A roast beef sandwich from Pal’s Takeaway. Photo: Clara Rice

Good news for Pal’s Takeaway fans — Jeff Mason’s semi-permanent pop-up at Oakland’s Forage Kitchen isn’t going anywhere. Mason told Nosh that, starting next week, he will be “more or less in charge” of the café space.

The original plan for the café was for it to host a rotating selection of local chefs and Mason was the first “chef in residence.” However, Mason said, “it’s been going [so] well from there” that he and Forage Kitchen owners Iso Rabins and Matt Johansen decided to have him stay.

Mason will be taking over the café’s menu, which means more sandwiches and special rotisserie items, such as porchetta, which Mason said he’ll offer twice a week, and daily spit-roasted turkey. Mason said he was also excited about a new smoked trout sandwich.

Jeff Mason, of Pal’s Takeaway, with his rotisserie chickens at Forage Kitchen. Photo: Clara Rice

Beer and wine will still be available, and Mason said he’s still planning to keep the café open during First Fridays, as it has since it opened last fall.

Mason will also be hosting special events at the café, the first of which will be a Korean fried chicken night with The Food Lab’s J. Kenji Lopez-Alt starting at 6 p.m. on Feb. 1. (If the last Food Lab pop-up at Pal’s was any indication, this one will be hugely popular. Get there early if you don’t want to wait.)

As for Rabins and Johansen, Mason said they’ll be keeping their focus on the shared kitchen space.


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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...