Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mid-Week Menu: Cocina Criolla, Comal, and a Chop Bar Spinoff

By Luke Tsai
Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Continuing the tradition started by my predecessor, Jesse Hirsch, I'm happy to present the Mid-Week Menu, a weekly roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Grub Street brings news of a fledgling Puerto Rican pop-up called Cocina Criolla, to be held at Piedmont Avenue's Dopo. The project is the brainchild of Dopo cook Ian Hernandez — the first dinner is scheduled for Sunday, May 6, with a $45 four-course menu that includes octopus salad and skirt steak with rice and beans.

2) More details on Berkeley's Comal, from our friends at Eater. The upscale, Oaxacan-inspired Mexican restaurant is aiming for a May 2 opening.

  • ArielGlenn
3) Speaking of ambitious projects: Chop Bar co-owner Chris Pastena will be opening a 4,000 sq. ft. restaurant on the ground floor of the Tribune Building, according to Diablo Dish, which reports that possible names include "Tribune Bar & Grill" and "Tribune Tavern." Pastena told us he hasn't hired a chef yet, but said the restaurant will feature a casual vibe and approachable food. He expects to open in early 2013.

4) Next Thursday, San Francisco's Michelin-starred Atelier Crenn will be co-hosting a beer-paired dinner with Oakland's beer geek haven, The Trappist. Six courses, each one paired with some obscure brew. $195 per person, y'all! Email to reserve.

5) Berkeleyside has a nice interview with Lee Nakamura of Tokyo Fish Market. His favorite fish to eat? Loch Duart salmon.

6) Thrillist reports that the Claremont's Paragon Restaurant is now serving sit-down "street food" on Tuesday nights, with each week's offerings (pork buns, shrimp tacos, and such) posted on Facebook.

7) As I reported yesterday, Kitchen 388 is gearing up to relaunch after a four-month hiatus, opening for dinner only to start.

8) And finally, the Chronicle discovers that East Bay cocktails can be just as good as San Francisco cocktails. What a concept!

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

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