Berkeley: random news and notes

I thought it would be good to have a general Berkeley topic for items that don’t warrant their own.

Lucca Cuccina on San Pablo at Addison is no longer serving lunch. This is sad because they had the best meatball heroes around, and were usually busy.

Venezuela Cafe, across the street, is closed for repairs (as of last Friday).

Not sure if this has been posted yet- Ippudo, the Japanese chain, is opening a ramen restaurant on Shattuck.

Just over the border in Albany – Cafe Eugene has opened on Solano. The menu looks good – though I didn’t know Oregon Toast was a thing!

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I hear they will be bringing Orange Chicken Ramen to the Bay Area.

A true collaboration between Panda Express (who partners with Ippudo) and Ippudo eh. Is that a new thing that the NY Ippudo doesn’t have? It sounds pretty, eh, interesting.

What is an Oregon Toast?

That was sort of my point. It looks like crostini to me – with ingredients including salmon, avocado and “Eugene style” tofu.

Well, it was just a joke about the odd couple. But I still haven’t figured out what good the joint venture does for either company.

Oh duh (forehead smacking)

I have not eaten at Ippudo, but if they can populate quality ramen like they did with Panda Express, I certainly won’t mind.

Cafe Eugene on Solano is now serving brunch, and already the Berkeley brunch scrum found it–the wait was 20 minutes at 12:30 today.

A little further up the street is Suzette, of course a crepe place. They’re open early, 8:00 AM, with most crepes under $10. No lines there today.

A local resident informs me that Suzette has been there for a few years. I guess I noticed it because they had a folding sign on the streetcorner.

$1 happy hour oysters at Nico’s Hideaway, between Peets and Love at First Bites. American/ Italian.

California burrito at Best Coast Burritos just across the border in Emeryville.

Thanks for the heads up on Luca. I hope they’re not going to close; their chicken parm is one of my red-sauce reliables.

I’m not a crepe fan, so I haven’t tried them out, but it’s worth noting that Brittany Crepes opened at 913 University Ave. They serve buckwheat crepes and dessert crepes. They’re at farmers’ markets including Grand Lake.

I had brunch there recently. I thought it was really good. Loved the salmon with an egg, housemade crackers, pickled vegetables etc. I had a bite of the biscuit with housemade jam and that was great, too. I’m going to have to stop going on about the $4 biscuit at Plow in SF, however. The $5 biscuit (okay, $5 for two small ones) has come to Albany.

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And I had lunch at Suzette yesterday. Very pleasant room, and the crepe was great. Most crepes that I’ve ordered in the past at other places were kind of skimpy, but this was just the right size for lunch.

I’m kind of amazed that I never noticed this place before, and that it didn’t come up on Chowhound.

Guacamole 61, the takeout place is now open at the Epicurious Garden.

I had a feeling that the $25 rotisserie chicken place wasn’t going to last long.

Berkeleyside reports that the Meal Ticket people are going to retire and are looking for a buyer for the restaurant, “an energetic buyer who would have the passion to either continue … Meal Ticket or honor its legacy by creating another wonderful restaurant in [its] space”.

Again technically Albany – but I found out last night that Lanesplitter is now closed Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. I went pizza-less rather than resorting to Whole Foods.

As long as I’m griping – after a trip to the post office, I decided to try a softie cone from Boss Burger. Chocolate, vanilla swirl. On the small side. (I guess I’m remembering towering cones from when I was a little kid) Tasty enough but not worth $4. A one time thing for me.

That being the Lanesplitter just south of University on San Pablo, or the Albany take-out location, or is there yet another location I don’t know about ?

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold