Itani Ramen in Uptown is participating in the late summer edition of Oakland Restaurant Week. The ORW special includes a bowl of ramen and a side of gyoza, as well as a selection of negi chashu mini donburi or small salad and a soft drink for $ 25. Photo: Pete Rosos
Restaurant week Redux
You may recall that Oakland Restaurant Week and Berkeley Restaurant Week happened earlier this year. The annual dining events are hosted by the cities’ tourism organizations and usually take place in January after the holiday season ends – a notoriously slow time of year for the industry. But with COVID-19, that slow time for restaurants has been painfully lengthened – and deepened – in recent months. According to Mark Everton, CEO of Visit Oakland, restaurants are down 30% to 50% of their regular sales, and Nosh has heard of some local restaurateurs who are suffering even worse. Oakland Restaurant Week (now running through September 13) and Berkeley Restaurant Week To-Go (September 15-30) give us foodies the opportunity to visit our favorite local eateries, which offer takeaway, delivery and / or outside eating.
While restaurants cannot offer heavily discounted meals for this event, some locations in Oakland (details on Berkeley to be announced) are offering specials including Pomella, Lukas Taproom, Soi 4, The Star on Grand, Cactus Taqueria, Itani Ramen, Roux and Vine, Bird and Buffalo and the brand new kitchen at Rocky’s Market. For more information, visit the Oakland and Berkeley Restaurant Week websites. Select a few restaurants that you would like to support this month and hope they can all be part of the upcoming Restaurant Weeks.
Lunch is back at the standard rate
The standard rate is open Monday through Friday for lunch with sandwiches and salads. Photo: standard tariff
One of the many things we missed eating during the pandemic: the pop-in. You know when you suddenly feel like it and can reliably stop by your favorite place to satisfy the sudden urge. Nowadays, many restaurants have irregular opening hours or require pre-order take-out, making immersion significantly difficult. We were delighted to hear that last month the walk-up lunch service returned to Standard Fare in West Berkeley. Chef Kelsie Kerr’s casual, California-style café is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and serves sandwiches and salads, as well as drinks and pastries that can be ordered on-site to take away (pre-orders can also be made online).
If you’ve never had a standard fare sandwich, head to Berkeley Kitchens Complex Pronto. Kerr offers a meat and a vegetarian option each day, both served on sliced focaccia and topped with the freshest ingredients it can get. Both options often offer interesting flavor combinations. For example, today’s sandwiches include a roasted sweet potato and black bean puree sandwich with garlic broccolini, white onion with lime, coriander sorrel pesto, and arugula ($ 6.50 half / $ 12.75 whole), and a fried chicken sandwich with lemon cucumber – Salad, aubergine puree, fresh spring onions, aioli and mizuna ($ 6.75 half / $ 13.50 whole). Kerr said she hoped to be open for breakfast and espresso in about a month. Standard Rate, 2701 Eighth St., (in Carleton), Berkeley
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East Brother’s Black is beautiful beer
All proceeds from East Brothers Black is Beautiful Imperial Stout go to the Safe Return Project in Richmond. Photo: East Brother Beer Co.
In May, Richmond’s East Brother Beer Co. launched Pride and Purpose, a Belgian pale ale, to raise money for the Richmond Rapid Response Fund, an initiative helping local people in need during the pandemic. The brewery raised about $ 3,000 for the cause. Last week, East Brother launched a second brew in its “Beers That Series Return”. Black Is Beautiful, an Imperial Stout, is a collaboration with a worldwide brewing community collaboration to raise awareness of racial injustices and raise funds for local funds and legal defenses for black and brown communities. All proceeds from the sale of East Brother’s Black Is Beautiful beer – available for half a pint in the East Brother taproom and for growers to take away – will go to the Safe Return Project (SRP), a Richmond-based organization dedicated to is committed to empowering people who have previously been in prison.
In addition, East Brother is hosting its second series of Pride & Purpose Community Forums. The event will take place online on September 4th at 5:00 p.m. (can be seen on East Brother’s Facebook page) and will include a discussion with the Safe Return Project Executive Director Tamisha Walker Torres and several people who talked to SRP about the Criminal justice system and reintegration into the community of previously incarcerated persons. East Brother Beer, 1001 Canal Blvd., Unit C-2 (on Wharf Street), Richmond
Wilde Brothers Coffee Shop Update
A reader asked us to check-in at the Wilde Brothers Coffee Shop, which is located next to the Grand Lake Theater, which has been closed since March 17th and has been quiet on social media since April. Nosh emailed co-owner Sarah Wilde with some hopeful news: the cafe is planning to reopen, but his return is linked to the theater reopening. “We follow the guidelines of the theater – mainly because we are connected to them,” wrote Wilde. “As soon as the theater can reopen, so will we.” We keep our fingers crossed that both companies can emerge again if it is safe to do so. In the meantime, Wilde Brothers customers can continue to donate to the Wilde Brothers GoFundMe campaign to support the baristas on leave.
Free Third Culture Mochi Donut at 1951 Coffee Company
Photo: 1951 Coffee Company
1951 The last remaining Café of the Coffee Company in Berkeley has a special offer until Sunday. The first 30 customers who purchase a drink will receive a free chocolate mochi donut from Berkeley’s Third Culture Bakery. The café is open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Guests can also pre-order online. 1951 Coffee Company, 2140 Channing Way (near Fulton Street), Berkeley
La Farine on College Avenue is temporarily closed
Over the weekend, La Farine Bakery announced that its location at 6323 College Ave. is temporarily closed “due to possible COVID-19 exposure” among its employees. La Farine said it will disinfect the affected bakery, have team members tested and reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. We hope the staff is safe and healthy and look forward to the bakery reopening soon.
Chef Itztli De La Torre’s Peruvian Ceviche features poached shrimp, burnt avocado, mashed potatoes, tostadita and togarashi. Photo: Itztli De La Torre
Mexican-Terran snacks at Prima Materia
Chef Itztli De La Torre describes himself as “a fun cook trying to make fun and creative pop-ups”. He tries bold flavors from around the world and uses ingredients like morita chilies, jerk spices and miso to create “tapas-like things with new world inspiration”. This Saturday and Sunday the chef will serve so-called Mexican-Terran snacks from 5:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Prima Materia in Temescal Alley. De La Torre describes the food as follows: “Imagine if Dionysus had a setback for Quetzalcoatl in the barrio. “Not sure what that means? Expect Dishes like Peruvian ceviche ($ 16); a refined raw vegan meal with tea-smoked tomatoes, roasted eggplants, paprika bubbles, and stone fruit marinated with herbs and citrus fruits (USD 15); Lamb Meatballs with Harissa Romesco and Roasted Corn and Amaranth ($ 17); and a sausage board with achiote-flavored pork rillete and chimichurri jerky ($ 18). Prima Materia wines go well with food. And yes, social distancing guidelines apply – don’t forget your mask. Prima Materia Tasting Room, 482-B 49th St. (near Telegraph Ave.), Oakland
Coming temescal eats
Jake Decker, an eagle-eyed reader, brought Nosh’s attention to two new restaurants soon to be in Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood. First of all, Marigold Indian Eats, next to Mountain Mikes, has had a sign in the window since the beginning of July that it will be “open soon” at 4860 Telegraph Ave. Nosh couldn’t reach anyone in the store for more details. And at the recently closed KangNam Pho on 4419 Telegraph Ave., an ABC beer and wine note selling application that is slated to open a new restaurant called Izza in that room.
MudLabs socially distant opening party without waste
The zero-waste café and grocery store MudLab (and its non-profit, zero-waste advisory wing, For Here, Please) is celebrating its new dig at the former Perch Cafe, which opened at Adams Point earlier this summer, with a socially distant opening party. The celebration will take place in two locations – the Café on Grand Avenue and the Empowerment Park across the street – on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit the park to get a pop-up from the Re-Up Refill Shop and music while you’re in the cafe. Much more waste-free food and drink is on offer here, including Proyecto Diaz coffee drinks, two flavors of ice cream (guava and salted caramel) by Koolfi Creamery and much more. MudLab, 440 Grand Ave. (on Bellevue Avenue) Oakland; Empowerment Park, 462 Bellevue Ave. (on Grand Avenue), Oakland
Joanna Della Penna contributed to the coverage.
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