Sushi in downtown Oakland
San Francisco’s popular Elephant Sushi has officially touched down in the East Bay with a new location in downtown Oakland. It takes over the former Togi’s Mongolian Cuisine spot at 352 14th Street and features many of the same house specials as the three SF locations, such as yummy pockets (spicy scallops stuffed with tofu), beastie boys (sea urchin with quail egg and shiso), and blue fin bites (tuna cubes dressed with capers, yuzu, and truffle salt). The space has been given a darker ambiance, with the Mongolian restaurant’s bar nook transformed into a sushi bar.
Burgers, fried chicken, strawberry shortcake, and more
After more than 65 years of serving Oakland, Merritt Bakery has new digs in the Grand Lake neighborhood at 3355 Lakeshore Avenue, which most recently housed Moroccan Palace. The old-school diner has maintained its walk-up window location on Lake Park Avenue, but now folks can enjoy a full-on sit-down experience for breakfast, lunch, and dinner — and cake, of course.
The future of grilled cheez
Michael Davidson, better known as The GrilledCheezGuy, needs help. In a GoFundMe video, he explains that 2018 was full of “bad personal family issues,” which made his business suffer as well. He’s trying to raise $5,000 to pay the bills for his SoMa grilled cheese shop — otherwise he’ll likely have to close. “I’m about to be broke and I don’t have any profits to show,” he says.
Sacramento loses a classic
After almost three decades, Sacramento bakery and sandwich staple The Bread Store is closing on Thursday, February 7. The prime midtown location is going to become a cannabis dispensary.
Monthly burger goals
Starting today, Causwells is starting a new guest burger series. Every month, the Marina restaurant will feature a new burger resulting from a collaboration with another popular local restaurant. First up is the OG Mosto Burger (two patties, Oaxacan cheese, poblanos, serrano aioli, and pickled red onion) via Uma Casa and Piri Pica. March will feature a burger imagined by Media Noche, and April brings a Prospect burger.
Lunch for $4 in SF
The Tenderloin just got another affordable banh mi spot. Mom Bamh Mi serves six versions of the Vietnamese sandwich for $4 each. Located at 411 Ellis Street, it takes over the former Can Tho space.
And a new East Bay lunch spot
Downtown Berkeley has a new sandwich and salad shop in Red Door Eats, now open at 2282 Fulton Street, the former Kono Pizza space. The menu features a mix of hot and cold sandwiches with vegan options, and any sandwich can be turned into a salad or use gluten-free bread.
Speaking of sandwiches... Eat a sandwich from a Top Chef finalist
Media Noche’s February special cubano comes from Melissa King (Top Chef season 12) and channels from Chinese New Year vibes. Dubbed the “Year of the Bao,” it features five spice braised pork belly, pickled veggies, provolone, black vinegar caramelized onions, and sesame aioli. It costs $13.50, and 10 percent of proceeds benefit the SF LGBT Center.