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Diablo Dish: Walnut Creek’s Rich Food Scene is Getting Even Richer

Limon Rotisserie coming soon; Pleasanton gets busy; and royalty arrives in Rockridge.


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Forging the Foundry in Walnut Creek

The latest innovation from Brian Hirahara—the man behind Walnut Creek’s Rooftop Restaurant and Bar, among other things—is a two-story, steel-wrapped, multi-vendor food and retail center across from the movie theater on Locust Street. (Think: Napa’s Oxbow Public Market or the San Francisco Ferry Building.)

The Foundry probably won’t open until 2018, so the details are a bit fuzzy right now, but it will definitely be something to look forward to. As Beyond the Creek pointed out, the 9,400-square-foot space will be divided among a variety of outlets.

 

Limon Rotisserie

Limon Rotisserie Will Soon Land in Walnut Creek

The East Bay is getting yet another Peruvian restaurant: Limon Rotisserie, which is slated to open in late January at 1524 Locust Street in Walnut Creek. The latest offshoot of the San Francisco-based eatery will offer a variety of ceviche and other classic Peruvian dishes, along with its famous flame-roasted rotisserie chicken.

There will also be small plates, pisco sours, and even a prix fixe menu—expect a snaking line out the door come January.

 

A Potpourri of Changes in Pleasanton

Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with change, and Pleasanton residents and visitors are learning that firsthand.

Monday was the opening day for the new Peet’s Coffee and Tea on Main Street—which will certainly help keep the city’s residents caffeinated—but there’s a lot more going on in Pleasanton than just the opening of another place for lattes and morning pastries.

Longtime fave Mangia Mi on Main Street closed after the owners decided to shift gears and replace it with the Neighborhood Sports Bar and Kitchen, which offers the burgers and sandwiches you’d expect, along with slightly more elevated fare like truffle fries, Burrata and prosciutto, and chicken marsala. There’s also a full bar with some nicely priced specialty cocktails—and hooray for whoever decided to skip putting a kale salad on the menu. (I had thought it might have been a state law that any restaurant opening after 2015 had to have kale on the menu, given that unappetizing vegetable’s ubiquitous appearance on menus.)

Andy and Yu’s, brought to town by the group that runs Uncle Yu’s in Lafayette and San Ramon, hopes to be open by the end of the year—but note that it’s not affiliated with Uncle Yu’s at the Vineyard in Livermore. (Who knew Yu had so many nieces and nephews?)

High Tech Burrito is gone—sad news for fans of beans, rice, and guac—but gelato and ice cream lovers can rejoice, as they will soon have two more options. Almare Gelato Italiano, which has one store in Berkeley and a thriving wholesale business, should be open by the end of the year, as should the nationwide chain Rita’s Italian Ice.

I told you it was hard to keep up...

 

Duchess

Bow Down to the Duchess

Starting December 5, Rockridge will be home to Duchess, a unique concept that will incorporate everything from breakfast at 6 a.m. to last-call drinks at 2 a.m. on weekends (midnight the rest of the time).

Duchess is the brainchild of Caroline Conner (Nopa), Chris Strieter (Senses Wines), and Candice Caris (Nvidia). The plan is that a daytime café will seamlessly morph into a pub at night—and the eclectic food will reflect that combination. Expect such goodies as sourdough waffles and cinnamon rolls for breakfast; fried chicken, ham and brie sliders, and bacon-and-mozzarella-stuffed meatballs for lunch and dinner; as well as specialty cocktails, craft beer, and fine wines.

You’ve heard this before, but at Duchess, they really mean it: “Drop by any time.”

 

Japanese Boom and Bust

Ozumo, one of the pioneers of the Uptown renaissance in Oakland, has closed after nearly 10 years. The original San Francisco location of the Japanese sushi and izakaya restaurant will remain open.

On the other side of the Caldecott Tunnel, another Japanese restaurant had a similar fate earlier this year. Walnut Creek’s Izakaya Jun closed over the summer, but as Beyond the Creek reported, Japanese food lovers will soon have another option: Kurumi Sushi and Grill, which is opening in the Locust Street location in the coming weeks. A firm opening date has yet to be announced, but we’ll keep you posted.

 

Eureka!

This Is the Way to Deal with Black Friday

The whole weekend will look a lot brighter after a stop at Eureka! in The Willows Shopping Center in Concord—starting at 11 a.m. on Friday, Bloody Marys and mimosas will be just $5, and those prices will hold through Sunday night.

But Eureka! won’t stop there. In its efforts to keep you in the holiday spirit, the restaurant will also offer special holiday cocktails starting on December 5. Try the Gingerbread Man Old Fashioned featuring Old Overholt Rye Whiskey, gingerbread syrup, BroVo Spirits’ Douglas Fir liqueur, and chocolate and herbal bitters.

And don’t fret about the post-holiday blues—the $5 Bloody Marys and mimosas will return on December 31 and stay through January 2.