Oakland restaurant news and notes 2016-17

A post for happenings in Oakland

Chef Uong just moved over to Calavera as exec chef.

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Yup, heard that. It takes a while for her to get full control of the kitchen (our experiences at both Pican and Revival under her reign), so we plan to go in about 3-4 months from now. She runs a tight ship which is good, and it takes a while for the consistency from line cooks to be even.

One thing that was very noticeable about Revival: I have always disliked Revival’s layout and the way it encourages waitstaff to hang around at the back by the kitchen window. Especially the male waiters, they were careless about attending their tables and walking the rounds. On one notable occasion two years ago (long before Uong took the temporary gig) it was the hostess filling our water glasses because the waiter was MIA most of the time.

As chef Uong began to take control of the kitchen, I noticed the waitstaff was doing less hanging around the back and chatting for minutes on end, because she didn’t let her cooks pay more attention to talking with co-workers rather than attending to the food!

It will be interesting to see how Revival does both service- and food-wise with Uong’s departure. Weekend brunch, which was announced just before she left, has been canceled.

I’ve liked what came out from the kitchen pre-Sophina, in general more than closest competitor, Comal. I’ll be curious to see if the menu changes or how existing dishes change. I like Zimmern’ing guests who can’t place the crunch in their excellent guacamole – chapulines – grasshoppers.

LocoL, the Roy Choi- Daniel Patterson fast food joint, opens today in Oakland. Seems rather cheap nowadays even for fastfood…?!

Ugggh! A short while after Pal’s closes, now Stag’s too?!?!

On the positive side, Cookiebar Creamery opened somewhat recently in Old Oakland and their ice cream is excellent, not quite but close to BiRite caliber, and not too sweet. Their oreo cookie cookie is also delicious and reminds me of the one I used to get at the coffee shop diagonal from the 4th st Caltrain station, maybe it was called creamery?

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A friend points us to the new-ish downstairs menu at Olivetto.

http://www.oliveto.com/wp-content/uploads/cafemenu.pdf

Roasted meats with two sides, $19. All pizzas under $13.50. Looks good.

It had escaped my attention before, but when I stopped in Stag’s today I learned Dogwood and The Lodge, though she described them as not as food focused, being bars.


Though neither is probably very helpful if you’re looking for a lunch sandwich while working in downtown Oakland.

On a separate note, I stopped by Firebrand/former Pal’s the other day to pick up a loaf of bread and they’ve consolidated their employees/pastry case to one side, and the new menu. I was just there for a loaf of rye, but the lobster roll mentioned here is definitely still on the menu.

Checked out breakfast sausage and egg sandwich today. It was on the salty side for me. Was good enough to warrant returning to try other items, but would rather have Pal’s instead.

Again, just over the Oakland border, but tablehopper reports that Yuzu ramen and broffee has opened in Emeryville (65th and Hollis) with pork, beef, and vegetable broth ramens. The “broffee” is for those who think bone broth isn’t annoying enough to say.

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I noticed that Firebrand has some lunch items now at the Old Town Oakland Farmer’s Market on Fridays … I saw the lobster roll last Friday.

This thread is inspired by ernie in berkeley’s “Berkeley: random news and notes” and is for general Oakland topics for items that don’t warrant their own thread.

SF Chronicle: West Oakland’s Dock restaurant prepares for closure, overhaul [to reopen in early 2017]

http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Oakland-s-Dock-restaurant-prepares-for-closure-9187025.php#photo-10833076

Following service next Saturday, the Dock will close for a major overhaul as Syhabout, known for his other restaurants, Commis and Hawker Fare, plans to reopen the restaurant in early 2017, along with a new partner, Adam Lamoreaux, who had co-founded the brewery in 2009. (The Beer Shed, a smaller adjoining tasting room with a limited bar menu, will remain open during the renovation.)
…
According to Lamoreaux, Linden Street Brewery will be leaving the premises at the end of the year to move to a new location. The brewery did not return calls.

Great idea for a thread.

I just checked what’s new on Yalp and (despite being just over the border in San Leandro, the most interesting to me is Noodles Pho Me


a Lao operation serving a limited menu http://noodlesphome.weebly.com/menu.html for now.

This thread already exists.

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Sorry, didn’t remember seeing the original Oakland thread. I’ll ask the moderator to merge it or append it with the earlier thread.

Does anyone know if Siem Reap Sandwich Shop on International Boulevard serve Cambodian sandwiches? How is it different from banh mi if there is such a thing as a Cambodian sandwich?

I’ve never been to Cambodia, so I really don’t know, but I assume you’ve seen the post here.


When I was there they were using green papaya in lieu of the Vietnamese pickled daikon, but it seems like they are now using cabbage slaw. They also used a chili-spiced mayo. And the fillings weren’t more Cambodian than an imitation of traditional Vietnamese fillings.

The Cambodian places listed here http://www.movetocambodia.com/phnom-penh/cambodian-sandwich-face-off-nompang-versus-banh-mi-bros/ seem to share more in common with Vietnamese meat fillings, including the classic deli meats version.

The NYC version http://www.numpangnyc.com/menus/ shares use of chili mayo and lack of daikon with Siem Reap.

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Oh, I missed that post. Thanks!

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This is an Oakland tidbit, not really news, but I had the meatball sandwich recently at Hen House in Swan’s Market and it was delicious.

Also I tried Core Kitchen in the Oakland City Center Plaza and it was not bad for being a vegan no salt no sugar kind of place. A decent option if you need lots of veggies fast. I had their kale salad and also their pad thai zucchini noodles. The pad thai was the better of the two and tastes more like spring roll filling than pad thai.

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Sakura Bistro- Tapas and Sake Bar had a soft opening on October 15 and will be open for lunch only until a grand opening on November 12th.

It’s located in Oakland Chinatown in the Pacific Renaissance Plaza next to Peony Seafood on the second floor. I haven’t tried it yet but here are some photos I took on October 17 of the restaurant and the Plaza.

Looking at the menu, the “tapas” include poki salad and tataki. tempura skewers of kabocha squash and kushiyaki of yakitori and beef wrapped in bacon.

A quick search revealed that there are other restaurants in the Bay Area named “Sakura” but I didn’t see any indication that the Oakland site was connected to any other bistro.

The photos were taken with an Olympus XZ-1 compact camera, 10 MP, f1.8 lens and 28mm-102mm zoom with panorama, double exposure and art filter features.

The slideshow was done in ProShow Web slideshow software from Photodex. Some post processing of the photos was done with PicMonkey editor in SmugMug.

Sakura Bistro
388 9th Street Suite 268
Oakland CA

http://show-vid.com/view/x24xw2x4

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

― Jonathan Gold