CORO COFFEE ROOM The new café from shared coffee roasting facility Bay Area CoRoasters opened this week in West Berkeley. The drink menu features single-origin coffees and blends from four rotating CoRo members, served in a variety of formats — drip, pour-over, cold brew and espresso drinks — as well as teas, TCHO hot chocolate and more. The café offers a curated food menu of sweet and savory toasts, oatmeal, quiche and pastries from the Midwife and the Baker. CoRo Coffee Room plans to host educational coffee events, like cuppings and tastings. CoRo Coffee Room is open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday (except today, June 29, when they will be closed for work on the gas meter). CoRo Coffee Room, 2324 Fifth St. (between Bancroft and Channing), Berkeley
SUPER DUPER BURGERS San Francisco-based burger chain Super Duper has come to Berkeley, opening in the former Smart Alec’s Intelligent Food space. As at the other 11 Super Duper locations, the spot on Telegraph Avenue near UC Berkeley serves a menu of vegetarian-fed beef burgers, organic veggie burgers and free-range chicken sandwiches, along with breakfast sandwiches, french fries, salads, donuts and organic Straus shakes and soft serve. Refreshments include soda, lemonade and iced tea, as well as beer and wine on tap. So far, Super Duper is proving to be a popular Southside addition, with lines going out the door during peak lunch hours. Super Duper Burger will be at 2355 Telegraph Ave. (at Durant), Berkeley
SUSHI GO GO Next door to the Touchless Car Wash in downtown Berkeley you’ll find the newest outpost for Sushi Go Go, joining two other locations in Oakland and Alameda. Sushi Go Go offers affordably priced sushi in the form of rolls, bowls, burritos, trays and a small selection of nigiri. Based on Yelp reviews of the mini-chain, this is the kind of sushi for those looking for something cheap, fast and easy. Sushi Go Go, 2176 Kittredge St. (near Fulton), Berkeley
TAMMY’S CHICKEN IN WAFFLES Tammy’s specialty is fried chicken strips cooked right into the waffle batter, but this new waffle shop also offers waffles plain, with butter and syrup and other combinations with sweet and savory toppings and stuffings. This is the second location of Tammy’s Chicken in Waffles; the first is on Treasure Island (Read our recent feature on Tammy’s for more details). Located in Sather Lane, a block from UC Berkeley, Tammy’s is tucked down a flight of stairs, easily spotted by the bright pink sign and mural painted by artist Nigel Sussman. Tammy’s Chicken in Waffles, 2466 Bancroft Way (in Sather Lane), Berkeley
VENUS Popular downtown Berkeley breakfast spot Venus has taken over Main Street Pizza on Solano Avenue. Owner Deepak Aggarwal, who owns both restaurants, along with Tigerlily and Barbarian told Nosh that the restaurant will serve dishes found at Venus, as well as the pizza of the former iteration. The restaurant softly opened on June 22 and plans to have a grand opening in the next week or two. Venus, 1889 Solano Ave. (between The Alameda and Colusa), Berkeley
FIVE The modern American bistro inside Berkeley’s Hotel Shattuck Plaza (2086 Allston Way, Berkeley) closed on June 18 to make way for Zino, which will serve contemporary Mediterranean fare. The restaurant was named for the five senses (and its 5 o’clock happy hour) and was a Michelin Bib Gourmand pick until 2017.
MISSION HEIRLOOM Berkeley’s paleo ‘clean food’ café closed this month. As Nosh reported in May, owners Yrmis Barroeta and Bobby Chang, who opened Mission Heirloom in 2014 at 2085 Vine St. in the Gourmet Ghetto, put the café (along with a commercial kitchen space at Berkeley Kitchens) for sale and were looking for a new owner to take over. They had hoped for a smooth transition that would not involve closing the restaurant at all, however a buyer didn’t emerge, and the couple closed the restaurant on June 8. We checked in with Barroeta last week who said the business is still up for sale, but in the meantime, she and Chang are working on a Mission Heirloom cookbook.
ROXIE DELICATESSEN Although you couldn’t tell from the outside, Roxie Delicatessen (2999 Shattuck Ave.) has changed hands and is in the midst of transitioning into an Argentinian eatery called Café Buenos Aires. The new owner, Diana Days, who moved to Berkeley from Argentina last year, will keep most of Roxie’s deli offerings, but add empanadas and other Argentinian fare to the menu.
CHAN’S KITCHEN Taking the place of Shangai Restaurant in Oakland Chinatown is Chan’s Kitchen, a spot that’s dishing out Taiwanese street food — a style of Chinese cuisine that’s surprisingly underrepresented in the area. We’ll miss Shanghai’s XLB dumplings, and although they’re definitely not soup dumplings, Chan does offer handmade dumplings made with a variety of pork fillings and a vegetarian option too. The menu also offers traditional cold plates, like crispy cucumbers and spicy pork stomach; a variety of bento boxes and soups; popcorn chicken and stinky tofu. This is a second location for Chan’s; the first is in Newark. Chan’s Kitchen, 930 Webster St. (between Ninth and 10th), Oakland
HANCOOK Temescal Korean restaurant Sahn Maru quietly closed when it changed hands to new owners, who’ve opened Hancook in its place. The restaurant soft opened this month, with a little bit of a makeover inside. The menu, however, offers a lot of the same casseroles, soups and stews that Sahn Maru once served, including soon dubu (soft tofu soup) kimchi chigae (spicy kimchi stew), yook geh jang (spicy beef stew), with some new additions and slight updates. On our recent visit, it was hot outside, so we tried the mool neng myun, a refreshing vinegar-spiked cold noodle soup. Hancook, 4315 Telegraph Ave. (between 43rd and 44th), Oakland
HAPPY DONUTS Uptown Oakland lost a beloved old-school, no-frills donut shop when Colonial Donuts on Franklin Street closed last August. Filling that (donut) hole is a new location of Happy Donuts, which offers good ol’ reliable raised, cake and old-fashioned donuts for under $2 each, along with fritters, bars, claws, croissants, breakfast sandwiches, coffee, tea and other standard donut shop eats and refreshments. Happy Donuts, 378 17th St. (between Franklin and Webster), Oakland
HELLO STRANGER Oakland’s new nightclub opened on June 1, just a block away from 19th Street BART station. Partners Summer-Jane Bell, Bill Stephens and Josh Trabulsi offer guests a selection of specialty craft cocktails, including a cannabis drink called the Oaksterdam, made with George Dickel rye, Hennessy cognac, dry vermouth and the addition of OG Kush terpenes. There are also beer, wines and non-alcoholic drinks. Hello Stranger is a club, so yes, there’s a dance floor, a stage for music performances and an upper mezzanine level — a good perch for people watching. Hello Stranger, 1724 Broadway (between 17th and 19th), Oakland
OORI RICE TRIANGLES Albany’s Oori Rice Triangles opened a second location in Rockridge, within the former Old Brooklyn Bagels space on College Avenue. Oori serves rice shaped into triangles that are filled with ingredients like marinated beef short ribs, tofu, kimchi, chicken teriyaki and spicy tuna. There are also rice plates, salads and sides like miso soup, edamame and pickled ginger. Oori Rice Triangles, 6000 College Ave. (at Harwood), Oakland
SOBA ICHI Ippuku colleagues Christian Geideman, Paul Discoe, Koichi Ishii and Shinichi Washino have partnered to open Oakland’s first restaurant dedicated to traditional Japanese soba. Soba Ichi takes over the space in West Oakland, formerly occupied by Korean-fusion joint Fusebox, and has transformed the digs into a beautiful and peaceful indoor-outdoor restaurant that will speak to design-minded noodle lovers. The simple, but elegant woodwork and interior design were created by Discoe, an architect who once worked as a Buddhist temple builder in Kyoto, Japan.
Soba Ichi’s teuchi (hand-cut) Japanese soba are made fresh daily with buckwheat that is milled on the premises, using a special grain mill imported from Japan. Ishii, who apprenticed as a soba maker in Japan, is the noodle master here. The noodles are served cold with a tsuyu (dipping sauce) or in a hot broth with toppings like brown nameko mushrooms, shrimp tempura, sliced duck breast or simply with green onions and mitsuba (Japanese parsley). The more standard nichachi soba is made with 80% buckwheat flour and 20% wheat flour, but Soba Ichi also offers a limited amount of jyuwari soba, made with 100% buckwheat. Soba Ichi uses Kitawase, a variety of buckwheat that’s native to Hokkaido, Japan, but which they source from a grower in Washington.
Aside from noodles, Soba Ichi offers a small selection of rice dishes, including curry and a tempura rice bowl and appetizers, like housemade tofu with Japanese salsa, fried vegetable kakiage, and dashimaki (rolled omelette). Washino, who ran the bar program at Ippuku, oversees the drinks, which include sake and shochu.
For now, Soba Ichi serves lunch only, from 11 a.m. until noodles run out, but plan to eventually be open for dinner, too. Soba Ichi, 2311A Magnolia St. (at 24th St.), Oakland
DRIP LINE As Nosh reported earlier this month, West Oakland’s Drip Line (1940 Union St.) closed its doors when its chef, Nora Haron-Dunning decided to split ways with owners, Josh Larson and Carrie Shores, citing that they had different visions for the café. The following week, Haron-Dunning held two pop-ups in Old Oakland, at Studiotobe, as a tribute to the recently departed Anthony Bourdain, who Haron-Dunning said did a lot to educate people about food and inspired her to stand up for her own vision. As of now, Drip Line is closed, and the café co-owner Larson hinted that it may re-open with a new chef.
LOCOL Eater reported that Daniel Patterson and Roy Choi’s last-standing East Bay location of Locol closed this month. The West Oakland outpost of the mini fast food chain opened in April 2017. Choi released a statement which said that they’ve decided to close the retail side for now, but are offering catering services in Oakland and are about to open a new location at the Richmond BART station.
MEXICALI ROSE Oakland’s oldest Mexican restaurant will close on June 29. Ninety-one-year-old Mexicali Rose (701 Clay St.) was the last remaining restaurant that was part of Oakland’s Latino colonia (neighborhood), which included immigrants from Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Central and South America who moved to the area, starting in the early 1900s.
BATCH & BRINE Downtown Lafayette’s new fancy burger and craft cocktail joint is a family affair brought to life by the Ghaben/Gonzales family, who are made up three generations of East Bay restaurateurs. If loaded burgers and sandwiches are your thing, you’ll want to head down for lunch, dinner or brunch at Batch & Brine, where you’ll find options like the Hatch, an open faced burger with chile verde, sour cream, cheddar and a sunny side egg; the Duck Confit, topped with truffle aioli, candied bacon, apricot mustard; and the Arab-inspired Kufta, made with spiced chuck, tzatziki and roasted tomato. There are also a variety of fries, salads, small plates, shakes (including a few boozy ones) and a brunch menu that’s only available Saturday and Sundays. For drinks, Batch & Brine offers a menu of small-production wines, 20 craft beers on tap and 10 signature cocktails. Batch & Brine, 3602 Mt Diablo Blvd. (between Happy Valley and Oak Hill), Lafayette
DA NANG Bill and Kim Benton, who opened Da Nang, a Vietnamese restaurant, on San Pablo Avenue back in 1983 are back. The Bentons sold the spot in 2005 to Charlie Khamruang, who turned the spot into a Thai-Vietnamese restaurant called Muang Thai, although many knew it as Da Nang Krung-Thep. The space became vacant in February 2017, and the Bentons, who also run a Da Nang in Antioch, decided to bring back their solely Vietnamese menu. Here, you’ll find dishes like bò lá lôt (seasoned ground beef wrapped in betel leaf), hũ tiếu mỹ tho (seafood noodle soup), mì quấng (wide rice noodles with shrimp and pork), along with pho, bahn mi, spring rolls and imperial rolls. Da Nang offers a dedicated meat-free menu for vegetarians. Da Nang, 905 San Pablo Ave. (at Solano Ave.), Albany
MONKEY THAI This new Thai restaurant in Alameda, which took over the spot occupied by China Gourmet, offers expected Thai standards, like pad thai, satay and curries, as well as some less common eats on its specials menu, which has included offerings like fried crickets seasoned with lime leaf, nam prik ong (Northern Thai chicken and tomato stew served with pork rinds) and hor nung gai (curried chicken and vegetables steamed in banana leaf). Another thing going for it — it’s open daily until midnight to satisfy late night cravings for savory and spicy eats. Monkey Thai, 2210 S Shore Ctr., Unit H, Alameda
PACIFIC CATCH Bay Area-based sustainable seafood restaurant chain, Pacific Catch opened its second East Bay location in Walnut Creek this month. Pacific Catch has recently partnered with Monterey Bay Aquarium to become Seafood Watch certified and this location is the first to become fully compliant with Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants guide. Pacific Catch offers a menu of wild-caught and sustainably-raised fish served as tacos, sushi rolls, crudo, sampler platters, grain bowls, sandwiches, salads and more. Pacific Catch, 1305 S Main St. (between Newell and Bothelo), Walnut Creek
POKI LAB Alameda’s new poke and boba tea spot is found in the space formerly occupied by New Sushi King. As with most poke shops, Poki Labs offers customizable bowls featuring your choice of base (rice, greens or shrimp chips), seafood, sauces and other toppings and condiments. The menu also offers several boba tea creations, popcorn chicken, potstickers and other fried snacks. Poki Lab, 2661 Blanding Ave. (at Broadway), Alameda
RITA’S ITALIAN ICE Pennsylvania-based chain Rita’s opened a new franchise in the South Shore Center of Alameda this month. It serves Italian ice, frozen custard, ice cream, shakes and other frozen drinks and treats. Rita’s Italian Ice, 417 S Shore Center, Alameda
TOP UP This new boba shop in the West End neighborhood of Alameda takes the place of former bubble tea spot, Tea Delight. Top Up offers fruit teas, milk teas, cheese teas and other boba shop refreshments. Top Up, 650 Central Ave. (near McKay), Alameda
ZAND’S Albany’s Persian food market and deli will close this month; it’s last day is Saturday, June 30. Zand’s was opened in 1988 by Monier Attar, a Persian immigrant who left Iran in the early ’80s, after the post-revolution government there closed her French pastry shop because she refused to wear a head scarf. The market offered a selection of imported Middle Eastern groceries, along with a deli case filled with Persian and Mediterranean fare made daily by Attar. (Read more about Zand’s in our recent feature.) Although Zand’s will close, Attar plans to continue catering services.