Diablo Dish: That’s a Wrap for Oakland’s Camino
New Mexican spot opening in Danville; Beast Mode brand creator and restaurateur Marshawn Lynch opens Rob Ben’s; Martinez’s Bar Cava celebrates turning two; where to eat out on Christmas Eve; and more Dish.
Oakland’s Beloved Camino Says Goodbye
Camino—a trendsetter when it comes to locally sourced ingredients (in fact, if ingredients weren’t available locally, then menu items were simply removed)—is shutting its doors this week, starting with a sold-out dinner on Thursday, December 20, and a cocktail party on Saturday, December 22, at 6 p.m.
Camino will be gone, but owners Russell Moore and Allison Hopelain will still cook nearby at The Kebabery, which, unsurprisingly, features kebabs.
Danville’s Cocina Hermanas to Open After Christmas
There’s always room for more Mexican food, and Cocina Hermanas—run by Darren Matte, who also opened Danville Harvest—will debut the weekend after Christmas on Hartz Avenue where Basil Leaf Cafe used to be. Look for local ingredients and a full bar featuring mezcal and tequila.
Marshawn Lynch Opens Rob Ben’s—But Put Away Your Phone
As Lynch’s football career winds down, he’s taken a step in a new direction with the opening of Rob Ben’s Restaurant and Lounge in Emeryville. The restaurant is in the old Scend’s Restaurant and Bar location (the old eatery was one of Lynch’s favorite restaurants) and is named for his friend Robert Benjamin, who was shot and killed in 2007.
The menu is heavy on seafood, though there are wings, burgers, and salads as well. Note, however, that Lynch wants customers to focus on the food, so cell-phone use is discouraged. And if the 5’11”, 230-pound running back—whose ferocity is defined by his catchphrase “Beast Mode”—wants you to put down your phone, then our suggestion would be to do so immediately and focus on the peach cobbler.
Bar Cava Turns Two, and Everyone Can Celebrate
Before we dive into the holiday calendar, here’s a birthday party to attend at Bar Cava Wine Bar and Eatery.
For $30, celebrants get to savor an around-the-world wine tasting (almost 30 different vinos will be available), plus live music and food. It’s happening at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, December 28, at the restaurant on Martinez’s Main Street.
Make Christmas Eve Easy on Everyone
With the fam coming over Christmas Day, who wants to cook on Christmas Eve? Here are four hassle-free choices:
Yankee Pier: The Lafayette seafood specialist will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. with a limited menu.
Benchmark Oakland: From 5 to 9 p.m., the downtown Oakland spot will feature its regular menu as well as a traditional Italian meal: the Feast of the Seven Fishes.
Copper Spoon: After finishing all the wrapping, head to Temescal’s Copper Spoon, which will be open from 5:30 p.m. to midnight.
Lake Chalet: From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Lake Chalet will offer an $85 four-course prix fixe, plus some of its regular menu items.
Pickings Are a Little Slim on Christmas Day…
Our extensive research did reveal that ZINO in Berkeley will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Christmas Day. The brunch buffet—which includes bottomless mimosas—costs $70 ($27 for children ages 12 and under).
… But There Are Many Ways to Enjoy New Year’s Eve
And not only that; you also get to pick your companions, unlike a lot of holiday gatherings.
Telefèric Barcelona: There will be two dinner seatings (at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.) at the downtown Walnut Creek Spanish restaurant. The prix-fixe menu costs $90, and there will be plenty of sangria to enjoy along with the food.
Yankee Pier: Though you can’t quite make it to midnight at the Lafayette restaurant, it will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., with the Christmas Eve menu available once again.
Postino: The Lafayette spot’s prix fixe costs $100 and is available from 5 to 10 p.m.
The Peasant and The Pear: The Danville outpost of the Rodney Worth empire will serve a four-course prix fixe for $80 from 5 to 11 p.m.
Abstract Table: Downtown Oakland’s artistically inclined Abstract Table will offer a $90 Japanese-themed prix-fixe seating at 7:30 p.m.
Benchmark: Both Benchmarks—there is one in downtown Oakland and one in Kensington (in the Berkeley Hills)—but both will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. The Oakland location will have its regular menu available, plus an $85 four-course prix fixe of traditional Italian dishes. At the Kensington location, there will be Dungeness crab specials in addition to the regular menu.
Plank: Do something different on New Year’s Eve in Jack London Square, and head to Plank, which complements its food and drink with bowling, bocce, and arcade games. The party runs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. and is for folks over 21.