What’s new in East Bay food, XXX

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UC Berkeley graduate Tori Wentworth is bringing ice cream shop Curbside Creamery to Oakland’s fashionable Temescal Alley. Meanwhile her ice cream will be for sale from her mobile vending trike cart. Photo: Curbside Creamery

Openings, closings…

Screen shot 2013-07-12 at 9.28.50 AMLOCAL CAFÉ OUT / SLICER PIZZERIA IN  No sooner did we hear the news that Local Café at 4395 Piedmont Ave. (at Pleasant Valley Avenue, next to Adesso) had closed (hat tip: Risa Nye), we learn that the space has already been snapped up by Colin Etezadi, a veteran of Boot & Shoe, Pizzaiolo and Camino, who plans to open Slicer Pizzeria: a pizza joint with an emphasis on value. Etezadi told Inside Scoop SF that he wants to contribute a less upscale pizzeria to the Oakland restaurant scene. “…I want to take it back to the roots. I want to open a nice place … but make it more affordable,” he said. We’ll let you know when Slicer Pizzeria (not to be confused with Sliver in downtown Berkeley) opens its doors. Meanwhile, we’ll miss Local Café, which was opened by Megan Burke with chef Jhon Gomez (Oliveto, A Côté) at the helm. Their lunchtime menu was a treat.

Screen shot 2013-07-12 at 9.56.19 AMCURBSIDE CREAMERY UC Berkeley graduate Tori Wentworth is bringing ice cream shop Curbside Creamery to Oakland’s fashionable Temescal Alley in the fall. Meantime, you can taste Curbside’s fare when Wentworth pops up with her mobile vending trike (pictured, top), including in the Alley. According to Bay Area Bites, Curbside focuses on cashew-based vegan ice creams, though regular dairy flavors are also available. Recent flavors included bourbon whiskey and vanilla, and mint stracciatella. Wentworth has an ongoing Kickstarter campaign to raise funds. We’ll keep you posted on when the shop opens — it will be at 482 49th St.

Screen shot 2013-07-12 at 10.27.49 AMCAFÉ LA PEŇA La Peňa Cultural Center in Berkeley is opening a new café Friday, July 12, at 5:30 p.m. We’ll bring you all the juicy details soon, but meantime here’s what to know: This weekend the center has a line-up of events to celebrate the opening. Visit La Peña’s Facebook page for details. La Peña is at 3105 Shattuck Ave. (at Woolsey).

guest_chef_022412GUEST CHEF We wrote about Guest Chef back in January. The concept proved popular: invite chefs to run their own restaurant for a couple of weeks in a cozy space on College Avenue in Rockridge. However Guest Chef recently announced it would be closing down. But… it’s not quite over yet. July 11, 12, and 13 offer a last chance to experience Guest Chef with its “Back from the Dead Dinners.” Chef Adam Zappa will be running the kitchen. “When we decided to close our doors and sell the restaurant, there were several chefs who still really, really wanted to come and cook,” the organizers said. “They asked if we would be willing to reopen for their appearances while we were on the market. And we thought, what the heck – why not? Our model has always been pretty fluid and seems like we should go out the same way.” Information and reservations on the Guest Chef website. [Hat tip: Risa Nye]

Screen shot 2013-07-12 at 10.07.03 AMTHE STAR We brought you news in previous Bites columns that the latest outpost of San Francisco’s Little Star Pizza would be opening soon in Oakland. Well it did. The Star opened Sunday, July 7, in the former Milano space at 3425 Grand Ave. East Bay Dish’s Christina Mitchell, who was there on opening night, reports that the Chicago-style deep dish pizza (The Port, with sausage, mushrooms, onions, green bell peppers, $19) was “so freakin amazing it was worth the wait.” Pizzas are named after East Bay neighborhoods and landmark sand the place is family-friendly with a “pretty sizable bar,” she says.

ChuloFLAVOR A new Mediterranean restaurant is set to move into the former Picoso Taqueria space in Epicurious Garden at 1511 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley. Picoso closed in early May, and now Flavor Mediterranean Food, run by executive chef Ezra Malmuth, is claiming the Gourmet Ghetto takeout spot. According to a sign posted at the currently empty storefront, Malmuth has worked in “upscale eateries throughout the world” and has interned at Chez Panisse. The sign says the new Flavor menu will highlight “California freshness enhanced with Middle Eastern spice,” and will change frequently with vegetarian and vegan options, alongside slow-braised meat and fish. (Hat-tip: Doug Ng)

What else is going on…

Screen shot 2013-07-12 at 10.15.26 AMFOOD SERIES AT BPL The North Branch of the Berkeley Public Library is holding a Food Series this month. Each Thursday night the library provides a local food expert to come and present on a topic that we love in Berkeley. It is a potluck event, all folks are encouraged to bring dinner or a dish to share starting at 6:00pm. Speakers starts at 6:30 p. m. The idea is that folks exchange recipes and get to know their neighbors while learning about local food. The Mead Kitchen will talk about mead distilling and its impact on the local economy July 18; and BioFuel Oasis will teach about backyard beekeeping and honey in Berkeley on July 25. Visit BPL online for details.

Screen shot 2013-07-12 at 10.32.16 AMEAST BAY VEGAN BAKE SALE The East Bay Vegan Bake Sale is back this weekend at Issues (a fabulous magazine store). There will be “an array of vegan treats” for sale, including IndieCakes‘ peach galettes, and you can also enter a raffle to win more baked goods. Proceeds will go to BAD RAP and Girl Army. Issues is at 20 Glen Ave. in Oakland. Details: Sunday, July 14, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Recent Nosh stories (in case you missed them):
Emilia’s pizza in Berkeley: is it really worth all the fuss?
Six stand-out East Bay restaurant wine lists
Off The Grid brings food trucks to El Cerrito
Hibiscus pistachio meringues: a perfect summer treat
Berkeley Rasputin to sell organic ice cream on Telegraph

Bites is Nosh’s round-up of restaurant openings, happenings and closings in the East Bay. Some of these items will have first appeared in Berkeleyside’s Shop Talk column. Got a tip or scoop? Send it our way to nosh@berkeleyside.com.