Bites: What’s new on the East Bay food scene, XIII

Screen shot 2013-03-08 at 1.21.18 PM

Assemble Restaurant has opened for lunch service only — so far — in the former Boilerhouse space at Richmond’s Craneway Pavilion

Bites is Berkeleyside Nosh’s round-up of restaurant and bar news in the East Bay. Bites is produced by Nosh in collaboration with Christina Mitchell, founder of East Bay Dish. To stay up-to-date, read our daily Nosh Wire, and check out previous editions of Bites.

Freshly served…

ASSEMBLE Assemble Restaurant has quietly opened for lunch service in the old Boilerhouse space at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond. Terumi Shibata-Mazzera (Downtown Restaurant, Trattoria Corso) and her husband Richard Mazzera (Cesar, Downtown Restaurant, Chez Panisse) are at the helm. They’re serving American cuisine with regional classics like a cheesesteak sandwich (roast beef, peppers, onions, melted house-made cheese whiz on an Acme torpedo roll served with house-made chips, $13), muffaletta (salami, ham, mortadella, provolone, mozzarella, olives, tomato and celery, served with potato salad, $11) and fish & chips (club soda batter, tartar sauce, served with cole slaw and house-made chips, $15). Dessert also looks promising with “Serena’s Solution” chocolate cake, served with salted caramel ice cream ($6) on the menu. There are beer, wine and cocktails. Dinner will be added in the next few weeks. 1414 Harbour Way South, Richmond. 510-215-6025. Monday to Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

carriage house websiteDISTRICT CARRIAGE HOUSE On Tuesday this week Old Oakland eatery District opened Carriage House on the back side of the restaurant. It’s a to-go only lunch service, serving soups, salads and sandwiches, including spiced lamb meatball (with charmoula sauce & Manchego, $10) and buttermilk fried chicken (with honey, Tabasco & creamy pickle slaw, $9), along with pizzettas (with fresh Mozzarella & marinara, $9, additional toppings $2 each). Carriage House plans to add online ordering and delivery soon, and announced it will have a grand opening celebration on Monday March 11. 827 Washington St. (entrance on Ninth Street), Oakland. 510-452-0031. Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

LEGIONNAIRE SALOON Legionnaire Saloon opened last weekend on Oakland’s Telegraph Avenue and, according to its website, it’s “a neighborhood bar and live performance venue located in the heart of the Oakland arts district with excellent bartenders, exceptional spirits, eight beers on tap, pinball and a stage as well as a vintage 45 jukebox. Brought to you by Prozack Turner and RaeAnne Turner (formerly of The Layover).” There are several parties and performances scheduled for the next couple weeks so you might want to check it out. 2272 Telegraph Ave., Oakland.

LA FABLE We reported in November that French restaurant La Fable was set to open in the space of the former Chester’s Bayview Café in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto. As of Wednesday, La Fable is open for business — serving pastries and coffee for breakfast, and sandwiches and soups and more for dinner. 1508 Walnut St., Berkeley. [Hat-tip: Amanda Fox]

Screen shot 2013-03-08 at 1.00.45 PMLUNGOMARE Italian coastal cuisine restaurant Lungomare, which opened about a month ago at Jack London Square, has added brunch service. Chef Craig DiFonzo is whipping up dishes like blood orange French toast ($9) and organic eggs with braised pork shoulder hash ($14). The adjacent café also just opened and offers morning coffee and breakfast options, including the PLT (pancetta, arugula, tomato, crescenza cheese and a farm egg) for ferry commuters. One Broadway, Oakland. 510-444-7171. Brunch: Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Café: Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

EAT + LOUNGE Less than two months after it opened, Eat + Lounge at 2512 San Pablo Ave. shut up shop on Feb. 28. The restaurant, which, in its short tenure, offered Mediterranean, farm-to-table food under chef Kwin Vutook, took over from seafood restaurant Sea Salt, which closed on New Year’s eve after seven years of operation. Sea Salt was owned by Haig and Cindy Krikorian’s K2 Restaurant Group which is known to be downsizing. Last year it sold T-Rex BBQ on 10th Street and it looks like change is afoot at its Albany restaurant Fonda at 1501 Solano Ave. A sign states a change of ownership for its liquor licence. (The restaurant’s website is down and attempts to make contact have so far proved unsuccessful.)

Coming soon…

Addies 3NEXT DOOR RESTAURANT As revealed by Berkeleyside in this week’s Shop Talk column, Next Door Restaurant will be moving into the former Addie’s Pizza Pie space on the corner of Adeline and Alcatraz avenues in Berkeley. Henry Alvarez, the controversial head of San Francisco’s Housing Authority and his wife Dionne Roberts are opening the new spot. (Alvarez is currently on medical leave and there is at least one call for a fraud investigation into whether he is allowed to be running a business while he retains his current post.) The couple has brought on Sharon Lorraine, formerly of Purple Plum and César, as chef.  The international comfort food menu will include buttermilk fried chicken, ropa vieja, and Persian chicken wings, along with vegan and vegetarian dishes, according to Lorraine, who spoke to Tablehopper. The first-time restaurateurs have scheduled opening day for May 1. 290 Adeline St., Berkeley.

HeatHEAT HOT SAUCE SHOP Hot sauce shop Heat which was planning to open at 1922B Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Berkeley, as tipped in Nosh Bites in January, has had a few set-backs — not least several denied permit applications. Its future was looking uncertain, but co-owner Dylan Keenen told Nosh that, at the current time, the plan is back on. The business had recently announced it wasn’t going to open its storefront, but so many people came in offering support, including financial help, he said, that they felt they couldn’t give up. Watch this space for updates and follow Heat Hot Sauce Shop on Facebook.

KINGSTON 11 Kingston 11 used to pop-up at Guerilla Café with jerk chicken and other dishes.  Now, proprietors Adrian Henderson, Nigel Jones and Andre King have found a permanent location for the Jamaican restaurant in the former Off the Hook space on Telegraph Ave. in Oakland, according to the East Bay Express. The restaurant will seat about 90 and offer a full rum bar. They hope to open sometime next month. 2270 Telegraph Ave, Oakland.

What else is going on…

Homeroom drive thruHOMEROOM Always looking for ways to serve more mac’n’cheese in its small restaurant, Homeroom started a drive-through experiment this week. Here’s how it works: After downloading the smartphone app at the Apple or Android store, you place your order and pay for it on your phone. Then, you drive to the restaurant and park in the designated area out front and wait for an employee to bring out your order. The service will only be available for dinner during the trial period. 400 40th St., Oakland. 510-597-0400.

CAFFE MEDITERRANEUM There’s a regular tango revolution going down on Berkeley’s iconic Telegraph Avenue. Every first and third Saturday of the month, Caffe Mediterraneum, the self-described Berkeley birthplace of the Caffe Latte, organizes Argentine tango from 7-11:30 p.m. 2475 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley.

Screen shot 2013-03-08 at 12.51.16 PMDISHCRAWL TEMESCAL Dishcrawl, whose mission is to show food lovers the best dishes in local restaurants, is coming back to the East Bay and homing in on Oakland’s foodie Temescal neighborhood. On March 27, a “Dishcrawl Ambassador” will lead participants “through progressive dinners, prix fixe dinners, and other fun food events.” Tickets will be $45 and can be purchased at Dishcrawl.

oakland grown card crawlOAKLAND GROWN Oakland Grown’s first Card Crawl is this weekend. The plan is to have a “fun afternoon shopping, exploring, eating and drinking on Piedmont Avenue.” Stops include Baja Taqueria and Wine on Piedmont. Plus, they’ll hand out goodie bags. Saturday, March 9, 2:30-6 p.m. Free. For more details visit Oakland Grown.

T-REX BBQ Berkeley’s T-Rex BBQ, which is under new ownership after it was sold by the K2 Restaurant Group, is hosting a Memphis-inspired barbecue buffet on Wednesday, March 13, from 6 to 9 p.m. It’s all you can eat for $20. The buffet spread will include ribs, smoked chicken, pulled pork, red beans and rice, fried corn on the cob, chopped salad, and cornbread. 1300 10th St., Berkeley.

Screen shot 2013-03-08 at 1.06.26 PMUMBRIAN TALK/DINNER Mrs. Dalloway’s Bookstore is collaborating with Oliveto Restaurant to celebrate the publication of Our Woman in Umbria by Elizabeth Wholey. On Monday, March 18, at 5 p.m. at Mrs. Dalloway’s, Elizabeth will read from her book, answer questions, join in discussion, and sign books. Meanwhile, the cooks at Oliveto will be preparing a special à la carte Umbrian dinner, inspired by some of the recipes found in Elizabeth’s book. After her book presentation at Mrs. Dalloway’s, Elizabeth will come to Oliveto for dinner and to visit with everyone, and answer questions about her time in Umbria. Oliveto will have some books on hand for those who missed the opportunity to obtain one at Mrs. Dalloway’s. Visit Mrs Dalloway’s online for details. Call Oliveto Restaurant (5655 College Ave., Oakland) at 510-547-5356 to reserve a table.

Chipotle sofritas

CHIPOTLE Chipotle has teamed up with Oakland’s Hodo Soy Beanery to test out a new, non-carniverous burrito. The sofritas is filled with Hodo Soy tofu that’s been braised with roasted poblanos and chipotles, and shredded. It can be ordered as a burrito bowl, or in a taco. The vegan dish is only being tested here in the Bay Area and is available at three locations in San Francisco (525 Market, 121 Fourth Street at the Metreon, and 126 New Montgomery), and in San Mateo, Millbrae and Palo Alto.

Bites is Nosh’s round-up of restaurant openings, happenings and closings in the East Bay. Got a tip or scoop? Send it our way to nosh@berkeleyside.comFollow Berkeleyside NOSH on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Some of these items may first have appeared in Shop Talk, Berkeleyside’s regular column in which we post updates on Berkeley businesses. Got a tip for Nosh Bites? Send it to nosh@berkeleyside.com.

Print Friendly
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
  • Che Joubert

    Has anyone noticed that food’s really going downhill in the Berkeley area? Indian food is all of the take-out variety, none of the silver wrapped stuff anymore, and careful little carrot/spinch dishes etc, for most of our budgets. Cancun up on Allston above Shattuck is so high priced now, and the food isn’t any better, in my opinion worse than a few years ago. And where’s the real Greek food? What was the name of that place in the lower Kensington circle that used to have all the puff pastries and the tender meat? Gone with the wind. And who wants a vegan burrito? I’m sure some underweight, sallow eyed vegans will, but I would prefer a carnivorous burrito with tender pork/chicken, but basically forget the pork anymore – it’s a dying food around here.. and the chicken is often stringy and tough. Oriental express to go, used to be on University, is gone – and along with them the most tender Salmon dish with perfect brown rice for around $5.00 – 6.00 was it?

    I’ve been in Berkeley off and on, mostly on, since the 60’s, and the food, which used to be amazing, is now is pretty mediocre – hope some of these new places bring better quality.

  • Chris J

    Oh, I dunno…I think that the restaurant food quality here in Berkeley is just fine and hasn’t gone downhill…at least in the last 20 years that I’ve lived here.

    Difrent strokes for difrent folks, eh.

  • Chris J

    But yeah– yer right that the prices seem to have gotten out of hand. Fortunately, I can generally cook pretty decently so I’d just as soon spend less money for my home made meals and get similar quality. Just sayin.

    And my wife and I are both employed, own a home, and work full-time and we both decided to minimize our eating out. We’re not good for the restaurant economy at all.

  • tedbrowner

    Don’t go here! The owner is under fraud investigations by SF!

    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/SF-housing-chief-s-leave-under-scrutiny-4338209.php

  • Chris Brown

    You’re talking about food quality in the same breath you expect a salmon dish for “$5-6.00″? Really?