Butcher Scott Brennan at his new charcuterie shop, The Fifth Quarter, in Montclair Village, Oakland. Photo: Sarah Han



LES ARCEAUX Chef Alana O’Neal and Mikha Diaz, who once owned Two Sisters wine bar in San Francisco, have opened a new café and wine bar in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto inspired by their time spent in Southern France. The results are a welcoming, elegant eatery with a cosmopolitan vibe. During the day, Les Arceaux serves breakfast, lunch and beverages like coffee, tea, beer and wine. In the evening, it becomes a wine bar with a curated wine list, mostly with wines form California’s Central Coast and Languedoc and Savoie in France, as well as a “spritz menu.” The dinner menu includes dishes like mussels poached in gose beer, bavette steak (from Marin Sun Farms) and desserts like apple tarte tartin. Les Arceaux, 1849 Shattuck Ave. (at Hearst), Berkeley.

Barbarian serves New York-style (and Indian-influenced) pizza in downtown Berkeley. Photo: Sarah Han

BARBARIAN Last week, a new pizza place opened in downtown Berkeley that would get the approval of a certain cod-piece donning hero named Conan. The decor speaks to its name — with amusing, cartoonish paintings of warriors, swords, shields and antlers gracing the walls to get you in the mood to get barbaric on some pizza. Chef Trinnhy Jimenez (Rotten City Pizza, Oliveto, A16) specializes in New York-style pizza made with cold-fermented dough. He also makes the tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, sausage and soon, the salumi toppings. There’s also a hint of Indian flavor here (e.g. chicken tikka masala pizza, and two Indian-spiced sandwiches that are still in the works), which makes sense, as owner Deepak Aggarwal also owns Tigerlily and East Bay Spice Company. At the time we visited, Barbarian was still waiting on its beer license, but will eventually offer 200+ beers that can be enjoyed on site or taken home, and 12 brews on tap. NB: Barbarian offers free delivery within downtown Berkeley. Barbarian, 2012 Shattuck Ave. (at University), BerkeleyCRACKED Until recently, North Oaklanders could roll out of bed and head down to Blackwater Station on Telegraph Avenue for hearty breakfast sandwiches from a pop-up called Cracked. Well, Blackwater Station was sold to James Syhabout, who will open a Hawker Fare spin-off inside, and Cracked had to move. It relocated in Berkeley inside of downtown watering hole, Spats. Now, you can find Cracked’s signature runny egg sandwiches on Filipino pandesal bread from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Cracked, inside Spats, 1974 Shattuck Ave. (near Berkeley Way), BerkeleyDONATO & CO. Chef-restaurateur Donato Scotti’s new restaurant opened this month. With the help of chef Gianluca Guglielmi, Scotti is offering seasonal and contemporary Italian cuisine, like wood-fired meats, house-made pastas and local seafood. Recent offerings on its menu include dry squid ink spaghetti with Calabria peppers, Monterey Bay calamari, tomato confit and bottarga; braised beef cheek with polenta taragna and broccoli rabe; and house-made, house-cured salumi, served with pickled vegetables and olive oil focaccia. Donato & Co.,2635 Ashby Ave. (at College), Berkeley

Black tea with salted cheese at Happy Lemon in Berkeley. Photo: Sarah Han

HAPPY LEMON The new tenant that took over in the space last occupied by The Sandwich Spot is a Shanghai-based tea chain. Happy Lemon serves boba milk teas, smoothies, lemon teas, and a series of drinks with salted cheese flavor. Does the sound of cheese on your drink put you off? Curious, we tried the black tea with salted cheese, and we have to say, it tastes much better than it sounds. The tea is topped with a thick foam that tastes like slightly salted condensed milk and a few shakes of matcha powder as the finishing garnish. The first sip of the tea was the saltiest and creamiest, but as we continued to drink, the foam mixed in with the tea and mellowed out. We do recommend getting the tea with less sugar, to account for the foam that’ll add extra sweetness. But don’t be afraid of the cheese! Happy Lemon, 2106 Shattuck Ave. (near Addison), Berkeley RICE AND BONES Berkeley’s newest fast-casual Vietnamese restaurant is on the UC Berkeley campus inside Wurster Hall. Rice and Bones is from Charles Phan, who’s most known for his San Francisco restaurant, Slanted Door. Rice and Bones is the cafeteria version of Slanted Door, offering prepared stir-fried and roasted meat and vegetable dishes, steamed buns, as well as noodle soups and salads made to order.  The prices are a bit high for on-campus dining (and students can’t use meal points here), but if you’ve got a soft spot for Slanted Door’s grapefruit and jicama salad, you can get it here. Read our guide to Rice and BonesRice and Bones, Wurster Hall, UC Berkeley, Berkeley

Souvenir Coffee on Claremont Avenue. Photo: Sarah Han

SOUVENIR COFFEE CO. Claremont Avenue got a third wave coffee shop this month. Owned by Jeremy Bled, a Berkeley native and resident, Souvenir is not just a café, but a coffee roaster, too. The café, found within the old Semifreddi’s Café space, offers three of its roasts: light, medium and dark. Bled told Nosh, “We’re not snooty. We’re going to make dark roast coffee that we like and not feel guilty about it.” It also serves Far Leaves Tea, house-made lemonade and chocolate milk, pastries from Oakland’s Sweet Bar Bakery and panini sandwiches and salads that customers can take away or enjoy on site. Souvenir eventually plans to hold events, including afternoon teas and live acoustic music performances. Souvenir Coffee, 3084 Claremont Ave. (at the Uplands), BerkeleyWAY STATION BREW As Nosh reported in June, Way Station Brew took over when Lindgren’s Coffee and Café closed. Peter Snyderman, who once owned the Elite Café and Alta Plaza in San Francisco, and his long-time friend Warren Spicer are the two owners behind this newly opened café. We stopped in a few days after it opened, and were pleased to find that it had a welcoming, warm, European vibe about it. Like Lindgren’s, Way Station Brew roasts its own coffee. It also serves local beers on tap, which are best enjoyed in Way Station’s cozy beer garden in the backyard. As for food, Snyderman brought on Elite Café alum, chef Jeremy Weiss, to develop its menu, which includes breakfast sandwiches, gourmet toasts, salads and sandwiches. Much of its menu can be made gluten-free, or is vegetarian and vegan. But, for those who partake, there’s also a fried egg sandwich with Hobb’s bacon and a sliced brisket sandwich on house sourdough that sound very tempting. Way Station Brew,2120 Dwight Way (at Shattuck), Berkeley


EATSA Last week, automatic restaurant chain Eatsa announced that it shut down its Berkeley location (2334 Telegraph Ave.), along with four others in New York and D.C.  The two-year-old company is known for its human-free front-of-the-house service, where customers order grain bowls and salads on iPads or smartphones and pick up the prepared food in a glass cubicle. The company said on its blog that it expanded too quickly, and has shut down all but its two San Francisco locations, where it will continue to test and experiment with its offerings. In the meantime, it will concentrate on working with other restaurants, sharing its technology and platform to “improve customer experience and operations.” Read more about Eatsa’s closure.



Fresh pasta at Belotti Bottega in Oakland. Photo: Sarah Han

BELOTTI BOTTEGA Michele and Joyce Belotti, co-owners of Belotti Ristorante e Bottega in Rockridge, have opened a new location on Piedmont Avenue, which is primarily a quick-service shop for customers to buy fresh pasta, sauces and spuntini (appetizers and snacks). It has limited seating for dining in, but the main focus here is take-out. We stopped in during the soft opening and brought home two orders of dreamy, meaty agnolotti that we prepared at home, following the instructions straight from the mouth of Michele Belotti (written instructions are included with purchase, but Belotti insisted that you need to touch and taste the pasta as it’s cooking to know if it’s really done just right). We will be back for more pasta and to try the tiramisu! Belotti4001 Piedmont Ave. (at 40th), OaklandC.D.P. James Syhabout’s new bar on Piedmont Avenue is an extension of his two-Michelin-starred restaurant, Commis, and as you’d expect, it’s stunning. Elegant and upscale with a long, white marble bar and dapper, skilled bartenders, this is the perfect spot to stop in for a well-made cocktail, or if you’re feeling truly decadent, Champagne and caviar service. Read Ms. Barstool’s recent visit to C.D.P. for more details on what to expect and her recommendations on what to order. C.D.P., 3859 Piedmont Ave. (between Montell and Rio Vista), Oakland

Copper Spoon in North Oakland. Photo: Copper Spoon

COPPER SPOON This new 80-seat restaurant in North Oakland comes from Vita Simone Strauss and Carmen Anderson, who once ran a food truck called Sassafras Seagrass. It opened on Oct. 15. Found inside what was once Arts Crab Shak, the iconic signage for the old spot still remains. But Copper Spoon, with chef Andre Hall (Acme Chophouse, Bar Tartine, Fifth Floor and Alexander’s Steakhouse) at the helm, offers a menu of California-cuisine tinged with international influences, most notably Asian and Mediterranean fare. Its opening dinner menu includes salmon hand rolls with wasabi aioli and daikon sprouts; breads served with purple sweet potato, a lamb merguez burger, and poached black bass with koji-cured vegetables, fried potatoes and oyster broth. Simone Strauss, who boasts more than 12 years of bartending experience, is running the bar program. Expect a mixture of classic, contemporary and original cocktails, including a couple made with mezcal. Copper Spoon plans to have live music, including occasional DJs on the weekends. Copper Spoon, 4031 Broadway (at 42nd St.), OaklandEQUATOR COFFEE, URBAN REMEDY Marin-based businesses Equator Coffee and Urban Remedy just opened two new locations, within shipping containers found next door to each other. The arrangement works well, as the two companies’ founders are longtime friends. This is Equator’s seventh café, and technically, the first dedicated Equator café in the East Bay, although it has coffee bars on the Cal campus. This is Urban Remedy’s eleventh location; the juice and health food chain has another location in Berkeley, which it opened earlier this year. The shipping container shops mark both businesses’ first forays in Oakland. Equator Coffee and Urban Remedy, 175 Bay Place (near Grand), Oakland

The meatball sandwich at The Fifth Quarter in Montclair. Photo: Sarah Han

THE FIFTH QUARTER This new charcuterie shop and lunchtime sandwich spot in Montclair comes from Scott Brennan, who up until recently was selling sausages, pâtés, smoked meats, bacon and duck confit at local farmers markets. We stopped in a couple of weekends ago for lunch. We loved the meatball sandwich ($9), served in a soft Acme roll, with a generous helping of tender meatballs in a zesty tomato sauce, and topped with grated pecorino. Sandwiches change regularly, and most come with house-made Kennebec potato chips. The fries are worth noting, too, because Brennan blanches the Kennebec potatoes batons in water first, then fries them in a combination of 60% duck fat and 40% rice bran oil (he eventually hopes to go 100% duck fat), which means these are extra crispy and delicious. The Fifth Quarter, 6464 Moraga Ave. (between Medau and LaSalle), OaklandPAULISTA BRAZILIAN RESTAURANT & TAPROOM This new eatery and taproom in Oakland’s Glenview district has a feel-good story behind it. Two friends, who met as parents of kindergarteners at Glenview Elementary School, decided to join forces to open a neighborhood spot that would speak to their passions — Brazilian food and craft beer. After months of blood, sweat and fundraising, Paulista is now open! The café offers Brazilian small plates, like empanadas, açai bowls, smoothies, coxinhas (chicken croquettes) and pao de queijo (Brazilian cheese bread), as well as more substantial dinner offerings starting at 5 p.m. The taproom opens at noon, where you’ll find more than 30 beers and ciders on draft. Paulista Brazilian Kitchen & Taproom, 4239 Park Ave. (at Wellington), OaklandPITA POCKET This Mediterranean café offers pita sandwiches and salads, made with your choice of proteins, like halal chicken, falafel and shrimp, or vegetables. Hoodline reports that the café is the fourth iteration from owner Alexander Asefaw, who last rented the space to Chick & Tea, which closed in February. Pita Pocket, 3932 Telegraph Ave. (at 40th St.), Oakland


CHILLI PADI Oakland lost its sole Malaysian restaurant with the closure of Chilli Padi in Chinatown. As first reported by Hoodline, although still run by the same owner, Chilli Padi has become a new restaurant called Hotpot Factory that serves, you guessed it, hotpot. The menu, unfortunately, does not include any Malaysian dishes. We will miss Chilli Padi’s Char Kway Teow! Hotpot Factory, 366 8th St. (between Webster and Franklin), OaklandOVERLAND BAR AND GRILL The two-year-old Texas-themed country music bar in Jack London Square closed its doors for good on Oct. 13 (a fitting day for bad news, we guess). Owner Paul Hayward told Nosh that he didn’t feel supported by the city of Oakland nor the neighborhood improvement district to bring in the needed foot traffic that he feels the area lacks. With the closure of Overland, Hayward will focus on his two other businesses in Oakland — Mockingbird in downtown Oakland and The Temple Club in East Oakland.

TRIBUNE TAVERN According to the East Bay Express, the Tribune Tavern, the restaurant at the base of the iconic Tribune Tower in downtown Oakland, “mysteriously closed” last week. The restaurant was opened in 2013, by Tom Henderson and Chris Pastena (Chop Bar, Grand Tavern). The two parted ways in 2014, when Pastena sued Henderson, claiming his partner hid financial information and took too many complimentary meals for himself, as well as family and friends. The two settled out of court, which ended with Henderson taking control of the restaurant. In January, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission were put under federal court control due to allegations of fraud brought against Henderson, who allegedly misappropriated funds from investors seeking entry into the United States via the EB-5 visa program. Although the judge didn’t order the Tavern to close, the East Bay Express reported that it went dark as of Friday, Oct. 27 with no explanation for its closure.



A dish made with Monterey Bay squid at Juanita & Maude in Albany. Photo: Juanita & Maude

JUANITA & MAUDE Chef Scott Eastman (Corso) and his wife Ariane Owens have opened a new restaurant in Albany, within the former Nizza La Bella space. The cuisine has a heavy European influence, but Owens told Nosh that diners should expect the food — what the couple calls “refined comfort food” — to branch out from there. Juanita & Maude will offer a menu that changes daily, “driven by whole animal practices and seasonal offerings,” and a variety of craft cocktails and wine. Since opening, dishes served include liverwurst crostone served with thinly sliced mortadella, pickles and herbs; Monterey Bay squid, with cherry tomatoes, fresh chilies, ginger and avocado and Calabrian spiced Lamb Sausage, plated with lentils, roasted carrots and savoy spinach. Juanita & Maude, 825 San Pablo Ave. (near Solano), AlbanyTHE LOCAL As its name suggests, this new coffee shop on Park Street, is owned and operated by an Alameda resident. Otto Wright, who lives steps away from his new café, decided to open The Local when the space, formerly occupied by Blue Danube and found within an historic Masonic Lodge building, was up for lease. The Local serves pour-over and quick-serve coffee from  Mr. Espresso, Semifreddi’s pastries, smoothies and juices, sandwiches, salads and piroshkis. Eventually, The Local plans to offer beer and wine. The Local, 1333 Park St. (at Alameda), AlamedaTHE STAR ON PARK The Star’s new Alameda location is now open for business. As with its sister locations – The Star on Grand and Little Star on Solano Avenue in Albany and in San Francisco — The Star on Park specializes in a tomato-heavy, gut-busting Chicago-style deep dish pizza.  The Star on Park, 1400 Park St. (at Central), Alameda

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Sarah Han was the editor of Nosh from 2017 to 2021. Previously, she worked as an editor at The Bold Italic, the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. In 2020, Sarah won SPJ NorCal's...