Tag Archives: Berkeley Bowl

Nippon Gochiso Select brings Japan to the East Bay

Nippon Gochiso Select at Berkeley Bowl West. Photo: Amanda Kuehn Carroll.
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A slender woman with a dark sleek bob and large almond eyes hands out white wooden parcels the size of shoeboxes near the door of Nico restaurant in San Francisco. I finish a scrap of black sesame financier from the table before breaking my box’s white and red ribbon. Inside I find a long paper packet of Dashitamago omelet seasoning, a tall slender bottle labeled “Mikawa cooking rice seasoning” and a brown pouch of Kinako (soy bean powder) that looks something like tan-hued cornstarch. I have just finished a five-course Japanese tasting menu and sipped the last few dregs of my toasted rice “coffee.” Although I appreciated the meal’s exotic ingredients and elegant execution, I am clueless when it comes to the materials in front of me.

Japanese cuisine is widely spread across cultures, but has yet to reach the kitchens of American home cooks like me. Something about those unfamiliar terms and mysterious ingredients leaves even adventurous eaters wary of Japanese home cooking. It was this quandary that inspired recipe developer and food educator Ema Koeda to create Nippon Gochiso Select (NGS), a premium line of artisanal Japanese products specifically curated for Western markets. The word “Nippon” refers to Japan, and the term “gochiso” has several meanings related to feasting, hospitality and gratitude. In essence Nippon Gochiso is a reminder to celebrate and appreciate the act of enjoying a meal — a concept that rings true for Koeda, who views food as a connection point between cultures. … Continue reading »

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2-Minute Tip: A fabulous dinner party in 1 hour

Hugh Groman outside BB
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Have you ever found yourself getting off work, with guests on the way, and you have an hour to throw together dinner?

In the video below, sponsored by our beloved Berkeley Bowl, Hugh Groman, who runs two successful catering companies and a restaurant in Berkeley, lays out a plan to make it all happen — with minimum effort for maximum effect. … Continue reading »

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2 Minute Tip: Use all your senses to pick produce

Groman produce still
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Have you ever walked through the produce department and felt less-than-confident about how to choose the best stuff?

In a new 2 Minute Tip video, below, sponsored by our beloved Berkeley Bowl, Hugh Groman, who runs two successful catering companies and a restaurant in Berkeley, advises us on how to use sight, smell, touch, and even sound to choose our fruits and vegetables. … Continue reading »

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Cook like a professional chef: Learn how to use salt

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Neighbors to hold Adeline Corridor meeting Saturday

A map of the Adeline Corridor. Source: City of Berkeley
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Neighbors will meet Saturday morning at the South Berkeley Community Church to discuss the city’s plans to revitalize the Adeline Corridor. All are invited.

Unlike prior meetings organized by the city, this session is community driven: “We are NOT affiliated with the City of Berkeley. We are neighbors who care about each other and want to shape the future of our area plan,” according to a flier created to promote the event.

Organizers said attendees will “discuss and help shape our community values … to have a voice in creating an inclusive, fair and just proposal for the Adeline Corridor Plan.” (See the meeting flier.)

Councilman Max Anderson said at Tuesday night’s Berkeley City Council meeting that people concerned about increasing gentrification in South Berkeley should try to attend.

Last year, the city of Berkeley won a $750,000 planning grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to fund a planning process focused on the Adeline Corridor that’s set to look at everything from community character and business activity to open space, jobs, housing, parking, sidewalks and lighting, historic preservation and transit. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Honda hopes to take over Any Mountain space

Berkeley Honda is hoping to take over 2777 Shattuck Ave.,the space now occupied by Any Mountain. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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Berkeley Honda, which was displaced from its home at 2600 Shattuck Ave. in November, is making plans to move down the street into the building now occupied by Any Mountain, at 2777 Shattuck. Any Mountain has yet to find a new location in the city.

If Berkeley approves the auto dealership’s application, it would end a seven-year odyssey for one of Berkeley’s largest generators of sales tax. The dealership learned in 2008 that it had to leave its home of 40 years on Shattuck Avenue to make way for a mixed-use development called Parker Place. The dealership attempted to move to other locales in Berkeley, only to see them fall through. It is now renting temporary space at 2627 Shattuck Ave.

“It’s going to be Honda’s latest showroom design,” said Tim Beinke, the dealer/operator who owns the business with his father, Steve. “We have a lot of new products coming out. We have plug-in cars and a list of smaller vehicles.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s Flux Coffee puts cold brew on tap

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Some five years ago, Arsalan Pourmand left his job managing a rock-climbing gym in New York to help a friend open a coffee shop — a business about which he knew nothing. But Pourmand proved to be a quick learner, especially since his habit had him drinking numerous cups a day. When he tasted cold-brewed coffee for the first time, it was love at first sip. A beverage with higher levels of caffeine but none of the acidity or bitterness of traditionally prepared coffee, cold brew became a new obsession. Pourmand wanted to know where he could buy it, but he learned that it was hard to find.

So he started experimenting at home, making a gallon of cold brew at a time. “My kitchen looked like a meth lab, with beakers and glass tubes,” he said. “No one had seen anything like it.” … Continue reading »

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Urban planning

Public meeting on Adeline Corridor on Saturday

Image: City of Berkeley
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Those interested in the future of Adeline Street in South Berkeley are invited to a meeting Saturday morning at the senior center on Ellis Street.

The city of Berkeley received a $750,000 planning grant last year to look at transit improvements and other development issues along the Adeline Corridor, and Saturday morning will be the public’s first chance to participate in that process since last year.

Read more about Adeline Street in past Berkeleyside coverage.

According to a notice posted by Mayor Tom Bates’ office, “The purpose is to provide information about City planning for the area, answer questions, gather community ideas on the effort and learn on how you might like to be involved.”

The meeting is slated to take place at the South Berkeley Senior Center, at 2929 Ellis St., at 10 a.m. Saturday. … Continue reading »

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New Whole Foods store wake-up call for Andronico’s

Whole Foods Gilman first day in the produce section photo Neil Mishalov
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Today at 9:30 a.m. a new Whole Foods Market broke bread rather than cut a ribbon, and opened for business in the rapidly transforming Gilman shopping district in West Berkeley. The store, and the competition it represents, has been a catalyst for at least one other local grocery chain to sharpen up its act. Early reports suggest the market will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood for local residents.

An estimated 600 people took tours of the new Whole Foods store last week in the lead-up to today’s opening at its location on 10th and Gilman streets. This is the second Whole Foods store for Berkeley (the first one opened at Ashby and Telegraph in 1990), the 41st Whole Foods in Northern California, and the 401st nationwide. It will be open 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily while the Whole Foods-owned Allegro Coffee roastery in-store, its first outlet on the West Coast, will be open from 6 a.m. every day.

The 47,000-square-foot market, with 85 car parking spaces, including electric charging spots, and 12 bike spaces, is employing 200 staff, two-thirds of them from other Whole Food stores while the rest are new staff members, said outreach team leader Kristen Tantarelli. … Continue reading »

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$750K grant may bring big changes to South Berkeley

The Adeline Street planning project is picking up steam. Image: Google maps
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The city of Berkeley is hoping to dramatically rethink many elements of South Berkeley, thanks to a $750,000 planning grant it received from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in May.

South Shattuck Avenue and nearly 1 mile of Adeline Street in South Berkeley might see more affordable housing, pedestrian- and bike-friendly neighborhoods, more park areas, a new theater, mass transit improvements, and more.

Those are just some of the ideas that have been proposed so far. Before any plan is adopted, officials will hold community meetings and do other outreach to gather ideas from residents, businesses and local groups and institutions. The grant will also permit Berkeley to do an environmental study, the city said earlier this year. (That study would “allow streamlined CEQA review for future projects on Adeline and south Shattuck Avenue,” according to project materials.) … Continue reading »

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Shopping Berkeley Bowl with a professional chef

Carucci knocks the cantelope to check for a hollow sound. Photo: JP Fernandez.
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Are you confident about choosing a cantaloupe? Do you have an appreciation for apricots? Need a refresher on freshness?

If you’ve ever wondered what a professional chef looks for when choosing produce, come along with local caterer, teacher and cookbook author Linda Carucci as she cruises the aisles of Berkeley Bowl West in search of ingredients for her roasted chicken salad with raspberry vinaigrette.

To save time in the store, Carucci keeps her shopping list organized by area: Perishables are always on the sides of the store and non-perishables in the middle. (Tip: Any time you walk into an unfamiliar store looking for milk, you can figure that it will be on one side or the other, where the power sources are.) … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Bowl regular remembered for his kindness

Peter's Memorial
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A makeshift memorial was erected on the sidewalk near the Berkeley Bowl on Oregon Street last week to mark the passing of Peter, also known as “Pee Wee,” a 78-year-old man who locals remember as being a fixture in that spot — a “sweet” man who invariably could be found sitting on a milk-crate with his nose in a mystery novel.

Berkeleyside reader Peter Moore, who shared the photo above, said Peter was always reading books, although ready to engage in conversation. “I’ll miss him,” … Continue reading »

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Man caught after 3 tries stealing beer from Berkeley Bowl

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Berkeley police officers arrested an Oakland man after he tried three times in a single night to steal beer from Berkeley Bowl, and struggled with loss prevention officers until police arrived, authorities said.

On Monday at about 8 p.m., Berkeley Police officers were called to the grocery store, at 2020 Oregon St., for a report of a shoplifter, who later was identified as Christopher Lichty, 32, of Oakland.

Police spokeswoman Jennifer Coats said Lichty first visited the store at 7:17 p.m., when he entered Berkeley Bowl and attempted to steal beer. Loss prevention officers tried to stop him and he dropped the beer and ran, said Coats via email. … Continue reading »

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