Berkeley’s barbecue saga
Berkeleyside has published a lengthy look into why the city of Berkeley sent a cease and desist notice to 50-year-old barbecue restaurant KC’s BBQ, following neighbor complaints about the smoker. (“We cannot use our backyards, we cannot open our doors and windows. We are having, from time to time, burning eyes, sore throats,” one neighbor tells Berkeleyside.) While the use permit for the smoker was indeed approved by the city of Berkeley about a year ago, the permit also states it’s up to up to a business to protect the neighborhood from adverse smoke by installing control equipment — and that the permit is always subject to review. The KC’s BBQ owners were shocked to receive the cease and desist, and ultimately blame the city for poor information and communication. The restaurant has appealed the violation, which means an administrative hearing is the next step.
Following a health scare over Hog Island Oyster Co.’s bivalves, the California Department of Health has lifted the illness closure for Tomales Bay — a test of oysters ultimately came back negative for norovirus. Harvesting oysters won’t resume, however, until the winter rains end.
French country fare at Le Marais
Le Marais Bakery starts serving a full bistro menu at its Lower Nob Hill commissary (1138 Sutter Street) today in addition to its usual assortment of pastries and coffee. The menu offers breakfast, lunch, and brunch from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., including a slew of egg dishes (scrambled eggs with smoked trout; croissant egg sandwich with gruyere and ham), salads (classic nicoise and lyonnaise are on offer), sandwiches (chicken and avocado; tomato and mozzarella), and croques (the traditional croque monsieur, plus renditions with smoked salmon or mushrooms).
Discounts for furloughed government employees
Here are a few more deals for federal workers affected by the government shutdown: Folks with proper ID can get 50 percent off the americana burger at the Ma/rina’s Causwells and half off the jambalaya at the Mission’s Alba Ray’s. And customers with federal ID can get 30 percent off orders at Goat Hill Pizza, to go or dine in: “Offer Good as long as this particular presidential temper tantrum/shutdown lasts!”
Champagne for both coasts
Jen Pelka’s hit Champagne bar will expand to New York City’s West Village this spring. It makes sense since Pelka splits her time between New York and San Francisco, and the new location will continue serving loads of Champagne, sparkling wine, and chambongs, plus a full kitchen and a new raw bar.
The opposite of hospitality
An Oakland writer penned an essay for Eater National exploring the inaccessibility of many Bay Area restaurants. For someone in a wheelchair, hi-top tables create a huge problem, for example. One San Francisco restaurant bathroom was marked as accessible, but it was impossible to actually close the door with a wheelchair inside. Unfortunately, there’s no government agency regularly doing ADA inspections. Two restaurants were called out for being designed with true access in mind: Mozzeria in San Francisco and Calavera in Oakland.