Chef Caabay at kain'bigan, Oakland's newest Filipino restaurant. Photo: kain'bigan/Facebook
Chef Caabay at kain’bigan, Oakland’s newest Filipino restaurant. Photo: kain’bigan/Facebook

Openings, closings…

KAIN’BIGAN Filipino comfort food spot Kain’bigan had its soft opening in Oakland this week at 2101 14th Ave. Each day, Chef Charleen Caabay “creates a daily special based on the fresh and seasonal ingredients she finds at local markets throughout the Bay,” according to the company’s website. The business is open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and menu offerings include Filipino breakfast with garlic rice, chicken and pork adobo, sweet cured pork sausage, and vegetable or shrimp lumpia (pastries similar to fried egg rolls). Caabay’s restaurant may be new, but she’s not new to the area, having worked at The Den inside the Fox Theater, Somar, Oakland Art Murmur and more. Learn more on Kain’bigan’s Facebook page.

Demolition at Hoi Polloi began in March. Photo: Hoi Polloi/Facebook
Demolition at Hoi Polloi began in March. Photo: Hoi Polloi

HOI POLLOI Hoi Polloi Brewpub and Beat Lounge, which we first featured in March, is on track with its development plans, having just had its building permit approved Wednesday. The nano-brewpub is set to open in the Lorin District at 1763 Alcatraz Ave., next door to Easy Creole. Owner Viet Vu told Berkeleyside Hoi Polloi will be a “place where people can have conversation,” unhindered by television, with a soundtrack that will run the gamut from underground hip hop to indie rock. The space, with room for 30-40 people, will feature a bar and a few tables, with brew kettles and fermentation tanks in the back.

Photo: Siciliana Trevino
Photo: Siciliana Trevino

GOGI TIME A new Korean barbecue and hot pot restaurant is slated to open in Oakland at 2600 Telegraph Ave. Details are slim but, according to one Yelp review, Gogi Time will take the place of Sam Won Korean BBQ. Berkeleyside staffer Siciliana Trevine saw Gogi Time’s “coming soon” banner at the Oakland Art Murmur last Friday. The restaurant’s website appears still to be underway, but it does note that, for the uninitiated, “gogi” means meat in Korean. The business has launched a Facebook page but that, too, leaves much to the imagination. We’ll report more when we have it.

Photo: Lucky Three Seven
Photo: Lucky Three Seven

LUCKY THREE SEVEN Another Filipino spot opened relatively recently in Oakland, and that’s Lucky Three Seven at 2868 Fruitvale Ave. The restaurant, which appears to have opened in late May, already has hundreds of Facebook fans and 4.5 stars on Yelp. The family-owned business offers traditional family recipes with a focus on focused on “daily fresh” street cuisine. The menu is posted daily; today’s special was bicol express, pork torta, chicken pastel, Kare-kare, “flip’d it fried chicken,” halo halo, pork and beef with veggie lumpias. Yelpers note large portions, friendly service and one gives a special shout-out to the banana-jackfruit fritters available during her visit. The restaurant is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Caravaggio. Photo: Tracey Taylor

GELATERIA ITALIANA A new Italian gelato shop called Caravaggio is preparing to open at 1797 Shattuck Ave. (on the other side of the street from Corso, just north of Delaware) in the Hillside Village apartment building. The large space at street level is currently being built out, and the two owners — Mauro Bernocchi and Emiliano Cecchetti — appear to be the real deal in that they are Italian! Otherwise, details are scarce as we wait to hear the scoop from them. Stay tuned.


EL BURRO PICANTE The entrance to El Burro Picante, a new Mexican restaurant at 2021 University Ave. near Shattuck, features a gray donkey, a nod to the restaurant’s name. Inside, diners will find a large array of burrito and taco offerings, including eight meat and seven different salsa options, a burrito bowl made with lettuce, not tortillas, and “truck-style” tacos. There are three televisions for the sports- loving crowd and local microbrew beer and wine will be served soon. The owner, Masoud Fany, wants it to be “a hip place to sit down, relax, watch sports and eat great Mexican food.” El Burro Picante opened in early August and a Berkeleyside reader wrote in to declare the food “awesome!” and say there is already a regular following.


DOJO DOG Dojo Dog, one of the three food carts forced to leave its spots by Sproul Plaza because of construction, opened up at a new location on Bancroft and College last week, according to the Daily Californian. The owners, Michael Koh and Jason Chou, said they intend to try to move back to Sproul once construction is complete, but are happy about their new location for now.

What else is going on…

Donut Dolly
Photo: Tracey Taylor

DOUGHNUT DOLLY The one-year anniversary of Doughnut Dolly takes place today, Thursday. Says owner Hannah Berman: “Come by the shop for some sparkling libations to celebrate!” But the official anniversary party will be held at the shop, at 482 B 49th St., on Sunday, Sept. 1, from 3-5 p.m.: “There will be doughnut eating contests, prizes, delicious food, and lots of fun!”

ramen shop twitter
Photo: Ramen Shop

RAMEN SHOP Ramen Shop is having a party on Tuesday, Aug. 20 to send staff to Japan. The restaurant will be open for an evening of bites inspired by Japanese street food, such as yaki soba, gyoza, takoyaki. Expect a guest chef appearance by Chikara Ono of B-Dama, live music courtesy of Brass Magic, and “a seemingly endless flow of punch and awesome local beer.” The idea for the trip came about over the past seven months: “there have been many a night when our staff meals have quickly turned from conversations about how things are going in our lives, to how awesome a trip to Japan would be. Some of the younger cooks and waiters have gotten together to make it happen. All the proceeds are going directly to the staff that has organized this event with the express purpose of getting tickets to go at the end of October.” Tickets, including dinner and drinks, cost $50.

Photo: Lungomare

DINE AND UNWIND Lungomare in Jack London Square will host Oakland’s upcoming “Dine and Unwind” event to benefit a local youth group called My Yute Soccer. In partnership with Vinity Wine Company and the Oakland Restaurant Association, the night will include “a special Italian-influenced evening of food, wine, music and conviviality. Vinity Wines, based in Emeryville, imports artisanal Italian wines with “distinctive regionality,” and will be pairing wines with Lungomare chef Craig DiFonzo’s seasonal Italian/Californian menu. Musician Steve Albini, known for his blend of Italian music, jazz and world rhythms will entertain, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit My Yute Soccer. Costs is $50 per person for four courses. Learn more.

Photo: The Mushroom Maestros

MUSHROOM WORKSHOP Sunday, Aug. 25, Pollinate Farm & Garden in Oakland is offering a home mushroom cultivation workshop with Ray and Patty Lanier, “the Mushroom Maestros.” They will explore the theory and practice of working with easy-to-grow mushrooms for food, bioremediation and medicinal uses. Participants will learn to prepare common substrates to grow oyster, shiitake and King Stropharia mushroom varieties and will take home their own kits for cultivation. Learn more here.

Recent Nosh stories (in case you missed them):
Contest: Name that nosh (08.14.13)
Nosh on the town: Build Pizzeria in Berkeley (08.13.13)
Bites: What’s new in East Bay food XXXIV (08.08.13)
Bites: What’s new in East Bay food, XXXIII (08.01.13)
Bites: What’s new in East Bay food, XXXII (07.25.13)
Bites: What’s new in East Bay food, XXXI (07.19.13)

Bites is Nosh’s round-up of restaurant openings, happenings and closings in the East Bay. Some of these items will have first appeared in Berkeleyside’s Shop Talk column. Got a tip or scoop? Send it our way to Catch up with previous Bites columns.

Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist of the Year...