Photo: Eatsa/Facebook
Picking up a quinoa bowl at Easta. Photo: Eatsa/Facebook

Openings, closings

EATSA TO TAKE OVER FORMER CREPES-A-GO-GO IN BERKELEY The robots are coming. Sort of. The high-tech automated quinoa bowl restaurant Eatsa is planning to open its third Bay Area location on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, in the recently vacated Crêpes A-Go-Go. According to Eater SF, Eatsa hopes to open by the time students show back up at Cal’s campus in the fall. Eatsa serves a mostly-healthy menu of grain bowls and salads like the Spice Market Bowl (corn curry, roasted yams, saag paneer, cucumber raita, tandoori tofu, warm lemon-herb toasted quinoa, pita bread and fried chickpeas) and the Bento Bowl (stir-fried quinoa with egg, edamame, crispy wonton strips, teriyaki sauce, miso portobello mushrooms and apple-cabbage slaw). Select locations also offer breakfast. What makes Eatsa stand out amongst the other bowl-and-salad spots now popping up in the area is that the restaurant does not employ any front-of-house staff; instead, customers place orders on iPads or smart phones and then pick up their food in a glass cubicle. (Actual human prep cooks prepare the bowls behind the scenes.) Another difference? The price. Each lunch Eatsa bowl is a mere $6.95 and breakfast items are all under $4  — good news for college students and budget conscious diners alike. Eatsa will be at 2334 Telegraph Ave. (at Durant Avenue), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Grand Fare Market courtyard. Photo: Michael David Rose

GRAND FARE MARKET TO REOPEN THIS MONTH We last checked in with Grand Fare Market in May when we heard that owners Doug Washington and Freya Prowe would reopen the artisanal food marketplace. Now we hear from the Splash Pad newsletter that the opening date is set for July 19. Washington told Splash Pad this spring that the new iteration of the market will be pared down from the original with a simplified layout, fewer grocery items, a lower price point, and a stronger focus on prepared foods for eating there or taking home. In addition, Washington is adding more seating both indoors and out, plus a canopy and heaters in the outdoor space in case of inclement weather. Washington told Inside Scoop in May he has brought on Chris Fernandez (Oliveto, Poggio and Terrapin Crossroads) to handle the kitchen. Fernandez will be making much use of the rotisserie — you’ll likely see whole chickens, ribs and roasted vegetables. Also on the menu will be fresh pastas, ragu and polenta, meatballs, soups and stews. Grand Fare Market is at 3265 Grand Ave., Oakland. Connect with the market on Facebook and Twitter.

Duck porridge with house-made Chinese donuts. Photo: Grand Lake Kitchen/Facebook

LARGER GRAND LAKE KITCHEN NOW UP AND RUNNING Nearby Grand Lake Kitchen‘s expanded restaurant space has now been open for about a month. The larger space now includes a full bar in addition to a renovated patio and twice the seating capacity. Grand Lake Kitchen has expanded and tweaked its brunch and dinner menus, and it will continue to rotate in new dishes. Co-owner May Seto Wasem told Splash Pad that the restaurant will soon be adding reservations, but does plan to keep half of the restaurant available for walk-ins. Grand Lake Kitchen is at 576 Grand Ave. (between MacArthur Boulevard and Euclid Avenue), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Photo: Rhetoric Coffee/Facebook

BERKELEY COFFEE: RHETORIC AND CORO COFFEE ROOM This week, we got wind of a new coffee roaster and subscription service in Berkeley called Rhetoric Coffee. The small company, which delivers organic, hand-roasted beans every two weeks, has been in operation since January. According to a tipster on Hungry Onion, Rhetoric is experimenting with a melange of multiple roast profiles of the same coffee (i.e. a blend of lighter and darker roasts), and it sells them online in eight, 12 and 16 ounce portions. In other Berkeley coffee news, we’ve heard that the Bay Area Co-Roasters on Fourth Street is working on a café space in the facility. It is being designed by Rick Irving, who worked on the Getty Museum and a Wolfgang Puck restaurant in Los Angeles. The CoRo Coffee Room, as it is being called, will feature coffees roasted by the co-roaster’s members, and it is slated to open late this year. Connect with Rhetoric Coffee on Facebook. The Bay Area Co-Roasters facility is at 2322 Fifth St. (between Channing and Bancroft ways), Berkeley. Connect with the business on Facebook.

Apricot pancakes from Mama’s Royal. Photo: Mama’s Royal/Facebook
Apricot pancakes from Mama’s Royal. Photo: Mama’s Royal/Facebook

MAMA’S ROYAL IS FOR SALE Oakland’s historic breakfast joint Mama’s Royal is officially on the market. The East Bay Express reports that owner George Marino is ready to retire. Mama’s has been serving breakfast standards and sandwiches using high-quality ingredients since 1972, but as the Express’s Luke Tsai writes, it is “just as well known for its funky decor and its offbeat, community-oriented vibe.” Marino isn’t in a huge rush to sell the place — he told the Express that he wants to find a buyer who will keep Mama’s spirit in place. He does, however, think the new owners should consider keeping the restaurant open through dinner to capitalize on the booming 40th Street corridor near which the restaurant sits. Mama’s is currently on the market for $395,000. Mama’s Royal Café is at 4012 Broadway (at 40th Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook.

The future location of the LocoL coffee shop. Photo: @ridingshotgunla/Instagram

LOCOL SNAGS A SPOT IN WEST OAKLAND Oakland is already getting another LocoL — or at least a new iteration of the concept. The East Bay Express reports that the “revolutionary fast food” restaurant will be opening a coffee shop in the former Tomm’s Bar-B-Q at the corner of Market and 35th streets. While the Express wasn’t able to confirm many details, co-owner Roy Choi’s Instagram post describes the place as a “small little coffee shop” serving “savory pastries type ish.” Nosh recently spoke with Choi’s business partner Daniel Patterson about LocoL, and he mentioned a West Oakland location in the works, as well as a spot in East Oakland and San Francisco’s Tenderloin. The LocoL coffee shop will be at 3446 Market St. (at 35th Street), Oakland. Connect with LocoL on FacebookInstagramYouTube and Twitter.

The “beer beach” at Woods Island Club. Photo: Rey Romero
The “beer beach” at Woods Island Club. Photo: Rey Romero

WOODS BEER CO. OPENS ISLAND CLUB The fourth location for Oakland-based Woods Beer Co. is set to open tomorrow on Treasure Island. The Woods Island Club, as the venue is called, is located on a 4,000 square foot beach at the island’s Clipper Cove. It includes a tasting room, barrel-aging facility and an outdoor “beer beach.” On tap are many of Woods’ unique brews, such as its signature MateVeza IPA and this reporter’s favorite ginger pale ale, plus Island Club-only wine barrel-aged sours. For now, the Island Club will only be open on select weekends, so we hope Woods is employing weather-predicting gurus who will set hours based on temperature and sunshine. The up-to-date schedule is available on the Woods websiteThe Woods Beer Co. Island Club is at 440 California Ave. (at Clipper Cove Way), Treasure Island. Connect with the brewery on Twitter and Instagram.

ZAYTOON OPENS IN ALBANY A new Mediterranean restaurant called Zaytoon has opened up in the former Solano Grill & Bar space on Solano Avenue. Zaytoon is serving a mix of starters like mezze plates and yogurt cheese, vegetable-heavy salads, grilled kebabs and an array of traditional plates such as maklouba (an “upside down” rice dish with vegetables, pine nuts and chicken or lamb), samakeh (pan-fried fish with potatoes) and mujaddara (rice, lentils and caramelized onions). Early reports are very positive, with high praise for both the food and the friendly service. Zaytoon is at 1133 Solano Ave. (at Kains Street), Albany.

Duck burger from Broderick Roadhouse. Photo: Broderick Roadhouse/Facebook

BRODERICK ROADHOUSE TO WALNUT CREEK A new fusion burger joint called Broderick Roadhouse has recently opened in Walnut Creek, serving everything from a Niman Ranch “old school” burger to a pulled pork banh mi. Craft beers are, of course, on tap. Broderick got its start as a food truck, and it opened its first restaurant in Sacramento in 2012. The Walnut Creek location is housed in the former Hubcap’s Diner and it features artwork by Sacramento artist Shaun Burner. It is open for lunch and dinner on weekdays, and brunch through dinner on the weekends. Broderick Roadhouse is at 1548 Bonanza St. (at Locust Street), Walnut Creek. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Dinners and events

Photo: Oakland Wine Festival

OAKLAND WINE FESTIVAL The second annual Oakland Wine Festival is set to take place July 16 at the Sequoyah Country Club. The all-day educational food and wine event features seated tastings of both local and international wines, plus winemaker dinners and, in a first this year, a double-blind tasting that Fuller is calling “The Judgement of Oakland.” This tasting will include over 100 wines, and guests are invited to participate alongside winemakers, restauranteurs, sommeliers and other experts. Several dinners will take place in the evening, some at the country club and others at Oakland restaurants such as Pican and Ozumo. Ticket prices for this year’s event are dramatically reduced from last year’s — all day prices (including three meals) are $150. Half-day and individual event tickets are also available. Find more information about tickets hereConnect with the Oakland Wine Festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Photo: Rockridge Market Hall/Facebook

BASTILLE DAY AT MARKET HALL Rockridge’s Market Hall is celebrating Bastille Day next Thursday with tastings of traditional French recipes from the Pasta Shop Kitchen, artisanal cheeses from the cheese counter and special pantry ingredients. Kitty Keller, founder of the import company KL Keller Foodways, will be in attendance to tell the stories of how she has come to find many of her French products. Select French foods from KL Keller will be on sale for 10% off. Berkeley’s Pasta Shop will also be celebrating the day with samples and discounts on similar products. Much of the activity will run from 4-6 p.m. Rockridge Market Hall is at 5655 College Ave. (at Shafter Avenue), Oakland. Connect with the store on Facebook and Twitter.

What else is going on…

Two “punny” tins. Photo: Courtesy NovelTea Tins
Two “punny” tins. Photo: Courtesy NovelTea Tins

BERKELEY’S NOVELTEA TINS LAUNCHES SECOND KICKSTARTER A Berkeley-based tea company that packages its wares in book-shaped packaging with “punny” names has launched a fundraising effort to create a second line of products. NovelTea’s first release include Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Earl Grey™, Tolstoy’s War and Peach™, and Don QuixoTea™: Man of La ManChai™. Each tin is designed by a different artist, and they are all available with and without tea inside. NovelTea’s newest collection will feature all British authors, including Jane Austen (“Pride and Peppermint”), Charles Dickens (“Oliver Lemon Twist”) and Shakespeare (“Matcha Do About Nothing”). Connect with NovelTea Tins on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Kate Williams

Kate Williams has been writing about food since 2009. After spending two years developing recipes for cookbooks at America’s Test Kitchen, she moved to Berkeley and began work as a freelance writer and...