PINOY FLAVORS, AND MORE Three new month-long pop-ups have opened at UC Berkeley’s ASUC Student Union as part of its ongoing “What’s Poppin'” series. For the month of March, the student union invited three chefs working with food business incubator La Cocina, which works with immigrant and low-income women. Sariwa, run by chef Aileen Suzara, will offer vegetarian lumpia (egg rolls) and pancit (stir-fried noodles), as well as rice bowls with proteins like chicken adobo and coconut tofu and pumpkin. Bini’s Kitchen, from chef Binita Pradhan, specializes in Nepalese flavors, serving up momos (dumplings), burritos stuffed with Nepalese curry and combination plates. And Alma Rodriguez’s Mixiote offers tacos and bowls with pork, chicken or vegetables. A part of proceeds from sales at all three restaurants will help support student organizations and programs. ASUC Student Union, UC Berkeley, 2495 Bancroft Way, Berkeley
SPORTS BARS TAKE OVER IZZY’S, PROPAGANDA Two recent closures will make way for two new sports bars in Oakland and Emeryville. This week, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that a group of seasoned bar industry folks, including Ezra Berman (Lord George, San Francisco Athletic Club), are looking to open a sports bar in Uptown Oakland in the space formerly occupied by Izzy’s Steak and Chop House (59 Grand Ave., Oakland), which closed late last year. Details, including a name and when the new bar might open, are still to come.
Over in Emeryville, another sports bar is in the works, set to open at 4000 Adeline St., which once housed Propaganda gastropub, which shuttered this year. According to the East Bay Express, South San Francisco sports bar Hometown Heroes will open its second location here. But even if you don’t care to watch Warriors or A’s games, here’s another nugget of info that might get you excited to visit — Filipino pop-up Likha will be dishing out traditional and modern takes on Filipino fare. If you haven’t noticed, Filipino food is kinda hot right now. Aside from Likha and Sariwa mentioned above, there’s also FOB Kitchen coming soon to Temescal. The Emeryville Hometown Heroes will open in May.
HOPPY ANNIVERSARY, TRIPLE ROCK Berkeley’s Triple Rock is celebrating its 32nd anniversary this year, and at a party tonight (March 14), it will serve up the last of its two special award-winning beers. Nod-n-Smile (triple IPA) and Hop Salad (double IPA) won a gold and bronze, respectively, at last month’s Double IPA Festival at The Bistro in Hayward. Only half a barrel of each beer remains so this is your last chance to try these beers until SF Beer Week comes around again in a year. Festivities take place from 5-8 p.m. Triple Rock Brewpub, 1920 Shattuck Ave. (between Hearst and Berkeley Way), Berkeley
DINNERS SPRING UP AT HOMEMADE CAFÉ Longtime Berkeley breakfast spot Homemade Café is hosting a series of pop-up dinners this month. Owner Collin Doran will be serving a $75 four-course prix fixe meal (with optional $24 wine pairing) featuring dishes inspired by the spring season and made with local, organic ingredients. A sample of the menu includes an asparagus soup with crème fraiche, croutons and prosciutto chips and mustard-encrusted lamb chops with mint salsa verde, served with a spring pea risotto. Vegetarian options are available but must be requested at time of reservation. Reservations can be made by calling (510) 845-1940 or emailing email@example.com. Homemade Café, 2454 Sacramento St. (at Dwight), Berkeley
BOICHIK BAGEL BRUNCH Alameda bagel maker Emily Winston recently returned from a research trip back East. Winston is behind Boichik, a company that strives to make bagels as good as those from New York City. Although Winston is looking to open a commercial operation, at this time Boichik is still a pop-up-only business. The next chance you have to taste Winston’s bagels will be on March 24, from 9:30-11:30 a.m., at East End in Alameda, where Winston has created a special brunch menu. There’ll be a choice of three bagel sandwiches (a Reuben on her rye bagel, a lox sandwich, or the Egg Man, topped with egg, cheddar, merguez sausage and harissa shmear) and simple bagels with shmears. East End, 1650 Park St. (at Buena Vista), Alameda
AFROBEATS, AFROBITES A new eatery serving African cuisine opened up inside Uptown nightclub, Au Lounge, earlier this year. Open Wednesday through Sunday, from 5 to 9 p.m., AfroBites, run by Chef Burt (who doubles as DJ Burt behind the turntables), cooks up dishes from East and West Africa. Diners here will taste dishes like Kenyan sausages, suya (Nigerian meat skewers with a spicy peanut spice blend), efo (Nigerian spinach stew) and goat pepper soup. As Afrobites is inside a club with a full bar that regularly hosts dance parties, expect a festive, music-filled environment at Afrobites. Au Lounge, 2430 Broadway (at 25th), Oakland
FIRE & ICE Fans of Japanese spices will get a kick out the latest Humphry Slocombe ice cream flavor — Togarashi Tea. Made with a base of oolong tea ice cream, it features a caramel swirl spiced with shichimi togarashi, a spicy Japanese condiment made with ground chilies, sesame seeds and citrus zest, that’s often used to top noodle soups and grilled meat skewers. Humphry Slocombe sources its shichimi togarashi from Oaktown Spice Shop, which hand blends its version. Get a taste of this unusual flavor at all Humphry Slocombe locations, including its Uptown Oakland spot at the Hive (2335 Broadway) through the end of March.
GREEN DAY If eating corned beef is a requirement for you on St. Patrick’s Day, here a few local options to get your fix. Lake Chalet in Oakland will serve corned beef sliders, served on a brioche bun with pickled red cabbage and spicy mustard, and corned beef eggs benedict with cabbage, pepper hollandaise and hash brown cakes. Over at the Starry Plough in Berkeley, the Irish pub will be celebrating with a traditional St. Patty’s Day dinner — corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and soda bread — served all day (or until they sell out) for $15. In Jack London Square, Sláinte, which just welcomed a new chef, Ted Moore, will host its first annual St. Patrick’s party with a porky variation. Owner Jackie Gallanagh told Diablo Magazine it will be serving a traditional Irish meal of smoked ham and cabbage, which comes with mashed or whole boiled potatoes and parsley sauce. And finally, if you’d rather enjoy your corned beef in the privacy of your own home, the Local Butcher Shop in Berkeley is selling ready-to-cook and heat-and-eat corned beef, for $15 and $17 a pound, respectively. Lake Chalet, 1520 Lakeside Dr. (between 17th and Oak), Oakland; The Starry Plough, 3101 Shattuck Ave. (at Prince), Berkeley; Sláinte, 131 Broadway (at 2nd), Oakland; Local Butcher Shop, 1600 Shattuck Ave. (at Cedar), Berkeley
PASSOVER IS COMING This year, Passover begins on March 30, so you may be starting to think about what you’ll be eating during the eight-day celebration. During the Jewish springtime holiday, foods made without leavening — like matzo, flourless cakes and macaroons — are eaten, and in the East Bay, there are a few restaurants and markets that will be providing take-home Pesach fare and hosting dinner parties. Per usual, both locations of Market Hall Foods and Saul’s Deli in Berkeley have prepared nosh for Passover dinner (get their menus here and here). Beauty’s Bagels in North Oakland will also have pre-made Seder fare, like wood-fired matzo, matzo ball soup, gefilte fish and macaroons. Of course, if you’d rather have a sit-down meal where everything is taken care of — including the clean-up — you could grab a seat at one of Comal‘s sixth annual Passover dinners (on April 2 and April 3), a family-style meal featuring Mexican flavors (like jalapeño matzo balls), or go to Saul’s (on March 30, 31 and April 7), for a traditional Seder. Market Hall Foods, 5655 College Ave. (at Shafter), Oakland and 1786 Fourth St. (at Delaware), Berkeley; Saul’s Restaurant and Deli, 1475 Shattuck Ave. (at Vine), Berkeley; Beauty’s Bagel Shop, 3838 Telegraph Ave. (between 38th and 40th), Oakland; Comal, 2020 Shattuck Ave. (between University and Addison), Berkeley
JAMES BEARD FINALISTS The 2018 James Beard Award finalists were announced today, and of the four East Bay semi-finalist nominees, there remains only one: Lance Winters, master distiller of St. George Spirits in Alameda. Winters is a finalist for outstanding spirits professional; this is the third year that he has been nominated for the honor. An obviously jubilant Winters joined Twitter today for the first time ever to announce the news: “This is my first tweet! Thank you James Beard Foundation I’m a finalist!” The James Beard Award winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on May 7 in Chicago. Good luck, Lance! We’re rooting for you.