.Mid-Week Menu: Ramen in Emeryville, Pho in Albany, and Vegan Brunch in Jack London

Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Shiba Ramen, a fast-casual ramen shop opening at a previously undisclosed spot in Emeryville this September, has formally announced its location: The noodle shop will be part of the first crop of vendors to open in the newly renovated Emeryville Public Market (5959 Shellmound St.), as will a second brick-and-mortar location of the rice-bun burger specialist KoJa Kitchen, Berkeleyside Nosh reports.

See also:
Ex-Chemists Aim to Bring Authentic, Fuss-Free Ramen to Emeryville

[jump] When I interviewed co-owner Jake Freed for my story about Shiba Ramen, he talked about how the setup of the space — as basically a kiosk in a shopping center food court (albeit quite a fancy food court by the looks of the initial renderings) with shared communal seating — was a perfect fit for what he wants the restaurant to be. In that context, Shiba’s tip-free model and lack of table service should fit right in.

2) A Chowhound poster notes the recent liquor license application for a new location of longtime East Oakland favorite Pho Ao Sen (1139 E. 12th St.), which has a good a claim as anyone for the title of best pho in the entire East Bay. The new branch will be located in a former Sizzler at 665 San Pablo Avenue in Albany.

3) Inside Scoop reports that the Starline Social Club (645 W. Grand Ave., Oakland) — a bar, restaurant, and performance space located in a two-story building that used to house a dance club and a janitorial supply store — opens for business today. The project is a collaboration between Ramen Shop co-owner Sam White and a few local artists — Adam Hatch, most prominently. For now, only the downstairs restaurant and bar portion are open, as executive chef Austin Holey (formerly of Boot and Shoe Service) will oversee both a bar menu and a daily-changing selection of entrées. The place will be open late: until 2 a.m., Wednesday through Sunday. Meanwhile, the ballroom/performance space upstairs is still a work in progress.

4) The popular vegan food truck and pop-up Hella Vegan Eats will have a new brick-and-mortar venue this summer: Inside Scoop reports that Hella Vegan Eats will oversee the food component of the cafe and beer garden that’s opening at Oakland’s vintage car dealership Classic Car West this summer.

5) In other vegan happenings, the vegan soul food spot Souley Vegan (301 Broadway, Oakland) is now serving brunch on Sundays from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. So far, the brunch menu has featured veganized takes on soul food classics such as fried chicken and waffles and shrimp and grits.

6) Uptown Oakland seafood-boil specialist AlaMar (100 Grand Ave.) is launching a weekday breakfast pop-up featuring none other than Gregory’s Gourmet Desserts — Oakland’s “underground bakery” and maker of the best cheesecakes in town. According to a press release, the 7–10 a.m. pop-up — dubbed Gregory’s Upstairs — is tentatively slated to launch in mid-May, and will feature a line of pastries created specifically for AlaMar, including a “whatchamacallit” donut and something called an Uptown Baby.

Meanwhile, AlaMar is celebrating its one-year anniversary with a party on Friday, May 1, 5–11 p.m. The $30 ticket includes passed appetizers all night, a glass of bubbly, and other treats.

7) Inside Scoop reports that Calavera (2337 Broadway) — Chop Bar and Lungomare owner Chris Pastena’s long-awaited upscale Mexican restaurant in Uptown Oakland — has named its chef: Christian Irabien, who previously worked at high-end restaurants in Washington D.C., including Jose Andres’ Oyamel Cocina Mexicana. You can check out a preview of Irabien’s food at next Tuesday’s 5:30–10 p.m. Cinco de Mayo pop-up at Lungomare.

8) The Italian restaurant Giovanni (2420 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley) suffered about $100,000 in damage after a fire early last Thursday morning, Berkleyside reports.

9) Inside Scoop reports that OK Falls (1544 Broadway), restaurateur Doug Washington’s downtown Oakland project, is no longer happening.

10) Finally, ICYMI, the popular Cameroonian pop-up and caterer Taste of Africa now has a restaurant in East Oakland, a fast-food restaurant that only serves produce is coming to City Center, and Oasis Grill brings shawarma and falafel to Adams Point.

Got tips or suggestions? Email me at Luke (dot) Tsai (at) EastBayExpress (dot) com. Otherwise, keep in touch by following me on Twitter @theluketsai, or simply by posting a comment. I’ll read ‘em all.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

East Bay Express E-edition East Bay Express E-edition