“Can you recommend a new place to eat?” That’s the question Nosh contributors get the most, and it’s a good one — while we all have our beloved standbys, exploring a new restaurant is one of life’s great pleasures. Watch this space every week for the newest restaurants to try in Berkeley, Oakland and the rest of the East Bay. As always, tips and recommendations are welcomed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last week, Nosh helped welcome Cafenated to the Elmwood neighborhood, opened May 6 in the former Espresso Roma, a corner cafe that was well-loved, well-worn and basically unchanged for four decades before closing in 2021. Now Cafenated has brought a more modern, progressive touch to the space, reviving it with, as Nosh contributor Brock Keeling described, a “to-the-studs overhaul” that has streamlined and updated the roomy gathering spot.
Cafenated’s flagship North Berkeley cafe opened in the spring of 2019, and quickly established itself there as a pretty, tony destination, known for its well-kept back patio, higher-end vibe and notable focus on coffee grown and harvested from woman-owned farms and co-ops. Cafenated Elmwood includes a sleek, similar intent and menu of coffee drinks as well as a broader food menu with its brand-new experience. Cafenated Elmwood, 2960 College Ave. (at Ashby), Berkeley
Nora Haron (Drip Line, Local Kitchen, IndoMex) is a chef whose fans are willing to be patient, as her fresh, eclectic, and sumptuously flavorful Southeast Asian cuisine is quite the payoff. Now, after years of wait, the moment has come to flock to her new Nusantaran restaurant in Walnut Creek, SanDai, owned by Singapore-born restaurateur Amanda Toh Steckler with Haron as executive chef.
The Chronicle has a thorough profile on the story behind the restaurant and Haron’s intentions, including why her cuisine that ranges from Singapore to India to Indonesia can’t be pigeonholed. The restaurant opened May 3. (Kopi Bar, the restaurant’s adjacent cafe, opened in April.) SanDai, 1522 N. Main St., Walnut Creek
Opening May 10 is Sfizio (“sfi-tzee-oh,” Italian for whim), Matt Solimano’s brand-new pasta restaurant in Rockridge’s former Noodle Theory space. As mentioned in Eater’s recent profile, pasta lovers flocked to Solimano’s pop-ups hosted by East Bay spots such as Way Station Brew and Ramen Shop, and will no doubt follow him — for the fresh pasta, but also for the friendly prices — to this casual new restaurant with a classic Italian feel. (Nosh will definitely see you there.) Note: With the launch of the restaurant also comes Solimano’s decision to move away from social media for news; visit Sfizio’s new website and sign up for his monthly newsletter to stay in the loop. Sfizio, 6099 Claremont Ave. (at College Avenue), Oakland
The team behind Tik Dak Korean food, former affiliates of Oakland’s Blind Tiger, have launched an independent brick-and-mortar on Broadway with fast-casual counter service. Thumbs are way up so far for their Korean-style fried chicken wings, fried rice, dumplings, vegan and fish-based sushi rolls, and spicy and black bean noodle soups. (The group departed Blind Tiger in the fall of 2022.) Tik Dak, 4496 Broadway (at Whitmore Street), Oakland