Watch this space every week for the newest restaurants to try in Oakland and the rest of the East Bay. As always, tips and recommendations are welcomed at

Blossom & Root Kitchen

Danville has a new contemporary plant-based restaurant in Blossom & Root Kitchen, opening Aug. 30 on Hartz Ave. The sunny dining room (with two outdoor patio spaces) is located in the former Basque Boulangerie Cafe in the historic Danville Hotel property, and has been updated with a fresh interior design and added greenery. Chef Jen Sopinski’s vegan dishes are composed, colorful, seasonal and elegant. There’s also a beverage menu of vegan wine-based cocktails as well as mocktails. Blossom & Root Kitchen, 411 Hartz Ave. (between W Prospect Avenue and Short Street), Danville

K&J Orchards Provisions Shop at Pomet

Piedmont Avenue locals might have noticed the new farm stand sign outside standout restaurant Pomet, promising fresh fruit from its famed mother property K&J Orchards in the Sacramento Valley. It’s all true: Seasonal produce from the orchards (which on a recent Pomet visit meant pluots, plums, peaches, nectarines, figs and more) line the baskets of the new daytime retail “shop” inside the foyer of the restaurant, that just earned a Michelin Green Star for its environmental practices and produce. Look for specialty farm-fresh cheeses and wines for purchase in the future. K&J Orchards Provisions Shop at Pomet, 4029 Piedmont Ave. (between 40th and 41st avenues), Oakland

The Lumpia Company Brooklyn Basin

As promised, The Lumpia Company softly opens this week inside its new waterfront Brooklyn Basin home. Look for the eatery’s signature Filipino-style lumpia, grilled skewer plates, twice-fried chicken wings and all the seasonings and fiery sauces fans have come to expect as the new location’s menu develops, plus beers on tap and by the flight. The Lumpia Company, 288 9th Ave. (at Brooklyn Basin Way), Oakland

Mama Judy

Thanks to the kind reader who shared with us the status of this new “unapologetically authentic” Singaporean eatery, opening this week adjacent to Alameda Island Brewing, near Monkey King at the Brewery. Mama Judy is chef Judy Wee’s first California brick-and-mortar (she has a background in the industry in Hawaii and Singapore, and folks might know her cooking from past pop-ups at Oakland’s Original Pattern) is a love letter to her native country — peruse a colorful array of comforting hawker-style menu options here. Her soft-opening trial runs sold out quickly; the business celebrates its grand opening this Friday. Mama Judy Singapore Hawker, 1708 Park St., #120 (between Buena Vista and Eagle avenues), Alameda 

MandRo Teahouse

There might still be a long line (as there was at their recent opening) outside this Alameda dessert and boba shop, part of a chain that serves tea drinks, fruit-topped bingsoo, taro balls and other sweet treats. MandRo Teahouse, 1321 Park St. (between Alameda and Encinal avenues), Alameda

Panda Express Berkeley (Bancroft)

A tipster (thank you!) informs us that the long-promised Panda Express on Bancroft near Cal is now open for all your budget-friendly fast-food orange chicken needs. Panda Express Berkeley, 2580 Bancroft Way. (at Bowditch), Berkeley


Such a long, tantalizing wait for this Salvadoran standout to relight the fire and make its grand return to Oakland. Popoca’s new Old Oakland location, now softly open, marks chef Anthony Salguero’s first standalone restaurant after years in notable kitchens and then as a pop-up at the former Classic Cars West and later, Degrees Plato. Most longtime fans know the story — Salguero was a fine-dining chef who fell in love with the cooking of his heritage, and started his Salvadoran pop-up Popoca in 2019. The word “popoca” marries two meanings — “offering” and “to emit smoke:” Salguero’s wood-fired offerings include fresh masa pupusas, pollo en chicha, yuca con chicharron…and now, at last, he has his own hearth. Grand opening is Wednesday, Aug. 30. Popoca, 906 Washington St. (at 9th Street), Oakland 

Freelancer Joanna Della Penna has written about food, people and the arts in the Bay Area since moving here from the East Coast in 2001, and was Gayot's Northern California regional restaurant editor for...