Tag Archives: Ajanta

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

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Openings…

THE STATION It’s been a long gestation period (we first tipped you about it in July 2012), but it looks like the former Viva Taqueria building in the triangle where Russell, Claremont Avenue, and Claremont Boulevard meet in Berkeley will soon be reborn as The Station. The painters are hard at work and the opening is slated for next month. [Hat tip: Sandy Friedland.] Think hamburgers and salads with coffee and pastries in the morning. The name refers to the spot’s original role as a train station, and later a gas station… and still later, a beloved burger spot named, appropriately enough, ‘The Station.” The Korean-American owner of The Station back in the 80s, Fred, specialized in delicious fresh blueberry milkshakes, but also introduced a generation of Berkeley youngsters to the wonders of bulgogi. [Ed: This last sentence comes courtesy of reader "Bishop George Berkeley."]

Screen shot 2013-06-07 at 11.57.37 AMBITTERSWEET BERKELEY The popular Bittersweet, which has cafés in Rockridge and downtown Oakland, is set to open a new Berkeley location in the former New Amsterdam Coffeeshop spot at 1952 University Ave. (Hat-tip: Diablo Dish.) Bittersweet, which specializes in chocolate, also used to make artisanal chocolate in West Berkeley. Expect the same offerings of yummy hot chocolate, coffees, salads, sandwiches, and baked goods. New Amsterdam Coffeeshop closed after three years partly because its owners wanted to spend more time with their children. Bittersweet Berkeley hopes to open by the end of June. … Continue reading »

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

Scream Sorbet may be saved after all. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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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.

Purple Kow coming soonPURPLE KOW Popular San Francisco boba (tapioca) tea and dessert spot Purple Kow is making its move into Berkeley. It’s setting up a new location on Center Street. (According to license applications, it’s replacing La Cascada at 2164 Center, though the business has been somewhat coy about its exact location so far in its online posts.) Cafe reps say it plans to open by mid- to late-April, and that Purple Kow is accepting resumes. Learn more about Purple Kow on Facebook. There are lots of details about available drinks, toppings and other menu options on the company website. Reader ECHang, who tipped Berkeleyside to the news, noted “Long lines stretching” at the San Francisco location on Balboa Street. (Purple Kow also applied for its on-sale beer and wine license earlier this month.)

CLAYPOT Claypot Restaurant, set to move into the old Bacheeso’s location at 2501 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley, is gearing up to open by the end of March, according to an ad on Craigslist that was posted in late February. (Berkeleyside first noted the business’ plans earlier this year.) According to the ad, Claypot will feature Asian fusion casual dining along with beer and wine. We’re taking it as a good sign that Claypot launched its Facebook page on Wednesday, promising one thing: “Claypot Restaurant will be opened soon.”  … Continue reading »

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Nosh on the town: Ajanta on Solano Avenue

Chicken mulligatawney at Ajanta. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Come along with Nosh as we explore East Bay restaurants in photographs. This week we focus on Ajanta restaurant in Berkeley. Chef Lachu Moorjani began offering a tasting menu in the winter. It costs $27 — or $24 for the vegetarian version — and must be ordered by everyone at the table. Moorjani shifts the menu, representing the “best of the best” at Ajanta, slightly each month. (Ajanta invited Nosh to come check out the new menu, and provided the food pictured here free of charge.)

If you’ve tried the spots we feature, please let us know about your experience in the comments below. If you’d like to submit your own photo gallery for consideration from a meal you enjoyed, please email nosh@berkeleyside.com for more information. You can also add photographs to our Flickr group. (Scroll down for captions. Photos by Emilie Raguso.) … Continue reading »

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Zagat San Francisco names 4 East Bay winners

The Cheese Board Collective which Zagat readers voted best in the Bay Area for its pizza. Photo: Christina Diaz
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Three Berkeley restaurants have been singled out for being the best in the Bay Area for particular types of cuisine. West Berkeley eatery 900 Grayson took the vote for “best burger,” the Cheese Board Collective in the Gourmet Ghetto took the prize for “best pizza,” and Ajanta on Solano Avenue was named best Indian restaurant.

The plaudits come in a newly released Zagat San Francisco Restaurants Survey which accompanies the publication of the restaurant guide’s 2013 Bay Area edition. The survey covers 1,636 restaurants based on the combined opinions of 15,502 diners.

Only one other East Bay restaurant won for a type of cuisine: Oakland’s Brown Sugar Kitchen for Cajun/Creole/Soul food. Also worthy of note: when Berkeleyside polled its readers for their choice of “best pizza in Berkeley,” Gioia Pizzeria narrowly pipped the Cheese Board to the number one post. … Continue reading »

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5 Berkeley restaurants make it into Chronicle’s Top 100

Corso Trattoria: one of just five Berkeley restaurants to make it into the Chronicle's Top 100 list
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The Chronicle’s food writer Michael Bauer chose the same five Berkeley restaurants that made it into last year’s Top 100 for his 2012 selection.

The “Top 100 Restaurants” list, which was published yesterday, embraces Chez PanisseIppukuO ChaméRivoli and Corso Trattoria.

Ippuku, known to be favorite haunt of Chez Panisse owner Alice Waters, was a newcomer last year. Rivoli and Corso share the same owners: Wendy Brucker and Roscoe Skipper.

In all, the list, which is in its 17th year, has 15 new restaurants and has dropped the same number, and Bauer notes that a trend this year has been for chefs to embrace the concept of Californian cuisine. Chez Panisse calls itself Northern California/Mediterranean, even though its roots are decidedly French and its branding, with its old Marcel Pagnol movie clips, retains a Gallic flavor. Bauer reports that other Bay Area restaurants — including Solbar, Bar Agricole, Canteen, Gary Danko and Manresa — have switched their allegiance from American to Californian. … Continue reading »

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Ethnic eats in Berkeley from A to Z: Part 1

Corso's signature chicken dish. Photo: Courtesy Corso Restaurant
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Berkeley is an ethnically diverse town. Anyone whose child attends public school here doesn’t need census tract data to know this for a fact. That cultural diversity is also reflected in the range of restaurant choices here. Global grub — from gourmet to grab ‘n’ go — can readily be found in many of our neighborhoods.

But who doesn’t reflexively head to their local curry shop or Thai takeout without giving a moment’s thought to the international offerings all over town?

What follows is the first in an A to Z guide to the many ethnic restaurants in Berkeley, with favorite dish recommendations and tidbits gleaned from local food critics, Berkeleyside interviews, and the restaurant guide by new Berkeleyside partners Lucille and Art Poskanzer.

It’s by no means an exhaustive list. Feel free to add your own global picks in the comments section that follows. Or weigh in with what world cuisine is missing in the mix. Bon Appetit. … Continue reading »

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Latin flavors lie at the heart of Casa de Chocolates

Chocolatier Arcelia Gallardo and co-owner Amelia Gonzalez bring a taste of Latin America to The Elmwood. Photo: Omar Wandera
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Two Latinas originally from L.A, with a shared passion for chocolate, Mexico, and social justice, are combining forces to open Casa de Chocolates in The Elmwood today.

Amelia Gonzalez, 50, who worked for KPFA Radio for 20 years, most recently as general manager, was approached by chocolatier Arcelia Gallardo, 35, about coming on board as an angel investor for her artisan sweet treats store that pay homage to cacao’s Latin American heritage.

Gonzalez was interested, but also wanted to play an active role in the development of the budding business, which suited Gallardo, who preferred to focus on perfecting her products, handcrafted in small batches.

So Gonzalez, who has lived in Lima, Peru, and Oaxaca, Mexico, has handled everything from managing construction permits with the city to sourcing ancillary merchandise such as ceramics, tin boxes, and molinillo (wooden whisks for making Mexican hot chocolate), while her partner focuses on flavor pairings. … Continue reading »

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Berkeleyside

Were you a winner in our Caltopia raffle?

Baskets filled to the brim with gift certificates and pizza for a year from LaVal's
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The two days of Caltopia were quite a whirl for students, faculty and staff, as well as for exhibitors like Berkeleyside. From the tens of thousands who passed through the self-proclaimed “greatest days on planet Earth”, we were able to have conversations about local news with hundreds of people, we launched OneNews/Berkeleyside, our exciting new citizen journalism app, and we even found some potential new journalists.

But what about the Berkeleyside raffle? We partnered with a host of wonderful Berkeley businesses … Continue reading »

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News

Thousands of Cal students, staff flock to Caltopia

Students new and old come out in droves for the community-boosting swag-fest that is Caltopia
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UC Berkeley freshmen, some looking dazed, others excited, as well as more blasé seniors, turned out in their thousands on Sunday for Day One of Caltopia, the self-described “two greatest days on the planet”.

The event, held at the UC Berkeley Recreational Sports Facility at 2301 Bancroft Way, sees more than 100 exhibitors showcasing their wares and services to the Cal community, including the university’s staff and faculty.

It’s a combination of freebie-fest — with giveaways galore, be it bites of Clif Bars, T-shirts, pens and mouse pads and the chance to win covetable prizes like Kindles from big brand names like Pepsi  – and social mixer.

Berkeleyside made its debut at Calopia yesterday and we will be there again today. Find us at booth E104.

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UC Berkeley’s Caltopia: The ultimate Town & Gown affair

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This weekend, when around 30,000 students and faculty stroll through Caltopia, browsing the booths of more than 100 exhibitors, Berkeley’s two driving forces, the city and its university, will be pitched in perfect harmony. And Berkeleyside will be there to sing along too.

Caltopia was launched nine years ago as a way for Berkeley businesses to welcome Cal students, both current and new, back to school. The event runs on Sunday and Monday this year, and classes start up … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Bites: Alice Waters

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Do Berkeleyside readers even need an introduction to the mother of the American fresh, local, sustainable, organic food movement?

Alice Waters is a living legend. For four decades, the California cuisine innovator, Chez Panisse chef, Edible Schoolyard founder, school food reformer, and Slow Food advocate, has influenced how people in this country buy, cook, eat, talk, and think about food.

As with any icon, Waters has her fans and foes. Some see her as … Continue reading »

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News

Berkeley fields many winners in Best of Bay awards

Freight & Salvage
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Several Berkeley businesses won top honors in SFGate’s Best of the Bay Awards, which this year attracted more than 71,000 votes from readers.

The Awards are divided into 29 categories, each of which has many sub-categories, so apologies in advance if we missed some Berkeley winners — we trust you’ll inform us of any omissions.

Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse placed first in two categories: Performing Arts Center and Nightlife. Berkeley Farmers Market won Best Farmers Market. … Continue reading »

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