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Weekly Dish: Japan Relief at Local Restaurants

Donate to Japan at several local restaurants; it's beer o'clock time in the East Bay; and dirty Bay Area kitchens beware: Gordon Ramsey is coming... all in this week's Dish!



If you haven't gotten around to donating to hep the relief effort in battered Japan (or even if you have), there's several local restaurants that are hosting fundraisers or donating portions of their sales, including a very cool wine auction from Prima Ristorante in Walnut Creek. CLICK HERE to check out our list (and please email us or leave a comment if we forgot someone, these are just the ones we've heard about).


Beer lovers should raise a glass to all the new brew spots flowing into the East Bay. First, there was the news that Trappist owner Chuck Stilphen was opening a specialty beer store/tasting room in downtown Walnut Creek. But there's more...

Jim Blair is hoping to open Creek Monkey Taphouse in downtown Martinez as soon as May. Creek Monkey will carry more around 20 high-end craft beers to go along with a menu of seasonal, locally sourced American fare. The brewpub's name is inspired by the local legend that Alhambra Creek was once populated by escaped monkeys from a circus troupe that used to winter in Martinez (Blair said he's glad he didn't go with his first idea to name it after the famous local beaver damn which got washed away with the recent rains). The Martinez resident also hopes to have his Excelsior Brewing Company (Excelsior is Latin for onwards and upwards) brewery up and running across the street within a year. "The main thing is we’re excited to be part of the community of Martinez," Blair said. "We want to help build the community through the magical elixir of beer." Well said...

Up in Livermore, Tim Bryant hopes to open Tap 25, a small craft beer tasting room next to his Green Leaf BBQ in the wine-centric Blacksmith Square as soon as July. (but don't get too worried oenophiles, the nearby Swirl on the Square recently added an adjacent wine tasting room, Swirl on the Side.)

Former cotton mill and future home of Oakland Brewing CompanyOover in the (510), Oakland Brewing Company is up and running—or at least the beer is. Co-owners and local brew industry vets James Costa and Steve McDaniel are producing beer out of local Bay Area brewing facilities until they finish renovating their permanent facility on Oakland’s waterfront (in an old cotton mill on 22nd Avenue near Numi Tea). OBC beers can be found in a handful of suds-savvy Oakland bars such as The Trappist, Barclays, and Cato’s. And in El Cerrito, three former Pyramid Alehouse workers are shooting tentatively for a May opening for Elevation 66 Brewing Company, a new brewpub on San Pablo Avenue. They'll have six of their own beers and two guest beers on tap, while their menu will focus on California cuisine-influenced (local/seasonal) pub fare. Whew!


Finally, dirty kitchen-keepers can start sweating a little bit as Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, a television show in which he shapes up restaurant kitchens that are in dire need of some TLC, is coming to the Bay Area next season. Submit your favorites (and perhaps that's the wrong word...) by clicking HERE.



And pretty please... send us any East Bay dining news at dish@amildiablo.com.
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Bay Area Restaurants Contributing to Japan Relief
–compiled by Mirene Benitez

Camino
Camino of Oakland will be contributing 100% of the proceeds from their Japanese Cocktail to a relief fund set up by Fukushima Prefectural government. The cocktail is selling for $10 and is made up of 1.5 oz. Osocalis Brandy, .75 lime, .5 Small Hands Orgeat and 2 dashes of Angostura-style bitters. They have raised $1,170 as of March 21st.
3917 Grand Avenue, Oakland, 510.547.5035, caminorestaurant.com

Ozumo
Contemporary Japanese restaurant, Ozumo will be aiding in Japan relief efforts with its featured cocktail, “Kibou No Hana” (Flower of Hope) for $8. This cocktail is comprised of Smirnoff Vodka, Midori, pineapple and orange juice. It will be served all day long through the month of March. 100% of the proceeds from all three of Ozumo’s locations in Oakland, San Francisco and Santa Monica will go to the American Red Cross.
2241 Broadway, Oakland, 510.286.9866 & 161 Steuart Street, San Francisco, 415.882.1333, ozumo.com

La Trappe Café
La Trappe Café in San Francisco is partnering up with Kiuchi Brewery and B United International to offer Hitachino Beer to raise funds for Japan relief efforts. 100% of the proceeds will go to Hitachino Relief on behalf of Kiuchi Brewery and B United International. La Trappe will also be accepting donations.
800 Greenwich St., San Francisco, 415.440.8727, latrappecafe.com

Prima Ristorante
The owners, having spent 35 years collectively living in Japan, immediately started raising funds for relief efforts. They pulled together the wine community, who donated numerous bottles to be auctioned off. Their goal is to reach $50,000 and have raised $17,500 up to date. They have also contributed a dinner for 6, where the chefs will prepare a special dinner at the home of the buyer. They have raised $2,500 from that. 100% of the proceeds will go to the American Red Cross. Auctions end at 5pm on April 2.
1522 North Main Street, Walnut Creek, 925.935.7780, primaristorante.com

Nombe
Nombe in San Francisco will be donating $3 of one food item purchased each night to aid disaster relief efforts. To date, they have raised $300. Nombe will also be holding an event called “Sake 101” on Thursday, March 31st at 7:30 p.m. Guest speaker, Yuka Takahashi will talk about her experience in Tokyo during and after the earthquake. Afterwards, guests will enjoy five sakes and four food plates, including bavette steak, grilled mushrooms and sashimi. A sommelier will also be on hand to guide a discussion on food and sake pairings. Only $45 per person, 100% of the proceeds will go to Japan relief efforts. Call 415.681.7150 to make reservations for this event, or go to nombesf.com and reserve through “open table” on the right navigation bar.
2491 Mission St., San Francisco, 415.681.7150, nombesf.com

Bake Sale for Japan
Samin Nostrat needs zillions of volunteers: “bakers, cooks, graphic designers, PR peeps, volunteers, and lots of customers.” She’s organizing what she hopes to be a nation-wide bake sale to send relief funds to Japan, with at least two East Bay participants including Pizzaiolo in Oakland and Giola in Berkeley. She is looking to break the bake sale for Haiti’s record of $2.300. The event will take place on April 2nd from 10am-2pm in multiple locations across the United States.
For information on how you can get involved, send an email to bakesaleforjapan@gmail.com and/or visit bakesaleforjapan.com.

Shimizu
On Wednesday, March 30th, Shimizu Sushi restaurant on Piedmont Avenue will donate 20% of the day’s earnings to the victims of the Japanese earthquake. Piedmont Asian American Society (PAAC) will match the funds raised by Shimizu Sushi to donate.
4290 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, 510.653.7672

Patxi’s Pizza
All four Patxi’s Pizza locations in San Francisco and Palo Alto will be raising funds for Japan. On April 5th, 10% of all proceeds will be donated to the Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund established by the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC). Purchases from dining, delivery, pick up, and gift cards at lunch and dinner will all be included. Patxi’s will also be accepting donations, 100% of which will go to the relief fund set up by the JCCCNC.
441 Emerson Street, Palo Alto, 650.473.9999 | 3318 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, 415.345.3995 | 551 Hayes Street, San Francisco, 415.558.9991 | 4042 24th Street, San Francisco, 415.285.2000, patxispizza.com

Prospect
On April 2nd, Prospect restaurant in San Francisco will be serving a six-course dinner to benefit the farming communities in Tohoku, Japan. Tickets for the event will be $300 and 100% of the proceeds will go towards Japan relief efforts.
300 Spear Street, San Francisco, 415.247.7770, prospectsf.com

Yoshi’s
Yoshi’s in Oakland and San Francisco will host chefs from celebrated Bay Area restaurants on April 9 from 1-4 p.m. The afternoon will be filled with delicious food and wine and sake tastings, which will be accompanied by live musical entertainment. Admission is $75 per person. 100% of the proceeds will go to the American Red Cross for Japan Relief.
510 Embarcadero West, Oakland, 510.238.9200 | 1330 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, 415.655.5600, yoshis.com

Bacchus Management Group Restaurants
Multiple restaurants under the Bacchus Management Group will be participating in an all-restaurant donation to the American Red Cross for Japan Relief on Wednesday, March 30th. Restaurants including Pizza Antica in Lafayette and Mill Valley, Café de Amis and Spruce in San Francisco, the Village Pub in Woodside and the Mayfield Bakery in Palo Alto will be donating a minimum of 10% of their proceeds from the entire day to relief efforts.

Skool
Seafood restaurant, Skool in San Francisco is participating in ongoing efforts to collect funds for the victims of the disaster in Japan. Patrons of the restaurant can get $10 off their bill to be donated to the American Red Cross by texting “Red Cross” to 90999. The $10 will be deducted and donated when you show your text message to your server. Products from Japanese vendors, including sake can be purchased at the restaurant, from which 100% of proceeds will go to the American Red Cross. Different deals and specials will be listed on Skool’s Twitter and FaceBook accounts, so patrons are encouraged to follow/add to keep up to date as the promotions will change on a weekly basis. These efforts will continue for as long as the Skool can afford to donate.
1725 Alameda Street, San Francisco, 415.255.8800, skoolsf.com

Beretta
Beretta in San Francisco has come up with three cocktails that incorporate Japanese whiskey to help in Japan Relief efforts. For every cocktail sold, $1 will be donated to the American Red Cross.
1199 Valencia St., San Francisco, 415.695.1199, berettasf.com