The Bay Area might not get the same amount of April showers (or snow) as in other parts of the country, but it’s sure raining change around here.
The pandemic’s third spring shows a continued, cumulative shift in everything from what we buy and how (and for how much, gulp), to the shape and feel of local neighborhoods, and where and when we gather and with whom.
While out and about on springtime excursions, please also note the following brand-new restaurants along the blocks of dark storefronts and seemingly nonstop new construction. Nosh likes to think of the folks behind these fresh businesses as typical Californians, grabbing a board and bravely surfing the current sea change as it happens.
As always, please send tips to email@example.com.
BABA’S HOUSE KITCHEN Baba’s House opened last November, and now quietly opened on the first floor of the same property is Baba’s House Kitchen (BHK). The comforting new “rice bowl joint” from chef A. C. Boral (Rice & Shine, Bebot Filipino Soul Food) will also be a space for guests and collaborations. Check the spot’s schedule before visiting as, though part of the same community, hours are separate from Baba’s House. Baba’s House Kitchen, 410 15th St., 1st Floor (between Franklin Street and Broadway), Oakland
BOJAX KITCHEN Look for breakfast all day (including Fruity Pebbles pancakes) and homestyle plates such as shrimp and grits and chili-cheese waffle fries at this new spot near Mills College. Bojax Kitchen, 6018 Macarthur Blvd (near 61st Avenue), Oakland
DAMASK ROSE Flower-strewn and fanciful, Damask Rose Coffee Shop has replaced long-time artsy neighborhood cafe Jump’n Java. The cafe serves coffee, tea and chai drinks, with options that are rose-infused or nicely spiced; sweet Arabic pastries (warbat, bird’s nest) and breads; as well as hummus plates and other snacks. Damask Rose Coffee Shop, 6606 Shattuck Ave. (at 66th Street), Oakland
HI FELICIA One of the area’s hottest, boldest and most anticipated openings, Hi Felicia has been challenging dusty definitions of fine dining since opening as a back-deck supperclub in 2021. Old-fashioned expectations remain high, though, as ambitious young chef Imana and her devoted team are confidently setting their sights on Michelin stars for their upscale cuisine and experience. Go see what they can do, and don’t miss the wine list. Hi Felicia, 326 23rd St. (between Webster and Valdez streets), Oakland
HOTBIRD OAKLAND Hotbird is throwing down in Oakland, adding its celebrated Nashville-style hot chicken sandwich to an already competitive market. This marks a return to Oakland for the former street cart; the team had an outpost in San Francisco’s troubled Twitter building food hall, but shut that down and returned to the East Bay in recent weeks. Yaaay! Note: There are also fish sandwiches. Hotbird Oakland, 1951 Telegraph Ave. #2 (between 20th and William streets), Oakland
MINTO’S JAMAICAN RESTAURANT & BAR We missed this one earlier in the year — Minto’s now has a third location in Oakland in this welcoming new restaurant and parklet on 15th Street. Look for island-style dishes such as jerk chicken, curry goat, salt mackerel, oxtail and a range of soups, as well as a menu of Ital (Rastafarian) specialties. Drinks include beer, wine, Jamaican rum punch and coconut rum with spices, as well as flavorful nonalcoholic drinks. (Minto’s also runs a nearby juice bar.) Minto’s Jamaican Restaurant & Bar, 412 15th St. (between Franklin Street and Broadway), Oakland
MOZAIK WORLD MARKET The parking lot outside West Oakland’s closed Community Foods Market grocery store is the first home for new weekly open-air market Mozaik, featuring food stands, local artists and a range of other vendors. Grand opening was on April 23; the market will be held on Saturdays going forward. Mozaik World Market, 3105 San Pablo Ave. (Saturdays outside the closed Community Foods Market), Oakland
SAUCY Pan-Asian restaurant Saucy has moved from Temescal to Old Oakland, and celebrated its grand opening in the beautiful new space on April 20. Saucy, 468 8th St. (between Washington Street and Broadway), Oakland
TEA ON PIEDMONT This long-dormant space on Piedmont some might remember as a former Starbucks is now airy, clean-lined local boba shop Tea on Piedmont. Look for fruit teas, herbal blends, tea lattes, and local products, such as matcha from Asha Tea House. There are also desserts. Tea on Piedmont, 4098 Piedmont Ave. (at 41st Street), Oakland
ANYA’S DELI What was convenience store and food mart Good 2 Go Curry is now Anya’s Deli, freshly renovated and under new ownership — though still in the family. Previous owner Vikas Aggarwal, who took over the shop from his father Ashok, has now handed the reins to his brother Vikram. Anya’s, named for Vikram’s daughter, has been spruced-up, streamlined and repainted. It features groceries and drinks (and snacks and candy for local students), new American-style sandwiches, nitro coffee drinks and soon-to-come boba tea, as well as Indian samosas, mango lassis, ice creams and other treats to go. Thanks to alerts and recon from locals and King families on this neighborhood change. Anya’s Deli, 1343 Martin Luther King Jr. Way (near Rose Street), Berkeley
ENDLESS SUMMER SWEETS They’re back!! And don’t worry kids, they haven’t moved far. Piles of sweets, treats, snacks, dogs and fries are served with fun and sparkle at the new location of Endless Summer Sweets as though at an endless carnival. Endless Summer Sweets, 2358 Shattuck Ave., (at Durant Avenue), Berkeley
KOREAN SUPERETTE Nosh loves this update to one of the community’s touchstone spaces: The old Rivoli restaurant location is now Korean Superette, featuring Korean groceries and a menu of prepared comfort foods, a casual indoor dining room and that beautiful backyard garden for relaxing with a bento meal. Positive reviews are flooding in for the mart and restaurant’s warmth, charm and quality of food. (What Now SF first gave us a heads up on the project back in 2021.) Korean Superette, 1539 Solano Ave. (between Neilson Street and Peralta Avenue), Berkeley
THE LINE COFFEE “Almost hesitate to tell folks about it,” says one Yelp reviewer about this new little coffee shop, “but I want it around for a long time.” Good hot drinks, warm service and tasty baked goods and lunches from chef-owner Thomas Judt seem to set The Line Coffee apart. The shop’s sign says it was established in 2021, but as far as we can tell this place just opened last month. Love how the logo is a dry nod to nearby Alta Bates. Look for the doorway across from Whole Foods on Telegraph. The Line Coffee, 3001 Telegraph Ave. (between Webster Street and Dowling Place), Berkeley
PHOENIX PASTIFICIO Northbrae locals may have noticed this quiet new counter inside the former Freshly Cut flower shop, that moved to Kensington after 38 years. Sought after on fine dining menus and at farmers markets in and around Berkeley since 1995, and known for their pasta factory, bakery and retail shop inside the Strawberry Creek Design Center, Phoenix Pastificio’s fresh pastas (to prepare at home), cookies and other baked goods are now also available across from the Monterey Market. Dinner is served. Phoenix Pastificio, 1301 California St. (between Hopkins Street and McGee Avenue), Berkeley
TAROCCO According to East Bay Magazine, Tarocco owner Sequoia Del Hoyo is Catalan by heritage on her father’s side, which partly explains the Mediterranean appeal of her new project. She launched Tarocco, meaning blood orange, as a healthful, delivery-only service in 2021, the same year she left Oakland’s famed (and her eponymous) Sequoia Diner. Now a West Berkeley brick-and-mortar restaurant, Tarocco’s food could almost be called spa cuisine — bright, seasonal salads, quiches, soups and Cal-Mediterranean breakfast and brunch, with chia seed pudding for dessert. Even Del Hoyo’s interior design seems invested in health and well-being — Tarocco’s light, soothing interior implies fresh air, space and self-care. The restaurant quietly opened in March. Tarocco, 2570 Ninth St. (at Parker Street), Berkeley
YETI SPORTS BAR & RESTAURANT Nosh and all of South Berkeley are rooting for this friendly sports bar and restaurant with Himalayan food, beer and cocktails, now open in a space known for its quick turnover. It sounds like an eclectic mix, but momos, beer, Bigfoot and sports fans might just be the winning ticket for this location. Check out the happy hour, and thanks to a reader for the tip. Yeti Sports Bar & Restaurant, 3290 Adeline St. (at Alcatraz Avenue), Oakland
DISSIDENT SPIRITS TASTING ROOM Richmond craft distillery Dissident Spirits has quietly launched its first tasting room, where fans can sample the company’s small-batch gin, rum and more unusual craft spirits such as aquavite d’uva. Watch for schedule changes. but tastings are usually available Thursdays and Saturdays. Dissident Spirits Co., 855 Marina Bay Pkwy, Richmond
HAAGEN-DAZS WALNUT CREEK Rich, smooth Haagen-Dazs, around since 1960, still reigns among the cream of the ice cream elite, and is now being nostalgically scooped and topped for old and fresh fans at this new shop in Walnut Creek. (Trivia: What does Euro-sounding Haagen-Dazs mean? Answer: Nothing! The company was born in the Bronx, and the name just sounded fun to the company’s Polish immigrant founders.) Haagen-Dazs Walnut Creek in the Broadway Plaza mall, 1275 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek
V8 KITCHEN Richmond has casual a new lunch and dinner option in this ramen shop called V8 Kitchen on Macdonald and Marina Way, close to El Garage. V8 Kitchen, 1400 Macdonald Ave. (at Marina Way), Richmond
Featured photo: the dining room of Damask Rose. Credit: Nancy Shaw