Tag Archives: Peking Express

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Razan's Organic Kitchen is set to open into a new location next spring. Photo: Google Maps
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A SLIGHT SHIFT  Razan’s Organic Kitchen is on the move, with plans to take over the neighboring space where Great China used to be on Kittredge Street. Great China is renovating the old Looney’s BBQ spot on Bancroft, with a scheduled opening date of next spring. The new restaurant will continue to be run by the Razan’s folks. It doesn’t yet have a name, but it will sell Middle Eastern food and hopes to open next spring as well.

VETERAN CLOSING  The venerable, 40-year-old breakfast spot and music venue Chester’s Bayview Café at 1508 Walnut St. in the Gourmet Ghetto is to close and will be replaced by a new restaurant called La Fable, according to Grub Street. Chester’s was originally established in 1972 as the Egg Shop and Apple Press but was subsequently named after the English town of Chester. We will report on what La Fable owners Franck and Isabel Bochaton have planned as soon as we snag the scoop. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Pasta perfect. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
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MELT IN YOUR MOUTH Its tag line is “Yup, It’s just cheese and bread,” but somehow we suspect the way MELT puts those two ingredients together is something special. How about fontina and provolone on garlic bread? Or pepper jack with jalapenos on sourdough? Those are only two of the options at MELT, the brainchild of  Jonathan Kaplan, who founded Flip Video (now sadly defunct). As tipped by Berkeleyside in May, the fifth branch of MELT opened Aug. 6 at 2400 Telegraph Ave., just a few steps away from Sproul Plaza. Customers can order via their smart phones, scan in the QR code when they get to the restaurant, and move to the front of the line for pick up.

IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME The introduction of the high-concept Comal on Shattuck Avenue seems to be having the effect Berkeley city planners and economic development types hoped for. Diablo Magazine reports that first-time restaurateur Paul Oprescu is planning to open Belli Osteria next door at 2016 Shattuck in October. He is taking over the space that once belonged to Green Papaya and morphed for a brief period in February to Thanu’s Kitchen. Belli will be an affordable osteria serving many different types of pasta and ravioli made on the premises. “Oprescu, a former Montessori teacher who has dabbled in cooking, including interning at the late Eccolo where he learned to make his own charcuterie, says he has more than 150 recipes for raviolis that he plans to rotate into the menu,” writes Diablo. “A couple of examples? How about black squid ink ravioli with seafood or another with seared prawns, gorgonzola, and caramelized shallots in a cream sauce.” Belli will also be open for lunch, serving affordable panini. … Continue reading »

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