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Diablo Dish: July

What's new with food this month.


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Zachary's Chicago Pizza

Photo by Scotty D. // Yelp.com

Cheese rules in the East Bay with two new spots set to dial up the dairy quotient. First is local deep-dish institution Zachary’s, which plans to open its fourth Chicago-style pizzeria—this one in downtown Pleasant Hill. Expect a similar menu to the Berkeley, Oakland, and San Ramon locations at the new restaurant, which is taking over the shuttered Red Brick Pizza and a day spa next door at 140 Crescent Drive, across from the movie theater. Owners (Zachary’s is actually an employee-owned company) are hoping for a late-fall opening.


Second up is the grilled cheese–centric The Melt, which is planning its fifth location—and first in the East Bay—in Berkeley. Located near the Cal campus at 2400 Telegraph Avenue, the new Melt will have the same streamlined menu of grilled cheese sandwiches and soups, plus a new line of breakfast items (grilled egg-in-a-hole breakfast melt, anyone?). Started by Flip video camera founder Jonathan Kaplan, The Melt is aiming for 15 eateries in California by the end of the year. Look for the Berkeley location this summer, “before Cal is back in session.” Wise move…


Zachary’s isn’t the only thing cooking in Pleasant Hill. Jae Shin, who owns four sushi restaurants in the Bay Area, including the popular Nama in Walnut Creek, is planning a fifth spot downtown. Shin is aiming for an early July opening and plans a similar menu of affordable, ocean-fresh sushi and Japanese fare, plus a few Korean specialties such as bibimbap and spicy stone-pot tofu. And rumor has it there are a couple more high-profile eateries headed to downtown before the end of the year.


In Danville, Martini Sky, with its 80-strong lineup of custom martinis, replaced Patrick David’s, while Sideboard is taking over the entire ground floor of the old Danville Hotel. More openings? Sure. Two Mexican restaurants debuted: Comal in Berkeley and Barbacoa in Orinda. Anticipating June openings in Oakland were Hopscotch (“regional American fare with a Japanese bend”) and Stag’s Lunchette (“cruelty-free, hormone-free lunch counter”). And shooting for July launches in Walnut Creek are Opa! (authentic Greek) and Citra Grill (fresh grilled meats and veggies).


Lafayette news: SusieCakes, the L.A.–based bakery with seven locations, is opening a shop on Mt. Diablo Boulevard. And Boo Koo, which serves Asian street food with a California twist out of Mill Valley, wants to open a second location near Chow. Look for souped-up banh mi sandwiches, pad Thai, and rice bowls sometime early next year.


And in Oakland … the owners of Belgian beer bar The Trappist are planning a bottle shop/bar hybrid for Rockridge in early fall. In Jack London Square, Beer Revolution hopes to open its new “European-vegetarian” restaurant Old Depot next door around the same time. Popular sausage-and-craft-beer–centric Rosamunde’s is opening a new spot in Old Oakland’s Swan’s Market in late summer—as is ex-Hibiscus chef Sarah Kirnon, who’s looking to debut Miss Ollie’s (market-driven Caribbean fare) next door by this fall. Down the street, A.G. Ferrari owner Paul Ferrari took over B Restaurant (no details yet), while Numi Tea hopes to open next year on Broadway near Picán—which just hired a new chef, Sophie Uong. Whew!


Finally, there are plans to take over Alice Waters’ shuttered Café Fanny. Look for an early July opening for Bartavelle, a little coffee and wine bar with Sightglass coffee, pastries, sandwiches, charcuterie, and a rotating selection of wines.



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