New local distillery, Scarlet City Espresso live

Diablo's Shadow
Diablo’s Shadow: a vodka from Sutherland Distillery Co. which recently opened in Livermore. Photo: Sutherland Distillery Co.

Openings, closings…

SUTHERLAND DISTILLING COMPANY The East Bay has a new craft distillery. Eric Larimer and his friends Barry and Ryan Sutherland have opened Sutherland Distilling Company in Livermore. Larimer said the distillery is focused on making “high-quality distilled spirits from local ingredients that are entirely grain to glass.” He said the company hand-crafts all of its products from start to finish, and practices what it calls “soil to spirit craft distilling.” Sutherland recently released its Diablo’s Shadow Silver vodka and rum, and is barrel-aging rum for a later release. “We also are excited to have our first barrels full of bourbon that is made with 100% California-grown ingredients,” Larimer said. On Sat. Aug. 23, Sutherland is one of several local artisan brands participating in the first annual San Francisco “On A Boat” event. Sutherland Distilling Co. is at 3189 Independence Drive, Livermore, CA 94551. Visit Sutherland online and connect with them on Facebook 

Scarlet City hopes to open in Emeryville this summer. Read more on Nosh. Photo: Daniel McChesney-Young
Jen St Hilaire and Susanna Handow. Their new coffee spot Scarlet City has its grand opening on Saturday Aug. 23. Photo: Daniel McChesney-Young

SCARLET CITY ESPRESSO As tipped last week in Bites, Scarlet City Espresso Bar is having its grand opening Saturday, Aug. 23, after being open in “soft mode” for about a week. Scarlet City, which encompasses a fun sci-fi vibe as well as excellent coffee, is at 3960 Adeline St. We interviewed owners Jen St. Hilaire and Susanna Handow back in May when they were working on the build-out. Hilaire acquired her roasting chops at Vivace in Seattle, which is known for its Northern Italian style of espresso, and the concept for the new shop is to encourage the Northern Italian tradition “where you stand at the counter with other patrons having their espresso and chat,” according to Handow, “– where getting your coffee is more of a social experience than an isolating one, where you’re having an interaction with the people who work there and other regulars.” You may have already tasted their coffee, of course, as St Hilaire has been roasting and selling Scarlet City coffee since 2009. Scarlet City Espresso Bar is at 3960 Adeline St. (at 40th Street) in Emeryville. Connect with them on Facebook.

cherry blossom at Sakura
Sushi at Sakura

SAKURA SUSHI & GRILL From the Shop Park Street Alameda newsletter, we learn that Sakura Sushi & Grill at 2408 Santa Clara Ave. has re-opened after a remodel and an expansion. Sakura serves sushi, sashimi, teriyaki, and udon noodles. Customer favorites include the Black Dragon Roll, Cherry Blossom Roll, and Salmon Pizza. Bento boxes and lunch specials are also available.

What else is going on…

Samin Nosrat. Photo: Roman Cho

SAMIN NOSRAT Samin Nosrat, the talented local writer and cook who taught Michael Pollan some kitchen tricks when he was writing his book Cooked, is now working on her own book. It’s called Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat and the expected publication date is spring 2015. Meantime, you can catch her in conversation at Doña Tomás restaurant in Temescal on Wednesday Aug. 27, 6-8 p.m., as she shares stories and many lessons from kitchens around the world. The evening, which will include small bites and drinks available for purchase at the bar, is organized by Social Eats, part of restaurateur Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard organization. Social Eats aims to educate Bay Area young professionals on the complexities of global food systems and the sustainable food movement. For details and tickets ($15 each) visit Social Eats.


Kyle Hopscotch
Chef Kyle Itani of Oakland’s Hopscotch. Photo: Esquire Network

KNIFE FIGHT Chef Kyle Itani of Oakland’s Hopscotch had the chance to face off with another chef on Esquire Network’s “Knife Fight: Live Halibut!” — and he won! His appearance on the reality show aired Aug. 19, but he told Nosh’s Ms. Barstool that the prized  “I Won” cleaver had been hidden in plain sight at Hopscotch since January. Chef Itani impressed the judges with three unique dishes using his Japanese cooking techniques. The three surprise ingredients were: flowering cilantro, collard greens, and live halibut. Itani snuck in a few of his favorite ingredients (like dried bonito flakes, soy sauce, sake and miso) along for the show, which is filmed at The Gorbals restaurant in LA in front of a panel of judges and a lively bar crowd. He had only one frenzied hour to prepare the dishes during  the show, but, inspired by his experience on the show, Itani has created something new for the Hopscotch menu this month: poached Petrale sole, with miso sofrito collard greens. Bragging rights belong to him now, along with that well-deserved cleaver.

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Ms Barstool: Sipping Revenge at Honor in Emeryville

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.com. Follow Berkeleyside NOSH on Twitter, and on Facebook.