Tag Archives: Comal

Comal owners get OK for new Berkeley restaurant

A “very preliminary” rendering of the restaurant that has been approved for 2635 Ashby Ave. (at College) by the owners of  Comal. Image: Abueg Morris Architects
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Fans of Comal in downtown Berkeley can look forward to a new restaurant from its owners, John Paluska and Andrew Hoffman, after the Berkeley City Council last night denied an appeal filed by a neighborhood group that argued the new business would create increased parking headaches in the area.

Those who opposed a restaurant moving into the old Wright’s Garage space at 2635 Ashby Ave. were outnumbered by dozens of supporters. Council had received more than 100 letters from residents, many of whom live within walking distance of the Elmwood shopping district. In emails, and also in public testimony, they spelled out how much they would appreciate having an upscale restaurant and bar with late opening hours in their neighborhood.

Denise Pinkston, for example, said she moved to the Elmwood with her family recently from North Berkeley because she wanted to live in “a vibrant, walkable mixed-use neighborhood.”

“I think a place open to midnight would be wonderful,” she said. “I’m 53 still stay up past 10 p.m., but feel like an octogenarian because there is nowhere to go in the evening with my husband and friends after the movies or theater.” … Continue reading »

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Michael Pollan, Raj Patel head up new edible course

Pollan
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Less than two hours after tickets became available for Michael Pollan’s opening lecture on Monday Jan. 27 in the Edible Schoolyard Foundation’s new Edible Education 101 class, the event was full. Such is the popularity of this course, Edible Education 101: The Rise and Future of the Food Movement, now in its third year.

This year Berkeley omnivore, professor and author Pollan, is heading up the program along with author, activist, and filmmaker Raj Patel. The course consists of 13 lectures at UC Berkeley held weekly on Monday evenings, 6:30-8:30 p.m. through May 5.

Two hundred tickets for each of the course’s lecture are made available to the public for free. Advance ticketing is required and registration is opened a few days before each lecture.  … Continue reading »

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East Bay feasts on New Year’s Eve

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Oakland and Berkeley offer many fine spots for memorable meals and ringing in the new year on Dec. 31. We’ve pulled together a list. Continue reading »

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Bites: ‘New Comal’ to Elmwood; Gogi Time comes to Telegraph Avenue

A “very preliminary” rendering of the restaurant that has been approved for 2635 Ashby Ave. (at College) by the owners of  Comal. Image: Abueg Morris Architects
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Openings, closings…

GREAT CHINA OPENS DEC. 16 The much anticipated opening of the ‘new’ Great China — the old one was shuttered by a fire in January 2012 — is happening Monday, Dec. 16, at 11:55 a.m. After opening day, the hours will be 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and 5-10 p.m. for dinner, Monday through Sunday, according to beverage director Mark Yatabe. The alcohol license is still pending but is expected early in the new year, Yatabe said. The menu is largely unchanged but there are some additions, including a new dessert menu and tea program. Read our scoop on Great China’s comeback. Great China is at 2190 Bancroft Way (at Oxford), Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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New Elmwood restaurant seeks city approval tonight

A “very preliminary” rendering of the restaurant that has been approved for 2635 Ashby Ave. (at College) by the owners of  Comal. Image: Abueg Morris Architects
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Berkeley’s Zoning Adjustments Board will tonight consider the application by the owners of Comal in downtown Berkeley to open a second restaurant in the old Wright’s Garage space at 2635 Ashby Ave. (at College) in the Elmwood.

City planners are recommending that ZAB approve the proposal, which would entail granting an exception to the Elmwood quota system and agreeing to a midnight closing time on Fridays and Saturdays (an extension from 11:00 p.m.).

Many in the community support the plan, although there are also local residents who oppose it, principally on the grounds that it would cause parking headaches in the neighborhood.

Comal owners John Paluska and Andrew Hoffman envision that the yet-to-be-named spot would serve Northern Californian cuisine and have a full bar, including a menu of craft cocktails. The restaurant would be open for lunch and dinner. The atmosphere, energy and design would likely be similar to Comal, Paluska told Berkeleyside when we broke the news of the plan in June. … Continue reading »

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From fad to fixture: Wines on tap are here to stay

Chop Bar
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When it comes to wine, America has been playing catch-up to Europe for quite some time. But progress on that front has been accelerating rapidly in recent years. The latest manifestation of these gains can be seen in the growing number of East Bay restaurants now featuring wines on tap. What seemed like a fad just a few short years ago has now become a fixture of the local dining landscape.

One of the first local restaurants to explore the notion of kegged wine was Oakland’s Chop Bar. According to owner Chris Pastena, who also owns and operates popular spots Tribune Tavern and Lungomare, the early days were very much hit-and-miss, and those interested in this new format had to be prepared to make things up as they went along.

“We started doing it when we opened in September of 2009,” he said.  “There wasn’t a lot of information about wine-on-tap at the time. Also, there weren’t a lot of kegs being manufactured and there weren’t many systems available, so we ended up creating our own hodge-podge operation ourselves.” … Continue reading »

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Planting in the sky: Berkeley’s secret rooftop gardens

The Berkeley animal shelter's roof garden as of fall 2012. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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There’s a secret green side to Berkeley, one that is not visible from the sidewalk.

They are Berkeley’s roof gardens — oases of calm amidst a city of concrete. Some were created to provide food, others to make buildings more energy-friendly. Whatever the reason, they remain mostly unseen.

Over the past few weeks, Berkeleyside has located several living roofs around Berkeley. Of course, journalists can’t fly, so we likely did not find every rooftop garden. By contacting architects, squinting at Google Maps, and combing through past exposés on green living, we found four living roofs scattered around the city. If you know of any roofs that we missed, please let us know in the comments. … Continue reading »

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Comal owners plan new Berkeley restaurant

Paluska, Hoffman, Gandin
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The owners of Comal in downtown Berkeley are hoping to open a second restaurant in Berkeley, this time in the Elmwood neighborhood.

John Paluska and Andrew Hoffman have their sights on the 3,400-square-foot vacant space in the old Wright’s Garage building at 2635 Ashby Ave. (The renovated retail space is to the left of Dream Fluff Donuts).

The plan is to serve Northern Californian cuisine, and the restaurant will offer craft cocktails, a full bar, and be open for lunch and dinner, said Paluska. The atmosphere, energy and design will likely not be far-removed from Comal. “The space has some of the raw attributes we liked at Comal,” he said.

However, Paluska stressed that the project is in the very early stages of development. … Continue reading »

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

La Fable (brunch) by Nancy Rubin
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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.

Openings, closings…

Screen shot 2013-04-12 at 11.37.41 AMTRIBUNE TAVERN The hot restaurant opening of the week happened Wednesday with the arrival of another big Chris Pastena eatery in Oakland (he’s behind Chop Bar and Lungomare and has others up his sleeve). Tribune Tavern is housed in the former Oakland Tribune building at 401 13th St., at Franklin. A meat-centric gastropub menu is overseen by chef Huw Thornton, who most recently worked at the short-lived Locanda da Eva in Berkeley. Before that he was at A16 and SPQR in San Francisco. One early review was more than positive. Oaklavore called the restauran’ts trotter and cheek fritters “nothing short of amazing.” … Continue reading »

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

Courtesy: Tribune Tavern
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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.

CampovidaNEW OAKLAND TASTING ROOM A Hopland-based winery, Campovida, is launching a new tasting room at 95 Linden St. on Thursday, April 4, from 5-8 p.m. A message posted by Campovida indicates that the owners started their family in Oakland, then moved to Hopland to take over an organic farm and working vineyard. Now they’re reclaiming their Oakland roots (“think green acres, just an oakland/hopland version”), starting with a party Thursday in conjunction with Linden Street Brewery and the Fist of Flour Pizza Company. RSVP to Campovida at 707-744-8797 or info@campovida.com. … Continue reading »

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Architecture

Nine Berkeley buildings win ‘design excellence’ awards

UCB - Stadium and SAHPC6
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Nine buildings have been singled out as representing the best new design work in Berkeley for 2010-2012. Berkeley Design Advocates, a volunteer group of architects and urban planners, selected three UC Berkeley buildings, a restaurant, a senior home, two retail spaces — one newly built, one restored — a wine store, and the renovation of a branch library from a list of 15 submissions, and handed out the award certificates at a ceremony on Thursday, March 28. (See the 2013 Awards Brochure for full details.)

This year threw up a particularly impressive crop of winners, according to Anthony Bruzzone, President of BDA, who said that two years ago, with the recession having put the kibosh on many construction projects, the group was concerned it might have no buildings to consider at all in 2013. … Continue reading »

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Restaurants, delis embrace Passover feasts

Comal
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Passover, which begins this year at sundown on March 25, is the most widely celebrated of all the Jewish holidays — and, as with many Jewish holidays, food is at the heart of the festivities. However, preparing a seder, or ritual dinner, when you don’t have generations of Jewish Bubbes to learn from, or if you’re not that culinarily inclined, can seem like a daunting task — even if we have come a long way from keeping live carp in the bathtub. Which may be why restaurants, delis and specialty groceries are stepping in to help out.

Passover commemorates when Jews escaped slavery in ancient Egypt. And, given that the seder is customarily held on the first and second (of eight) nights, most synagogues or Jewish community centers hold their community seders on the second night, leaving many without a seder on the first. … Continue reading »

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Bites: What’s new, what’s hot, what’s happening, IX

Photo: Christina Mitchell
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Bites is Nosh’s round-up of restaurant and bar news in the East Bay. Got a tip or a scoop? Send it our way at nosh@berkeleyside.com. Bites is produced by Nosh in collaboration with Christina Mitchell, founder of East Bay Dish. (And we’ve started numbering Bites so you can check out previous editions and be sure you are up with all the food news.) 

Coming soon…

CHOLITA LINDA BISTRO Word on the street is that Cholita Linda, which until now has served its Latin American “dressed up” street food treats at farmers markets and the like, is opening a bistro in Temescal. The plan is to take over three stores — S&S Seafood at 4923 Telegraph Ave., a vitamin store and a hair-braiding place — and turn them into a restaurant. Cholita would be one of three foodie newbies coming to this vibrant neighborhood: Indian street food spot Juhu Beach Club, run by Top Chef alum Preeti Mistry is due to open March 1 at 5179 Telegraph Ave. in the old SR24 location; and beer and sausage place The Hog’s Apothecary is coming to 375 40th St. soon. The transformation of this vibrant Oakland neighborhood continues. There’s no word yet on Cholita Linda’s Facebook page, and attempts to reach the business had been unsuccessful at press time, but we’ll keep you posted. … Continue reading »

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