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Diablo Dish: Nyum Bai Honored by Bon Appétit

The Foundry in Walnut Creek is slowly moving forward; learn to make paella at Telefèric Barcelona; celebrate Drake’s Brewing Co.’s 29th birthday; The Alice Collective opens in downtown Oakland; and more Dish.


La Cocina/Haley Maddox

Nyum Bai Hits the Big Time

Bon Appétit doesn’t hand out awards and recognitions to just anybody, so when Oakland’s Nyum Bai earned the No. 5 spot on the magazine’s “Hot Ten” list of America’s best new restaurants, it definitely qualifies as big news.

Located in the Fruitvale Public Market near the Fruitvale BART station, Nyum Bai serves modern Cambodian street food with a dash of ’60s Khmer rock ’n’ roll added for spice.

The menu offers a variety of traditional dishes made with local and organic ingredients that highlight flavors from chef Nite Yun’s childhood. Noodle and rice dishes, served with seasoned meats and fresh veggies, dominate the menu.

And while you’re there, you can also check out Reem’s California down the street—another nationally recognized East Bay restaurant.


The Foundry Moves Forward in Walnut Creek

The wheels of the gods grind slowly, as the old saying goes, but getting an innovative development approved and built in a California city takes the patience of Job (to mangle a couple of proverbs).

Local developer Brian Hirahara’s The Foundry—which will house an upscale food hall near Va de Vi (another of his ventures)—took a big step forward when it received Walnut Creek City Council building approval recently. Even though the project has been in the works for at least two years, don’t expect to be eating there until 2020.

Hirahara, however, knows what it takes to get things done in Walnut Creek (he’s also had a hand in Telefèric Barcelona and Rooftop) and will stay the course.


Want to Make Paella? Watch and Learn at Telefèric Barcelona Tuesday

Chef Oscar Cabezas learned his trade in Spain, and now the Barcelona native will share the secrets of preparing both paella and sangria at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 28, at Telefèric Barcelona in downtown Walnut Creek.

At this culinary master class (which costs $75), participants not only create and sip their own sangria but also help make the paella, then sit down to enjoy the fruits of their labor. After all that work, though, it’s only fair that dessert won’t require any extra effort.


Drake's Brewing Co.

Drake’s Brewing Co. Turns 29 and Throws a Free Celebration

Well, it’s free if you don’t drink any beer or buy an event glass—but why would you head to San Leandro from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, August 25, otherwise?

Those who do decide to lay out some cash (including those who opt for pre-paid Party On and Inner Circle VIP packages) will get a first taste of Drake’s new brews: Brut Rosé—a new single-batch release—and Quint, a rich, tart Belgian Quintuple at 14.5% ABV (please don’t ask for a translation).

There will also be more than 25 Drake’s brews on tap, including rare beers from Drake’s Advanced Oak barrel-aged series, plus several food options and live music. Beer tickets are $2.50 for eight-ounce, non-barrel-aged brews, though it takes two tickets for a four-ounce barrel-aged pour.


She Really Said, Qu'ils Mangent de la Brioche”

The “she” is Marie Antoinette, and no, she didn’t say, “Let them eat cake.” She actually preferred that the peasants ate brioche.

To help clarify that historically confusing phrase—as well as the difference between cake and the wonderfully enriched bread that is brioche—Local Food Adventures is teaming up with Lafayette’s Town Hall Theatre Co. to offer a tour of the 100-year-old theater; a preview of the company’s upcoming production, The Revolutionists; and a brioche-tasting challenge involving three Lafayette eateries, Yankee PierAmerican Kitchen, and Locanda Positano.

The event, which takes place 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on August 25, includes a four-course tasting and costs $55.


The Alice Collective Comes to Downtown Oakland

The Holmes Book Company building was a landmark on Harrison and 14th streets until 1995, but now the classic old structure has been repurposed into a dual food court and community gathering space known as The Alice Collective.

The space is anchored by an upstairs café (open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.), which serves Red Bay coffee and employs talented chefs who make beautiful pastries and delicious lunches. Designed as an event venue, The Alice Collective also houses a commissary kitchen, which will serve as a culinary incubator for local food businesses.


Noodle Theory

Noodle Theory Now Open in Moraga

The third iteration of Noodle Theory—the other two are in Rockridge and Emeryville—has opened in the Rheem Valley Shopping Center, according to Beyond the Creek.

Why Moraga? Chef Louis Kao lives there, and you can find his Asian-fusion menu just a couple doors down from Nation’s.


La Cocina Signs Up for Two Semesters at Cal

La Cocina, a San Francisco–based incubator promoting food businesses owned by women and people of color, has graduated from a one-month pop-up at UC Berkeley’s ASUC Student Union to a full-time campus fixture.

Five of its vendors—Old Damascus Far, A Girl Named Pinky, Noodle Girl, Pinky and Red’s, and El Mesón de Violeta—will dish out a wide variety of foods to students and visitors.


Shakespeare Comes to Berkeley’s Homemade Cafe

OK, not really. But this month’s pop-up dinner (on Friday, August 24) is called A Late-Summer Night’s Dream and features such Bard-themed dishes as Titania’s Tidbit (sweet corn soup) and Puck’s Plate (mozzarella and tomatoes).

The cost for the 6 or 8:30 p.m. seatings at the eatery—located on Sacramento Street and Dwight Way—is $85, plus an optional wine pairing for $24.


Livermore’s Last Word Has a New Look and a New Menu

After a quick remodel, The Last Word gastropub has remade itself into a Cali-Cuban bar with a menu that reflects the change. But don’t get too settled, as owner Rick Dobbs plans to change the theme (and menu) every six months.

So hurry on down to Bankhead Plaza (right behind Paxti’s Pizza) or you might miss out.

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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