Tag Archives: Berkeley dining

Bites: Ale Industries, Steel Rail Public House, more

A pint of beer at the Ale Industries tasting room. Photo: Ale Industries
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Openings, closings

ALE INDUSTRIES IS EXPANDING Fruitvale’s Ale Industries is growing rapidly, and, according to marketing director Joseph Gudino, has been working over capacity for “a while now.” While Ale Industries will continue to operate out of its current brewery space, it will increase its production capacity 150% by adding 2,200 bbl per year. It is also adding new routes and a more efficient delivery system so more customers can find Ale Industries beer more consistently. “This is an exciting move for us. We are definitely ready to start this next chapter of our journey,” said production manager Richard Angeles. Ale Industries has made a name for itself by making quirky, flavorful beers in a range of styles. As it writes on its website: “We unapologetically refuse to let our beers be categorized into styles, types, or profiles because we believe it relegates our vision of craft beer from a verb to a noun, from a spirit to a product.” The brewery has partnered frequently with The Half Orange and, before it closed, Salsipuedes. The newest Ale Industries beer to hit the taps will be a kiwi sour, which Gudino describes as “awesome.” Ale Industries is at 3096 E. 10th St. (between Fruitvale and Derby avenues), Oakland. Connect with the brewery on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.Continue reading »

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Sisters finding success with Bowl’d restaurants

Jessica Oh (left) and Chi Moon, the owners of Bowl'd, Spoon and Bopshop, at Bowl'd Alameda. Photo: Clara Rice
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Chi Moon’s favorite Korean dish is bibimbap. “I had it for a whole year — every single day,” she said. “Beef with multigrain rice.” It’s a fitting choice for the co-owner of the rapidly growing mini-chain Bowl’d, which is, at its heart, a rice bowl restaurant.

Moon praised the dish’s health status — it’s vegetable heavy, with whole grains and just a small amount of meat — but heathy eats are not the only reason why so many East Bay residents flock to Moon’s restaurants. There’s also, of course, the chicken wings.

“We’ve kind of turned into a fried chicken place, somehow,” said Moon’s sister and business partner Jessica Oh. “We thought maybe we should change our name to a wing place.”

Bowl’d’s original fried chicken wings are served with an extra thick, supremely crisp crust, doused in a fiery red spicy-sweet sauce that sticks to your fingers, lips, chopsticks — anything. Despite the extra 10 to 15 minutes the wings take to arrive at the table, they’re a must-order for many guests, including this writer. “I think people would riot if we didn’t have wings on the menu,” said Oh.

They’re so popular, in fact, that when Moon and Oh decided to open their third location, Bowl’d BBQ in Temescal, they expanded their fried poultry line-up to full pieces of chicken and three sauces (soy, barbecue and spicy).

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. … Continue reading »

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Bites: Shiba Ramen, Triple Rock, Austin, more

Miso ramen from Shiba Ramen. Photo: Jake Freed
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Openings, closings

SHIBA RAMEN EXPANDING TO OAKLAND After less than a year in business in Emeryville’s Public Market, Shiba Ramen is opening a second location in downtown Oakland. The new space will be a 40-seat restaurant, unlike Shiba’s Emeryville spot, which operates out of a food court kiosk. It is moving into the old Bittersweet Café location at 1438 Broadway, which closed in May. “We’re going to build off the concept that we started in Emeryville,” said co-owner Jake Freed. “There are lots of limits with a kiosk.” While customers will still order at a counter at the Oakland location, there will be servers delivering food, which will be served in more traditional ceramic bowls. At lunch, Shiba Ramen Oakland will have a very similar menu to the Emeryville location, but at dinner, Freed plans to expand the menu to include more Japanese-inspired small plates and side dishes. There will be a stronger beer and sake focus in the evening as well. Crucially, Freed and co-owner Hiroko Nakamura have hired a menu director/kitchen manager, who will be developing new menu items. Freed was unable to name the new hire as of press time, but he did say that the hire had worked at a “well-known Oakland restaurant.” Construction on the new space has already begun; Freed told Nosh that he hopes to open in December. In the meantime, Shiba’s Emeryville location will be holding a ramen and beer tasting Sept. 17 from 1-5 p.m., featuring beers from 21st Amendment and Voodoo Brewing. There will be beer flights, happy hour pricing on all pints and $1 off all food with a beer purchase. Shiba Ramen Oakland will be at 1438 Broadway (between 14th and 15th streets), Oakland. Shiba Ramen Emeryville is at 5959 Shellmound St., Emeryville. Connect with the restaurant on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.Continue reading »

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Café Clem sold, will become Maison Bleue

Cafe Clem at 2020 Kittredge St. will reopen today after being close for three weeks. Photo: Café Clem
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After five years in downtown Berkeley, Café Clem closed for good. Its last day serving its popular pastries and French-inspired sandwiches was Aug. 31. Owner Dorothée Mitrani-Bell, who also owns La Note, also downtown, has sold Café Clem to Patrice Fayet, a Frenchman, who will open a similar concept, called Maison Bleue, in the space this fall.

Mitrani-Bell told Nosh that she is “making some personal changes in her career” and although she “loved putting [Café Clem] together and loved working on it, La Note is already a lot to handle on its own.”

In a Facebook post, Mitrani-Bell wrote: “After close to five years of servicing the neighborhood and with a tremendous amount of joy and gratefulness, we are happy to announce that Café Clem will be changing hands to a wonderful new French team as well and will become “Maison Bleue” after a few weeks of remodeling. Uncanny coincidence that the building is now being repainted blue, as to welcome the new café!  Thank you Berkeley and locals for your patronage! We will miss you! You can still come visit us at La Note restaurant.” … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: Why I disrupted Chez Panisse

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Friday night, I entered Berkeley’s world-famous Chez Panisse with a bouquet of flowers. I looked to Chez Panisse as an example of fine dining at its best. The sights and aroma all created a seductive mood in the restaurant. I was there with the flowers for a reason you might not expect, though: to remember the animals Chez Panisse was serving that night with a flower for each plate.

Commenters quickly noted that my … Continue reading »

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Animal-rights activists disrupt Chez Panisse service

chez-panisse-photo-amanda Marsalis
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Berkeley police were called to world-famous restaurant Chez Panisse on Friday night after a group of animal-rights protesters stormed into the dining room and disrupted dinner service.

About 10 people carrying flowers from the group Direct Action Everywhere walked into the downstairs portion of Chez Panisse and asked for the diners’ attentions, according to a press release issued by the group. (Update: See below for a statement issued by Chez Panisse on Monday Sept. 12.)

“I come to you today with a message of compassion,” Matt Johnson, one of the activists, told those seated at tables covered with white tablecloths. “A message on behalf on the billions of animals exploited, who are tortured and killed by humans every year. We are told a lie … that animals exist as commodities for human use… Animals are living feeling individuals. They value their lives and their freedom the same as you and I do. They experience the same pain, the same joy, the same love of life and they have it have it ripped away from them and are brutally killed for the mere crime of being different than ourselves.”

The invasion into Chez Panisse is part of DxE’s “Flowers for Animals” campaign, “which encourages activists to peacefully speak out in stores and restaurants that serve products from animals killed for food about violence against animals on farms across the United States,” according to the press release.

The incident started around 10 p.m. but Chez Panisse management didn’t call the Berkeley Police Department until 11:00 p.m., according to Lt. Alyson Hart.

A Chez Panisse employee described the animal-rights activists as busting into the restaurant “screaming and yelling.”

The group, which was 10-15 strong, according to Hart, refused to leave the restaurant, which was when the restaurant decided to call police. (Update: The group involved two 18-year-olds, a man and woman, from Pleasanton. No other information was available about its members.) … Continue reading »

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Bites: Blue Bottle Berkeley, Four Barrel coffee, more

Photo: Blue Bottle Coffee/Facebook
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Openings, closings

BLUE BOTTLE BERKELEY SETS OPENING DATE Downtown Berkeley coffee drinkers will not have to wait much longer for their Blue Bottle fix. The Oakland-based coffee company’s new café at 2011 Shattuck Ave. has set as soft opening date for Sept. 23, according to workers at the construction site. (Ippudo, the New York-based ramen restaurant to open next door, is still under heavy construction.) It will be the third East Bay location for Blue Bottle, which also has locations in Jack London Square and in the W.C. Morse building on Broadway, in addition to eight other Bay Area cafés and 15 locations in Los Angeles, New York and Tokyo. Although downtown Berkeley has a Peet’s, a couple of Starbucks and coffee sources such as PIQ and Lindgren’s Café, it has not yet housed a brick-and-mortar spot for one of the more fashionable third-wave coffee brands. However it’s not the first time Blue Bottle has been served in Berkeley. For many years it had the coffee contract for the Berkeley farmers market. That was taken over by Red Bay Coffee earlier this year. And Guerilla Café, at 1620 Shattuck, then co-owned by Red Bay founder Keba Konte, was the first coffee shop to serve Blue Bottle when the company was still in its early days. Blue Bottle Coffee will be at 2011 Shattuck Ave. (at University Avenue), Berkeley. Connect with the coffee company on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.Continue reading »

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Celebrate sunshine with favorite East Bay salads

Adding a scoop of fermented tea leaves to the salad at Grocery Cafe. Photo: Benjamin Seto
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After what seems like an eternally windy and cool summer, the weather seems to finally be taking a turn for the better, with warm temperatures and sunny skies predicted for this week (at least). Now that we’re starting to move into our strange Bay Area summer, it is the perfect time to put away the soups and stews and dive into a plate of something more refreshing.

From simple leafy greens to elaborate Burmese tea-leaf salads, we’ve got countless salad options to choose from in the East Bay. Here at team Nosh, we’ve picked out 11 of our favorite options, listed below in no particular order. And if we’ve left off your favorite, let us know in the comments below. … Continue reading »

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Bites: The Dock, Agrodolce, Duchess Oakland, more

The Dock. Photo: Vanessa Yap-Einbund
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Openings, closings

THE DOCK TO CLOSE, REOPEN AS BREWPUB IN 2017 The big news out of Oakland this week is that James Syhabout’s West Oakland restaurant The Dock will have its last night of service in its current iteration on Saturday. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Syhabout will reopen the restaurant early next year with a new partner, Adam Lamoreaux, who co-founded the next-door Linden Street Brewery in 2009, but left the company in 2014. Linden Street Brewery will leave the building by the end of the year, and will move to an as-yet-unnamed new location. Once Linden Street leaves, the new restaurant project will take over the space, with Lamoreaux heading the brewing portion of the venture. He told the Chron that he will continue to brew classic beer styles, similar to his approach at Linden Street. Syhabout will reimagine the food menu to have a more casual approach than The Dock, with a focus on beer-friendly food like sausages, burgers and sandwiches. The new restaurant is not yet named. It seems that the change was spurred by the sale of the building that houses both the brewery and restaurant to Pandion Investments and Cyrus Etemad (Los Angeles’s Highland Park Bowling Alley in Los Angeles and Portland’s Hawthorne Theatre). It will be renamed the Standard Underground Building. Meanwhile, the adjoining The Beer Shed tasting room will remain open throughout construction. The Dock is at 95 Linden St. (near 3rd Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Twitter and Instagram.Continue reading »

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Bites: Saha, Lucia’s, Farley’s on 65th, Fred’s, more

"Green hummus" made with fresh herbs at Saha restaurant, which will soon open in downtown Berkeley. Photo: Saha/Facebook
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Openings, closings

SF’S SAHA RESTAURANT HEADED TO FORMER HERBIVORE LOCATION That didn’t take long. Last week, we broke the news that the Berkeley location of Herbivore had closed; we’ve learned from SFist this week that a Yemenese restaurant from San Francisco, Saha, will be moving into the space. Saha operated for close to 12 years in Lower Nob Hill, gaining acclaim from the San Francisco Chronicle, Zagat and The Examiner, as well as a loyal following on Yelp. According to a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page, the move was prompted by a need for more space: “We promise not to abandon what is important to you, but realize the limitations of the space we have been been in. We have been blessed with the best of landlords and support staff of the Hotel Carlton for the past 12 years. However, it is time for Saha to soar!” The restaurant serves what it describes as Arabic fusion cuisine — dishes from co-owners Mohamed and Marmee Aboghanem’s home of Yemen prepared with a California ethos. Much of the menu is vegetarian and/or vegan, a fact that will likely appeal to those mourning the loss of Herbivore. A note on Saha’s website lists an opening date of October 2016. Saha will be at 2451 Shattuck Ave. (at Haste Street), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook.Continue reading »

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Scoop: Off The Grid coming to downtown Berkeley

Pelican Po'Boys at Off the Grid Emeryville. Photo: Off the Grid/Facebook
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Food trucks are coming to downtown Berkeley, offering a new option for Sunday lunch.

Off the Grid will launch a food-truck market in Civic Center Park starting Sunday, Sept. 11. The market will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and offer eight food trucks and live music, along with beer, wine and refreshments from San Francisco bar Lucky 13.

Off the Grid said the rotating line-up of vendors at the new Berkeley location will include Smoke’s Poutine, Canasta, Passione Pizza, Lexie’s Custard, Cupkates, Flavors of Ethiopia, Curry Up Now, Curbside Kitchen, Señor Sisig, and others.

Read more about Off The Grid markets in the East Bay.

The new market represents the fourth time Off The Grid has opened a food truck hub in Berkeley — the three former market all closed down after a couple of years.

Ben Himlan, a spokesman for Off The Grid, said he is hoping the “fourth time is a charm.” He said he felt hopeful about the prospects for the downtown market because of its location next to a park, close to transit and retail. … Continue reading »

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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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