‘BLINDSPOTTING’ SPOTTING Last week, filmmakers-actors Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal played new roles — baristas. On July 11, Diggs and Casal, the co-writers and stars of “Blindspotting,” their upcoming film set in Oakland, poured coffee and espresso, foamed milk and topped drinks with whipped cream for customers at the Lakeshore Peet’s (3258 Lakeshore Ave.).
Aside from promoting their movie, which comes out this Friday, the duo’s appearance was for a good community cause. During the one-hour gig, Diggs and Casal raised $5,000 for San Francisco-based spoken word and youth development nonprofit Youth Speaks.
JACK LONDON GETS NEW THAI SPOT San Francisco’s popular Thai restaurant Farmhouse Kitchen is opening a new location this month in Jack London Square, joining others in SF’s Mission District and in Portland, Oregon. The husband-wife team behind Farmhouse, Kasem “Pop” Saengsawan and Iing Chatterjee, have already set down roots in Oakland when they opened vibrant Montclair Thai ‘hot spot’ Daughter Thai last year. The new JLS location will take over the long-vacant space once occupied by Jack’s Oyster Bar.
Farmhouse Kitchen has won over fans with its boldly spiced and beautifully plated curries, noodles dishes, salads and specials like salmon cooked in banana leaf and short rib braised in a flavorful Panang curry. Chatterjee told Nosh that Farmhouse will have a similar menu to its SF location, but will eventually add dishes unique to the Oakland location. It will also have a full bar offering Asian-inspired cocktails. Farmhouse Oakland’s ticketed soft opening on July 23 is already booked solid, however, the restaurant is slated to open to the public on July 24. Farmhouse Kitchen, Jack London Square, 336 Water St., Oakland
TORPEDO’S AWAY Nosh reader and Torpedo Room fan Tim White contacted us to look into the recent closure of the Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room in Berkeley. The taproom on Fourth Street closed on June 13 without prior notice and all of its employees were let go that day. Nosh spoke with Dale Nelson, general manager of Sierra Nevada’s food and beverage operations, who said that the bar is temporarily closed “to reassess our business model and change directions a bit.” In a follow-up conversation with Sierra Nevada’s director of brand management Hunter Oetinger, she explained that employees were let go in June because the company hadn’t been totally optimistic about the taproom’s return. “We weren’t sure if it was going to reopen at all,” she said. Fortunately for fans, Sierra Nevada has decided to reopen Torpedo Room in early September.
When Torpedo Room reopens, it will have a kitchen and a food program, acoustic entertainment and educational classes taught by brewers from its Chico location. “We won’t be remodeling too much, but we will be adding in more chairs and tables to the space,” said Nelson. The idea of the reboot is to make the taproom more “conducive for long-term sitting.” A patio at Torpedo Room has long been in the works, and although construction of the outdoor space has been completed, Nelson said that the project is currently on pause due to “zoning and licensing issues,” and will not likely be in use when the taproom reopens. Torpedo Room, 2031 Fourth St. (at Addison), Berkeley
HAN’S BUILDING IS REMODELING We head to Southside Berkeley for news of another temporary closure at breakfast spot Han’s Bistro at 2498 Telegraph Avenue. Nosh tipster Sean Rouse shared a photo of a sign on the window posted by the owner. The sign reads:”Dear valued customers, Thank you so much for visiting our restaurant. Our restaurant will close on July 9 due to building remodeling. Thank you for coming to us. After the construction, we will open again. We will have upgraded our facility to make it a better place for you.” We do not have a slated reopening date at this time.
BLUE BOTTLE TO PIEDMONT AVENUE Last May, 98-year-old the Bay Area’s Italian deli-grocer chain A.G. Ferrari closed all of its shops, including one on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland. The storefront has been vacant since last spring, but a new notice in the window announces what’s coming next — Blue Bottle Coffee. This will be Blue Bottle’s fifth East Bay location (and its 16th location in the Greater Bay Area). And the company, which was acquired by Nestlé last year, continues to expand in the greater U.S., as well as in Japan. The Piedmont Avenue Blue Bottle café is slated to open this fall. And once it does, Piedmont Avenue will be more than well caffeinated. Blue Bottle will be joining a bevy of coffee shops on the street, including Timeless Coffee, Snow White Coffee, Gaylord’s Caffe Espresso, Peet’s and Caffe Chiave (formerly Caffe Trieste). (h/t: Wendy Cohen) Blue Bottle Coffee will be at 4001 Piedmont Ave. (at 40th), Oakland
UPCOMING FOOD EVENTS:
5th Annual Ales for ALS Beer Festival More than 35 California breweries — including 21st Amendment, Bear Republic, Brouwerij West, Drakes, Russian River and El Segundo — will be on hand at Alameda’s Faction Brewing on Saturday for this annual benefit for ALS Therapy Development Institute, a nonprofit biotech focusing on ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, research. Guests will receive a commemorative glass and enjoy unlimited beer tastings; eats from food trucks like Scolari’s Good Eats, Fist of Flour Pizza Company, Grilled Cheese Guy and Sticks; and live music. Attendees are encouraged to take public transportation — there will be a free shuttle running every 45 minutes from West Oakland BART to the brewery before and after the event. Tickets are $45-$60 ($20 for designated drivers). This event is 21+ only. Ales for ALS Beer Festival takes place from 1 to 5 p.m., Saturday, July 21, at Faction Brewing, 2501 Monarch St. (at Midway), Alameda
Chop Bar Pig Roast The tenth annual Chop Bar pig roast will take place this Sunday at Old Kan Beer. Twenty bucks at the door gets you all-you-can-eat pork, plus live music by Oakland’s funk-blues band Musashi Trio. Old Kan beers and Fernet Branca will be available for $5. The Chop Bar Pig Roast takes place from 4 to 8 p.m., Sunday, July 22 at Old Kan Beer & Co., 95 Linden St. (at Third), Oakland
Fine Dining on Paper In May, we wrote about Fine Dining on Paper, a new pop-up project from two former Duchess chefs, Andrew Greene and Duncan Kwitkor. The pop-up series takes place at The Gastropig, where an affordable, multi-course fine dining meal is served in creative ways on compostable and informal dinnerware, or sometimes on the table itself. The food has a heavy Japanese influence, a favorite cuisine of Greene’s to cook. If you weren’t able to make the last dinner, take note that the series returns next week, this time featuring a four-course meal for $40. Featured dishes include cured hamachi with maple leaf tempura, melon and fish sauce caramel and a main course of venison served with lion’s mane mushroom, raspberry puree and dashi jelly. Fine Dining on Paper takes place 6:30-9:30 p.m., July 28 at The Gastropig, 2123 Franklin St. (between 21st and 22nd), Oakland
Umami Mart Matsuri Umami Mart in Old Oakland is celebrating its sixth anniversary with its annual Matsuri (“festival” in Japanese) event featuring Japanese eats and drinks. This year, there’ll be beers and sakes from The Trappist, Kamikaze Dogs from Aburaya, hiyashichuka from Shiba Ramen, crepes from J-Shack and matcha shave ice from SF’s new Stonemill Matcha. Admission is free. The sixth annual Matsuri Festival takes place from noon-4 p.m, July 28 in the Old Oakland parking lot behind Umami Mart and the Trappist, on Washington Street, between 8th and 9th, Oakland
Summer Supper: An Evening with Temescal Brewing Temescal Brewing is hosting its first beer dinner this month. This family-style beer-paired meal will take place on its spacious patio and will feature a menu from chefs Seth Peterson and Mark Dessert of Raise the Root Cooking Collective. The final menu has not yet been announced, but the dinner will feature a whole roast lamb and chickens from New Hope Farms, a worker-owned cooperative farm in Pinole (which feeds its animals the spent grain from Temescal Brewing) as well as a bounty of locally grown produce. Tickets are $65 and include food, drinks and gratuity. This is a 21+ event. Summer Supper takes place at 6 p.m., July 30 at Temescal Brewing, 4115 Telegraph Ave. (at 42nd), Oakland