BINI’S KITCHEN Part of UC Berkeley’s ASUC Student Union’s “What’s Poppin’” series of month-long restaurants is Bini’s Kitchen. Chef Binita Pradhan works with La Cocina, a food business incubator that works with immigrant and low-income women. Pradhan’s pop-up serves Nepalese cuisine such as momos (dumplings) and combination plates with both meat and vegetarian options. According to its website, Bini’s Kitchen offers home ground spices, traditional preparations and local ingredients to bring the Nepalese flavors from the foothills of the Himalayas to the Bay. Bini’s Kitchen will be on the Cal campus through April 6. Bini’s Kitchen, ASUC Student Union, UC Berkeley, 2495 Bancroft Way (at Telegraph), BerkeleyFAMOUS BAO Chinese restaurant Famous Bao opened its second outpost this month in downtown Berkeley, in the space previously occupied by Matt and Izzy’s. As with its first location in the Sather Gate food mall on Durant Avenue, the new Shattuck Avenue spot serves Shaanxi-style dishes like hand-pulled noodles and iron pot dishes. Owner Frances Sun told Nosh last month that the new location will offer some new dishes you can’t get in Southside. Famous Bao, 2116 Shattuck Ave. (between Addison and Center), BerkeleyIDYLLWHILE Five-month-old Les Arceaux closed in February and reopened this month as Idyllwhile. As Nosh reported, Mikha Diaz and Alana O’Neal decided the reboot would keep the best parts of what was working at their former French wine bar-restaurant and make tweaks to make the business more sustainable. Idyllwhile’s menu focuses on craft cocktails, French and Italian wines and small bites, like pickled vegetables, charcuterie and cheeseboard and sandwiches. Hours are 3-11 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, with a happy hour from 3-6 p.m., with the following specials: $7 house wines, $4 draft beers and a $5 weekly rotating special cocktail. Idyllwhile, 1849 Shattuck Ave. (at Hearst), Berkeley
MIXIOTE Another participant in the ASUC Student Union’s “What’s Poppin’” series this month, Mixiote brings the flavors of Mexico City to UC Berkeley. The name of the pop-up comes from the Spanish word for a traditional pit-barbecued meat dish from central Mexico. That shouldn’t scare any herbivores away however, as the eatery also offers vegetarian dishes. Chef Alma Rodrigues, a participant in La Cocina’s food business incubator, serves up fresh and affordable tacos and taco bowls — the highest price on the menu is $9 for three tacos, with your choice of pork, chicken or veggies. Mixiote is open on the Cal campus through April 6. Mixiote, ASUC Student Union, UC Berkeley, 2495 Bancroft Way (at Telegraph), BerkeleyORGANIC GREENS Elmwood got a new resident this month as Organic Greens opened its second location in the space previously occupied by The Beanery. Organic Greens is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and offers catering as well. Along with salads and panini, such as the Nicoise de Paris salad (boiled eggs, potatoes, green beans and seared ahi tuna) and the grilled portobello panini (hummus, veggies and portobello mushroom on ciabatta bread), the restaurant serves larger platters for dinner, as well as fresh pressed juices, smoothies and “Flu Shots,” which consist of ginger juice, lemon and other ingredients that may soothe your immune system. Organic Greens, 2925 College Ave. (between Ashby and Russell), BerkeleyPIQ BAKERY AND CAFE Shattuck’s PIQ Bakery and Cafe reopened its full space this month after a partial closure during renovation. Since Jan. 2, PIQ was operating out of a small space just next door to its original location. On Monday, March 26, PIQ reopened its original space, offering samples of its classic Italian pastries and snacks to welcome back customers. The updated space includes a new kitchen, and a new menu is scheduled to be released in the coming weeks. Also coming soon: its sister restaurant called Radici will open in the space next door on April 2. PIQ Bakery and Cafe, 91 Shattuck Sq. (at Addison), Berkeley
SARIWA Chef Aileen Suzara’s pop-up Sariwa is the third restaurant participating in UC Berkeley’s ASUC Student Union’s “What’s Poppin’” series this month. Its name comes from the Filipino word for fresh, which makes sense as Suzara sources local ingredients to make her Filipino Fare. Sariwa’s menu consists of lunch bowls made with chicken, tofu or a daily special, along with rice, a salad and your choice of vegetable. The pop-up, along with Bini’s Kitchen and Mixiote, is open on the first floor of the ASUC Student Union through April 6. Sariwa, ASUC Student Union, UC Berkeley, 2495 Bancroft Way (at Telegraph), Berkeley
MAKER’S COMMON As Nosh reported last month, the seven-month-old restaurant-cheese shop in downtown Berkeley closed on March 4. Owners Sarah Dvorak, Oliver Dameron and Eric Miller decided to end the business, the first investment-crowdfunded restaurant in California, citing that Maker’s Common struggled with financial sustainability. Nosh has heard that a new tenant has already signed for the space at 1954 University Ave. We will share further details as soon as we can confirm them.
BEER BARON Beer Baron opened its fourth location in Oakland’s Rockridge neighborhood this month. The menu here is most similar to its Pleasanton location, with locally sourced and elevated takes on bar fare. The Rockridge location offers Baron classics like its fried chicken and waffles and the Baron Burger with duck fat fries, as well as some Oakland-only offerings. Prices are around $10-$12 for small plates and $15 for main entrees. The drink list offers 25 beers on tap that rotate regularly (check the website for the most recent offerings), and over 300 types of whiskey. If the thought of whiskey sparks your interest, you can also join its whiskey club, which invites members to monthly tasting events and gives them first dibs on special barrel collections. Beer Baron, 5900 College Ave. (at Chabot), OaklandDELEGATES The space previously occupied by Bhugay’s Katsu Curry has reopened as the new American breakfast and lunch joint, Delegates. The menu is modest in both proportion and prices — there are four breakfast items and nine lunch items, all of which are priced under $12. The breakfast offerings all include either eggs and/or avocado, while the lunch menu consists of burgers, sandwiches and salads. As can be expected in the East Bay, Delegates accounts for dietary restrictions; its “Burg” list includes one made with a vegan and gluten-free patty. Delegates makes all its patties, hash browns, sauces and dressings in house, and sources its buns from Semifreddi and its coffee from Equator Coffees & Teas. Delegates, 578 14th St. (between Jefferson and Clay), OaklandHOLY BASIL PHO Last month, the owners of Restaurant Chu closed the Chinese eatery in Rockridge to reboot the space as a new Vietnamese spot called Holy Basil Pho. The menu offers appetizers, like fried calamari, chicken wings and fresh spring rolls, as five variations of pho and vermicelli and rice bowls, where diners can choose between seven different proteins. If you’re looking for a comforting noodle soup that isn’t pho, Holy Basil also offers five other noodle soup dishes, including bun bo hue (spicy beef lemongrass noodle soup) and bun ca ri ga (yellow curry chicken noodle soup). The prices range from $12-15 for soups and bowls. Holy Basil Pho, 5362 College Ave. (between Manilla and Bryant), Oakland
STAY GOLD DELI After a short delay from its planned opening in February, Stay Gold Deli opened its second location in Temescal this month. The new spot takes over the location of the former Sacred Wheel Cheese Shop. The second location is smaller than the original Stay Gold in West Oakland, but offers a similar menu of BBQ sandwiches, deli sandwiches and sides. There are also two pinball machines, bar seating inside and a few tables outside too. In an interview with the SF Chronicle, owner Jason Herbers said he is excited to reconnect with old neighbors in Temescal. Stay Gold Deli, 4935 Shattuck Ave. (at 51st), OaklandTASTY PHO On March 9, Tasty Pho opened its doors in Oakland. The restaurant is located just off of Lake Merritt and serves a variety of Vietnamese food, including noodle dishes like pho, bún and hủ tiếu, as well as a selection of rice plates. Tasty Pho also offers a unique drink menu with options like Sinh tố bơ (an avocado smoothie) as well as Cafe Đen Đá (Vietnamese coffee). The restaurant is still settling in, but according to its Yelp reviews, it’s off to a great start. Tasty Pho, 200 International Blvd. (between 2nd and 3rd), Oakland
WILDE BROTHERS The Grand Lake Theater got a new neighbor this month and its name is Wilde Brothers Coffee. The cafe is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and offers a selection of coffee and pastries. According to its website, the owners flew in a specialty barista from Australia, who has only been identified as Edwin, “to set the standard” of coffee brewing “and train employees.” The café’s interior is quite cozy with lots of decorative plants and just a few seats. There’s also seating at several colorful tables outside, making it a great place to enjoy a cup of coffee before your movie starts. Wilde Brothers, 3206 Grand Ave. (at Lake Park), Oakland
PIEOLOGY In addition to closing its Berkeley location last year, Pieology has now shuttered its pizzeria in Oakland. The closure was somewhat abrupt with no explanation from Pieology’s corporate headquarters. According to the East Bay Times, it has been speculated that the recent closures of several locations are an effort to transition from a corporate-owned model to a franchise model. For now, the location at 5100 Broadway sits emptied of all furniture, with a sign in the window reading “Closed Due to Mechanical Issues.” Time will tell if more Pieology locations are in the East Bay’s future.
CK RESTAURANT Concord’s Canasta Kitchen Restaurant has a new spin-off eatery in Alameda. CK Restaurant opened this month, and unlike Canasta, the menu here is not Mexican, but New American bistro food. Expect dishes like fish and chips, steamed mussels, steak and a burger served with a side of bone marrow. CK Restaurant, 1544 Webster St. (near Lincoln), Alameda
MINNIE BELL’S SOUL MOVEMENT Emeryville Public Market got a new tenant this month with Minnie Bell’s Soul Movement, which soft opened on March 19. After years of serving her signature rosemary fried chicken at food trucks and pop-ups, owner Fernay McPherson has brought southern style cooking to her new semi-permanent home. While her ultimate goal is to open her own restaurant in the Fillmore District of San Francisco, she will serve Emeryville with “soulful flavors and southern comfort” for the time being. Minnie Bell’s Soul Movement, 5959 Shellmound St., EmeryvilleSCEND’S II Last year, 80-year-old restaurateur Cassie Nickelson sold her longtime Emeryville soul food restaurant Scend’s to Oakland Raider Marshawn Lynch. As Nosh reported in August, Lynch had planned to transform the seafood-focused spot into a new restaurant-lounge concept called Rob Ben’s, named after a childhood friend who had died in a shooting in Oakland. Rob Ben’s has still not opened, but this month, Scend’s II opened in San Leandro. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the new Scend’s opened on March 14, offering “a more streamlined version of the former flagship on San Pablo Avenue.” The menu offers fried chicken wings, fried fish and shrimp, with sides like cole slaw, french fries and potato salad, as well as a pork chop sandwich or fish burger. The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday; noon to 7 p.m., Sunday; closed on Monday. Scend’s II, 635 E. 14th St., San Leandro