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Diablo Dish: Reem’s Dubbed a Restaurant of the Year by Food & Wine

Plāyt in Hayward is dishing up Southern food; Pacific Catch’s Walnut Creek opening is right around the corner; Uptown’s Roam Artisan Burger set to open; Prix fixe dining now available at CDP; and more Dish.


Eric Wolfinger

Food & Wine Names Reem’s in Oakland a Restaurant of the Year

And that’s not a local award. Restaurant Editor Jordana Rothman of Food & Wine magazine traveled all over the country to come up with her 10 Restaurants of the Year 2018, and Oakland’s Reem’s California is on the list.

Reem Assil focuses on Syrian-Palestinian food at her place near the Fruitvale BART station—which is rapidly becoming a foodie hub—and she has slowly grown her business from a farmers market stand to a nationally recognized restaurant.

The menu is filled with Arabic and Middle Eastern specialties, which are currently offered for breakfast and lunch only. Though dinner service is promised soon, Assil’s efforts in the kitchen for just two meals a day were enough to get her national recognition, and of course, a growing local clientele.


Go a Little Southern and a Little Sideways in Hayward

What does that mean exactly? You’ll just have to check out Hayward’s Plāyt (located on B Street near Foothill Boulevard) to find out for sure, but those who liked what Michael LeBlanc did at Picán in Oakland will likely be willing to make the drive to the home of Cal State East Bay.

The menu references Cajun, creole, and Gullah influences, with an emphasis on locally sourced and sustainable ingredients that reflect the slow-food philosophy. Along with craft cocktails, specialties include Sideways shrimp and grits, Southern fried chicken, and gouda-based mac ‘n’ cheese. (There are also gluten free and vegetarian options.)


Pacific Catch

Pacific Catch Getting Closer in Walnut Creek

It looks like mid-May is the projected opening of the seafood and fish specialist on South Main Street (just across from Stanford’s Restaurant and Bar), but to whet your appetite a bit, expect Pacific Catch menu items like a Clean Catch salmon bowl (with quinoa, brown rice, avocado, and roasted cauliflower), poke, sushi, tacos, and fish and chips.

And don’t forget the full bar …


Michel Bistro Bids Adieu

The farewell party for Oakland’s Michel Bistro is Saturday, April 14, as the French restaurant will soon be transformed into Bardo Lounge and Supper Club.

The owners of Michel will soon open their new venture, which will host a happy hour, dinner, late-night bites, and brunch—as the goal is to offer customers the feel of a 1960s-era dinner party. That means such iconic dishes as shrimp cocktail, meat loaf sliders, and deviled eggs alongside contemporary California cuisine.

In the meantime, there are just a few days left to enjoy the old Michel Bistro and its classic French vibe. 


Kassie Borreson

Roam Opens Soon in Uptown Oakland

The fifth Roam Artisan Burger location is set to open on Telegraph Avenue in early May (maybe even late April), bringing its environmentally conscious approach to hamburgers—as well as everything on its menu—to Oakland.

Those who’ve visited the Lafayette restaurant (or the two in San Francisco or one in San Mateo) are familiar with the build-your-own-burger drill as well as the milkshakes, craft beer, wine, salad, and maybe even veggie burgers on offer.


Vanessa Yap-Einbund


Can’t Get into Commis? CDP Now Offers Full Meals

CDP, situated right next to Michelin-starred Commis, was originally intended to be a lounge with wine, cocktails, and bar bites only (elevated though they may be)—but it has moved into new territory.

Chef James Syhabout will offer 14 diners a four-course, prix-fixe meal centered around a shared main course of aged beef—thus the name Cote de Boeuf Supper—at $65 per person.

Naturally, reservations will be required, and it might make sense to get that done ASAP, as the price and limited seating will make arranging a meal just as difficult as it is at Commis.



Pleasant Hill’s Black Angus Gone for Good

After closing last summer, a cone of silence descended around the fate of the Black Angus on North Main Street, but now it has been revealed that developers want to demolish the building and put up a four-story hotel on the site.

The plan just started wending its way through the city’s approval process, but the likelihood of the popular restaurant reopening is about the same as the chance that the Warriors will abandon the move to San Francisco.


Lunacy at Luna Tea On Friday the Thirteenth, Of Course

One way to handle Friday the 13th is to laugh at it, and that’s exactly what will happen at Livermore’s Luna Tea Co. when six comics and 25 guests get together for the Mother F’n Tea Party.

Tickets cost $20 (with a two-drink minimum, though tea drinks definitely count), and since Luna Tea will be closed to the public on Friday, it’s a necessity to get your tickets in advance.

And if a black cat crosses your path, bring him or her along …

Got Dish? Send an email to dish@maildiablo.com. Or follow me on Twitter @DiabloDish.

Happy Hour Bar & Bites at
The Cooperage

Monday through Friday
3pm – 5:30pm


This isn’t your typical happy hour. This quintessential neighborhood spot offers high-quality craft cocktails on tap and tasty bites. Menu features: $10 cocktails on tap, $5 select beer & wine, $1 oysters, $7 bacon cheeseburger sliders, $7 crispy beer battered shrimp sliders, $9 sashimi-grade ahi tuna tartare. 

32 Lafayette Circle, Lafayette
​Reservations: www.thecooperagelafayette.com or 925.298.5915

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