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Popular Japanese Ramen Chain Brings Bowls of Aged Noodles to East Bay

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Plus Viet-Cajun and bubble tea in Berkeley, and more intel

JINYA Ramen Bar/Facebook

Here’s your chance for free ramen

Growing ramen chain JINYA Ramen Bar is opening its first East Bay location today at 2693 Stoneridge Drive, Suite 103, in Pleasanton. JINYA also operates in San Jose — not to mention more than 30 other locations across the United States and Canada. Founder Tomonori Takahasi opened the first JINYA in Tokyo in 2000, expanding stateside 10 years later. It found a solid following in Los Angeles, a city packed with excellent ramen shops, earning praise from Jonathan Gold and a spot on Eater LA’s essential ramen shops list. The Pleasanton shop’s menu offers 13 bowls of ramen, featuring five kinds of broth simmered for 10 hours, noodles aged for three days, and more than 20 toppings. It opens at 2 p.m. and the first 50 people in line eat for free.

Seafood by the pound

The East Bay just got a new nautically-themed, Viet-Cajun spot in the vein of the Boiling Crab: Bag O’ Crab is located at 2124 Center Street in downtown Berkeley. Get your seafood fried, grilled, or boiled by the pound and soaked with the sauce and spice level of your choosing. Currently in soft opening mode, the restaurant is offering 15 percent off on all bills.

Berkeley got more boba, too

Taiwan-based chain Yifang Taiwan Fruit Tea is now open just across from the UC Berkeley campus. With a slightly tighter menu than most Taiwanese bubble tea shops, Yifang aims to set itself apart with additive- and preservative-free teas and a focus on fruity flavors. Decide for yourself at 2516 Bancroft Way.

Paella party

Gerard Nebesky, chef, longtime caterer, and owner of Gerard’s Paella Y Tapas in Santa Rosa, is launching his own paella festival next month: Gerard’s Paella Festival and Cook-Off will take place Sunday, October 7, in downtown Santa Rosa’s Old Courthouse Square. Nebesky is looking for teams to compete in the live paella cooking competition — registration ends Thursday, September 20.