.Restaurant Review

Jan 16, 2024

Ninth Life’s Nostalgic Remix

Ninth Life, a bar inspired by the '80s, '90s and aughts, is a memory capsule that aims to balance kitsch with cool, but it suffers from both valorizing a past that never existed and not fully committing to it.
Oakland's Mensho Innovates Ramen
Nov 29, 2023

Oakland’s Mensho Innovates Ramen

The name of Chef Tomoharu Shono’s latest ramen restaurant, Mensho, combines the Japanese character for “men,” which means “noodle” in Japanese, with the first syllable of Chef Shono’s name. Store manager Abram Plaut believes it’s a good...
Nov 14, 2023


Quesabirria tacos may have started out as a food trend, but they’ve become a fixture at most taquerias. John Bermudez’s family-owned restaurant, Masa, makes an exceptional version of the dish (three for $9.99 + $3 with consomé)....
Good Luck Gato
Nov 7, 2023

Good Luck Gato

Good Luck Gato’s dining room leads with the color red. It’s the color of the bar and the kitchen door that waitstaff walk through as they carry numerous plates to the hungry diners. The neutral walls are...
Kinda Izakaya
Oct 24, 2023

Kinda Izakaya

Kinda Izakaya wouldn’t be out of place in one of Haruki Murakami’s books. When the Japanese novelist constructs a scene that takes place in a bar or restaurant, his settings often become portals for the characters. When...
Matty’s Old Fashioned
Oct 18, 2023

Matty’s Old Fashioned

At Matty’s Old Fashioned, meat’s at the forefront of Chef Matt Horn’s mind. After mastering the art of cooking brisket, spare ribs and pulled pork at Horn Barbecue, his first Bay Area restaurant, Horn’s latest venture doesn’t...
Lexie's Frozen Custard
Oct 11, 2023

Lexie’s Frozen Custard

Lexie LeCount tasted her first frozen custard in Rochester, New York. “I thought it was the best thing I’d ever eaten,” she said. When LeCount describes it to people who’ve never tried it, she tells them, “It’s...
Oct 3, 2023


On Popoca’s menu, fire symbols appear next to items that are prepared outside on the restaurant’s back patio. A sous chef stands in front of an open fire, heating up each dish in a large brick-lined hearth....
East Bay Express E-edition East Bay Express E-edition