Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mid-Week Menu: Miss Ollie’s and Grand Lake Kitchen Launch Dinner Service, Jon’s Street Eats to Be Reborn as Marrow

By Luke Tsai
Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 7:00 AM

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

1) A couple of recently reviewed, previously lunch-centric Oakland restaurants — Miss Ollie’s (901 Washington St.) and Grand Lake Kitchen (576 Grand Ave.) — are launching dinner service. Miss Ollie’s kicked off its evening hours (starting at 5:30 p.m., Tues.-Sat.) last week, and, as Inside Scoop observed, it’s worth noting that some of the rotating lunch specials — like the fried chicken — are available for dinner every night. Check out the full menu here, but know that chef Sarah Kirnon will almost certainly have some adventurous specials up her sleeve each week.

Meanwhile, tonight is the first night Grand Lake Kitchen will serve dinner, starting at 5 p.m. The sample menu I perused didn’t have a single sandwich, and the entrées featured a healthy sprinkling of Eastern European influence: a gulyás (or goulash) with wild mushrooms, kohlrabi, and spring onions; a hunter’s plate featuring veal schnitzel and Hungarian kolbasz sausage; and so forth. There’s also beef brisket and a roasted half chicken served with rye dumplings.

Back in the day, Jon Kosoreks lunch spot was mobile. (via Facebook)
  • Back in the day, Jon Kosorek's lunch spot was mobile. (via Facebook)
2) Diablo Dish has the scoop on the next move for Jon’s Street Eats, one of the early innovators in the East Bay gourmet food truck scene. Now, owner Jon Kosorek is opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Oakland, at 325 19th St. (the former Looney’s BBQ location). According to Diablo Dish, the restaurant will be called Marrow, and the basic concept is whole-animal cookery for the downtown lunch crowd. We’ll pass along more details as we get them, but it sounds like a March or April opening is the target.

3) A couple weeks ago, we previewed Temescal’s soon-to-open Indian street food restaurant Juhu Beach Club (5179 Telegraph Ave.). Since then, chef Preeti Mistry has revealed a few more details, including cool kids’ meals served in colorful “tifflin” (multi-compartment lunch boxes). You can also check out restaurant’s full menu, which includes four slider-size pav sandwiches (two of them vegetarian); three curries; and a bunch of soups, salads, and appetizers. Opening day is still slated for March 1.

4) In other happy news, Stag’s Lunchette (362 17th St.) is relaunching its Saturday brunch program this weekend, after a several-month-long hiatus. A Facebook posting promises a “very brunch-centric menu,” but for now, mum’s the word on what new dishes will be making their debut — previously, Saturdays at the restaurant had featured the same breakfast items that are available every weekday. (Hat tip to Tablehopper.)

5) Oliveto (5655 College Ave.) is hosting its popular annual Whole Hog Dinners next week, from Tuesday, February 19 to Saturday, February 23 — a one-day extension from what the restaurant had initially planned, due to popular demand. Check out this year’s menu, which is divided, helpfully, by anatomy: from head to butt, from belly to “mixed cuts” (including braised pork skin and charcoal-grilled pork heart). Reservations tend to go quickly for most of Oliveto’s special dinners, so plan accordingly.

6) Diablo Dish breaks the news that Jack London Square pan-Latin restaurant Bocanova (55 Webster St.) has lost its executive chef, John Ledbetter, who has moved on to new restaurant in Newport Beach. Ledbetter's last day was Sunday; no word yet on who will replace him.

A new chain restaurant is in town.
  • A new chain restaurant is in town.
7) Good news for fans of underrepresented chain restaurants: Black Bear Diner, a Mt. Shasta-based chain with 55 locations (mostly on the West Coast) just opened a new franchise in Emeryville, at 5750 Christie Ave. I’ve never been, but one of my Facebook friends — a big fan of the chain — described it as being like “a Denny’s that uses European whipped butter.” Which sounds kind of great, actually.

8) In honor of the Chinese Lunar Year, which started on Sunday, this Bay Area Bites piece demystifies the admittedly intimidating process of purchasing a whole fish in Oakland Chinatown — a whole fish being one of the most auspicious foods you can serve at your New Year’s table, of course.

9) Finally, read my story about an upcoming San Francisco pop-up featuring a couple of offal-focused Oakland chefs, and my preview of another new sausage-and-beer joint, The Hog’s Apothecary.

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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