HAVEN REOPENS TONIGHT Haven, in Oakland’s Jack London Square, is reopening with a new concept tonight. The 3-year-old restaurant, part of the Daniel Patterson Group, gave Nosh and other food media a sneak peek last night, showing off its new décor in the form of greenery and glass votives hanging from the ceiling, and a new family-style menu. While previously diners had the option to order a tasting menu from Chef Charlie Parker (and Kim Alter before him), now that’s all they can order. It comes mostly family-style, with the exception of the entrée.
An appetizer of charcuterie — with no less than seven items — and four types of house-baked breads and crackers began the meal. Standouts included a seared hog’s head terrine with jardinière, chicken liver mousse with Meyer lemon, and hummus with cauliflower vadouvan. The spelt roll and rice crackers with furikake were also worth a mention. Our entrées — a peppered beef tri-tip or slow egg over quinoa with roasted brassicas — were accompanied by plates for two of a gem lettuce salad, grilled beets with crème fraîche and fingerling potatoes. The dessert was spiced rum cake, and for a supplemental fee, an oyster and leek chowder was offered. Everything was perfectly prepared and up to the standards we’ve experienced at Haven before. House-made pickles and sauces are for sale in the restaurant’s larder. For $45 a person — not including drinks or tip, of course — we couldn’t help but think this was a fantastic deal for the quality and amount of food that was served. Haven is in Jack London Square at 44 Webster St., Oakland. Connect with Haven on Facebook and Twitter. [By Alix Wall]
YO SUSHI COMING TO ALBANY We hear via Chow that the former Zaki space in Albany is soon going to re-open as a branch of Fairfield-based Yo Sushi. (Zaki closed last year and has continued to operate as a catering service, but has not announced a new location.) This will be the fifth location of the “sushi fusion” restaurant. Expect raw fish standards like tuni nigiri as well as specialty rolls like the Angry Lion King roll, a California roll topped with baked salmon, crab meat and tobiko. The website is updated with the new address, so expect the opening any day now. Yo Sushi will be at 1107 San Pablo Ave., Albany. Connect with Yo Sushi on Facebook.
BUMA’S PIZZA OPENS: New York-style pizza has landed in Uptown Oakland in the form of Buma’s Pizzeria. The restaurant takes the place of head-to-tail lunch spot, Marrow, which closed last July. Buma’s is the brainchild of former Marrow owner, Jon Kosorek, and will be selling whole pies as well as individual slices to-go. Kosorek’s pies are classic; sausage, margarita and a white pie all appear on the initial menu. The restaurant is named for Kosorek’s best friend, who passed away from cancer last year. Buma’s Pizzeria is at 325 19th St., Oakland. Connect with Buma’s on Facebook.
LITTLE STAR OWNERS PLAN NEW RESTAURANT As we reported in a story on the state of Solano Avenue last month, Little Star Solano owners John Guhl and Ryan Murff seem to be building their own mini-empire in the Albany. The duo has already opened up Boss Burger on Solano, and now they’ve announced a new project, an Oregon-inspired restaurant tentatively called Eugene. This new joint will be housed in the Little Star space, and the deep-dish pizza restaurant will move a few storefronts down, into 1181 Solano. Inside Scoop reports that the new restaurant will be “a real neighborhood-serving spot that’s open breakfast through dinner, and which can be a casual place for good, healthy food for families during the day that morphs into more of a small plates/bar vibe for adults at night (there will be a full liquor license).” Little Star Solano is at 1175 Solano Ave., Albany. Connect with Little Star Solano on Facebook and Twitter.
MORE BURGERS The newest location of the Denver-based burger chain, Smashburger, is now open on 40th Street in Emeryville (tipped by us back in September). Smashburger serves, well, “smashed” burgers — flat, juicy, fast-food style burgers with a crisp crust. Think TrueBurger rather than Handlebar. Smashburger is at 1111 40th St., Emeryville. Connect with Smashburger on Facebook and Twitter.
WILLIAMS-SONOMA LEAVES BAY STREET Residents will now need to look elsewhere for high-end cookware. After close to 13 years in the Bay Street mall in Emeryville, Williams-Sonoma has closed its doors. According to The E’ville Eye, the decision was made at the end of its lease because of slow sales. The business also reported that a “changing shopper demographic” in the area was a factor. The company’s flagship store in San Francisco and location in Walnut Creek are unaffected by the closure.
VEG 388 CHEF MOVES ON After five months operating out of Oakland’s Kitchen 388, Kevin Schuder’s modern vegetarian pop-up has closed shop. According to the East Bay Express, however, Schuder is moving on to bigger things: He’s just signed on as the new executive chef of San Francisco’s forthcoming Citizen Fox. We’ll certainly miss him in the East Bay.
What else is going on…
KINGSTON 11 GETS MICHELIN’S ATTENTION Uptown Oakland’s vibrant home for Jamaican cuisine, Kingston 11, got a hat-tip from the Michelin Guide. The guide was particularly impressed with the restaurant’s jerk chicken, fish fritters and curry goat. Kingston 11 is offering a special through Jan. 30 in honor of the nod: mention the Michelin recommendation and you can get a complimentary rum punch. (Read our review of Kingston 11.) Kingston 11 is at 2270 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. Connect with Kingston 11 on Facebook and Twitter.
SHAKEWELL ADDS MORE LUNCH, COFFEE Beginning Jan. 28, the Grand Lake tapas restaurant will be extending its lunch service from Wednesday through Friday. Spanish-inspired sandwiches, salads, small plates and a few larger entrees make up the abbreviated menu. In addition, Shakewell will also be selling coffee and pastries on those same days, starting at 8 am. Shakewell is at 3407 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland. Connect with Shakewell on Facebook and Twitter.
STANDARD FARE GAINS RETAIL After a long wait, Standard Fare, the West Berkeley home for sustainable high-end take-out, has finally been cleared for retail service. Now guests will no longer have to order ahead to try Kelsie Kerr’s cuisine. She’ll still be selling plated meals in hand-made pottery and will continue delivery throughout the East Bay. Standard Fare is at 2701 Eighth St., #118, Berkeley. Connect with Standard Fare on Facebook and Twitter.
POP UP MEAT Tablehopper reports that downtown Oakland’s Crossburgers is hosting a series of pop-up events with Boucherie Meats, starting tonight, Jan. 23, at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. The event will feature charcuterie from Boucherie, gumbo and perhaps a whole roasted animal, plus $3 beers, a funk band and a musician. Further pop-ups are scheduled to happen twice a month; if you miss tonight’s shindig, stop by Feb. 6. Connect with Crossburgers on Facebook and Twitter.
DOPO GOES FULL SICILIAN The Piedmont Avenue Italian spot Dopo is narrowing its focus. Over the next few months, Dopo will be shifting its menu to serve small Sicilian antipasti dishes instead of offering food from all Italian regions. The restaurant will also be adjusting its wine list to match. Dopo is at 4293 Piedmont Ave., Oakland. Connect with Dopo on Instagram.
GROCERY OUTLET EXITING As we reported earlier this week, Fourth Street’s Grocery Outlet building is slated for demolition to make way for a mixed-use housing complex on the block. Also of note: Grocery Outlet is set to close by the end of the year, according to developer Morgan Read. The new development will have enough space — about 8,500 square feet — for what could be a small grocery store, several smaller grocery vendors, a restaurant, or some combination of these tenants, in addition to about 150 apartments. While many residents have said they are concerned about the loss of an affordable grocery store in the neighborhood, the project was approved nearly unanimously by the zoning board in December, which explained that the store was planning to leave regardless of its decision. Read more on Berkeleyside.
FORMER PICAN CHEF JOINS REVIVAL TEAM Sophina Uong has stepped back into the kitchen, this time at Revival Bar and Kitchen. Uong tells us she is acting as “pop-up co-chef” at the downtown Berkeley restaurant until chef Amy Murray returns. Murray is back at sister restaurant Venus cooking for a few months and giving the dinner menu there a makeover. Revival Bar and Kitchen is at 2102 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. Connect with Revival on Facebook and Twitter.
Catch up on these great recent NOSH stories:
Café Colucci: Flying flag for authentic Ethiopian food
We home-test two recipes from Chez Panisse chef’s ‘Twelve Recipes’
Housing to replace Grocery Outlet building