Bites: What’s new in East Bay food, XVIII

La Fable (brunch) by Nancy Rubin

La Fable, under French owners Franck and Isabel Bochaton, has been open a few weeks now in the former Chester’s Bayview Café space at 1508 Walnut Street in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto. Brunch (above) is on the menu. Photo: Nancy Rubin

Bites is Berkeleyside Nosh’s round-up of restaurant, bar and food-related news in the East Bay. To stay up-to-speed with all that’s going on locally, read our daily Nosh Wire, and check out previous editions of Bites. We always love receiving food-related tips at nosh@berkeleyside.com.

Openings, closings…

Screen shot 2013-04-12 at 11.37.41 AMTRIBUNE TAVERN The hot restaurant opening of the week happened Wednesday with the arrival of another big Chris Pastena eatery in Oakland (he’s behind Chop Bar and Lungomare and has others up his sleeve). Tribune Tavern is housed in the former Oakland Tribune building at 401 13th St., at Franklin. A meat-centric gastropub menu is overseen by chef Huw Thornton, who most recently worked at the short-lived Locanda da Eva in Berkeley. Before that he was at A16 and SPQR in San Francisco. One early review was more than positive. Oaklavore called the restauran’ts trotter and cheek fritters “nothing short of amazing.

Bottle shopNORTHBRAE BOTTLE SHOP This new Berkeley liquor store which Berkeleyside tipped you was coming back in January, and which is managed by Art Kinsey of next-door Gioia Pizzeria and Ryan Murff of Café Rouge, is now up and running after it did a soft opening a couple of weeks ago. It’s at 1590 Hopkins St. Regular hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Hat-tip: Heather Wood)

BarkadaBARKADA BAKERY AND CAFÉ Barkada, which is hoping to open in Temescal soon, is meanwhile holding regular pop-ups outside the store at 4316 Telegraph Ave. selling pastries such as morning buns (left) and croissants made with grass-fed butter and organic flour. Check the Facebook page for days and times.

UMAMI BURGER Fans of this Southern California-based gourmet burger spot will have to wait longer than expected for an Oakland branch. Diablo Dish reports that according to Umami Burger HQ, the company will not likely be opening its Uptown location until the end of the year. No word on why.

toasterTELEGRAPH CLOSURES Two shutterings to report on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley. Toaster Oven at 2309 (next door to the recently opened Sheng Kee Bakery), which opened in January last year, has closed up shop. The Toaster Oven is a  chain with four locations in San Francisco. Perhaps the arrival of The Melt in August didn’t help? Also no more is frozen yogurt spot Tutti Frutti at number 2380. [Hat tip: Bryan Garcia]

What else is going on…

JuhuJUHU BEACH CLUB Indian-streetfood place Juhu Beach Club (at the Temescal Triangle at 51st and Telegraph), starts serving lunch Friday, April 12, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and will continue to do so regularly Tuesdays through Saturdays. For the lunch crowd, the eatery is expanding its pav selection and has a new lamb meatball pav, “Bollywood Baller,” that is made with a local lamb served in a ginger tomato sauce with mint raita. There’s also”Pork Vindalated,” pulled pork in a vindaloo BBQ sauce topped with a bright desi slaw.

ComalCOMAL Comal in downtown Berkeley is hosting a winemaker dinner on Tuesday, April 30, featuring Wind Gap owner and winemaker Pax Mahle. Chef Matt Gandin will be pairing dishes like a local halibut crudo with fava beans and black olive-Serrano chile salsa, and Chilpachole de Jaiba Dungeness crab with Wind Gap wines. This is the first of a new series of producer dinners, to be held in the restaurant’s private dining room, Abajo. In the future, Comal will welcome brewers, tequila and mezcal producers, and farmers in celebration of products and produce used at the restaurant. Tickets are $90 per person.

Phil's sliders veganPHIL’S SLIDERS Also in downtown Berkeley, Phil’s Sliders has a new veggie slider patty ($2.75) on the menu (“after much work and deliberation about how to come up with something delicious and nutritious,” says owner Hugh Groman). It’s made from chickpeas, quinoa, lentils, mushrooms and onions, and comes with cheese, special sauce and lettuce. The slider can also be vegan and gluten free ($3).

CATO’S ALE HOUSE On Sunday, April 14, Oakland’s Cato’s Ale House, 3891 Piedmont Ave., will hold its first backyard pig roast, complete with a Cuban-style citrus and garlic-brined roast pig with black beans and rice, fried ripe plantains and salad. The event starts at 4 p.m. and costs $12.50.

CheeseBeer_CVR_BookPGCHEESE AND BEER  The Pasta Shop Rockridge Market Hall is hosting a Cheese & Beer event with author Janet Fletcher to promote her book of the same name. It’s the first guide that brings these two age-old pleasures together. Participants can meet Fletcher and taste a selection of artisan cheeses paired with craft beers. Fletcher is a nationally recognized cheese expert, writes a weekly cheese column for the San Francisco Chronicle. Saturday, April 20, 1-4 p.m., The Pasta Shop Rockridge Market Hall, 5655 College Ave., Oakland.

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.

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  • Bill N

    Stopped by the NORTHBRAE BOTTLE SHOP and they had a great single malt Scotch called “Sheep Dip” which is in this nifty little book called “101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die”! What a pleasant surprise!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tom.southern.758 Tom Southern

    “Grass-fed butter?” Really?

  • Chris J

    Would like to see more info on the new French (?) restaurant located in the Chester’s spot off of Vine. La Fable? The picture makes it look like a breakfast spot.

    My wife and I and son used to go there a couple of times a month–at least before I realized that I could cook as well as any of these guys (ok, not ANY) but for certainly less money and more pleasure for me.

    More info, please!

  • Chris J

    What else should dairy cows eat? Yah, yah…I know…’feed’.

  • Charles_Siegel

    ” to be held in the restaurant’s private dining room, Abajo.”

    Does the dining room really have a name, as this seems to say? Or does it just mean, “the private dining room downstairs”?

  • David D.

    I went to the Toaster Oven sometime last year and didn’t “get” it. I guess I wasn’t the only one! Business at the Melt seems to be doing better, but I can’t figure out who its target demographic is. Not many people are going to pay $8+ for a small grilled cheese and cup of soup on a regular basis. Considering I make a better grilled cheese at home, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it on the closure list someday…

    Thanks for the tip on Phil’s. I’ve been avoiding it because its only veggie option is a mushroom. Looks like I can give it a try now!