Diablo Dish: Chef Smelly Pops Back Up in Uptown
Famed southern seafood chef finds a home at AU Lounge; tasting the terroir in the Tri-Valley; sangria and paella lessons in Walnut Creek; Joe and The Juice arrives in Lafayette; bagels and udon in Berkeley; and more Dish.
Chef Smelly Takes Over at AU Lounge
Smelly’s reputation as Oakland’s pop-up king—which was fueled by Instagram during legendary once-a-week downtown pop-ups that were shut down by Alameda County last year—has been based on his highly regarded garlic noodles and southern-tinged seafood. And with three nights a week now, the lines that awaited his previous pop-ups aren’t quite as crazy.
Taste of Livermore Valley
Sample the joys of the criminally underrated Livermore Wine Country at Taste our Terroir. The four-day celebration of the region’s food and wine scene kicks off the evening of Thursday, July 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Pleasanton’s Casa Real Event Center at Ruby Hill Winery, where dozens of Bay Area chefs partner with local wineries in a battle to create the best food-wine pairing.
Participating restaurants include Salt Craft, Sabio on Main, PLāYT, and Millennium, while Wente, Mitchell Katz, McGrail, and Fenestra are among competing wineries. Attendees can cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award, and a trio of judges (including Diablo’s own Ethan Fletcher) will determine their own winners.
But don’t worry if you can’t make it Thursday. Several other wineries in the area are hosting ten food and wine events over the next few days, Friday, July 26 through Sunday, July 28.
Refine Your Sangria Skills and Paella Preparation at Telefèric Barcelona
Walnut Creek’s Telefèric Barcelona (Mt. Diablo and North Main) will host another paella and sangria master class on Tuesday, July 30—and students will learn while enjoying small bites and pintxos.
Naturally, the sangria instruction is first, and the product of that process will also be shared by the students. Chef Oscar Cabezas will then show how he makes his classic Catalonian paella. The cost is $75, and the sangria session starts at 6:30 p.m.
At Long Last, Joe and The Juice Opens in Lafayette
The paper covering the glass had been there forever, it seems, but Joe and The Juice has finally opened its windows (and doors) in Lafayette (near Sideboard on Moraga Road, where Squirrel’s used to be).
The international chain is opening some other local outlets too, which means we’ll still have other options for juices, sandwiches, egg dishes, and coffee.
Take a Wine Walk Along Jack London Square Saturday
There are few things more pleasant than enjoying a Northern California evening while walking along the water—and on Saturday, July 27 from 4 to 8 p.m., visitors of Jack London Square in Oakland can do so while sipping wine and helping out a community organization during Wine Walk on the Waterfront.
More than 20 wineries will be on hand to offer tastings, and there will be live music, vendors, and food options, with part of the proceeds going to the Alameda County Food Bank. Tickets are $40, with VIP ducats going for $80.
Marugame Udon and Noah’s Bagels Make Strange Bedfellows in Berkeley
With locations in Southern California and Hawaii, Marugame Udon is making its move to Northern California, with its second local outpost set for an early fall opening at Hearst and Shattuck.
At the same time, look for a large Noah’s Bagels to open in the same building (which means, of course, you can have your bagel and umami it too). Noah’s Bagels closed its Telegraph Avenue store in January, so it still means a trip across campus for southsiders to get their bagel fix.
Itani Ramen Rolls Out Whiskey from Japan on Saturday
Oakland’s Itani Ramen is pairing three courses with its modern take on Japanese food with three whiskeys from Japan—all for $58 on Saturday, July 27. There are two seating times (6 and 8:30 p.m.) in the Uptown restaurant’s private dining room.
Expect quality whiskey and food plus a chance to learn more about both. Itani Ramen is just west of 19th Street on Broadway, near the Fox Theater.
Sometimes the Rising Tide Sinks a Boat or Two
Hog’s Apothecary, which opened in the now-thriving Oakland Temescal District in 2013 (when it was still, as they say, a “transitional” neighborhood), will close its doors Sunday, July 28. The gastropub, a couple blocks south of Broadway on 40th, has recently had to battle lots of competition from Homeroom and Doña Tomás (relocating soon).
There are still plenty of breweries, gastropubs, and bars to choose from, but starting on Monday, July 29 there will be one less option.
Samin Nosrat Named a Foodie “Power Player”
Samin Nosrat, who lives in Berkeley, went to Cal, learned her craft at Chez Panisse, cemented her reputation in the food industry with her book and TV series, “Salt Fat Acid Heat” (highly recommended in either medium), and now has been named one of the country’s Top 20 Power Players of Food Media by The Hollywood Reporter.
Fans will be happy to learn she’s working on her next Netflix series. And speaking of TV, another member of the exclusive top 20 was Santa Rosa’s Guy Fieri, who has been dominating the Food Network for most of the century, it seems. “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” has earned Fieri not only a national reputation, but also ownership of some 70 restaurants in the U.S.