To that end, Community Foods customers using SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) can receive a 50% discount on qualifying fruits and vegetables owing to a partnership with Market Match, a statewide program administered by the Berkeley Ecology Center.
Community Foods will also partner with Fresh Life Foundation as a programmatic arm of the store, providing health services like diabetes screening, nutrition and dietary counseling, and asthmatic-related services for children and seniors. Ahmadi has also begun talks with Children’s Hospital Oakland and LifeLong Medical Care about making even more health services available in store.
There will also be a prepared foods section and a neighborhood café called The Front Porch, which will open one hour earlier and close one hour later than the grocery store. The Front Porch will function as both café and venue, with live music, guest speakers, movie showings and an array of events paired with dinner programs.
It’s also the most visually stunning fast-casual restaurant I’ve seen in the Bay Area, with high ceilings, a marble-topped bar, modern light fixtures that resemble matcha tea whisks, intricately patterned tiles, and a sophisticated combination of white, pale wood, and copper. The occasional pop from a brightly colored stool keeps it fun, while a massive, black-and-white photograph of India’s famed Chandni Chowk market nods to Mitra’s roots.
The tamil lamb curry, whether served inside a dosa or ladled on top of rice, was even more explosive in flavor. I adored the richness of the spices and the sweetness from the coconut milk, and the chunks of grass-fed lamb were cooked perfectly.
dosa by DOSA
2301 Broadway, Oakland
Hours: Mon.–Thu. 8 a.m.–9:30 p.m., Fri. 8 a.m.–10 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.–9:30 p.m.
Cash, all major credit cards
Tamil lamb rice bowl … $13.95
Butter chicken dosa … $12.95
Chennai fried chicken … $6.95
Hazelnut fudge … $2.95
Consider one recent lunch crawl: I started at three-month-old Nyum Bai, where chef-owner Nite Yun chronicles her Cambodian heritage through dishes like banana blossom salad jolted with mint and lime and machoo kroeung (water spinach, eggplant, and spare ribs marinated in an intense herb paste, all adrift in tamarind beef broth); Yun’s parents fled the Khmer Rouge’s genocidal rule in the 1970s and eventually settled in California’s Central Valley.
Yun’s restaurant sits yards from Reem’s California, Reem Assil’s bakery with its controversial mural and its wonderful takes on Middle Eastern flatbreads like Lebanese man’oushe. Yun and Assil both received mentorship from La Cocina, a Bay Area nonprofit kitchen incubator that focuses on helping female immigrants launch businesses, and a similar mission can be found in their own approaches. Assil told Eater SF last year that Oakland is “the closest to home that I’ve ever felt as a child of immigrants. As someone who’s struggled to feel like I belonged at home, I want to recreate that for myself and for people.”
After meals at Nyum Bai and Reem’s I drifted a mile west to International Boulevard, Fruitvale’s main thoroughfare; a center of the Mexican-American community for decades, it’s where I hopped from taqueria to taqueria, scarfing down some of the finest tacos in the United States (including one, Taqueria El Paisa@.com, whose chopped-to-order presentation of tongue and tripe and cabeza — cow’s head meat — rivaled the best I’ve had in Tijuana).
OMCA has a similar exhibit called Take Root: Oakland Grows Food on display around Oakland farms, now through January 13, 2019. Description below:
Unearth Oakland’s multi-layered world of food in Take Root: Oakland Grows Food, an exhibition exploring aspects of growing food in Oakland. Enjoy this hands-on exhibition with the entire family to understand what factors determine where, how, why, and what is grown throughout the city. Hear personal stories from farmers and growers within the community, see compelling illustrations and maps, and meet the diverse flavors of Oakland. Learn what motivations Oaklanders have for growing food—including access to healthy and delicious ingredients, environmental and social justice values, or simply the joy of tending a garden. Visitors are invited to share personal stories, explore interactive activities, and gain a deeper understanding of Oakland’s agriculture.
My column this week: How Fernay McPherson (temporarily) set aside her dreams of opening @minniesbells [fried chicken] in the Fillmore, and found near-instant success in an Emeryville food court
You might hit a paywall for the text of the SF Chronicle article but there is an available 12-minute audio clip of interviews of Fernay and her father including a history of the Fillmore District.
The menu reflects current trends, too. While you can certainly still find classic dim sum houses in Hong Kong, the newest and buzziest establishments churn out sausage buns that look like wiener dogs, fish balls transformed into penguins, and bird-shaped pineapple dumplings served in an elegant cage. There are restaurants dedicated to Sanrio characters such as Hello Kitty and Gudetama. (At the Gudetama-themed restaurant, a bao depicting the lazy egg character even barfs up yellow custard when you squeeze its stomach.) It’d be tempting to say it’s a trend driven purely by Instagram, but Hong Kongers’ obsession with cuteness isn’t new. It merely follows in the footsteps — presumably adorable, anthropomorphic, blushing, and giggling footsteps — of Taiwan and Japan. In Japan, kawaii refers specifically to this culture of cuteness that emerged in the 1970s. And Fusion Delight is just one in a fleet of local dim sum restaurants that have taken this cute cue from Hong Kong. In San Francisco, Dragon Beaux dyes its soup dumplings in vivid shades of red, green, and yellow, and Hong Kong Lounge’s shrimp dumplings resemble little bunnies. In Oakland, the new owners of Peony serve steamed buns dressed up like teapots.