Diablo Dish: Calling All Dub Nation Diners
Coffee Shop is opening a new location in The Veranda; get ready for seafood at Walnut Creek’s Pacific Catch; Tacubaya is expanding in Berkeley; Oakland’s Ordinaire wine bar named as one of the best bars in America by Esquire; and more Dish.
Warriors’ Fans Can Congregate in Concord and Oakland
First up, the City of Concord will show Game 4 of the NBA Finals on a big screen in Todos Santos Plaza this Friday (make sure to bring your own blankets and lawn chairs). And to make the viewing even more enjoyable, E.J. Phair Brewing Company and Tower Grille will have special takeout menus, and taco truck fave Canasta Kitchen will also be on hand.
If the series extends to five games, Lake Chalet will become Warriors’ central during the NBA Finals, as ESPN will film First Take and The Jump at the Oakland restaurant on Monday and Tuesday prior to Game 5 on Tuesday night.
Fans who want to attend either filming should arrive at the Lake Merritt eatery at 5:30 a.m. for the 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. First Take taping, or at the much more civilized hour of 10:30 a.m. for the 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. shoot of The Jump.
Stephen A. Smith, Molly Qerim, and Max Kellerman co-host First Take, and Rachel Nichols leads a rotating group of commentators on The Jump.
Of course, this assumes the Warriors won’t sweep the Cleveland Cavaliers, but given the majestic performances of LeBron James so far, it seems likely he will simply play the Dubs one-on-five and figure out a way to win at least once.
Coffee Shop Will Join the Fun at The Veranda
With locations in Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Alamo, Danville—and now, Concord, Coffee Shop just keeps adding to its mini empire. The combination of coffee, quality baked goods, and alcohol has been a big hit with Central County customers, so The Veranda is a logical extension for the popular coffeehouse that started in Walnut Creek.
And yes, we know the Danville locale isn’t open quite yet, but look for that Coffee Shop and the one in Concord to debut in time for the summer heat to arrive.
Pacific Catch Sets Its Walnut Creek Opening
The eighth Pacific Catch will debut June 14, bringing fresh, sustainable seafood to its new location on South Main Street.
The NorCal chain was founded in 2003 and has steadily worked its way down the Peninsula from San Francisco, and then back up through Dublin, with its latest spot dropping anchor in Walnut Creek.
The Halal Guys Make an Uptown Move
The Halal Guys, a New York–based street cart turned restaurant chain, will open its third Bay Area restaurant in two years this summer on Broadway.
Joining the Berkeley and San Francisco locations, the new Halal Guys in the heart of Uptown Oakland is just a couple blocks east of the Paramount Theatre. And the food is pretty much always available, as the hours are 10 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Philz Jumps Into Lafayette
Philz Coffee will open its sixth East Bay location in Lafayette, taking over the space once occupied by Homegrown Sustainable Sandwiches, and is one of many new faces and places along Mt. Diablo Boulevard.
At some point, one would think Lafayette will overflow with coffee, but apparently the saturation point has yet to be reached. After all, there are only three Starbucks for a city of 26,000 people.
Mona’s Makes It Three with Concord Addition
It wasn’t that long ago that Mona’s Burgers was a newcomer to the East Bay food scene, arriving in Walnut Creek (near Lunardi’s Markets) with a burger-heavy menu, plus beer and wine.
But the burgers, yummy salads, and thick shakes quickly found an audience, and now, with the latest addition on Clayton Road, there are three Mona’s to choose from. The other location is in the Trader Joe’s shopping center in Concord (at Treat Boulevard and Oak Grove Road), but all are quickly becoming local institutions.
Berkeley’s Tacubaya Will Get Bigger this Summer
“How?” you might ask, as restaurants generally don’t enjoy a growth spurt, but the popular fast-casual taqueria on Fourth Street is moving two doors down to take over the space formerly occupied by Pompette.
The new spot will be twice the size of the old one and will feature a full bar (focusing on tequila and mezcal). Catering and to-go dinners will also be available. The expanded location won’t open until mid- to late July, but the transition should be seamless: As soon as the doors close on the old space, the new one will be ready to go.
Oakland’s Ordinaire Natural Wine Honored by Esquire
So many bars, so little time—and only so many liver cells.
But since Esquire picked Oakland’s Ordinaire as one of the 21 best bars in the country, it makes sense to move the wine bar a lot higher up on the bucket list. Ordinaire specializes in natural wines, an undefined genre that aims to deliver wine that’s free of any additions or subtractions (except for a small amount of sulfites).
That means the wine is made from organic grapes, and when it’s poured, it might be cloudy or have bits of yeast still floating about. However, the flavors are sometimes stronger, and almost by definition, the wines aren’t as consistent as the more mainstream vinos.
But given the Esquire imprimatur, if you have any interest in natural wines or simply want a great place to spend a relaxing afternoon, head down to the Grand Avenue bar to explore the latest frontier of wine tasting.
Wente Ups the Ante with a Prix Fixe Lunch
The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards is now offering a $65 three-course, prix fixe lunch menu that includes wine pairings—which is another enticement to get all that nasty work stuff out of the way in the morning and kick back to enjoy those summer afternoons.
The meal is available Friday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the menu will change to reflect both seasonal ingredients and availability of (mostly) Livermore Valley wines.