A1 Pho San Leandro

Nosh has spotted enthusiastic reviews for this new pho restaurant in San Leandro, featuring an appealing variety of Vietnamese sides, salads and mains (egg rolls, baked shrimp, vermicelli plates, banh mi and fresh fruit smoothies) along with those warming noodle soups. A1 Pho, 2089 E 14th St., San Leandro

Dolly’s El Cerrito

El Cerrito’s Peppermint Plaza has a new little wine bar and restaurant in Dolly’s, from owner and first-time restaurateur Dulanthi “Dolly” Batathota, a Sri Lankan native who has lived in El Cerrito since 2009. Batathota cut her teeth at Tiburon restaurant Milano’s, and brings Italian-inflected small plates to her first cafe, meant to be paired with domestic and imported wines and local craft beers. Dolly’s, 10172 San Pablo Ave. (between Central and Lincoln avenues), El Cerrito 

Ninth Life

Hitting all the ‘80s, ‘90s and ‘00s vintage notes in Uptown is new cocktail bar Ninth Life, from the team behind Low Bar and next-door newcomer Good Luck Gato. (The gato’s next door, the bar’s called Ninth Life … we see what you did there.) Expect a fun scene with vibrant cocktails (created by Good Luck Gato and Low Bar beverage program director Daniel Paez), and nostalgic decor and lighting. The bar opens Nov. 15. Ninth Life, 1911 San Pablo Ave. (near 19th Street), Oakland

Philz Coffee Bay Street

Bay Street continues its food-forward tear with last week’s opening of Philz Coffee on Nov. 9 (and soon Pippal, see below). Philz is located on the lower level of the Emeryville shopping street, across from Urban Outfitters. The upscale, San Francisco-based coffee chain is known for its signature, dark, rich coffee drinks, and offers a handful of comfortable cafe seats indoors and a small pastry counter inside what was formerly a clothing boutique. Philz Coffee, 5663 Bay St. (Street Level), Emeryville

Phulkari Indian Cuisine Castro Valley

Castro Village’s 15-year-old Aroma Cuisine of India has closed and quickly transitioned under new ownership into contemporary Indian restaurant Phulkari Indian Cuisine. Phulkari features a refreshed dining room, traditional tandoor and curry fare (including at a weekly buffet), and modern forays into seasonal, fusion Indian dishes that blend California ingredients with traditional Indian flavors. Look for an appealing array of tandoori specialties (the chef is a self-proclaimed “tandoor wizard”), savory curries, biryani and Indian-style drinks and desserts, along with daily specials. Phulkari Indian Cuisine, 3418 Village Dr. (inside Castro Village Shopping Center), Castro Valley


The team behind the upscale, Indian restaurant group Rooh has been tantalizing Bay Street shoppers and diners for months with signage on the upper Bay Break Terrace mezzanine. The wait appears over as the group’s newest concept, Pippal, is slated to open to the public on Saturday, Nov. 18. According to Eater’s first look, the restaurant, named for the pippal tree (with a pronunciation meant to evoke a feeling of community), will offer a modern-casual menu of regional Indian specialties highlighting the country’s many different flavors and cuisines, in a fast, fun, approachable format. Cocktails, counter service throughout the day and indoor sit-down dining for dinner will be available. Pippal, 5614 Bay St., #235 (on the Upper Mezzanine), Emeryville

Tacos Oscar in Temescal is now open on weekends for lunch service. Credit: Tacos Oscar

Tacos Oscar (Lunch)

PSA: Tacos Oscar stalkers can now get their fix at lunch time on weekends at this Temescal neighborhood favorite that has so far only been open for evening dining. The taqueria’s two outdoor spaces are open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sat. and Sun. Tacos Oscar, 420 40th St. (between Webster Street and Shafter Avenue), Oakland