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Diablo Dish—September 2010

Orinda gets an everyday-delight eatery, pizza still rules and your next lamprais is right around the corner, all in the Dish!


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It looks like the Theatre Square in Orinda will get a shot in the arm with the upcoming Table 24, a new eatery featuring neighborhood comfort food. Proprietors Michael Karp and Victor Ivry (whose wife, Laurie, runs children’s clothing store Red Wagon in Lafayette) will offer pizza, burgers, and salads, in addition to such items as an artisan cage-free egg sandwich and a lollipop lamb chop. The buzz words here are comfortable and family-friendly: Table 24 will stay open all day, keep its prices affordable, and even offer a special menu for tweens. “We think this concept is exactly what Orinda needs,” says Ivry, “a comfortable neighborhood gathering place, where people can eat every day.” Table 24 should be open by late September—just in time for the annual Orinda Restaurant Tour on September 28. Go to orindachamber.org for info and tickets.


You can prime your palate for the Orinda tour with two other Lamorinda foodie events: the Lafayette Art & Wine Festival on September 18 and 19 (lafayettechamber.org) and the Moraga Pear Festival on September 25 (moragaparks.org). Over the Oakland hills, Metro Lafayette owners Jack Moore and Erika Pringsheim-Moore have opened Metro Montclair, serving small plates, panini, and salads in a casual café setting. It’s a similar fresh-salads-and-sandwiches concept at La Boulange, which opened last month next door to Yankee Pier. The San Francisco–based bakery-café chain also unveiled its new Danville location in Iron Horse Plaza. 


Newly opened in Danville is Wild Vine Hideaway, a bistro serving lunch and dinner on East Prospect Avenue. On the same street, dueling piano bar That Bar was set to open last month, after nabbing its liquor license. On San Ramon Valley Boulevard, Masala Indian Fusion was replaced by Akira Sushi, which owners Wen Tung and Victor Liao say is influenced by Oakland’s Ozumo and Berkeley’s Kirala. The menu features a big robata (grilled meats) menu in addition to sushi. In Dublin’s Ulferts Center, House of Sake is now the Sushi House of Sake, offering all-you-can-eat sushi. And you can now get your lamprais (baked banana leaf filled with rice, curry, and meat or fish) fix at Kadupul, a new Sri Lankan restaurant on San Ramon Road.


In Concord, the Crowne Plaza Hotel has upgraded its dining, replacing the Atrium Cafe with the Vineyards Chop House & Bar. The new steak and wine restaurant offers cuts from Harris Ranch and California wines, focusing on the Central Coast. El Charro, meanwhile, is opening a second Mexican restaurant in Livermore, replacing the shuttered Mario’s steakhouse, while the owners of First Street Alehouse opened The Breakfast Stop next door to their new restaurant on—naturally—First Street.


It’s thin-crust mania in the 510 with the openings of Locanda da Eva and Addie’s Pizza Pie in Berkeley, Little Star (it serves thick crust, too) in Albany, and now Paison from the K2 Restaurant Group, which also runs the new pizzeria’s next-door neighbor, Sea Salt. Replacing Eccolo on Fourth Street, Zut! on Fourth brings in executive chef Jim Wimborough, formerly of San Francisco’s acclaimed Kokari, to cook up regional Mediterranean cuisine. Finally, tiki enthusiasts can bust out their Hawaiian shirts for this month’s planned reopening of Trader Vic’s in Emeryville, after an eight-month remodel. Customers can expect a redesigned interior, with new furniture, floors, and, of course, a few new multicolored drinks on the cocktail menu.


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