DEEJIS BAKERY & CAFE Offering lots of sweet treats and specializing in bubble teas, Deejis Bakery & Café opened in September in Uptown Oakland. The owners are Mongolian and make some speciality Mongolian cakes. There is a variety of pastries, cake slices, cupcakes, cookies, and coffee and juices are on offer as well as the teas. Early reports are mostly positive. The honeydew drink and black tea milk tea get special mentions. The bakery also makes celebratory cakes to order. Note there’s a charge for credit cards, so best to bring cash. Deejis is at 367 17th St. (between Webster and Franklin).
BREADS OF INDIA Fans of Berkeley’s Breads of India are ecstatic as the restaurant has re-opened after being shuttered by a fire in September 2012. Owner Rohit Singh had hoped the restaurant, at 2448 Sacramento St. (at Dwight Way), would be open last summer but the rebuild took longer than planned. Reader Tom Lent was one of the first in the door this week when the restaurant had its soft reopening on Jan. 14. “The food is as good as I remember!” he told us. The Sacramento Street location was the first Breads of India location – it opened in 1997 – and it’s been tough having it closed, said Singh. There are two other branches, one in Oakland and one in Walnut Creek.
LE PETIT CHEVAL/CHENGDU STYLE RESTAURANT Not so ecstatic are aficionados of Le Petit Cheval in Berkeley. The Vietnamese restaurant at 2600 Bancroft Way (between Bowditch and College) — something of an institution for UC Berkeley faculty and students for the 15 years it was in business — has closed. In its place is Chengdu Style Restaurant which has taken over the steam tables and opened on Jan. 1. We await reports from readers on the Szechuan menu. Meanwhile, Le Cheval’s Oakland restaurant on Clay Street is still going strong, as is its Walnut Creek location.
Q’s FALAFEL HOUSE This modest, but authentic seeming spot from the folks that brought you Q’s Halal Chicken in Alameda, opened in November at 300 13th St. (between Webster and Harrison) in a former coffee shop in downtown Oakland. Along with homemade falafels, Q’s Falafel House offers gyros, burgers, hotlinks, and mantu (ground beef dumplings). We have it on good authority that their yogurt and spicy green sauce that comes with the falafel is delish.
LIBA FALAFEL Speaking of falafel, Gail Lillian, owner of the popular LIBA Falafel food truck, has found her spot for her first brick-and-mortar restaurant. (We tipped you back in March of last year that she was on the look-out.) Lillian tells the East Bay Express she hopes to open by this summer at 380 17th Street in Uptown Oakland. Expect the same fare as served from the bright apple-green truck, namely salads of cucumber and raw beets, hummus, braised eggplant, fried onions, pickles, and, of course, falafel balls. The LIBA food truck will continue to operate and Lillian says she is also hoping to open a restaurant in San Francisco one day.
FIST OF FLOUR DOUGHJO Another transition from mobile to brick and mortar: Oakland’s pop-up pizzeria Fist of Flour opened Doughjo yesterday in the former Pizza Roma space at 4166 MacArthur Blvd (at High St.) in the Laurel District. Along with the thin-crust, wood-fired pizza slices in traditional cheese, mushroom, or pepperoni with two rotating specials, Doughjo offers meatball subs, Italian cold cut subs, salads, and sodas. Owner James Whitehead plans to continue operating the mobile cart business.
THE GOOD HOP BOTTLE SHOP This new bottle shop/tap room in Uptown Oakland is rushing to try to open in time for SF Beer Week which launches on Feb. 7, but was still waiting for its ABC license as of Jan, 15. The store will offer a selection of 16 rotating northern California beers on tap, along with a ‘hundreds’ of bottles of craft beers from around the globe to consume in situ, or buy and take home. The Good Hop Bottle Shop, just the latest of a slew of exciting new craft beer destinations in the East Bay, is at 2421 Telegraph Ave. Oakland (at 24th St.).
What else is going on…
THE BARREL ROOM WINEMAKER DINNER The recently opened Barrel Room in Rockridge will host a special prix-fixe dinner featuring the wines of Ludovica and Giuseppe Lusenti and Fratelli Mossio on Friday Jan. 24 with seatings at 5:30 and 8:00 p.m. The evening’s $80.00 five-course menu will include six wine pairings and the winemakers will be on hand for the event. On the menu: antipasto platter with salumi and cheeses, braised leeks, pickled wild mushrooms, olives, and micro greens; a soup/salad choice of Romanesco bisque with Castelvetrano tapenade or Belgian endive with beets and walnuts; the a choice of lasagna with duck sugo or a vegetarian option; main course choices of pork tenderloin with mushrooms and a red wine reduction, chicken cacciatore, or vegetable crepes with cheese fonduta; followed by a dessert of chocolate hazelnut torte with housemade gelato. A full vegetarian menu will also be available. Reservations, specifying the number of guests and the preferred seating time, can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The Barrel Room is at 5330 College Ave., Oakland. [And look out for Nosh’s forthcoming story the The Barrel Room.]
HOMESTEAD BEER DINNER Homestead on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland is partnering with the Trappist and the Trappist Provisions to host a Beer Dinner on Feb. 9 from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. A five-course menu will include brewer’s yeast popcorn; Braised Beef Tongue Carpaccio with pastrami spiced fried oysters, house mustard, kraut and rye bread; Oeufs Au Meurette (in beer) with roasted mushrooms and grilled bread; Roasted Pork Loin and Crepinette with spoon bread and red-eye gravy; Cabot Cheddar Cheese; and a Malted Milk Ice Cream Sundae with whipped cream, chocolate covered pretzels, hot fudge and caramel. The cost is $60.00 per person for the food plus an additional $25.00 per person for the beer pairings. Reservations can be made via Urban Spoon or through the Homestead website, or by calling (510) 420-6962. Homestead, 4029 Piedmont Ave. (between 40th and 41st streets).
IT’S RESTAURANT WEEK TIME! Finally, don’t forget it’s time to get great deals when eating out with Restaurant Week kicking off tonight in both Berkeley and Oakland. Oakland Restaurant Week runs from Jan. 17-26 with prix fixe lunches or dinners costing $20-$40. Berkeley Restaurant Week, from Jan. 17-31, features prix fixe lunch menus for $15-$20, and dinners for $20-$30. Read all about it — and go on out and get eating!
Recent stories published on Berkeleyside Nosh (in case you missed them):
East Bay craft beer scene is just getting started
Contest: Name that nosh
Salsipuedes aims for heartfelt cooking in North Oakland
‘Restaurant Week’ returns to Berkeley, Oakland
Bites is Nosh’s round-up of restaurant openings, happenings and closings in the East Bay. Got a tip or scoop? Send it our way to email@example.com. Catch up with previous Bites columns.