Tag Archives: Vik’s Chaat Corner

Ippuku’s owner: Making Japanese food with integrity

Christian Geideman, owner-chef of Ippuku in downtown Berkeley. Photo: Nicole Rosario
Print Friendly

He’s run a pizza joint in Montana and a Japanese restaurant in New Mexico, but Berkeley-bred Christian Geideman has perhaps earned the highest marks for coming home and opening a stylish izakaya restaurant, Ippuku, in downtown Berkeley.

Izakaya is Japan’s answer to the tapas bar or gastropub: a casual joint to go after work for strong drinks, small plates, and a chance to unwind with friends.

Ippuku opened two years ago on a strip that typically serves the student set and it’s been widely praised since then. The San Francisco Chronicle‘s Michael Bauer heaped compliments on the place. Alice Waters is a regular and calls Ippuku one of her favorite spots to dine in town. And local chefs laud the restaurant for its drink list, including shochu (a distilled spirit typically made from barley, sweet potato, rice or black sugar) and craft beers on tap, as well as its authentic, Japanese fare. The restaurant showcases yakitori, or grilled skewers of just about any cut of meat from chicken, including neck, heart, liver, knee cartilage, shoulder blade, tail, gizzards, and skin.

Clearly, Geideman takes the trend of whole-beast cooking to heart. The dish that’s garnered most attention on the menu is chicken tartare. That’s raw chicken, topped with daikon sprouts, Korean chili paste, and a raw egg to the uninitiated — what Bauer described as “a double dose of culinary danger.” … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Ethnic eats in Berkeley from A to Z: Part 3

High praise for Vanessa's Bistro and its tuna salmon poke. Photo: Anna Mindess
Print Friendly

Over the last two weeks Berkeleyside has listed almost 100 places where you can taste tachos, slurp soba, and make a meal out of momos (catch up with part 1, A to I and part 2, J to P). Down the track, we will bring you the back story to some of the people behind some of these places.

For now, you know the drill: Chime in below if there’s a nosh spot that’s missing from this list or if there’s a signature dish you want to single out at a particular place.

Oh, and as for the definition of ethnic (some readers quibbled about whether French or Italian joints should be in the mix) we’re thinking chefs who want to showcase a style of cooking specific to a region of the world — versus California cuisine or fusion food, though no doubt there’s some crossover.

Enjoy.  … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Gilman Street Gals cook up sweet treats in Westbrae

Another holiday favorite: Clarine's Florentines
Print Friendly

In a teeny tiny, dark commercial kitchen on a small shopping strip on Gilman Street in Berkeley’s Westbrae neighborhood, four full-time, female food artisans, and a few part-timers too, are turning out sweet baked goods that have earned them mad props in the Bay Area.

Think of these enterprising edible producers as the Gilman Street Gals. In the cast: Clarine Hardesty, of Clarine’s Florentines, who holds the lease to the kitchen, which is co-owned by Bob Kelso of Toot Sweets down the block. Joining her behind the stoves: seasoned wedding and specialty cake maker Carolyn Wong, whose signature style is simple, elegant, and artistic. Also in the mix is Anastasia Widiarsih, herself no slouch on the designer cake front, whose main focus these days at Indie Cakes & Pastries is baking scones, cookies, and cakes for wholesale café clients, including Saul’s Delicatessen + Restaurant. Relative newbie in the kitchen crew: Christine Falatico Frey of CiCi’s Italian Butterhorns; her sugary, buttery, cinnamon walnut cookies are featured holiday picks in the December issue of Diablo magazine – along with Clarine’s Florentines and June Taylor‘s christmas cake. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Berkeley Bites: Lucia Sayre, Physicians for Social Responsibility

alison.negrin
Print Friendly

In many ways Lucia Sayre is your typical Berkeley resident: She has a fondness for farmers’ markets, growing her own greens, and eating local foods.

As director of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, a nonprofit group that promotes public health policies, she wants to do more than make a difference at her dinner table. Her mandate: To help local hospitals purchase, prepare, and serve food to patients and employees that is better … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 Berkeley restaurants make Top 100

Corso use
Print Friendly

Only five of the Chronicle’s Top 100 restaurants in the Bay Area are in Berkeley, the birthplace of the locavore movement and the home of the doyenne of slow food in the United States, Alice Waters.

Of the five chosen ones — revealed in the paper’s annual league table yesterday, one is relatively new. The other four count as veterans in the fast-moving world of restaurants.

The five are: Chez Panisse — naturally, Corso Trattoria,  Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , ,