Bites: $1 oysters at Limewood, 44-cent Mai Tais at Trader Vic’s, Flying Falafel

The deck at Limewood at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley. Photo: Sarah Han

$1 OYSTERS AND SPARKLING WINE AT LIMEWOOD Picture it — sipping sparkling wine and slurping down oysters, all while enjoying one of the best views of the San Francisco Bay. If this sounds like your idea of the perfect afternoon or evening, you’ll want to head over to the Claremont Hotel’s Limewood Bar & Restaurant on Wednesday, Aug. 30, when it’s celebrating its first anniversary. The best part? Limewood is offering oysters and sparkling wine for $1 a pop. Although this posh deal starts as early as 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, we recommend timing your arrival just before sunset at 7:41 p.m. to watch the staff saber a bottle of sparkling wine on its deck and enjoy that multi-million dollar view of the bay. Limewood also announced that it’ll ring in its second year with a new offering: brunch. Starting on Sept. 9, the restaurant will serve an à la carte brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. featuring savory and sweet dishes created from Limewood’s Michelin-starred chef, Joseph Humphrey. Some standouts worth mentioning on the upcoming brunch menu include porchetta eggs benedict, housemade sausage with smoked gouda and cheddar grits and a cinnamon roll soufflé. Limewood Bar & Restaurant at The Claremont Club & Spa, 41 Tunnel Road, Berkeley.

A classic Mai Tai at Trader Vic’s in Emeryville. Photo: Trader Vic’s

MAI TAI DAY AT TRADER VIC’S There’s another screaming deal happening on Wednesday, Aug. 30 that you should know about. The historic tiki bar, Trader Vic’s in Emeryville is celebrating Mai Tai Day by offering its “Original Mai Tai®” for 44 cents! The price is a reference to the year 1944, when Trader Vic’s claims that the iconic tiki drink was first invented in Oakland by the bar’s founder, Victor “Trader Vic” Bergeron. (Donn Beach, aka Don the Beachcomber, also claims to have invented a version in 1933.) In 2009, the City of Oakland proclaimed itself the birthplace of the tropical cocktail (Trader Vic’s was originally in Oakland, on San Pablo and 65th St.; it moved to Emeryville in 1973) and declared August 30 official Mai Tai DayTrader Vic’s Real Mai Tai Day happens from 4 p.m. until close, with a limit of 44-cent Mai Tai per customer. Trader Vic’s, 9 Anchor Dr., Emeryville.

FLYING FALAFEL TO DOWNTOWN BERKELEY Last week, we heard from local tipster, Sean Rouse, about a new spot in downtown Berkeley on the brink of opening. San Francisco’s Flying Falafel will open its second location on Shattuck Avenue, in the former Buona Vita Yogurt, which quietly closed this summer. Berkeley is a natural fit for Flying Falafel, as the seeds of the business first sprouted when its founder, chef-owner Assaf Pashut began making falafel for fun while he was a student at UC Berkeley. As reported by Eater, Pashut is an Israeli-native who was studying neuroscience at Cal when he started a weekly falafel tradition amongst his friends. On “Falafel Fridays,” he’d cook his fried nuggets of chickpeas, herbs and spices for his friends. Eventually, he got so good at it, he decided to go pro. Pashut first opened Flying Falafel as a food cart at Bay Area farmer markets before opening a brick and mortar in San Francisco in 2015. And now, a whole decade after he first started Falafel Fridays, Pashut will bring his scratch-made falafel, pita, hummus and other vegetarian and vegan-friendly menu items back to Berkeley. Pashut told Nosh over email that the restaurant plans to open this weekend. Flying Falafel will be at 2114 Shattuck Ave. (at Addison), Berkeley.

Scott Davidson of Ocean View Brew Works. Photo: Ocean View Brew Works

OCEAN VIEW BREW WORKS CROWDFUNDING Back in June, Nosh reported that the makings of a new small-batch beer brewery and taproom was bubbling up in Albany. Since we last checked in, Ocean View Brew Works, co-run by Albany residents Scott and Vonnie Davidson, has been permitted and is in construction phase. So far, Ocean View has been largely self-funded by the Davidsons (and their family), but for this final stage, they’re asking for the public’s help via an Indiegogo campaign. Their goal is to raise $30k to pay for a walk-in refrigerator, furnishings for the taproom and beer garden and purchasing kegs and a canning machine. Community is a big driver for the Davidsons; not only do they hope to be a place for Albany beer lovers to converge, but they’ve got plans for other ways to bring neighbors together. In fact, they’ve already installed a Little Free Library in front of the space, have plans to host local artists in their shop and will have a quarterly program where a $1 from sales of a specific beer will be donated to a local charity. So far, the Indiegogo campaign has raised  about 15% of its goal amount. Ocean View Brew Works will be at 629 San Pablo Ave. (at Castro), Albany.


IT’S ‘FEAST MODE’ IN EMERYVILLE In July, Oakland-native and Raider Marshawn Lynch took over Emeryville soul food restaurant Scend’s, when its former owner, 80-year-old Cassie Nickelson, decided to retire. Nickelson told the Chronicle that Lynch would mostly keep the restaurant’s seafood-heavy menu as-is, but that he’d probably put his own stamp on it. Well, last week, Lynch, aka Beast Mode, took to Twitter to announce that the restaurant was hiring staff and that it would have a new name: Rob Ben’s. The new moniker is a shoutout to his childhood friend, Robert Benjamin, who was a first-draft pick by the Buffalo Bills, when he was shot and killed in Oakland in 2007. Rob Ben’s is at 3627 San Pablo Ave. (at 37th), Emeryville.

Out the Dough edible cookie dough in Concord. Photo: Out the Dough

CONCORD’S ABOUT TO GET RAW The FDA and your mom agree — eating raw cookie dough can make you sick. Luckily, cookie dough technology has come a long way in the last few years, and now, the nasty bugs (e. coli and salmonella) that are a danger due can be nullified by using heat treated flour and pasteurized eggs. A bevy of raw cookie dough shops have been popping up around the country, and a spot in the East Bay is about to join the ranks of this bonafide new trend. Out the Dough in Concord will serve its safe, edible cookie dough in ice cream-like scoops, and will feature a variety of inventive flavors like “Hawaiian Getaway” (white chocolate macadamia nut), “Greek Goddess” (sugar cookie dough with housemade baklava, honey, and walnuts) and seasonal ones, like lemon blueberry. This week, Out the Dough announced on Facebook that they are in the “final stages of construction and plan to be open in just a matter of WEEKS!!! Out the Dough will be at 4664 Clayton Rd. (near Rishell), Concord.

AQ CHEF TO BRING MÄGO TO OAKLAND Chef Mark Liberman, owner of former San Francisco restaurant, AQ, has his eyes set on Oakland for his next culinary venture. Liberman, who lives in Oakland, will be opening a restaurant called Mägo (“magician” in Spanish) in 2018, so it’s very early in the process and according to its website, he is actively looking for a space and investors. What Liberman does know is that Mägo will offer “contemporary West Coast cuisine” with a menu that changes weekly and that features local and seasonal ingredientsIn the meantime, he be offering a sneak peek at what he’s got up his sleeve through pop-up events he’ll be hosting in San Francisco and Oakland. The first pop-up, called “Mélange of colorful tomatoes burst,” takes place in Temescal on Sept. 8. A $45 ticket gets diners a seat at the table for a multi-course meal, that includes dishes like nasturtium paste served with bread and local berries, a five-hour smoked heirloom beet served with rosemary salt, and roast pork with ratatouille and wild seaweeds. And of course, as the name of the dinner suggests, there’ll be tomatoes, in the form of an heirloom tomato pie and a dessert tart made with the intriguing combination of tomatoes, rhubarb and white chocolate. For $25 extra, diners can add a beverage pairing to their meal, which includes wine, beer and juice. The location of  “Mélange of colorful tomatoes burst,” will be sent to diners upon purchase of tickets.

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