LA PANOTIQ BERKELEY HAS CLOSED The Berkeley location of the Bay Area bakery and café chain has closed suddenly. A post on La PanotiQ‘s Facebook page read: “We are sorry to announce that our store is temporarily closed until further notice, and are sorry for inconvenience. Join us in our other locations @Campbell, San Francisco (Marina & Noe Valley), Mountain View, Livermore, & Burlingame very soon. You’re always welcome at #lapanotiQ!” La PanotiQ opened in the former location of Padi Restaurant (and Holy Land) Elmwood this spring, serving a selection of French-style sandwiches salads, cakes, pastries, freshly baked bread, coffee and tea. We have reached out to the La PanotiQ owners and will update you as we learn more.
BANH MI JOINT NOW MONSTER PHO 2 Less than two months after opening, Emeryville’s Banh Mi Joint has changed concepts. Owner Tee Tran, who also runs Oakland’s Monster Pho, decided to rebrand the restaurant after customers continued to request pho. Eater SF reports that Tran decided on the change about a month ago, and he quickly rearranged seating and the kitchen. The new sign is now up. As far as the menu goes, Tran has kept banh mi sandwiches in place, but has added beef, chicken and vegetarian pho to the menu. He has kept the bar menu, with its emphasis on Asian beers, intact. Monster Pho 2 is at 3900 Adeline St. (at 39th Street), Emeryville. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
BROOKLYN WEST WINERY OPENS ITS TASTING ROOM Back in January, we brought you news of Brooklyn West, a winery and tasting room headed to Jack London Square. While owners Stewart Epstein and Jeffrey Fiegel aimed to open this past spring, it has taken until this year’s holiday season to get up and running. The tasting room is now open on weekends from 12-6 p.m. Epstein and Fiegel launched the winery in Madera in 2013, focusing on Spanish- and Portuguese-style wines made from grapes sourced across California’s growing regions. (Brooklyn West does make non-Iberian wines as well; its 2012 Zinfandel garnered 90 Points from Wine Enthusiast earlier this year.) The winery’s name is inspired by a multi-level relationship between the winemakers and Brooklyn, Epstein told Nosh in January. Both Epstein and his wife Michelle moved to Oakland from Brooklyn, where Michelle grew up. It is also a reference to Brooklyn, California, which was annexed by the city of Oakland in 1872, and is currently the known as East Oakland. And, in current media coverage, Oakland is often referred to as the “Brooklyn of the West.” Brooklyn West Winery is at 201 3rd St. (at Jackson Street), Oakland. Connect with the winery on Facebook.
TASTE OF AFRICA CLOSES BRICK AND MORTAR SPOT The East Oakland location of A Taste of Africa, which is one of our favorite dinner spots, has closed. The East Bay Express reports that a new restaurant, Tasty Pleasures, has opened in its place. Luckily, Taste of Africa owner Malong Pendar appears to still be hosting pop-ups at the Ashby flea market on the weekends. Connect with A Taste of Africa on Facebook.
SCOLARI’S NOW SERVING BARBECUE ON PARK STREET The Alameda restaurant closed and revamped earlier this month, improving its indoor layout and adding barbecue to its menu of burgers and sandwiches. Scolari’s now offers a lineup of pulled pork, brisket, pork belly “burnt ends,” and smoked andouille sausages, available as platters or sandwiches. It is also offering a “barbecue parfait,” which is exactly what it sounds like: your choice of meat, layered with beans, slaw, and cheese. Whether or not the dish makes you scoff is up to you. The new Scolari’s menu may be a harbinger of things to come at their newest venture, Boyd’s Barbecue, which is still in the works further down Park Street. Favorite discontinued menu items are on offer at Scolari’s at the Point. Scolari’s Good Eats is at 1303 Park Ave. (at Encinal Avenue), Alameda. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Instagram.
THE WELL TO TEMESCAL A new holistically-minded café called The Well is headed to Temescal’s East Bay Community Space early next year. The Well will offer herbal medicinal drinks, both hot and cold, plus a menu of vegetable-centric snacks and light meals. Co-owners Marielle Amrhein and Karim Bishay write on the café’s website that The Well is “dedicated to offering the wisdom and healing of herbal medicine in a socially inclusive café setting.” It will be sourcing its produce, dairy and meat from local farms and school and youth gardening programs, and all of its herbs and teas are sustainably harvested, fair trade, and/or wild-harvested. We will keep you posted as we learn more about the café. The Well will be at 5447 Telegraph Ave. (at 55th Street), Oakland. Connect with the café on Facebook.
WALNUT CREEK TO GET A FOOD HALL The Foundry, a two story food vendor and retail center, is headed to Walnut Creek in 2018. According to Diablo Magazine, Brian Hirahara, the developer behind the 1500 Mt. Diablo Building (Slice House, Telefèric, Rooftop) is also working on The Foundry project, which will cover 9,400 square feet and will include a common dining area, large outdoor patio and a rooftop event space. More details to come. The Foundry will be at 1250 Locust St. (between Mount Diablo and Olympic boulevards), Walnut Creek.
CHICA EXPANDING TO OAKLAND North Beach Mexican takeout window Chica has landed its first brick-and-mortar space in Oakland at 303A Oakland Ave., according to Eater. The Northern California-inspired Mexican restaurant started as a pop-up five years ago, and opened the takeout window last year. Owner Maria Esquivel is from Oakland, so, as she told Eater, she was excited to make the move to the East Bay. She’ll be serving tacos, ceviches, and rice and salad bowls, plus coffee and espresso drinks, “Chicano-style.” Chica will be set up as a fast-casual restaurant with 25 seats and plenty of wall space for local artists. Esquivel plans to open the week of December 11. Chica Oakland will be at 303A Oakland Ave. (near Pearl Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Instagram.
TIDBITS: ZACH’S SNACKS, GIIN THAI, IRON AND OAK Jamal Fares, the former owner of Euclid Avenue’s Hummingbird Café, has now reopened nearby Zach’s Snacks, which he briefly operated a few years ago. According to the Daily Cal, Fares left Hummingbird Café due to rising rents and minimum wage increases. At Zack’s Snacks, he offers student-friendly grab-and-go items that are all homemade, contain little fat and are “real special.” He added that he wants for Zach’s Snacks to be a homey, welcoming environment. Over in south Berkeley, Giin Thai Canteen is planning to expand its dining area into he empty storefront next door. It will also add beer and wine service. The construction is still in the planning stages, however, so it may be awhile before we can take advantage of the expanded seating area. In Oakland, Eater reports that a new restaurant has opened in the City Center Marriott — Iron and Oak. The all-day restaurant is serving “globally-inspired” comfort food made with “regionally-sourced products,” such as Starter Bakery pastries, Fra’Mani Salumi, Mary’s Chicken, Taylor’s sausages and Pasta Shop pastas. Zach’s Snacks is at 1973 Euclid Ave. (at Hearst Avenue), Berkeley. Giin Thai Canteen is at 3278 Adeline St. (at Alcatraz Avenue), Berkeley. Iron and Oak is in the Oakland Marriott City Center at 1001 Broadway (at 10th Street), Oakland.
Dinners and events
WINTER COOKBOOK EXTRAVAGANZA This Sunday, Oakland’s Diesel bookstore will host five local cookbook authors for its annual “Cookbook Extravaganza.” Each of the authors will be there to discuss their work and share some tasty snacks. Georgeanne Brennan will discuss “My Culinary Journey,” with recipes from a journey to Provence; Heidi Gibson and Nate Pollack (of restaurant American Grilled Cheese Kitchen) will share recipes from their “Grilled Cheese Kitchen” book; Cal Peternell will talk about his newest work, “A Recipe for Cooking;” and Alanna Taylor-Tobin will discuss gluten-free baking and her cookbook, “Alternative Baker.” The event will run from 1-3 p.m. in the bookstore. Diesel, A Bookstore is at 5433 College Ave. (at Kales Avenue), Oakland.
Want to break out of your comfort zone and try a new place to have dinner tonight? Check out the Nosh Neighborhood Guides to some our favorite eating and imbibing spots.