Diablo Dish: Burmese Restaurants Are Busting Out
Burmese is the new “it” food in the East Bay; Comal expands to Oakland; free ice cream in Berkeley; and more Dish.
Burma Meets East Bay
Though “Burma” really doesn’t exist any more (the country has been called Myanmar since 1989), Burmese food is on the rise in the East Bay, with two restaurants in Walnut Creek (Burma Unique and soon-to-open Burma 2), one in Dublin (Burma! Burma!), one in Pleasanton (Experience Burma), one in Concord (Aung Maylika), and yet another in Livermore (Shwe Myanmar Burmese Cuisine).
As Diablo’s own food critic Nicholas Boer said in his review of Shwe Myanmar, Burmese food is “a style evocative of Thai, Indian, and Chinese cuisines”—and that sounds like a can’t-miss combination. Given all the options, it won’t take much of a drive to dig in.
Always-Crowded Comal to Expand
Berkeley’s Comal doesn’t take reservations, and though it’s not a bad thing to enjoy a margarita or two while waiting for a table, it is generally more pleasant to know when you’ll be seated—especially when the uncertainty can last for a long time, as it can at one of the East Bay’s most highly regarded restaurants.
Last year, Comal took over a small space next to its Shattuck Avenue location, serving burritos, bowls, and tacos. But a more serious expansion is in the works for 2020. The Barlago space on Oakland’s Grand Avenue, just a couple blocks from the Grand Lake Theatre, will eventually house a new eatery—which might just shorten the lines in Berkeley. Or maybe there will just be an equally long line near Lake Merritt as well.
C Casa Joins the Crowd at City Center Bishop Ranch
San Ramon has now seen the opening of Napa-based taqueria C Casa (next to Fieldwork Brewing Company), and so there’s yet another food option available at the City Center. Look for tacos, salads, and rotisserie meats, as well as options you don’t usually see—buffalo meat, for example. To make it even better, the fast-casual spot also offers beer and wine.
It’s Party Time at Original Pattern Brewery
To celebrate its first anniversary, Oakland’s Original Pattern Brewing is hosting an Oakland Brewery Festival from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at its Fourth Street digs near Jack London Square: the perfect opportunity to sample lots of local craft beers.
There is something special about that local scene, according to Max Silverstein, Original Pattern founder. “The brewery scene is fast-growing all over the country, but there's something about Oakland's grit and the kind of things that grow here,” he says. “There's a rooting down, a sense of community, and a strong desire to build something together. You can feel it in the way breweries here celebrate and support each other. It's a great thing to be a part of.”
So far, participants in the Oakland Brewery Festival include Ghost Town Brewing, Oakland United Beerworks, Independent Brewing Company, Federation Brewing, and Novel Brewing Company. In addition, there will be music from Thrown-Out Bones, the digital release of Visit Oakland’s Ale Trail, and food from Good to Eat Dumplings.
A $15 ticket ($10 presale) delivers the first beer and a commemorative glass.
Sous Chef Steps Up at Rockridge’s Oliveto
Easy to get to and easy to park (at least after 4 p.m. when the BART lot opens up), Oliveto has always been a great choice for those in search of a high-end meal with prices to match—and though longtime executive chef Jonah Rhodehamel has left, he’s been replaced by his sous chef, Brian Griffith. So, though there will be some changes (the new boss always has to tweak something), expect a fair amount of continuity.
Free Ice Cream at Berkeley’s Humphry Slocombe
If you see a long line forming near the intersection of College and Ashby after noon on Thursday, May 16, it’s because Humphrey Slocombe will be giving out free scoops of brown butter with peanut butter candy ice cream and free OCHO mini-candy starting at 5 p.m.
But don’t be late, because the deal only lasts as long as the supplies do—and free is an awfully good price.
Honor and Game of Thrones? Find the Unlikely Pair in Emeryville
Honor Kitchen and Cocktails has been hosting Sunday night viewing parties since Game of Thrones resumed. But for Sunday’s finale, the Powell Street restaurant is adding its own twist—a $40 three-course prix fixe dinner.
In addition, there are flights of limited-edition Game of Thrones scotch whiskey, special cocktails, and a Beast special (roasted meat, of course). The fun begins at 5 p.m. and will continue until the last drop of blood is wrung from George R. R. Martin’s fantasy masterpiece.
Walnut Creek’s Pancoast Pizza Poised to Reopen
Not surprisingly, the pizza parlor located right next-door to Las Lomas High School did so well that growth became mandatory; look for Pancoast Pizza (on South Main) to open its expanded dining room and outdoor seating later this month. And though the high school kids can’t appreciate it—as much as they’d like to—there will now be craft beers on tap as well.
Here’s How Takes Cocktails Seriously—Very Seriously
When there’s a bandsaw in the prep room to make sure that cut ice stays perfectly clear and digital thermometers to make sure cocktails are served at precisely the right temperature, you know you’re dealing with some folks who really care about the drink they put in front of you.
Here’s How, the new Uptown Oakland bar from star mixologist Jennifer Colliau, also features high-end bar bites, and the location is perfect for pre- or post-Fox Theater visits.