Chez Panisse sandwiches; Lion Dance Cafe finds a home; Temescal Brewing Beer-O-Mat

Plus, stone-fired pizzas at Honor; Korean barbecue home delivery from Mama Cho’s and more East Bay food news.

The Chez Panisse BLT sits on a plate with a plate of potato chips and a glas of water and carafe in the background on a blue and white checker tablecloth. Photo: Chez Panisse
Chez Panisse now offers sandwiches and other menu items for takeout on Fridays, in addition to their weekly Sunday offerings. This is the Chez Panisse BLT and Riverdog Farm Yukon Gold potato chips. Photo: Chez Panisse

Friday sandwiches, more at Chez Panisse

Everybody seems to be making sandwiches these days, and Chez Panisse is one of the recent restaurants to jump on the bready bandwagon. Adding to its Sunday farm box pickup day, Chez now offers an expanded Friday takeout menu, which includes a sandwich of the week, for front patio pickup. This Friday, Chez serves up a BLT sandwich featuring Fatted Calf bacon, heirloom tomatoes, basil mayonnaise and rocket (Perhaps it should be called a BRT, then?) on Acme Pizza Bianca for $15. The vegetarian sandwich option comes with heirloom tomatoes, basil pesto, rocket and Belfiore mozzarella. Other menu items include housemade Riverdog Farm Yukon Gold potato chips ($5), a sweet pepper and tomato bisque ($15), Frog Hollow Flavor King pluots ($2 each), a whole roasted chicken with herbs and Acme baguette ($45), several beers and bottles of wine, and lots more. The catch? You have to order on Tuesdays — Chez Panisse’s online marketplace opens at noon, and items sell out quickly — for pickup from noon to 3 p.m. Fridays. So, too late this week for sandwiches, but set an alarm for noon next Tuesday to get first dibs on next Friday’s eats. Chez Panisse, 1517 Shattuck Ave. (near Vine Street) Berkeley 

Lion Dance Cafe lands an Uptown Oakland spot

Marie Chia and Shane Stanbridge of Chinese-Singaporean — and sometimes Italian-inflected — pop-up S+M Vegan announced this week that they’ve signed the lease on a space for their anticipated brick-and-mortar restaurant. Lion Dance Cafe will be at 380 17th St. in Oakland, the former home of Liba, the popular falafel salad spot run by Gail Lillian, who closed her business this June after 11 years due to financial strains from the pandemic. Chia and Stanbridge respectfully tipped a hat to Lillian in their Instagram announcement: “Gail’s long-standing eatery will be missed, and we are honored to continue her legacy of cooking vibrant vegan dishes in the space.”

The duo will be launching a Kickstarter campaign in the coming weeks to help them set up Lion Dance Cafe, which they aim to open in September — pending permitting and inspections. For now, they’ll continue to operate as the S+M Vegan pop-up, hawking tasty, meat-free eats — including their popular shaobing sandwich — as takeout. Stay tuned on Instagram for their next takeout location.

Temescal Brewing Beer-O-Mat

The new socially distanced beer garden at Temescal Brewing. Photo: Temescal Brewing
The new socially distanced beer garden at Temescal Brewing. Photo: Temescal Brewing

Temescal Brewing’s big, inviting outdoor beer garden has recently reopened with new touchless features for the shelter-in-place era. Guests who want to sip suds outside can make advanced reservations for a seat at a socially distanced table. (NB: walk-ins are OK too, but space is limited. Six guests max per table, and no kids or dogs for now.) Once seated, guests can order beers and Roli Roti eats (carnitas tacos or salad) by phone to pick up at the no-contact “Beer-O-Mat.” As is everywhere, guests must wear masks when not seated at their table and keep at least six feet from others on the patio. As demand can be high, Temescal Brewing is limiting time to 90 minutes per party during peak hours. Temescal Brewing, 4115 Telegraph Ave. (at 42nd Street), Oakland


Cookiebar’s Smish Smash burgers

Smish Smash's Classic smash burgers at Cookiebar Creamy in Oakland. Photo: Smish Smash
Smish Smash’s Classic burgers at Cookiebar Creamery in Oakland. Photo: Smish Smash

Old Oakland’s Cookiebar Creamery started making smash burgers — a burger where the patty is flattened thin on a griddle til its crispy, almost lacy — this spring under the name Smish Smash. We’re big fans of Cookiebar’s ice cream and cookies, so we’re excited by this new-ish venture. Along with the Classic (onion, pickles, ketchup and mustard, $9), Smish Smash’s menu features a Signature burger ( grilled onions, pickles and special sauce, $9.50); a Diner burger (a patty of bacon, onion, lettuce, tomato and house sauce, $11.50), C.S. (organic fried chicken, dill and house sauce, $10.75), and a weekly special burger. All burgers come with two smashed patties and all sandwiches are served on Martin’s Famous potato rolls. Sides include regular and waffle cut fries priced at $4 each.  Smish Smash is open 5-9 p.m., Thursday through Sunday at Cookiebar, 517 Eighth St., (at near Washington), Oakland

‘Dine 3 Times’ in downtown Berkeley

Downtown Berkeley restaurants have a challenge for you: Eat three meals at three different downtown restaurants by Aug. 30. Sounds easy enough, right? Those who meet the requirements will get a one of these day-glo COVID-themed safety posters and be entered to win a $50 gift certificate for a meal for two at one of these eateries. Check the website for more details on how to participate.

New stone-fire pizza oven at Honor

Three pizzas — pepperoni, mushroom and Margherita — sit on a table on the outdoor patio of Honor Kitchen and Cocktails in Emeryville.
New selection of pizzas at Honor Kitchen and Cocktails in Emeryville. Photo: Honor Kitchen and Cocktails

Over in Emeryville, Honor Kitchen & Cocktails is firing up its new stone-fired pizza oven, baking up a variety of 12″ pies, including the classic Margherita, Zoe’s Pepperoni, Sweet Fennel Sausage, Funghi Misti and Potato and Serrano Ham. Pizzas are $17-21, and are available for pickup, delivery and to eat on-site on the outdoor patio. Honor Kitchen & Cocktails, 1411 Powell St. (at Hollis Street), Emeryville

Castro Valley food news

Castro Valley is a little outside Nosh’s regular beat, but we got two tasty tidbits about noteworthy spots there.

First, Castro Valley Marketplace, a new artisanal market hall has finally opened its doors. Last June, when Nosh spoke to Craig Semmelmeyer, one of the marketplace partners, he had an October 2019 opening in mind, but that got pushed back to July 10. So far, just three tenants are in place at the 39,000-square-foot food-focused venue: Castro Valley Natural Grocery, Baron’s Quality Meats & Seafood and Seven Hills Baking Co. Others to come will include a third location for Oaktown Spice Shop, a second spot for Berkeley’s Akemi Japanese Cuisine, Cannery Kitchen & Tap, an olive oil store from Amphora Nueva and many others. Castro Valley Marketplace, 3295 Castro Valley Blvd., Castro Valley


The Cho family, who operate Mama Cho's Homestyle Korean BBQ and C&H Meat Company in Castro Valley. Photo: Mama Cho's
The Cho family operates Mama Cho’s Homestyle Korean BBQ and C&H Meat Company in Castro Valley. Mama Cho’s now offers limited delivery of Korean barbecue meats and banchan to five Bay Area counties. Photo: Mama Cho’s

Mama Cho‘s, a Korean specialty store and catering company in Castro Valley, is now expanding its reach, offering online orders for home delivery to five counties, including Friday delivery to Alameda County and Contra Costa County. The 10-year-old family-run business is part of C&H Meat Company, a wholesale and retail butcher shop the Cho family also operates at the same location. Mama Cho’s specializes in Korean-style cuts of meat, including marinated and unseasoned meats, like LA kalbi, bulgogi and Oakland kalbi, its signature cut named after the city where the Chos first lived upon immigrating from Seoul, Korea. Besides KBBQ, Mama Cho’s online offerings include jars of kimchi, ssamjang paste and a few prepared banchan to complete your KBBQ feast at home. Note, orders must be received by 4 p.m. the previous day, and there is a $75 order minimum for delivery. Mama Cho’s Homestyle Korean BBQ, 18911 Lake Chabot Rd. (near Huber Drive), Castro Valley 

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