ARIZMENDI IN PROGRESS Arizmendi in Emeryville has been closed since last December, after a car crashed into the bakery at 4301 San Pablo Ave. While it’s been closed, the collective-run business decided to completely renovate the space, a process which has taken longer than some of its eager customers had hoped. Nosh regularly receives queries from concerned readers who wonder if the beloved institution — and its baked goods and pizzas — will ever return to Emeryville. A few days ago, Arizmendi took to social media to post photos and an update, which might assuage pessimists’ fears. New sheetrock and floors have been installed, and cooperative member Jacob wrote, the “rebuild is coming along, slowly and surely.” While there’s a chance Arizmendi might reopen before 2019 ends, as the banner outside the storefront says, it’s more likely that we’ll have to wait til January 2020. Best of luck to the collective on this last stretch to the finish line.
NICK’S IN THE MORNINGS Meanwhile, Bushrod neighborhood favorite, Nick’s Pizza and Bakery, recently launched a new breakfast menu available Fridays and Saturdays from 8-11 a.m. While Boichik’s East Coast-inspired bagels are all the rage these days, baker-owner Nick Yapor Cox has quietly rolled out his own take on New York-style bagels, which use the bakery’s signature sourdough starter for its dough, which is then hand-formed, boiled and then topped before baking on the hearth. Other a.m. items on the menu are seasonal scones (currently, apple-bacon and persimmon spice), coffee and tea. Although the morning menu is currently only available two days a week, if there’s a demand, the bakery may expand service into weekdays too. To avoid selling out, Nick’s asks that customers with large orders (more than a dozen bagels or scones) call (510-658-3903) or email (email@example.com) during business hours. Nick’s Pizza and Bakery, 6211 Shattuck Ave. (at 63rd Street), Oakland
A KOREAN KITCHEN In September, Nosh reported that San Francisco brunch hotspot Kitchen Story would be opening a second location in Rockridge, where Duchess formerly reigned. The original Kitchen Story in the Castro is best known for its breakfast foods (like its Millionaire’s Bacon), but it also dishes out a Thai-inflected menu. In a press release shared with Nosh, owner Steve Choi announced the new Oakland restaurant will focus on American-style breakfast and Korean-influenced food.
Kitchen Story Rockridge will prepare dishes like jjapaguri (a la Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite”), but this version is studded with Millionaire’s Bacon, rather than cubed sirloin; KFC (Korean fried chicken, that is) and waffles; galbi omurice (an omelet over rice with Korean short rib) and jjampong (spicy seafood noodle soup). The restaurant will also offer some of its most popular dishes from the Castro location and host a full bar featuring cocktails with a Korean and Thai flair.
Kitchen Story will be Choi’s second Korean-focused restaurant in the East Bay; he also owns Berkeley Social Club in downtown Berkeley. A solid opening date is still TBD, but the restaurant hopes to get started in mid-December. Kitchen Story will be at 5422 College Ave. (at Kales Avenue), Oakland
SOUP’S ON Since opening his lunchtime Vietnamese sandwich pop-up, BanhMi-Ni, at Copper Spoon in North Oakland, chef Tu David Phu made has made a few small tweaks to his menu and operation. The menu rotates regularly, but in November, Phu opted to use smoked brisket from Augie’s Montreal Deli in Berkeley, rather than pastrami, for “The Deli,” a creation inspired by the Pastrami Ruskie at Saul’s Deli. This month, BanhMi-Ni expanded hours, adding Saturdays to the schedule, and just days ago, Phu announced one more thing: Just in time for soup season, he’ll be adding pho ga (chicken pho) to the menu on Saturdays. Phu’s pho will use pasture-raised chicken from Emmer & Co. (“And yes, it makes a difference,” he says about this detail.) The first brothy, noodly bowls will be ladled out this weekend. Hours are 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. BanhMi-Ni at Copper Spoon, 4031 Broadway (between 40th and 41st streets), Oakland
SEASONAL NOSH Winter has come, and the food-focused holiday events are upon us.
On Friday, the Berkeley Holiday Gift Fair is a great option for gift givers who want to support local makers. True, the vendors there won’t just be hawking edible products, but there will be enough food items that we wanted to bring it to your attention. Some of the participating food vendors include Almare Gelato, EXAU Olive Oil, Amphora Nueva Olive Oil, Boochman Kombucha, Dark Heart Chili Sauce, CoRo Coffee, 1951 Coffee, Blue Willow Tea and Babsi’s Viennese Treats. The Berkeley Holiday Gift Fair takes place 3:30-6:30 p.m., Dec. 6. David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way (at Oxford Street), Berkeley
This Saturday, Rockridge Market Hall hosts a holiday fair, where you can pick up loads of gifts for food lovers on your list. There’ll be plenty of seasonal samples to try, including mulled apple cider, panettone and raclette over potatoes. The festivities take place 2-4 p.m., Dec. 7. Market Hall, 5655 College Ave. (at Shafter Avenue), Oakland
Also Saturday, the Alameda Holiday Emporium at Dashe Cellars will be another shopping opportunity, with several local vendors selling mostly non-edible wares (an exception being packages of biscotti from bakedbyK). Still, it’s worth noting, as the large urban winery found in a former airplane hangar will host food truck Canasta Kitchen and offer wine tastings for $15. The event takes place 1-7 p.m., Dec. 7. Admission is free. Dashe Cellars, 1951 Monarch St. (near W Tower Avenue), Alameda
Last year, chef-owner Amy Murray invited her friend David Hermele to host his Hanukkah tradition — a latka party he dubbed Latkapalooza — at her restaurant, Revival Bar & Kitchen. What used to be a small party where Hermele cooked fried potato pancakes for friends became a huge affair, where he’d fry more than 150 pounds of latkes. When the party moved to Revival for its 11th year, the duo added entertainment and decided to make it a benefit for a local organization (last year, it helped people affected by the Camp fire). Latkapalooza was a hit and so Revival has decided to host the event again this year. Taking place at 6 p.m., Dec. 16, Latkapalooza #2 will feature a non-stop latke buffet (gluten-free versions will be available by request), a bar with holiday-themed cocktails and performances by two bands, Lydia Violet and the Bones and Seastars. Proceeds will go to The NorCal Resilience Network. Tickets are $30. Revival Bar + Kitchen, 2102 Shattuck Ave. (at Addison Street), Berkeley
Less than a block away, Comal will light a menorah and invite guests to dine at its fifth annual Oaxanukkah dinner, a family-style Mexican meal inspired by classic Hanukkah fare. The dinner takes place 6:30 p.m. over two nights (Dec. 22–23) in Comal’s downstairs private dining area, Abajo. This year, chef Matt Gandin’s menu will include tequila-cured salmon, potato-jalapeño latkes, braised beef brisket and sides, along with buñuelos (dessert fritters) served with a pluot-ginger marmelada. Tickets are $80. Comal, 2020 Shattuck Ave. (near University Avenue), Berkeley
SOBO BEER PAIRING Over in Oakland’s Chinatown, Sobo Ramen is partnering with California Beer Farms to host a beer pairing dinner on Dec. 13 at its late-night weekend pop-up space next door. Diners will indulge in three courses served with three 7-ounce pours and a dessert. The menu: grilled soft shell shrimp with Pilsner; fried baby octopus with dijon orange dip with Pale Ale; pesto cheese ramen with Hazy IPA and homemade mochi. Tickets are $40 (price includes tax and tip). Note that dinner starts on the late side (9 p.m.) and attendees must be 21+. Sobo Ramen, 988 Franklin St. #186 (between Ninth and 11th streets), Oakland
MI ZACATECAS IS MOVING Eater reported that Oakland’s sole Zacatecan restaurant, Mi Zacatecas, will soon relocate to a larger spot. After two years at a mostly take-out operation at 9896 MacArthur Blvd. in East Oakland, Cecilia Chairez will move her taqueria that specializes in Zacatecan-style grilled gorditas, to a space a couple of miles north of it, at 6603 Bancroft Ave. According to Eater, Chairez decided to move because her landlord increased her rent to nearly double when her lease came to an end in June. But, the happy news is that the new space is not only bigger with an actual dining room, but in a busier area, near more retail and restaurants. Expect Mi Zacatecas to relocate in the next month.