Tag Archives: Berkeley dining

Eatsa in Berkeley automates the dining experience

Scott Drummond, the co-founder of Eatsa, outside the Telegraph Avenue branch. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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The new automated eatery Eatsa on Telegraph Avenue will hold its grand opening Tuesday and its founders hope it will appeal to health-minded individuals in a hurry. As Nosh reported in July, Berkeley is the third Bay location for the unusual restaurant, which has two outposts in San Francisco, as well as one in Los Angeles.

Visitors who stop by the sleek restaurant at 2334 Telegraph Ave., about a half-block south of campus (in the former Crêpes A-Go-Go), can order vegetarian salads, bento boxes, burrito bowls and quinoa bowls with a variety of toppings and dressings from one of the iPad-equipped kiosks. And while they won’t see anyone making their food – the production process is a well-guarded trade secret – their order will be ready to pick up from glass boxes in just a few minutes. Alternatively, diners can order on an app and have their bowls waiting when they arrive.

“We have an incredibly convenient experience,” Scott Drummond, one of the co-founders, said Friday at a press preview. “People can get their food within two to three minutes. It’s all really flavorful, satisfying and super nutritious with a price people correlated with fast food.” … Continue reading »

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Bites: Herbivore, The Crown coffee lab, Bonita Fish

Berkeley's Herbivore restaurant in 2009. Photo: George Kelly/Flickr
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Openings, closings…

HERBIVORE HAS CLOSED We received a tip this week that downtown Berkeley’s Herbivore restaurant has closed after nine years of operation on Shattuck Avenue. The restaurant’s original location in San Francisco’s Mission district appears closed as well. Our tipster said that he spoke with a “now-former” employee, who reported that all locations are closed indefinitely. A sign on the door of the restaurant reading “Herbivore is closed today” has been up for at least five days. Nosh attempted to reach both restaurant locations, but the phone calls went to a standard voicemail message with no indication of permanent closure. Other potential guests expressed disappointment on Herbivore’s Facebook page earlier this week: “I heard you closed your doors for good today,” wrote John Hawkridge. “Tell me it’s not true!!!” Gary Ware added: “I’m sorry to see you go, but it would be nice if it was acknowledged somewhere on your website or facebook page (aside from a visitor comment).” Herbivore is the second exclusively vegan restaurant to close in Berkeley in the last year; Café Gratitude shuttered last December and will be replaced with a Sicilian restaurant, Agrodolce. We will keep you posted as we learn more about the future of the Herbivore space. … Continue reading »

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Nosh on the town: ‘A taste of West Berkeley’ tour

Eduardo Morell slices bread at his bakery in West Berkeley. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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It’s really hard to not fill up on bread when it’s this good. There’s hearty, earthy 100% rye topped with a generous smear of salted Clover butter. And a classic country loaf jazzed up with whole-wheat flour sliced thick, so it’s easier to appreciate its tender, chewy crumb.

We’re at Morell’s Bread, the first stop on Berkeley’s newest food tour, A Taste of West Berkeley. Baker Eduardo Morell is talking to us about his sourdough starter and gluten development. I sneak a few more bites of the rye and butter while I watch Morell’s wife and business partner, Tamsen Flynn, shape country loaves on the large bakery counter behind us. … Continue reading »

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Bites: Bonita Fish Market, Sichuan Style, more

Bonita Fish Market. Photo: Kate Williams
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Openings, closings…

BONITA FISH MARKET CLOSED Berkeley’s fishermen-owned fish market has closed — at least for now. Bonita Fish Market has notified patrons and posted a sign outside its shop that it will “still be closed until further notice. Stay tuned for updates.” As of Aug. 11, the market has put up brown paper on its windows. Bonita Fish Market was opened in fall 2013 by Hong Nguyen and Truc Voung, both active commercial fishermen. It sold locally caught, ethical seafood straight from the Berkeley marina, and has built a reputation for serving super fresh fish in a friendly, knowledgable way. Berkeleyside readers and Yelpers alike have been upset at the news. Writes Liz D.: “Love this place – owned and managed by the fishermen themselves! … Hope they stay in business! Support your local businesses please…it’s part of our community.” We have reached out to the Bonita owners and will update you as we learn more. Bonita Fish Market is at 1941 University Ave. (at Bonita Avenue), Berkeley. Connect with the market on Facebook.Continue reading »

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Agrodolce: Bringing real Sicilian cuisine to Berkeley

Angelo and Rosa D'Alo of Agrodolce. Photo: Kate Williams
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“We’ve always wanted to open a new restaurant,” said Angelo D’Alo. “We’ve had [our first restaurant, Trattoria La Siciliana] for close to 20 years. But it’s so small and its always packed. People always ask us why we haven’t expanded.”

This September, that dream will become reality when D’Alo opens Agrodolce with his brother, Gennuino D’Alo, and parents, Giuseppe and Rosa D’Alo. It will replace the long-running vegan restaurant Café Gratitude, which closed at the end of last year. … Continue reading »

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Bites: Pal’s Takeaway to Forage Kitchen, Lemat, more

Lao sausage sandwich from Pal's Takeaway. Photo: Kate Williams
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Openings, closings

PAL’S FINDS HOME AT FORAGE KITCHEN, OPENING AUG. 29 That didn’t take long. Jeff Mason of Pal’s Takeaway has announced that he will be among the first chefs at Oakland’s Forage Kitchen, which is set to open Aug. 29. In addition to leasing kitchen space in the building, Mason will be the first resident chef in Forage Kitchen’s café. He will serve his menu of creative sandwiches and will be collaborating with Forage Kitchen owner Iso Rabins on rotisserie offerings and “other items,” according to a statement released by Forage Kitchen. While Forage Kitchen has said that the café residency is temporary, an article published this week in the San Francisco Chronicle implied that Pal’s may stick around for awhile. We’ve reached out to Mason for more details and will update this post as we learn more. As far as the rest of the Forage Kitchen space goes, Rabins hopes for the building to serve as a resource and incubator for chefs and home cooking enthusiasts to work side-by-side. Office space will also be available for tenants; according to the Chronicle piece, Oakland’s Food Craft Institute is moving in to take advantage of this mixed-use capability. This move is also in alignment with FCI’s mission to provide entrepreneurial education for food makers. “Increasing the accessibility and effectiveness of resources for our local food businesses is our top priority and we are thrilled to be part of this exciting ecosystem of vibrant enterprises,” said FCI director Ally DeArman in a statement. Forage Kitchen will be holding an open house for potential vendors and curious passers-by on Aug. 14 from 4-7 p.m. Forage Kitchen will be at 478 25th St. (between Broadway and Telegraph Avenue), Oakland. Connect with the kitchen on Twitter and Instagram. Connect with Pal’s Takeaway on Twitter.Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s Flour & Co. closes due to slow business

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After only 10 months of operation on University Avenue (at Acton), Flour & Co. has closed its café as of July 31. The on-site bakery will continue operating at that location.

Owner Emily Day told Nosh in an email: “It was a hard decision to make, but necessary for my business. We simply weren’t getting enough traffic to sustain the café business. Our bakery café in San Francisco and our catering business has always been strong, so I couldn’t risk losing everything for the under-performing café in Berkeley.”

Check out Nosh guides to West Berkeley and Berkeley Design Loop.

“We’ll sure miss and thank the neighbors and friends we’ve met over the last ten months,” she added. … Continue reading »

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27 new bars, restaurants to look forward to in 2016

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The surge of new East Bay restaurants and bars shows little sign of slowing. Each day, it seems we hear of another restaurant headed our way, and it can be hard to keep up.

So we’ve done the hard work for you and compiled a running list of all the soon-to-open places. Hear of anything else coming down the pipeline? Let us know in the comments. … Continue reading »

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Bites: Nido, Doc’s Refresher, Adeline Collective, more

A rendering of Nido's Backyard. Image: Nido's Backyard
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Openings, closings

NIDO CHANGING MENU, OPENING SECOND RESTAURANT Oakland’s Nido restaurant announced some big news this week. Co-owners Silvia and Corey McCollow told Inside Scoop that they are planning to open a second restaurant, Nido’s Backyard, in December, up the street from their original spot, and, because this project will take up great amounts of their time, they are handing the reins of Nido over to executive chef Jose Ramos. (We profiled Ramos in a story in February.) Silvia McCollow will continue to “oversee the overall culinary vision,” writes the Scoop, but Ramos will be in charge day-to-day. This culinary vision includes a new menu that includes rotating, sharable small street-style antojitos like grilled corn equites and grilled blue corn squash blossom quesadillas, plus a few rustic family-style Mexican entrees like pork carnitas and grilled octopus. As far as Nido’s Backyard, the new restaurant will focus on food cooked on an outdoor wood-fired adobe grill. Corey McCollow described the menu to the Scoop as “Mexican barbecue food:” tacos, quesadillas and slow-cooked meats. Nido’s Backyard will also have two bars, one of which the McCollows plan to use as a pop-up venue for aspiring bartenders. In addition, the McCollows hope to attract local vendors and live musicians to showcase and play their work at the restaurant. Nido is at 444 Oak St. (between Fourth and Fifth streets), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and TwitterNido’s Backyard will be at 104 Oak St. (at Embarcadero), Oakland.Continue reading »

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Bites: Nizza La Bella, Passione Pizza Emporio, more

The bar at now-closed Nizza La Bella. Photo: Nizza La Bella/Facebook
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Openings, closings

NIZZA LA BELLA HAS CLOSED The well-loved bistro in Albany closed as of July 12. In a note posted on the restaurant’s exterior, Nizza La Bella‘s owner announced that she was ready to retire after 17 years of running the restaurant. The note also thanked the restaurant’s regular customers and listed each employee by name and length of employment. Nizza La Bella specialized in casual cuisine from Nice, France, which has long had an Italian influence. Much of its menu, including its ever-popular pizza, was cooked in a wood-fired oven. The restaurant space is currently on the market, and we will keep you posted as we learn of Nizza’s replacement. … Continue reading »

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30 new East Bay restaurants, bars for you to try now

Dishes from Burma Bear in Oakland. Photo: Chloe List, courtesy Postcard PR
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Something’s in the air this summer. It’s not even August, and we’ve already covered the openings of 30 East Bay restaurants and bars since Memorial Day. With all of this excitement, it can be hard to keep up.

Here at Nosh, we’ve decided to do the hard work for you and compiled a running list of all the new spots. Of course, with restaurant openings invariably come restaurant closings, and so we’ve included our tally of those below. Click on the restaurant’s name to read more about each spot on Berkeleyside. And if you need more dining inspiration, don’t forget to check out the Nosh Guide for all of your breakfast, lunch and dinner needs. … Continue reading »

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Bites: East Brother Beer Co., T-Rex, Stag’s Lunchette

Brewing tanks at East Brother Beer Company. Photo: Courtesy East Brother Beer
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Openings, closings

EAST BROTHER BEER COMPANY HEADED TO RICHMOND In case the recent abundance of openings wasn’t enough, the East Bay is set to get yet another brewery, this time in Richmond. East Brother Beer Company, named for the lighthouse just north of the Richmond bridge, will be focusing on updated “craft classics made with precision” — saison, red IPA, red lager, oatmeal stout and a pilsner. Co-founders Chris Coomber and UC Berkeley alum Rob Lightner have been friends for 20 years and home brewing partners for around seven. While neither have professional brewing experience, Coomber has “spent the last five years devoting himself to a rigorous autodidactic program focused on the home brewing sciences,” according to the brewery. He and Lightner have also brought on Peter Landman (Deschutes, Draught Works, Fifty-Fifty) as head brewer. When the East Brother opens (tentatively) in August, it will offer its beers in a taproom at its brewery, as well as in local bars and restaurants. East Brother Beer Company will be at 1001 Canal Blvd. (near Wharf Street), Richmond. Connect with the brewery on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s Giovanni to reopen as Gio’s this fall

The facade of Giovanni's. Photo: Ted Friedman
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The fire that broke out at Giovanni last spring may have turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

In 2014, local developer Nathan George and entrepreneur Xin Jin began discussions on the sale of the restaurant with the Schipani family, the owners of Giovanni. It was a sentimental place for George, who started eating at the historic Italian restaurant with his wife shortly after moving to Berkeley.

“It was our go-to place,” he said. “When [the Schipanis] took it over [again], we became very close to them. We talked with them about their struggles with management, and we were always trying to get more people to eat there.”

Read more about the original Giovanni on Berkeleyside.

George, Xin and the Schipanis went back and forth about the sale for about a year, but finally set a date to sit down with their lawyers to sort out details on April 24, 2015. The restaurant caught on fire the morning of April 23.

The fire slowed down the paperwork, and the deal wasn’t finalized until the end of 2015. Construction started soon afterward, but what was originally intended as a basic update turned into a much bigger project.

“The whole building needed to be upgraded,” said George. “It wasn’t ever intended to be a big project, but we’re more excited about the restaurant’s prospects now. It’s going to be a much better place than if we had just retained the old space.” … Continue reading »

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