Fayza and Ramzy Ayyad. Photo: Anna Mindess
Fayza and Ramzy Ayyad at Zaki Kabob House, which will be seeking a new location after losing its lease. Photo: Anna Mindess

Openings, closings…

A SAD GOODBYE TO A LOCAL GEM Zaki Kabob House will reportedly shut its doors in Albany, at 1101 San Pablo Ave., on June 1. The restaurant was opened there by the Ayyad family in 2008, just north of the Berkeley border, “after years of enjoying delicious Middle Eastern and Mediterranean foods on our family table.” Berkeleyside profiled the restaurant in 2013. We reported at that time that the business’ original landlord, “who supported them in making many improvements to the modest green building, recently passed away. His heirs plan to sell the building and are offering the family first option to buy — with a price tag of $700,000.” Zaki owners were unable to purchase the property, and have now lost their lease. The local favorite will be looking for a new location, and has announced new hours for its final days: Dinner will be served nightly from 5-9 p.m., but lunch will only be available Friday through Sunday from noon to 3 p.m.

Courtesy: High Peaks Kitchen
Photo: High Peaks Kitchen

RAVES FOR HIGH PEAKS KITCHEN New in Oakland, High Peaks Kitchen at 5299 College Ave., is drawing positive reviews on Yelp for its Indian and Pakistani fare. Fans rave about flavorful, fresh food and gracious staff, and say they can’t wait to go back for more. Wrote one: “Had a great Indian meal at this place. Loved it.… The taste of their food could only be found in five star hotels in India. Surprisingly, all of the cooks and servers are exiled Tibetans. Not a single Indian. Will visit the place again.” Owners note on Facebook that High Peaks’ chef worked for more than 12 years in numerous Indian and Pakistani restaurants around the Bay Area. The restaurant delivers within three miles, and appears to have opened in March or April. It has an on-sale beer and wine license pending with the state, as of April 29. The restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., according to its Facebook page.

Image: Google Maps
Image: Google Maps

NEW ETHIOPIAN SPOT IN OAKLAND One of the latest additions to already extensive choices for Ethiopian food in Oakland, Bole Ethiopian Restaurant is up and running at 2805 Telegraph Ave. Apparently, Bole started out as a market but, according to one Yelper in late March, “The market wasn’t working out so the owners changed formats and it is now an Ethiopian restaurant.” She described the seasoning for the vegetarian platter as “quite sophisticated,” and also enjoyed the “moist” chicken “made flavorful by some excellent spicing.” The husband-and-wife team who owns the restaurant has a beer and wine license pending with the state as of April 29. According to Yelp, the restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Let us know if you check it out.

Jay Porter and Katie Mayfield plan to open Salsipuedes in North Oakland later this year. Photo: Courtesy of Jay Porter
Jay Porter and Katie Mayfield plan to open Salsipuedes in North Oakland later this year. Photo: Courtesy of Jay Porter

TIDBITS FROM THE ABC A restaurant hoping to open on Market Street in Oakland, Salsipuedesprofiled by Berkeleyside earlier this year — has a pending beer and wine license with the state. Owner Jay Porter said he hopes to open later this year. Porter described Salsipuedes as taking a “super deep farm-to-table nose-to-tail approach on food.” It will be a neighborhood-serving restaurant, expected to seat about 40, with a small menu of perhaps 12 items featuring California cuisine. Also, Analog, which plans to open at 412 14th St. in Oakland, is awaiting its alcohol license, too. The East Bay Express described Analog in January as “a celebration of analog media — of VHS cassette tapes and record players and old cathode-ray-tube television sets.” We also spotted a pending application for Downtown Wine Merchants at 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, as of April 23, but found no further details online.

Photo: Crossburgers
Photo: Crossburgers

CROSSBURGERS IN OAKLAND Also at Frank Ogawa Plaza, Crossburgers opened earlier this year and is waiting for its alcohol sales license. Even without booze, diners seem to be pleased with the spot, highlighting “well seasoned burgers,” the “dirty fries” and the chicken sandwich. The restaurant was featured recently in the East Bay Express, which noted that its chef has worked previously at Henry’s in Berkeley and at the now-closed Miss Pearl’s Jam House in Oakland. Recent “special burgers” included one option served with balsamic mushrooms and roasted red peppers with pepper jack, and another with fresh guacamole, swiss cheese and pickled jalapeños. The restaurant is located at 300 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza and is open weekdays only from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook to learn more.

Charis Wahl. Photo: Gather
Charis Wahl. Photo: Gather

NEW HEAD CHEF AT GATHER Gather Restaurant in Berkeley has a new executive chef, Charis Wahl, the restaurant announced Thursday. Wahl had previously been the sous chef at Gather for Sean Baker, who will continue to be a managing owner. (Baker now heads up the kitchen at the company’s Verbena restaurant in San Francisco, which opened in December.) Wahl “joined the Gather team in 2009 and was most recently the restaurant’s Chef de Cuisine. Prior to that she spent time at Rivoli Restaurant in Berkeley and Ozumo in Oakland,” according to the announcement. “She will maintain the signature Gather approach to seasonal, local, and organic ingredients while also introducing her own selection of new offerings.” Gather is located at 2200 Oxford St. It’s open daily for dinner from 5-10 p.m., for weekday lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and for weekend brunch from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

What else is going on…

Heat Hot Sauce Shop. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Heat Hot Sauce Shop. Photo: Emilie Raguso

FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR HEAT Coming up Sunday, May 4, Heat Hot Sauce Shop in Berkeley will celebrate its first year with a special event from 3:30-5:30 p.m. featuring “three amazing local sauce makers coming to share their tasty sauces with you. This event is free for all and family friendly.” Learn more here. Connect with the shop on Facebook.

Catch up with more great Nosh stories:

Activists stop kosher chicken slaughtering class
Is In-N-Out Burger coming to Telegraph Avenue?
Bites: New gay bar, coffee roasters, brewpub, more
Bites: New cupcake shop, beer spot, fermenting help
New craft brewery, restaurant slated for Berkeley
Bites: Alchemy Bottle Shop, kosher sushi, and more

Nosh will soon launch Nosh Weekly, a free weekly email that will keep you bang up-to-date on all the delicious food, drink and restaurant news in the East Bay. Want to be one of the first to receive it? Simply sign up here.

"*" indicates required fields

See an error that needs correcting? Have a tip, question or suggestion? Drop us a line.

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...