Diablo Dish: Emeryville’s Public Market Is Elemental
Bondadoso brings kindness and coffee to Walnut Creek; Chick’n Rice’s Thai street food heads to Berkeley; Limewood Bar and Restaurant’s first birthday brunch; Les Arceaux opens soon in the Gourmet Ghetto; and more Dish.
Periodic Table Shares Chemistry with Shiba Ramen in Emeryville
The name Periodic Table usually refers to the cryptic diagram from high school chemistry, but in this case, it’s a nod to when owners Jake Freed and Hiroko Nakamura met while building a molecule together in a Harvard chem class.
Now their focus is on food and drink, and The Periodic Table will complement their other co-owned venture, Shiba Ramen (located right next to The Periodic Table), at the ever-more interesting Emeryville Public Market.
The bar will feature California and Japanese craft beers, as well as Japanese sakes and spirits—such as whiskey and shochu.
The Periodic Table does not have its own kitchen and will mostly offer a small menu of bar snacks, including charcuterie and cheese plates, but of course, Shiba Ramen is right next door to take care of hungrier diners.
According to Freed, the seemingly endless construction at the Public Market will start to wind down in November—at least in terms of roadwork and parking lots. But the grand opening of The Periodic Table is just over the horizon, and its bond with Shiba Ramen has already formed, chemically and otherwise.
Bondadoso Brings Kindness and Caffeine to Walnut Creek
Bondadoso Coffee and Tea Collective will open in late September—where Mi Casa Restaurant used to be on North Broadway—and bring an international mix of coffee and tea that will showcase unknown roasters and small-batch tea producers.
Bondadoso—which means “kind” in Spanish—will have a “kind wall” where customers can contribute their inspirational quotes to the café’s decor and atmosphere. In addition, five percent of the profits will go to organizations that promote kindness.
Still, the coffee and tea will be the main attraction. Not only will Bondadoso have a traditional espresso bar, but there will also be a slow-brew bar (for single cups of coffee and tea) and eight taps that will serve various cold-brew coffee and tea varieties.
Chicken and Waffles Are Out, Baygreens Salads Are In
It’s a bit of a jump to go from fried chicken and syrup-drenched waffles to strawberry arugula salads, but that’s what’s happened in downtown Walnut Creek where lettuce-focused Baygreens Gourmet Salads will replace Home of Chicken Waffles on Mt. Diablo Boulevard.
But don’t rev up that craving for a kale chicken Caesar quite yet. It will likely be early 2018 before Baygreens is ready to toss its first salad.
Chick’n Rice Brings Thai Specialty to Berkeley
Even some ardent Thai food lovers haven’t heard of khao mun gai—a chicken and rice staple in Southeast Asia—but starting Friday, September 8, diners will get their chance to try the meal at Chick’n Rice on Center Street.
There could be more Chick’n Rice restaurants down the road if khao mun gai proves as popular here as it is in Asia, so think about being an early adopter.
Limewood Celebrates Its Birthday with Brunch
It’s been a year since Limewood Bar and Restaurant opened at the Claremont Club and Spa in Berkeley, and the restaurant will celebrate the occasion with brunch service from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 9.
The seasonal California cuisine–themed menu will continue into brunch, though the house-made sausage with smoked Gouda and cheddar grits is a nod to chef Joseph Humphrey’s Southern roots. Otherwise, familiar items such as French toast and eggs Benedict will be offered with a twist, and there will be sandwiches, salads, and full bar service as well.
And of course, the setting at the Claremont will only add to the experience. The gorgeous views are complemented by the renovation that was completed in 2015, and usually a cool breeze from the Bay makes a September visit even more attractive.
C’est Bon: Les Arceaux Opens Soon
Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto will add another destination next week, when Les Arceaux welcomes its first diners on Tuesday, September 12. The new project from Alana O’Neal and Mikha Diaz—who ran 2 Sisters Bar and Books in San Francisco until recently—is inspired by Southern France and Northern California.
Les Arceaux (which is French for “arches” and reflective of the Roman aqueduct that hovers over the outdoor market in Montpellier) will offer breakfast, lunch, happy hour, and dinner with a French flair.
It’s Always Busy On the Other Side of the Tunnel
Three new restaurants made their debut in Berkeley and Oakland this summer, Berkeleyside reports, and those trips through the Caldecott may become more frequent as a result.
Gadani on Berkeley Square has made-to-order egg puff waffles—think of edible bubble wrap made with waffle batter. A variety of waffle flavors are available, including chocolate and matcha, and you can even order a scoop of ice cream with such delicious toppings as Oreo cookie crumbs and caramel.
Pizza lovers will be happy to include Main Street Pizza as another dinner option on Solano Avenue. The Berkeley pizzeria also offers lasagna, chicken wings, and salads, but we’re guessing the pizza will be the draw.
And speaking of comfort food, Spice Monkey on Webster Street in Oakland rebranded itself as Howden Restaurant and Bar. The casual dining spot will feature “globally inspired comfort food.” Though we don’t generally associate lamb kefta and coconut curry as comfort food, it sounds so good that we’re willing to give it a shot.
New Chef at Walnut Creek’s Neiman Marcus
Bay Area native Jurem Fronda is now in charge of the kitchen at the ever-popular Neiman Marcus café in Walnut Creek. Fronda has classical training from the culinary institute Le Cordon Bleu, and will apply his knowledge to the contemporary dishes at the NM Cafe.