dreams are about to come true — with a photo of the 2050 Berkeley Way storefront, complete with the telltale BonChon logo, as proof. Stay tuned for details about the expected opening date.

3) Drip Line (1940 Union St. #21, Oakland), West Oakland’s newest cafe, is a third-wave coffee shop that has Singaporean roots. According to a press release, Nora Dunning, the chef, is of Singaporean heritage. Prior to this, Dunning worked as Blue Bottle Coffee’s Culinary Operations Manager, and Bay Area Bites notes that before that, she was the chef at the (relatively short-lived) cafe component of the high-end Indonesian furniture store Monkey Forest Road. Located in a former cookie factory, the cafe features a breakfast-and-lunch menu that’s heavy on Southeast Asian-inspired dishes with a Northern Californian sensibility — there’s a take on beef randang, gado-gado (an Indonesian cooked salad), and a spicy, sambal-drenched version of shrimp and grits.

click to enlarge Shrimp and grits at Drip Line. - NICK WOLF
  • Nick Wolf
  • Shrimp and grits at Drip Line.

4) Pal’s Take Away’s semi-permanent cafe inside the Forage Kitchen incubator space (478 25th St.) has now changed its name to “Pal’s Take Away 25th St. Rotisserie and Sandwich Shop,” Inside Scoop reports. In case it isn’t self-evident, the new addition is the rotisserie — whole- or half- roast chickens, whole- or half-porchettas, and leg of lamb, available to be pre-ordered and picked up at the shop on Saturdays.

5) Berkeleyside Nosh reports that the West Berkeley location of Doughnut Dolly has closed due to a rent dispute with the landlord.

6) The three-year-old downtown Oakland tiki bar Longitude (347 14th St., Oakland) is closing this Sunday, March 5, according to a Facebook post from owner Suzanne Long.

7) ICYMI, it is Lent, and, for those who are fasting, we have a fish ‘n chip roundup. Also, I wrote a restaurant review about breakfast sandwiches.

Got tips or suggestions? Email me at Luke (dot) Tsai (at) EastBayExpress (dot) com. Otherwise, keep in touch by following me on Twitter @theluketsai, or simply by posting a comment. I'll read ‘em all.

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