2021 California Food Journalism and News [SF Bay Area, Los Angeles, the rest of California and Northern Nevada]

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Coming soon!!! Black Heritage Restaurant located in Temescal
375 40th St. Oakland Ca 94609



Just four restaurants on the top 50 list are run by female chefs. There’s only one restaurant from mainland China and no restaurants from the Middle East or India.

Don Blanc, open every day 5pm to 2am, 4390 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. 510.350.8704. www.donblanc.com

You can choose to barbecue the small intestine, the large intestine or the abomasum. Or you can be as predictable as I was and order from the list of pork barbecue—the ribs and shoulder butt. Don Blanc opened this summer in the Koryo Plaza, smack-dab in the middle of a Temescal I no longer recognize.

The 2021 Oakland Dia de los Muertos will take place on Sunday, October 31st from 10 am to 5 pm on International Blvd between Fruitvale Avenue and 42nd Avenue.


Glad to see that Roux40 is coming in to fill the old Hog’s Apothecary-turned-Magpie space. Now I’m really sorry that my chorus isn’t rehearsing in the area anymore.

The Tonga Room, located in the Fairmont Hotel, has reopened after being closed for 16 months. It originally opened in 1945. Thursday - Sunday from 5 pm

950 Mason Street,
San Francisco, CA 94108


Anthony Bourdain has called Tonga Room “…the greatest place in the history of the world” ( Travel Channel’s The Layover ).

For a different take on the tiki bar, here is a link to Sarah Burke, formerly of the East Bay Express and SFMOMA online, and her column from 2017, Abolish the Tiki Bar:

Umami Mart
4027 Broadway (near 40th Street), Oakland

Luke -

… For food lovers who aren’t familiar with the neighborhood, the block party will be a great opportunity to try several of the area’s most exciting restaurants at once. La Guerrera’s Kitchen, which is moving into the former Cosecha space inside Swan’s, will be on hand not only to sell its signature tamales but also several new specials, including a torta de chicharron en salsa verde and a torta de chilaquiles roja (yes, a chilaquiles sandwich ). Dela Curo, another relative newcomer, will be selling its signature omucurry—Japanese black curry and rice cradled inside an airy omelet—for a discounted price. Meanwhile, neighborhood staples like Annapurna, Sincere Seafood and Yammy’s Cafe will be out on the street slinging Kashmiri lamb rogan josh, sashimi and Ethiopian chicken doro tibs, respectively.

Old Oakland Celebrates takes place on Saturday, Oct. 9, from noon–6pm throughout Old Oakland (from Broadway to Clay Street between 10th and 7th avenues), with many of the outdoor food options concentrated in the area around Swan’s Market (538 9th St.).

Since you guys apparently have no sense of humor, I’m linking to another Tonga Room video:

By Patricia I. Escárcega, formerly of the LA Times, published in The Counter, whose managing editor is Jesse Hirsch, formerly of the East Bay Express -


“I love to see more people writing about food and what’s happening in their town, and what it means to them,” he said. “If that’s a newspaper, great. If YouTube becomes the place where people go to talk about food, or TikTok—the next great restaurant reviewer could be on that medium.”

Gov. Newsom press conference at Kingston 11 on Telegraph in Uptown Oakland:

Not necessarily food related but Oaklandside/Berkelyside are doing some good work:



You could look to Oakland, California, where the East Bay Times laid off 20 people one week after the paper won a Pulitzer. Or to nearby Monterey, where the former Herald reporter Julie Reynolds says staffers were pushed to stop writing investigative features so they could produce multiple stories a day.

But maybe the clearest illustration is in Vallejo, California, a city of about 120,000 people 30 miles north of San Francisco.

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Arizmendi Bakery in Emeryville has expanded its hours starting this month to Wednesday through Sunday from 7 am - 7 pm. The worker-owned cooperative often has 1/2-price day-old specialty whole pizzas for about $10.50 available in the mornings. There is a 10% discount for seniors. Dining is outside only. Pizza service starts at 10:30 am. and there are vegan and take-and-bake versions.

The Friday daily breads are braided challah and walnut gorgonzola.

Arizmendi Bakery
4301 San Pablo Avenue (at 43rd Street)
Emeryville, California 94608

tel: (510) 547-0550
email arizmendieville@gmail.com

Arizmendi is located on San Pablo Ave. near the Oaks Card Club, open 24 hours, with a hofbrau.

There is plenty of nearby public transportation: the free Emery-Go-Round shuttle connecting to the MacArthur BART station, AC Transit line 72 on San Pablo Av, connecting to downtown Oakland and West Berkeley, and AC Transit Transbay line F connecting to San Francisco.

preorder pizza online -



These three short video clips were taken at about 7:30 am yesterday when I picked up a cold, day-old baby kale/roasted potato/onion/cheese whole pizza. I like cold pizza for breakfast.

Me too! Nice tip - I didn’t know Arizmendi sold discounted day old pizzas.

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The Fung Bros. visit Tasty Pot in Milpitas CA which features individual Taiwanese hot pot. This is a sponsored video by Tasty Pot but I thought that there was still enough content to make it worthwhile while keeping the sponsorship in mind

Tasty Pot

222 Barber Ct,
Milpitas, CA 95035, USA

(408) 922-0722


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Luke at the end of this first installment of the series:

The truth is that every Bay Area food city worth its salt is an immigrant food city at its heart: Richmond, Hayward, Fremont, Millbrae, Daly City, Santa Clara. All my favorites. All mostly overlooked in conversations about great Bay Area dining destinations. Every last one of them a treasure trove of immigrant mom-and-pops—Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Mexican, Salvadoran, Samoan and so much more. San Jose might be the greatest and most varied among these hubs, but it isn’t unique.

The truth is that the past, present and future of what’s best about eating in the Bay Area isn’t fine dining or California cuisine. It’s all of these immigrant food communities. That’s the legacy that needs to be preserved. That’s what makes San Jose such a special place.

Luke Tsai



We’ll be posting a new essay, feature, or guide every day for the next two weeks—about the city’s amazing Vietnamese, Mexican, and Ethiopian restaurants and more. I am SO excited for you to see the lineup of writers who contributed.


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Not really sure if this is the right place for this, but I’ll put it here fir now…

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This is Part 3 of 8 parts -

KQED’s San Jose: The Bay Area’s Great Immigrant Food City is a series of stories exploring San Jose’s wonderfully diverse immigrant food scene. A new installment will post each weekday from Oct. 20–29.

with photos by Andrea Lo who worked with Luke Tsai when he was at the East Bay Express and has contributed to National Geographic and the Chinatown Pretty project


There’s a GO thread if you want to put it there: 2021 Grocery Outlet [California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, other Western States] - #87 by brisket44.

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Arizmendi Bakery in Emeryville at about 7:20 am on a rainy Friday morning. I ordered the Egg in a Hole ($4) and a day-old pizza ($10.50). There was no line. The Egg in a Hole was made fresh, took about 5 minutes to bake and came out hot from the oven. There are three wooden benches and two small tables outside next to the bakery. The Egg in a Hole had crusty cheese on the outside with sliced potato and leek on top with soft, dense sourdough innards to the bun. Delicious. The day-old pizza was chilled with cheese, potato and leek on a sourdough crust wrapped in cellophane.

Arizmendi Bakery
4301 San Pablo Avenue (at 43rd Street)
Emeryville, California 94608

tel: (510) 547-0550
email arizmendieville@gmail.com

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Yes, I thought about that too, thanks :blush:

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A few days late on this, but the first mention I’ve seen of Chef Geoffrey Deetz since he closed his closed his well-regarded Vietnamese restaurant Temple Club on International Blvd. in East Oakland over 2 years ago.


Le Colonial in San Francisco will host a New Moon Chef Tasting Dinner from Executive Chef Geoffrey Deetz on Tuesday, October 19 with service from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. This four-course meal priced at $55.00 per person with an additional $45.00 per person wine pairing is inspired by the New Moon when families in Vietnam gather outside to enjoy the cooler fall weather. Chef Deetz’s experience in Vietnam afforded him the opportunity to appreciate the food and fun that the Vietnamese have during this time of year.

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Making noodles. Phongdien Town, Cantho City, Southern Vietnam.
Credit: CiaoHo