Diablo Dish: Gear Up for Oakland Restaurant Week
Tozai Izakaya is open in Walnut Creek; head to the grand opening of Redfield Cider Bar and Bottle Shop in Rockridge; eat khao mun gai at Pleasanton’s Rooster and Rice; Thirsty Bay Tap and Pour debuts in Dublin; and more Dish.
Oakland Restaurant Week Kicks Off Friday
From this Friday, January 11 through Sunday, January 20, more than 100 Oaktown restaurants will participate in the ninth annual Oakland Restaurant Week.
Those restaurants will offer prix fixe lunches and dinners for anywhere from $10 and $20, all the way up to $70, with some spots offering up to a 25 percent discount off regular menu prices. The full list of participating restaurants can be found on Visit Oakland’s site here, where prospective diners can filter their dining options by mealtimes, price, type of food, and region.
Piggybacking on the special culinary week, Local Food Adventures will host a special Old Oakland Progressive Dinner on Tuesday, January 15, which combines a historical walking tour of Old Oakland with noshing on appetizers at Tamarindo Antojeria Mexicana, a main course at Benchmark Oakland, and dessert at Cookiebar Creamery.
Tozai Izakaya Now Open in Walnut Creek
The same folks behind Ramen Hiroshi recently opened Tozai Izakaya on Giammona Drive in Walnut Creek (near Skipolini’s Pizza).
Since izakaya is derived from the Japanese word sakaya, meaning “sake shop,” expect several varieties of smooth Japanese rice wine to accompany what is considered pub food in Japan. The combination of warm sake and hot ramen, among other things, sounds like a great way to fend off the chill of a cold January day, if you ask me.
Lafayette's Yankee Pier Ends Its 10-Year Run
Yankee Pier—part of the Moana Group that also owns Piatti, The Cooperage, Corners Tavern, and others—closed abruptly this week. No explanation was given. The eatery specialized in seafood, and was on an increasingly crowded restaurant row on Mt. Diablo Boulevard.
Rockridge Adds a Cider Bar
Redfield Cider Bar and Bottle Shop will hold its grand opening this weekend (January 12–13) on College Avenue and, not surprisingly, it’s all about the cider.
The Rockridge cider bar derives its name from the Redfield apple: a variety that doesn’t necessarily tickle the taste buds but works perfectly when brewed as a cider. But you can taste it for yourself, as there will be up to 12 different ciders (along with a selection of beer and wine) to try.
A Wall of Beer Opens in Dublin
Actually, it's called Thirsty Bay Tap and Pour, but the beer-focused spot on Iron Horse Parkway is one of the latest examples of the innovative, self-serve operations that are gaining traction.
It works like this: Thirsty customers buy a wristband, tap the wristband on their tap of choice, get charged by the ounce, and enjoy a taster.
Though there are food options (and even wine on tap), the focus is on the wide selection of craft beers, ranging from a variety of IPAs to sours to ciders, and pretty much everything in between.
Sliver Brings Its Pizza Back to Shattuck
With the opening of Sliver’s latest outlet in the Downtown Berkeley Bart Station Plaza, there are once again three dining options for devotees of the high-quality pizza. The other two locations are in Rockridge and on Telegraph, but this one replaces the Center Street Sliver that closed in late 2017.
Khao Mun Gai Comes to Pleasanton
Of course, you knew that khao mun gai is poached chicken (usually served cold) over rice cooked in chicken broth with cilantro and cucumber. But we're betting you didn't know you can now order up a plate in Pleasanton.
Rooster and Rice just opened up its fourth location on Santa Rita Road, and along with the classic Thai street food dish, the spot also offers a veggie version and paleo option.
The Slanted Door in San Ramon Is Finally Open
After much anticipation the latest dining destination, The Slanted Door, is now open in City Center Bishop Ranch. The restaurant, led by chef-owner Charles Phan, is an iteration of the San Francisco Ferry Building location.
Dinners can expect classic mainstays, such as the Slanted Door spring rolls and shaking beef. But Phan has incorporated a smoker into the restaurant’s design and developed new dishes exclusively for the San Ramon eatery. Try the banh nam (a rice dumpling steamed in a banana leaf and topped with crispy pork, dried shrimp, and garlic) and the barbecue pork spare ribs (mesquite-smoked pork ribs bathed in a piquant honey-hoisin sauce).
Cleophus Quealy Partners with Operation Dignity
The San Leandro brewery hosts Saturday Socials every second Saturday of the month to give back to the East Bay community. This month’s beneficiary is Operation Dignity, which fights homelessness in Alameda County by providing shelter, housing, and supportive services.
The event runs from noon to 6 p.m., and for $20, visitors receive a Cleophus Quealy mason jar and two beer tokens—plus a donation to Operation Dignity. Additional tokens are $5.
Walnut Creek’s Telefèric Barcelona Makes Paella Eating Easy
The Mt. Diablo Boulevard Catalan restaurant is giving diners a taste of the iconic seafood and rice specialty for a bargain price Monday through Thursday during January. Those who download a voucher from the website can indulge in paella and a glass of sangria for just $25.