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Located a stone’s throw from Lake Merritt, Grand Lake Kitchen defies easy categorization. It isn’t a traditional Jewish deli. It isn’t one of those places where every single item is made from scratch in-house. Nevertheless, the place fills at least three different niches for a neighborhood that didn’t have a great sandwich shop, or a cozy diner, or a posh grocery store carrying obscure sodas and organic baby food. The house-made pickles are great, and the deli case is stocked with seasonal, mostly vegetarian sides. But Grand Lake Kitchen’s biggest selling point is its sandwiches. Best of all is the “Oyako”: an open-face egg salad sandwich topped with thin shards of crispy chicken skin.

— Luke Tsai

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