1901 San Pablo Ave., Uptown Oakland
Phone: (510) 839-0000
After working front-of-house jobs at the likes of Nobu and Asia de Cuba in San Diego and Los Angeles, Alice Woo and Alan Chun decided to move to Oakland to be closer to Woo's family (she's a native). Once here, though, they couldn't find the kind of fun, fusion-y tacos that are all the rage in those parts of the country, so they decided to open their own spot serving exactly that. The result is Belly, which has arrived in the former El Señor Burrito space at 19th and San Pablo in Uptown Oakland, just a few doors down from Hopscotch.
The couple's Asian heritage (she's Chinese-American, he's Korean-American) play a big part in Belly's taco- and burrito-centric menu, with options like grilled chicken with Korean slaw or tofu and sweet chili. Other fillings are more Southwestern, like steak with guacamole, pico de gallo, and roasted corn salsa, or a blend of the two cuisines, like a Belly Burger with tempura red onion, kimchi aioli, cheddar, mushrooms, and housemade pickles. Sides include truffle or mojito fries, or an elote-style corn on the cob. There are housemade cookie ice-cream sandwiches for dessert. Beer and wine is in the works; for now, house strawberry lemonade, mango iced tea, and fountain drinks are the main options. Here's the full menu.
The 25-seat space has been done in a rustic-chic style, with foliage, bamboo chairs, and fun knickknacks on the walls. Hours are currently Monday-Saturday, 11 am-8 pm; the duo hope to stay open later once they're able to staff up a bit more.
· All Opening Alerts [~ ESF ~]