Tag Archives: oakland

Beauty’s Bagel Shop


To start with, I’m not at all a bagel connoisseur, I just like eating them, especially when lightly toasted. I also reallllly like chopped liver. So here’s a sandwich of both! I liked their chopped liver much more than the Wise & Sons — and the line is much less massive. And it’s in Oakland, another plus.

Their smoked trout salad was also quite tasty. But the bagels definitely need toasting. (But then again, isn’t that true of all bagels?)

Curbside Creamery!


I have the awesomest friends. Friends with ice cream!

Jen bought four ice cream sandwiches from Curbside and (post Korean BBQ ayce) we tried all four. Cinnamon was my least favorite and the (vegan) strawberry was my favorite – which was surprising. I suppose cashew milk is good at adding richness?

Breakfast at Camino

Poached eggs with black trumpet and king trumpet mushrooms, polenta and greens $12
I love polenta. I love mushrooms and I love greens, how could I go wrong?! (I didn’t.)

Stoneground oats with brown butter, maple syrup and almonds $7
I hate oatmeal, but this taught me that oatmeal drizzled in maple syrup and offset by the crunch of almonds isn’t half bad.

Sweet condiment plate: sheepsmilk ricotta, walnut butter, Barhi dates, and homemade Seville orange marmalade $6
Tasty things that go on tasty grilled bread. Nuff said.

Half a Dungeness crab grilled in the fireplace with grilled cauliflower and chile mayonnaise $16
Dad and I were puzzling about how you GRILL a crab without drying it out. Apparently the trick is to boil it in crab stock to parcook it, brush it with olive oil, then grill it. Magic! Fully cooked crab with a wonderful smokey aroma.

I love going to Camino for breakfast. Unlike Betty’s, they aren’t super-crowded super early. I can wander in at 10 or 10:30 and get seated easily. Second, it’s not your standard breakfast fare. Or at least, it doesn’t have to be. They do offer doughnuts, french toast and oatmeal, but also baked eggs, polenta and salads.

Oakland’s Ramen Shop

This weekend, I went to Ramen Shop. I showed up at about 5, and was seated immediately. By about 6, there appeared to be quite a wait, though they serve cocktails in the waiting area. The wait pales in comparison to that of Orenchi.

I enjoyed their menu — more choices than just ramen.

Asparagus, fava and avocado salad. Very Californian, quite tasty and fresh.

Their kitchen! I felt a little weird taking photos of them cooking….

The decor is hip and interesting, without exposed filament bulbs or reclaimed wood…

Tonkotsu ramen with spit roasted chashu, shoyu marinated egg, pickled ramps and a carrot. Including the carrot’s greens.

Veggie miso ramen with maitake and king mushrooms, salt cured eggs.

Black sesame icecream sandwich

First of all, it’s hard to take attractive photos of soup, particularly since everything was swimming in the broth. But, excuses, I need to work on this.

Second, the food. The appetizers were great (I also got two to go, but not pictures…) and the dessert icecream sandwich was interesting, but I really, really like black sesame. But the ramen? Not bad, but nothing great. The veggie miso was a little too salty, but probably the richest veggie ramen I’ve ever had. The tonkotsu pales in comparison to other more “traditional” ramen places I’ve been to. Overall, I don’t know much about the availability of ramen in the East Bay, and Ramen shop is open late… So a good backup. But if I really wanted ramen, I’d stick to the south bay places. (Also Orenchi, Ryowa, Maruichi and Santouka are cheaper. $16 for a bowl of ramen with one slice of meat is pretty steep)

Boot and Shoe Service Brunch

I’ve wanted to try Boot and Shoe Service for a couple years now, but they don’t take reservations and I’m not that dedicated to my quest for pizza, so I never made it. This weekend, my parents wanted to pick up some kougin aman from Starter Bakery at the farmers market and we happened to park outside Boot and Shoe and I finally got to try it!

potato, trugole, black olives, rosemary & an egg........ 17

cotechino hash with a fried egg................................. 14

trippa alla milanese from the wood oven with cannellini beans,
croutons, grana, fried sage & an egg............................ 14

Each dish seemed a bit expensive, but ~$50 for brunch for three isn’t bad… and it was very filling and satisfying. The pizza was thin, chewy and the toppings interesting and flavorful. The hash was a bit potato heavy, but the pork sausage was tasty and caramelized in all the right ways. The tripe was tender, well seasoned and interesting with the addition of sage and croutons. Between the tripe here and the tripe at Corso, I think Italian-style-tomato-sauce tripe is next up on my things to learn how to cook. I’m not even sure what to Google though.

Kougin Amann

I stopped about Bouchon and to my surprise, they had kougin amann! I guess it’s the new popular trendy pastry, so I bought two. (And a strawberry croissant, on the left in the picture below:)


It was like a croissant with more butter and lots of crispy caramelized sugar. I could only eat about half of it before pretty freakin’ full. So I bought my mom the other one… It turns out that my parents had been reading an article about them. This morning, I woke up to my dad returning to the farmers market where he bought more kougin amann from Starter Bakery. True to form, I thought I’d compare the two —


Bouchon on the left (My dad already took a couple bites out of it), Starter Bakery on the right. (Plain above, pear below) The Bouchon one is significantly bigger. And the sugar is much darker.


The Starter Bakery kougin amann is a really pretty golden brown with visible layers and filling. (this one is pear)


Starter Bakery on the left, Bouchon on the right. Bouchon’s is much fluffier and croissant like. Starter Bakery is more dense, but equally buttery and sugary.

Conclusion: I prefer Bouchon’s. It’s fluffier and the sugar is more caramelized, making the flavors more complex. Also, it’s bigger. But, Starter Bakery is way more accessible, being in Oakland and not in Napa or Vegas. Also Starter Bakery has some with fillings! I’m definitely not complaining if Starter Bakery’s kougin amann showed up on my doorstep everyday.

Also, footnote, I tried toasting one of the Starter Bakery ones and it was super soft and warm, but fell apart more than I would have liked and lost it’s sugary crisp. Also, it was greasier. But both my parents preferred it toasted. I guess my tastes are weird.


Pictures of uh, my hometown?

Oakland is…?

I have no idea what Oakland is! /scratchscratch

Brunch behind some barbed wire?

A railroad crossing?

Please respect the walls, no painting here over.

Not sure what that says, but it looks cool.

I like the purple dude on the right.

The Mad Society. What’s that?

Satellite Republic

Dinner last night was at Satellite Republic, a Georgian food pop-up by Boris Portnoy. Google stalking reveals that he was the pastry chef at the Restaurant at Meadowood.

Woo poppies. I didn’t eat these. They were decoration.

Fenugreek spiced chicken liver, rye toast
I love liver. This liver had more of the “livery” odor than I’m used to tasting at western restaurants, but I really liked it. Also, more people should use fenugreek.

Imeretian Khachapuri, sourdough stuffed with cheese, adjika
NOM NOM NOM. I want to eat this everydayyyyy. I took a picture of the four spices together, like a small pizza, but it was a bad, blurry picture. So here’s a picture of the side oozing delicious cheese.

Badrigani Nigvzit, spiced eggplant, walnuts and pomegranite
Whatever the green stuff inside the eggplant was, it was delicious.

Pxali, minced beet greens and walnuts, moped tone bread
I’m pretty sure it wasn’t beet greens, but beet roots. Delicious nonetheless for those of us who like beets. Could’ve been served with more bread though.

Yogurt with pickled chanterelles, shiso, sesame
Want moreeee. We all ended up licking our bowls clean for this one. Or using our fingers to get every last bit of the yogurt/sesame/shiso mixture. Chanterelles were easy to grab with a fork.

Mount Lassen Trout, blood orange and fennel, sea grapes
This was a very orange trout. I wonder what it ate? Also a very well cooked trout. Just a smidge above rare, with a crispy skin. I wish it didn’t have bones though.

Duck tabaka, pickled green alliums
Duck and green things. Less unique than the other dishes, but still very well executed. I like alliums, I might be biased.

Spring lamb stsvadi gripped over grape vines, sour plum sauce
Soft chunks of tasty lamb with a sauce. I liked the smokey flavor, but Shamiq thinks it was under flavored.

Honey and coconut cake with milk jam
Milk jam == dulce de leche? The cake was good, but too sweet for my tastes. Probably my least favorite dish of the meal, but still not bad.

And a second order of the khachapuri because it was so tasty. (And because Shamiq smiled nicely)

9 courses for $50 + tax (I thought pop-ups didn’t charge sales tax, but maybe that’s just in San Francisco?)

The verdict? The food was great, but it felt like a series of starters. I was full enough by the end of the meal, but I didn’t feel like I’d eaten a whole meal as much as had a series of very tasty snacks. The last serving of the flatbread helped, but more bread served with the lamb or maybe just on the side would have made this much more filling.

The Forge, Oakland


I love pizza. And The Forge is a great place to acquire pizza. I went the opening weekend (over a month ago. Man, I’m behind) and it was crazy busy, but it seems to have calmed down some. I tried the fried cheese curds (absolutely delicious!), the potato skins (nothing special) and a pizza. In particular, I had a pizza of nettles and potatoes, it was everything I want in a pizza — a chewy but flavorful crust complemented by interesting toppings. Pizzaiolo and Delfina Pizzeria both tend to have long waits and lines, so I’m excited to have a tasty alternative.


I am excited. And silly.