Tag Archives: Great China

Bites: Tia’s, Longbranch, Descanso, Plank and more

Dana Zumot, the new owner of Tia's, a cafe that has replaced Levant, which was only open a few weeks. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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Openings, closings…

TIA’S A new café called Tia’s is set to open imminently at the spot once occupied by the short-lived Levant Organic Café on the corner of Kittredge and Oxford streets in downtown Berkeley. The owner, Dana Zumot, has previously worked as a restaurant manager and her love of cooking led her to open her own place at 2177 Kittredge St. Tia’s will be a casual café serving salads and panini sandwiches, as well as coffee and tea. With its location close to the Cal campus, and its light-filled atmosphere, Zumot is hoping Tia’s becomes a popular hang-out space. Telephone the café at 510-647-9863 to confirm it is open before venturing out. … Continue reading »

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Nosh on the town: Great China in Berkeley

Great China in Berkeley, California. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Come along with Nosh as we explore the East Bay food scene in photographs. This week we focus on Great China in downtown Berkeley.

Long considered among the best Chinese restaurants in the area, Great China opened in its current location in December after a fire closed its doors at its prior downtown Berkeley home. It took nearly two years to plan and complete the new space on Bancroft Way, which is large and modern, and has roughly 50% more space than before. Even with the increased space, lines are a common sight. … Continue reading »

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

An early rendering of a new restaurant prosed for Ashby Avenue
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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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Great China to open in new Berkeley spot in days

Great China
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Great China, the popular downtown Berkeley restaurant that was shuttered by a fire in January 2012, will soon reopen in a smart, newly designed location with 50% more space. The core culinary offering remains the same, but there are some additions to the menu, including more desserts, and, the owners say, customers will see improved service.

“We’re really excited to get back to serving our loyal Berkeley customers again,” said Tai Yu, who, with his brother James Yu and father Ching Yu, own and run Great China.

The Yus hope they will be able to throw open the doors at 2190 Bancroft Way (at Oxford) on Friday or Saturday this week (the restaurant used to be a 2115 Kittredge, now home to Arabica). After nearly two years of planning and construction work, all that remains are final city inspections.  … Continue reading »

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Bites: What’s new in East Bay food XXXIV

sliderbar
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Openings, closings…

SLIDERBAR SliderBar, the small-burger place with locations in Palo Alto and San Francisco, will be opening its third restaurant, at 2124 Center St. between Oxford and Shattuck, in the former location of the Green Earth Café, according to Inside Scoop and the restaurant’s Facebook page. The opening is about two weeks away, and the owner, Ashwani Dhawan, is promising to give away 1,000 sliders on Aug. 24. The beef sliders are all Niman Ranch or Kobe beef. There will be some new flavors offered in Berkeley, including a “concoction of corned beef, gold sauce, and sauerkraut,” dubbed the Red and Gold, according to Inside Scoop. No, that title is not named for Cal’s nemesis, Stanford, but the San Francisco 49ers. … Continue reading »

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

Quince tart (3)
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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.

PIZZA DEBUT Mark your calendars: Build Pizzeria Roma, which we wrote about in October, is set to open in downtown Berkeley at 2286 Shattuck Ave. on April 11. We’ve been told the 120 plus-seat “loft-like contemporary dining room, designed by Lisa Holt and Abueg Morris Architects, includes repurposed materials from local sources” and has a contemporary Italian feel. It joins other pizza newcomers Pizza MODA on University, in the former Fellini space, and Sliver Pizzeria (in a small storefront on Center Street). (There are also Kensington pizzeria Benchmark and Jules Thin Crust, which was set to open in March in Rockridge, not to mention The Forge in Jack London Square.) … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

cbk
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GREAT CHINA RESTAURANT Fourteen months after a grease fire ripped through Great China restaurant on Kittredge, forcing it to close, construction is set to begin on a larger, more modern restaurant in a new location. Work should start in the next two weeks at Great China’s new space at 2190 Bancroft Ave. near Fulton, said the architect Tai Yu, whose family owns the restaurant. (His father Michael Yu and brother James Yu run the actual restaurant.) The new space (former site of Old Looney’s) will be 4,600 square feet — much larger than the old space — and will have a more modern look, recycled finishes, and sprinklers. greatchina“The food will remain the same,” said Yu, as the former chef and line cooks will return. The new restaurant, however, will place more emphasis on improving service. “We are going to try and provide a better ambiance for our patrons,” he said. Yu said the family hopes the new Great China will open in August. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Eric Lindgren outside his new, eponymous coffee shop
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LINDGREN’S COFFEE & CAFE We tipped you off in September that a new coffee shop was coming to downtown Berkeley, and now it’s here (hat-tip to David Sanger for the alert). Lindgren’s Coffee and Café, which has opened at 2120 Dwight Way just off Shattuck, roasts its own coffee, and offers fresh pastries (baked in-house), sandwiches, beer and wine, as well as coffee of course. There’s also free wifi.

MVMNT STUDIO A new urban dance space has opened at 2973 Sacramento St. near Ashby. MVMNT Studio describes itself as a creative space that provides training, facilities and encouragement in urban art forms such as capoeira, breaking, house dancing and street art. MVMNT or “Movement” began as a dancer/artist based night in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, WA. The studio’s 1,800 sq ft open floor space is also available to rent. Check out MVMNT’s Facebook page for the latest schedule of classes and events. [Hat-tip: Sofia Zander] … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Looney's
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RUSTIC ON SHATTUCK  The lamented closure of nightclub Shattuck Down Low will be assuaged for some by the word that a new, stylish casual restaurant will be opening on the site, perhaps as early as January. Lisa Holt and David Shapiro of Rustic Restaurants LLC have a strong pedigree, having developed and launched the Milliken Creek Inn & Spa in Napa and the revamped Hotel Yountville. Holt told Diablo Magazine that the Berkeley project is planned as the first of several in the Bay Area. You can get a glimpse of the design aesthetic that Holt prefers from her current Pinterest page for Rustic. According to the Daily Cal, Down Low owner Daniel Cukierman is looking for a new site in downtown Berkeley.

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Popular restaurants closed by fires face further delays

All that remains of the Sequoia Building is the one-story façade on Telegraph that housed Café Intermezzo and Raleigh's. Photos: Lance Knobel
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It looks like a number of Berkeley restaurants won’t be recovering as quickly as hoped from a recent set of fires.

The Daily Californian is reporting that the proposal to erect temporary tents to replace Café Intermezzo and Raleigh’s Bar & Grill, which were destroyed Nov. 18 when the Sequoia Building burned down, hasn’t gone forward. Property owner Greg Ent submitted a permit application in January, but has not responded to changes requested in mid-March by the city. Ent has also stopped talking to the project’s architect, Kirk Peterson, according to the Daily Cal.

“The latest I’ve heard is a rumor that the (Ent’s) insurance company’s money couldn’t be used for the temporary structures,” City councilmember Kriss Worthington told the paper. “That may mean the owner of the building has switched gears from the temporary operation into looking at getting into a permanent building operation.” … 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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Revealed: A Berkeley restaurant guide and labor of love

Corso: described as "xxx" in the Poskanzers' guide
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Over the past 34 years, Art and Lucille Poskanzer, who dine out at least once a week, have compiled what is probably the only dedicated restaurant guide to Berkeley and Oakland. However, unless you happen to work at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, it’s unlikely you will have seen it.

That changes today, as Berkeleyside is honored to be able to introduce “Restaurants in the Berkeley Area”, which includes regularly updated reviews of 100 restaurants in Berkeley and 80 in Oakland, as well as maps and a recent news section.

The printed guide began life in 1978 as “Guide to Berkeley’s Restaurants and Hot Tubs”. It was conceived by Berkeley Lab physicist Art Poskanzer, who, that year, was tasked with hosting an international nuclear physics conference which drew in many out-of-town visitors.

“This was the days before Yelp,” Poskanzer says today. “We wanted to be able to provide a useful dining-out resource for visitors.” … Continue reading »

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The culinary couple behind Berkeley’s Corso and Rivoli

Corso couple
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This is a story about a little neighborhood restaurant opened in 1994 — a shared vision between two partners in work and life, who built an acclaimed destination dining space serving up fresh, homey food with complex flavors and nods to Italian, French, and Californian cuisine.

And it’s the story of how this culinary couple followed the success of their first eatery by opening an authentic Tuscan trattoria nearby three years ago. That place proved popular with critics and customers too.

This is also the story of the enduring power of friendship and love. Friendship, respect, trust, admiration, and love in the face of the demise of a long-term marriage, where two people who see the essential good in each other decide it’s a bad idea to stay together. And so they go their separate ways personally but manage, despite the initial challenges of seeing the ex every single day, to keep working together as partners in a labor of love. … Continue reading »

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