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Dish: The Venue Hits Livermore

Piadines at Paxti’s; more ramen; chocolate in the city; and Cinco de Mayo celebrations galore!


The Venue

Doors Open at The Venue

There’s a new hot spot in town: The Venue. The Livermore-based nightclub will open its doors at 10 p.m. on Friday, May 6. Playing Top 40 hits and featuring a “Livermore-Inspired Drink Menu” of cocktails, The Venue is also offering 12 craft beers on tap, wines, live bands, and world-class DJs.

Owners Daljit Aulakh and Jessie Aulakh love Livermore and are local residents, so they couldn’t think of a better location for their new venue. It is open seven days a week, so pick your favorite night to come and dance. Weekly specials include discounted wine and jazz music on Wine Down Mondays, a karaoke night and a Ballin’ Sunday featuring live sports all day.

No shorts, slippers, or sports attire is permitted. However, stylish hats are acceptable on Friday and Saturday nights.


Sunvalley Shopping Center

New Food Court at Sunvalley

You no longer need to wonder about where to eat after you hit Sunvalley Shopping Center for some retail therapy. The largest regional shopping center in Contra Costa County, Sunvalley is now home to a new 23,000-square-foot food court with seven dining options.

On the bottom floor, close to JCPenney, the food court offers seating for 525 customers. It includes everything from Pizza Studio, where you build your own artisanal pizza, to the Dojo Ramen Bar with freshly made Ramen and steam buns, just to name a few.


Doors Open at Itani Ramen

Good news, ramen lovers. Itani Ramen, the brainchild of Kyle Itani, executive chef and owner of the popular Hopscotch, is now open. Located at 1736 Telegraph Avenue, across from the Fox Theater in Oakland’s Uptown neighborhood, the eatery offers affordable ramen inspired by Itani’s trips to Japan.

Open daily for dinner from 6 p.m. to midnight, the menu features house-made noodles mixed with seasonal Bay Area ingredients. Don’t miss the crispy pig ear with lime and house-made shichimi peppers. Other must-try items include the sake, shochu, and beer program as well as the Japanese vending machine filled with treats.

Soy Ice anyone?


Salsipuedes Says Good-Bye

As reported by Inside Scoop SF, North Oakland hot spot Salsipuedes has closed. The end of August 2015 marked the opening of the long-awaited restaurant, also known as the creation of a dream team of restaurateurs who were credited for bringing “seaside barbecue” to the Bay Area.

Chef Marcus Krauss was the chef behind this creative menu, with his last gig being in the kitchen at the renowned The Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena. Also involved was Bradford Taylor, owner of Ordinaire Wine Shop and Wine Bar, also in Oakland. Jay Porter, owner of The Half Orange, a beer-centric eatery in Fruitvale, was on the beer end of the creative team. Luis Abundis, owner of Nieves Cinco de Mayo, produced the hand-turned artisan ice cream desserts.

The last dinner service was on April 30. With no announced future plans for the space, it’s being offered as an active space for one-off events.



Piadines at Patxi’s

Patxi’s Pizza has expanded its lunch menu to include piadines, marking the first major menu addition since 2011. Sheamus Feeley, best known for opening Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch, was brought in as a culinary consultant to develop the menu. With six different piadines to choose from—including the veggie-based Forager and the Uptown with herb-roasted chicken, artichoke dip, baby arugula, radicchio, extra virgin olive oil, lemon, and fontina and Parmesan cheeses—there’s a thin crust Italian flatbread for everyone.

Priced at $10 or under, the piadines are available at all 17 Patxi’s locations, including our local favorites, Dublin and Lafayette.


First Wednesday Walnut Creek

Walnut Creek First Wednesdays is celebrating Cinco de Mayo tonight—one day early— with a fiesta along Cypress Street in downtown Walnut Creek. The Food Truck Mafia will be in attendance, along with wine and local craft beer. Children can play an array of games at the gaming truck, while adults can enjoy live music and Mexican dance performances.

If you’re new to Walnut Creek First Wednesdays, they take place the first Wednesday of every month between 5 and 8 p.m. throughout October, with only foot traffic allowed between Main Street and Locust Street. Free parking and bike parking are available to attendees.


The Prickly Pear Cantina / by Sara Remington

Cantina’s Cinco de Mayo Celebration

With Cinco de Mayo fast approaching, The Prickly Pear Cantina in Danville is working hard to ensure you have ample time to enjoy the popular celebration. The restaurant is featuring a tequila dinner tonight, live music as well as food and drink specials on Cinco de Mayo, and an after party cantina night on May 6.

Pass the guac.




Pleasanton Street Party

The Pleasanton Downtown Association is also kicking off the Cinco de Mayo festivities tonight with the First Wednesday street party.

Celebrate the first Wednesday in May with a visit to Main Street between 6 and 9 p.m. for a Cinco de Mayo-themed bash featuring vendor booths, food trucks, a kid zone, a beer and wine garden, live entertainment, and more.


Margaritas and Manicotti

If you’d much rather pass the garlic bread instead of the chips and salsa, Salvatore Ristorante in Walnut Creek has the Cinco de Mayo dish for you. The restaurant will be celebrating Italian style with manicotti and chicken cannelloni.

Call ahead to RSVP.


Stroll the Street with Wine and Chocolate

Beyond the Creek has reported a sweet way to spend your Thursday night. On May 5 from 6 to 9 p.m., the Danville Spring Wine and Chocolate Stroll in downtown Danville will feature live music as well as wines from Glennhawk, El Sol, and Auburn James Winery. Treats from Sweet Street, Heavenly Taste Toffee, and Danville Chocolates will also be available.

Tickets cost $35, which includes all entertainment, food bites, a commemorative glass, and wine and chocolate tastings. Designated drivers can purchase tickets for food and non-alcoholic beverages for $15.

Pick up your wine glass at the corner of Hartz Avenue and Prospect Avenue.


Uncorked Wine Festival

Uncorked at Ghirardelli Square

Stop by Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco this weekend, not just to stare into the amazing bathtub-sized vat of warm chocolate fudge, but also for the 11th Annual Uncorked Wine Festival. On May 7 from 1 to 5 p.m., attendees can enjoy a Lagunitas beer garden, wine from 40 local wineries, and an assortment of food options.

A portion of the ticket sales benefits Bay Area Green Tours, a local nonprofit. General admission tickets cost $60, and VIP tickets cost $90.


2016 James Beard Award Winners

The coveted James Beard Awards have been announced. Congratulations to winemaker Gina Gallo from Sonoma for being chosen as one of the 2016 JBF Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.

Got Dish? Send an email to dish@maildiablo.com. Or follow me on Twitter @DiabloDish.

Happy Hour Bar & Bites at
The Cooperage

Monday through Friday
3pm – 5:30pm


This isn’t your typical happy hour. This quintessential neighborhood spot offers high-quality craft cocktails on tap and tasty bites. Menu features: $10 cocktails on tap, $5 select beer & wine, $1 oysters, $7 bacon cheeseburger sliders, $7 crispy beer battered shrimp sliders, $9 sashimi-grade ahi tuna tartare. 

32 Lafayette Circle, Lafayette
​Reservations: www.thecooperagelafayette.com or 925.298.5915

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