Young Asian chefs and restaurateurs in Oakland love the food of their home countries and their youth, like the salty-sweet street fare from Mumbai’s beaches or the spicy roasted Siamese peanuts sold on Thailand streets. Oakland-based cooks like to do their own thing, often outpacing their counterparts elsewhere. They herald the rise of inventive, new dishes with fresh takes on traditional cuisine. Here are six spots raising the bar, and changing expectations, for what Asian food can be.
Our favorite comfort foods are often those that we ate as kids. So perhaps it’s no surprise that in the case of pasta—one of the all-time top comfort foods—many of Oakland’s favorite versions can be traced back to an old family recipe. We touched base with a few of the city’s Italian restaurants for the story behind their signature pasta dishes (hint: there are a lot of Italian mothers and grandmothers involved).
Shop, eat, and play in Jack London Square.
You can and should eat the flowers making their way onto your dinner plate and into your highball glass.
New and return visits to restaurants on Webster Street, Old Oakland, Uptown, Jack London Square, and Contra Costa County.
Brian Wood of Starter Bakery introduces Kouign-amann to the Bay Area and launches a trend.
Tea isn't just for sipping; you can eat it too, in a tea leaf salad a Thai Noodle, or try it as a savory soup from Numi Organic Tea.
The popular Ramen Shop steps up its cocktail game under head bartender Chris Lane's direction.
Giuseppe Naccarelli opens an ambitious, good-looking Italian restaurant in South Shore Center.
Typecast as a plebeian treat for plebeians ever since they first appeared in the English-speaking world, donuts, formerly and still sometimes known as doughnuts, are cheap and easy to make. A squirt of batter, boiling fat: They’re gloriously inglorious. But they’ve come up in the world as chefs in the trendiest shops and restaurants draw on global traditions, top-quality components, and culture-bending East Bay artistry to transform the lowly donut into pricey gleaming golden gourmet beignets, fritters, crullers, cronuts, churros, youtiao, zeppole, twists, filled pillows, and classic rings.