Bites: Malibu’s vegan burgers; Katrina Rozelle closes; Chris Kronner is no longer at Henry’s

Catch up on the latest East Bay food news and events.

The Needy Meaty vegan burger from Malibu's Burgers in Oakland.
The Needy Meaty vegan burger from Malibu’s Burgers in Oakland. Photo: Malibu’s Burgers

MALIBU’S (LAKE)SHORE A new mobile plant-based burger truck is launching this weekend in Oakland. Malibu’s Burgers — from Darren Preston, aka “Danny Malibu;” Natasha Fernández-Perez and Wahid Brown — will set up on Saturday, starting at 11 a.m., by Eastshore Park (across from Lake Merritt) to hawk vegan burgers, sides and milkshakes.

The opening menu will offer four meat-free burgers featuring Impossible and Beyond patties: The Malibu Burger, Needy Meaty, Patti Mayonnaise and Beyond Pressure. The namesake burger is most like a traditional cheeseburger; it comes on a toasted bun topped with an Impossible burger, Follow Your Heart cheese, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions and a Puerto Rican-spiced Thousand Island-style secret sauce called “Mama’s spread.” The Bizerkeley Vegan likens Malibu’s to a “vegan In-N-Out.” Furthering that comparison are the food truck’s “Hella Hella” fries and tater tots, which come loaded “Animal-style” with grilled onions, Mama’s spread and cheese. For its shakes (black vanilla, cookies and cream, strawberry and chocolate), Malibu’s uses Mr. Dewie’s cashew-based ice cream.

Fernández-Perez tells Nosh that Saturday’s grand opening event will go on until Malibu’s sell out, and after a few days break to restock, the truck will make regular appearances at Eastshore Park from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Wednesday through Monday. Malibu’s Burgers, Eastshore Park, 550 El Embarcadero (at Lakeshore Avenue), Oakland

People's Café owner Anson Abdulla stands outside the downtown Berkeley café.
People’s Café owner Anson Abdulla has been transitioning the downtown Berkeley café to a mostly meat-free, zero-waste establishment. Photo: Katrina Lee

G’BYE MEAT Speaking of veg-friendly eats, People’s Café in downtown Berkeley announced this week that it has removed almost all meat products (except lox) from its menu. As recently reported by Nosh, the People’s Café has gradually added more vegan options to its menu under owner Anson Abdulla and partner Rana Chang. Last year, Abdulla and Chang partnered to open a House Kombucha taproom at People’s, and have also been working on Eternal Foods, a zero-waste pantry, which they’ll launch at the café on Feb. 14. People’s Café, 61 Shattuck Sq. (near University Avenue), Berkeley


KRONNER UPDATE As some diners have already noticed, chef Chris Kronner is no longer at Henry’s in Berkeley. We’ve confirmed with a representative for Henry’s that Kronner left the restaurant at the Graduate Berkeley sometime last fall, but we’ve yet to hear from the chef about why he left or what he plans to do next. From his Instagram account, it appears he’s plenty busy with Kronnerburger pop-ups and collaborations in the Bay Area and beyond. As for Henry’s, the restaurant welcomed chef Daniel Westfall and director of food and beverage Peter Houck at the end of last year, and has launched a new menu focusing on American comfort food, including fish and chips, a (non-Kronner) burger, fried chicken sandwich and BBQ plates. Henry’s, 2600 Durant Ave. (at Bowditch Street), Berkeley

A SWEET RETREAT As Nosh reported last October, the Claremont hotel is getting a new café called East Bay Provisions. A recent Claremont Club & Spa newsletter shared that it will open Jan. 22. At the new café, executive chef Arwi Odense and executive pastry chef A.J. Thalakkat will serve a menu of pastries and breads — including baklava croissants, hazelnut cruffins, persimmon vol-au-vent and yuzu blueberry danish — along with coffee, sandwiches and local wines. East Bay Provisions at Claremont Club & Spa41 Tunnel Rd., Berkeley

BAKERY DOWN The Oakland location of Katrina Rozelle Pastries & Desserts closed Dec. 31. A note posted on the door at the Rockridge bakery from owner Katrina Rozelle states that after 33 years in business, she made the “bittersweet decision” to “step back and slow down.” Rozelle opened her eponymous bakery at 5931 College Ave. in 1987, where it became well-known for its impeccable wedding cakes and other celebration and holiday cakes. The bakery’s second location in Alamo will also close; its last day is Jan. 31.

DE LA TORRES 2X We have news of pop-ups from two chefs with the last name de la Torre:


Chef Michael de la Torre’s Mexiterranean Grill pop-up finds inspiration and flavors from Mesoamerica, Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean. For the last two years, he’s been popping up at bars like Woods Bar & Brewery, Starline Social Club and Roses’ Taproom. On Friday, he’ll be serving serving tacos árabe on handmade grilled flatbread at Woods Bar from 5 p.m. until he sells out. De le Torre recently announced this will be his last pop-up in the Bay Area before moving to Coachella Valley, where he grew up. Woods Bar & Brewery, 1701 Telegraph Ave. (at 17th Street), Oakland

In 2018, chef Jonathan de la Torre started Serene, a pop-up restaurant serving vegetarian and pescatarian-focused cuisine. De la Torre was last at Michelin-starred Moroccan restaurant Mourad in San Francisco, so it’s no surprise that Serene focuses on North African flavors through the lens of California fine dining. Last night (Jan. 14), de la Torre hosted a Serene dinner pop-up at Berkeley’s Hidden Café, and he’ll do it again on Jan. 28. The menu features an eggplant terrine with leek, za’atar and muhammara; sumac apple soup with confit mushroom and winter squash; stewed lentils and cabbage with slow baked fish and spiced tomato; and basbousa, a sweet semolina cake. In addition, there’ll be spice-driven drinks concocted by Ryan Haile, who’s the bar manager at Parlour in Oakland. There are two seatings for the Jan. 28 dinner, at 5:30 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $65. Hidden Café, 1250 Addison St. (at Bonar Street), Berkeley 

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SANS ENTOURAGE OK, this might not be as exciting as the sighting of Keanu eating an ice cream in Alameda, but this week, Nido in Oakland shared a photo of actor Adrian Grenier, who recently stopped in to the Jack London warehouse district Mexican restaurant for mezcal margaritas. And this isn’t the only time Nido has had a celebrity visitor — in September, Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor dined on shrimp tacos there. Nido, 444 Oak St. (at Fourth Street), Oakland

Sarah Han is Nosh editor at Berkeleyside. Email: sarah@berkeleyside.com.