Four Cal grads bring an easy Thai concept to Berkeley.
Speisekammer pours up a delicious cocktail chock-full of sensory pleasures.
Mockingbird brings simple, elegant, destination dining to downtown Oakland.
Allendale’s Vientian Cafe sparkles with the peppery tastes of Southeast Asia.
The verdict is in on Northern California's best politically correct wines.
After our first dinner at Pathos in May, I said to Robin, “There wasn’t anything we ate that I wouldn’t order again.” And that was saying something, because five of us, parked in a comfy patterned banquette and amply cushioned white leather chairs around a large table, shared six dishes from the nine-item orektiko (small plates) section of the menu and two from the kyrio piato (main courses).
For all its food-loving extravagance, the Bay Area has little in the way of Moroccan cuisine. But if you ask Jamal Zahid, whose family has owned a Moroccan restaurant in Oakland’s Temescal district for 13 years, he’ll tell you there’s a natural connection between the local, sustainable culinary ethos of California and the traditional foodways of his native Morocco.
Oakland’s celebrated Camino is named for the fire over which its food is cooked—“camino” means “fireplace” in Italian—but it may as well be named for the discernible route each ingredient takes to your table. And there are other, more circuitous roads being mapped at the wide-open, woody Grand Avenue restaurant. “One of the things that makes this place unique,” says bartender Martha Chong, “is the relationship between the kitchen and the bar and the pastry department, all sharing ingredients.”
Certain food combinations are inextricably associated with specific locales. Fish and chips. Red beans and rice. Certain partnerships are so particular, so otherwise obtuse, as to evoke all by themselves the look, feel, history, and heritage of somewhere. That’s why Manchego con membrillo leads the dessert list at Venga Paella, a laid-back slice of Spain in industrial West Oakland.
Poems to peaches are common enough. Google “ode to a peach” and there are plenty of hits. But odes to nectarines, their smoother-skinned cousins? They’re fewer and farther between. But they are just as deserving of elevated praise, especially ones from organic orchards like Blossom Bluff, a family farm in Parlier.