380 17th St., Oakland
Phone: (415) 806-5422
The popular Liba Falafel truck has put it in park with the debut of owner Gail Lillian's Uptown Oakland brick-and-mortar, which quietly opened last week. The new spot, which claims the former Ichi Japan on 17th Street, marks Lillian's first permanent location, though Liba's truck has become a well-loved fixture in the Bay Area and will continue to operate.
The menu includes falafel and pita in different size increments, but gets creative with a toppings bar loaded with a seasonally rotating selection of add-ons like braised eggplant with tomato sauce, raw beet salad with orange zest vinaigrette, pickles in dill & cardamom brine and of course, the requisite hummus, feta and pickled red onions. This week, specials included strawberry pico de gallo and smoked crimini mushrooms, and next week's lineup will feature additions like grilled curried peaches, pickled grapes with star anise, and roasted cauliflower with za'atar. Sides include sweet potato fries, a spiced pita-chip basket and "the Love Boat," Liba's version of animal-style fries.
The space is small, with a fast-casual model where customers order at the counter, then take their food to go or choose from the handful of metal stools available for seating. Currently, they're still operating with limited hours: Monday-Friday, 11-2pm. Once they bulk up on staffing, they'll extend hours to Monday-Saturday, 11am-3pm and 5pm-9pm.
The new storefront brings Lillian one step closer toward her goal of another permanent location in San Francisco, though details on where and when that will arrive are still being worked out.
[Photo: Suzie R./Yelp]
· Liba Falafel opens Oakland brick-and-mortar [Inside Scoop]
· Liba Falafel Expanding to Oakland, Eventually SF As Well [~ ESF ~]