CHOP-PING BLOCK Big changes are happening soon at Oakland’s Chop Bar. This summer, Chris Pastena and Lev Delany’s Jack London Square gastropub will move into Fourth Street East, a new mixed-use residential and retail building located across the street from Chop Bar’s current location. The new space is larger, almost twice the size of the current 1,600-square-foot space, and will accommodate seating for 60 diners inside, including 14 seats at the bar, as well as outdoor patio area and a private dining room that seats up to 25. Expect a similar design for the decor at the new space, including the current Chop Bar’s “liberal use of recycled woods and warm finishes,” said a representative from the restaurant. Also, expect a similar menu, although, with a larger kitchen, chef Delany hopes to expand the restaurant’s offerings over time. Pastena is calling the new space — which he and Delany project will open the first week of July — “the next generation of Chop Bar.” They’ll close the original location after the move is complete.
Until then, Chop Bar will host some last events at 247 Fourth St., including a five-course wine-pairing dinner with Tessier Wines on April 30 and a multi-day “Mexican food and drink takeover” in celebration of Cinco de Mayo, May 1-5. Chop Bar’s 10th annual pig roast will take place at Old Kan Brewery on June 23, just before the move. Chop Bar will be at 190 Fourth St. (at Jackson), Oakland
MORE JFC FOR OAKLAND! Oakland’s punk-rock Japanese fried chicken pop-up-turned-permanent-restaurant Aburaya will open a second brick-and-mortar location this summer. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Adachi Hiroyuki’s new spot will return to the place where it all began, 380 15th St., where Aburaya popped up in the evenings at the lunch-time salad restaurant, Garden House. Like its current Uptown digs at 362 17th St., the new location will offer koji-marinated karaage and other izakaya plates at affordable prices, but will be open for lunch only. Hiroyuki and his partners hope to be open in June.
NEW PERSIAN SPOT As noted in last month’s roundup of newly opened and closed East Bay restaurants, downtown Berkeley officially said goodbye to Korean-American fusion eatery Crunch on Center Street. In its spot, a new Persian restaurant called Daryoush emerged. It is currently in soft opening mode. We stopped in this week for lunch and noticed the prices are a bit higher than the usual student budget-friendly fare on this block. Most meat and seafood entrees are $16-$28, although wraps are priced from $9-$11. We tried the wrap stuffed with koobideh (ground beef kebab), lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles. The meat was juicy, tender and flavorful, but the sandwich itself was slender in size, making it a good choice for small to medium appetites. We’ll be back to try the tah-dig (crispy rice), appetizers like zabon (lamb tongue with turmeric and saffron) and traditional Persian stews like fesenjoon (chicken or beef meatballs cooked in a pomegranate sauce) and ghormeh sabzi (Persian herb stew). Daryoush, 2144 Center St. (between Oxford and Shattuck), Berkeley
FAREWELL, JASMINE Northside Berkeley’s 14-year-old family-owned Jasmine Thai, a staple for many Cal students and faculty, will close in mid-May. According to the Daily Cal, owner Sorachai Sahabunyakool cites “economic reasons” for closing, saying that the business was unsustainable due to the high costs of running a restaurant in the area. Jasmine Thai’s last day in business will be during the third week of May, so you have one last month to get your fix of curries, noodles and stir-fried dishes at this local mom-and-pop business. Jasmine Thai, 1805 Euclid Ave. (near Ridge), Berkeley
BREAKING (INTO) BREAD On Easter Sunday, Brazilian Bread owner Del Rodrigues discovered an unpleasant surprise — at 1:45 a.m., her year-old bakery-café on Solano Avenue was burglarized. “A gloved, masked person smashed our front door glass with a rock and stole cash from the register. The thief seemed like he knew what he was looking for and spent less than 2 minutes in our store,” Rodrigues wrote in an email to Berkeleyside, which included a photograph of the now boarded-up door. Rodrigues said the security cameras had caught the perpetrator in the act, but unfortunately, his identity was concealed by a hood. “This was a wake-up call for us as we had been lax with our security measures and wanted to share this with our neighbors,” Rodrigues said. The store does have an alarm, but it was not armed on the day of the break-in, a mistake that Rodrigues will not be making again, she said. Brazilian Bread, 1707 Solano Ave. (at Tulare), Berkeley
HAVE A SUPER DUPER DAY On Monday, April 29, starting at 3 p.m., Bay Area burger chain Super Duper is hosting its ninth annual Super Duper Day, offering free Mini Burgers or Veggie Burgers to the first 100 guests at every Super Duper location (except SFO and Oracle Park). Teachers looking for a freebie won’t have to wait in line, but they will have to wait a couple more hours. From 5-8 p.m. that day, any teacher with a valid school ID will get their choice of free Mini or Veggie burger. Super Duper Berkeley, 2355 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley; Super Duper Emeryville, at Public Market, 5959 Shellmound St., Emeryville
EAT TO SAVE THE KELP FOREST Seafood lovers who care about ocean conservation may want to snatch up the remaining tickets for “On the Hook – Searchin’ for Urchin” benefit dinner, happening tomorrow, April 25, at The Alice Collective in Oakland. The five-course dinner starts at 7:30 p.m., and will be prepared by chef Lance Dean Velasquez. Expect dishes like sea urchin tostada, sea urchin bisque, abalone two ways and a dessert made with Mendocino nori. Kelp forest researchers, harvesters and divers will be at the dinner to discuss how environmental changes are affecting the ocean. Tickets are $75 a person; an optional drink pairing can be added for another $25. All proceeds benefit Reef Check, a non-profit dedicated to saving reef ecosystems. The Alice Collective, 272 14th St. (at Harrison), Oakland
AMAZING JOURNEY On Saturday, April 27, 1951 Coffee Company — Berkeley’s refugee training program and café — will host “Journey with 1951,” a fundraiser at the David Brower Center. At the event, guests will hear inspiring resettlement stories from 1951 Coffee baristas while sipping on coffee-themed cocktails and noshing on Malaysian appetizers from San Francisco’s Azalina’s. Tickets are $50, with proceeds going to 1951 Coffee Company. David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way (near Oxford), Berkeley
TIME FOR CHANGE When the #metoo movement first emerged in 2017 and inspired people across industries to speak up (and be heard) about sexual harassment and sexual assault, voices in the food world started to emerge, connecting the dots between sexual misconduct and workers’ rights, especially for women of color who’ve long belonged to the most marginalized sector of the restaurant industry. One of the loudest voices has been Saru Jayaraman, director of the Food Labor Research Center at UC Berkeley, and president and co-founder of Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) United, an advocacy group fighting for restaurant workers. (Nosh spoke with Jayaraman last year on the topic.) On May 1, at 7 p.m., Jayaraman will speak at the JCC East Bay for “Restaurants and Living Wages in the #MeToo Era,” a discussion on how a tipping system contributes to workplace harassment, and what can be done to create more equitable, supportive working environments. Tickets to the talk are $15-$20. JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut St. (at Rose), Berkeley