Tag Archives: Paisan

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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9 family-friendly Cal-Ital spots across the East Bay

Alex Schell and Molly Schell at Boot and Shoe Service. Photo: Adrienne Schell
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Family dinners are a part of our culture that have lost importance in many parts of the country. Impacted daily schedules, busy lives and, in some cases, the lure of the screen have caused time spent around the table in the evening hours to be the exception to the norm. East Bay California-Italian restaurants have done a great job helping my family buck that trend.

In Italian, the saying, “Gioie della tavola,” translates to “the joys of the table.” In other words, time spent with family, good food and good conversation is at the heart of the culture. The Italian appreciation for seasonal ingredients and traditional wood-fire cooking methods has worked its way into our own food culture here in the East Bay. The below spots offer the best of fresh, local ingredients in Italian dishes with a California twist — perfect for a family meal. … Continue reading »

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NOSH neighborhood guide: Berkeley Design Loop

Missouri Lounge at night. Photo: Steve Hanna/Flickr
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We know that there’s more to East Bay dining than Temescal, Rockridge and the Gourmet Ghetto. NOSH’s neighborhood guides explore the best of the rest. This month, we explore the south side of Berkeley’s San Pablo Avenue, a.k.a. the West Berkeley Design Loop.

West Berkeley’s dining scene has been on fire the last few years. With the opening of the Gilman Whole Foods came a slew of restaurants on the city’s northwest corner. Yet the southern end of West Berkeley’s San Pablo Avenue has long been a destination for barbecue and dive bars. Today, the neighborhood advertises itself as a design and antiques mecca — furniture stores, salvage yards and antique shops are everywhere — but there many great restaurants and bars, both new and old, to visit after shopping. Below are our picks for the best in the area, and we’ve included a handy map so you know precisely where they are. … Continue reading »

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Ethnic eats in Berkeley from A to Z: Part 2

Thai food abounds in Berkeley. Here a dish from Pin Toh
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Who knew there were so many ethnic restaurants around town?

Last week Berkeleyside chronicled choices from A through I, 32 picks in total, and today, in our second installment covering J through P, we bring you 33 more spots.

Careful readers noticed some omissions, including Cyprus, Dara, De Afghanan Kabob House, and Ethiopia. No doubt there are places missing in the mix here too, so feel free to add any favorites in the comments.

Not every country or region of the world is well represented in restaurants around town. East Bay Express food critic Jesse Hirsch would like to see more Polish and Balkan choices among the glut of sushi spots and curry shops. Hirsch’s two favorite local ethnic places so far — he’s relatively new to town — are featured this week. … Continue reading »

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Five’s Banks White: Berkeley ‘keeps me on my toes’

Banks White, executive chef at Five. Photos by Christina Diaz
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Banks White is the executive chef of Five, which calls itself a modern American bistro. Think comfort food with au courant accents: Macaroni and cheese made with orzo, wild mushrooms, tomato jam, and smoked gouda. Slow braised short rib pot roast with mascarpone polenta. Buttermilk biscuits with white cheddar pimento cheese.

The restaurant (named for the five senses and its 5 o’clock happy hour) is housed in the historic, refurbished Hotel Shattuck Plaza, which looks like it’s been given the Dorothy Draper treatment. (This writer spent some time last fall at the interior designer’s signature space, The Greenbrier in West Virginia.) Swirling black-and-white wallpaper. Ornate red chandelier. Black-and-white marble floors and red wall sconces. Get the picture?

White hails from Texas, land of barbecue and Buds, but is trained in classic French culinary techniques. The 30-year-old has worked for several upscale boutique hotel restaurants including The Driskill in Austin and Auberge du Soleil in the Napa Valley. … Continue reading »

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Where do you get the best pizza in Berkeley? You tell us

Cheeseboard Pizza straight from the oven. All photos: Christina Diaz
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Today this space is all about cheese. And crust. And toppings.

Got opinions about who turns out the best pizza in town? We know you do. So here’s your chance to share your pie picks with fellow readers.

That’s right folks, today, the Friday food column takes a break from regularly scheduled programming to poll readers about their pizza preferences. (The first in an occasional series where residents weigh in on their favorite foods found close to home.)

We know that for every die-hard devotee of Cheese Board pizza there’s an equally loyal Gioia fan to be found.

There’s pizza for all palates and pocketbooks here, whether you favor California-style, wood-fired pies pioneered by the  Chez Panisse crew (foraged greens and artisan goat cheese, anyone?), Brooklyn-inspired bites with trademark thin crusts and judicious use of ingredients, or the sloppy cheese slices popular among the campus crowd. … Continue reading »

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