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Diablo Dish — June '08

Score one for Chow. The Lafayette institution just nabbed chef Daniel Holzman, who garnered raves from the critics for his cooking at San Francisco hot spots SPQR and A16.


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Score one for Chow. The Lafayette institution just nabbed chef Daniel Holzman, who garnered raves from the critics for his cooking at San Francisco hot spots SPQR and A16.

Holzman takes over from Nicholas Diarenzo, who is going to the soon-to-open Danville Chow. Adam Marchetti remains executive chef for all locations. “We are fortunate11 enough to have Daniel coming our way,” says owner Tony Gulisano. “After he’s found his footing, we’ll welcome his contributions to the menu.”

Fans of roti rejoice: Singapore Old Town Café, the Malaysian restaurant in Dublin’s Ulferts Center, is opening a new location in Pleasanton’s Stoneridge Mall. The café, located upstairs from the Sweetwater Saloon, is slated to open in July. If you’re not familiar with roti, you might want to be—it’s a flaky pastry, light as tissue paper, served with a curry dipping sauce.

Livermore’s Fire and Ice has a new name. It’s now Round House Mongolian Grill. Owners Steve and Janet Haverland cut ties with the Fire and Ice parent corporation in late spring. “There were a lot of issues, and it wasn’t working out,” says Janet. They’re now offering five new entrées and food to go.

In Walnut Creek, two burger joints have closed, but a new one is opening its doors. Johnny Rockets and Taxi’s both went dark in recent months, but The Counter, an upscale hamburger chain, was due to fire up its grills at the Mercer condominium complex late last month. Customers build their own burgers by checking off toppings listed on a clipboard, including everything from Gruyère cheese to peanut sauce to dried cranberries. The Counter has locations in four states, and dozens more outlets are in the works nationwide.

Faz Poursohi, owner of Faz restaurants in Danville and Pleasanton, is changing his business profile outside the East Bay. He’s sold the Faz restaurant on Steuart Street in San Francisco and has purchased Palo Alto’s MacArthur Park, the mesquite grill restaurant located in a Julia Morgan building where he worked as chef back in 1981. Poursohi says he plans to make some additions to MacArthur Park’s menu but keep the concept and name the same.

Good news for fans of Rivoli Restaurant in Berkeley. Owners Wendy Brucker and Roscoe Skipper are opening Corso, a Florentine trattoria with an all-Italian wine list. The chef will be Elaine Rivera, formerly of Oliveto. The location is on Shattuck Avenue near Delaware Street, just blocks from Berkeley’s GourmFacebook | Homeet Ghetto. Corso, which was set to open in May, replaces the short-lived Misto Italian Bistro. Before that, the space was home to the pasta company Phoenix Pastificio.

Not far from Rivoli, the former location of Celadon Tearoom on Solano Avenue in Albany has come back to life as Rendez Vous Café, a French bistro complete with steak frites and steamed mussels. Co-owners Laurent Mais and Memo Barroso say the restaurant, which opened in early May, has a casual atmosphere.

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