Welcome to p.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.
- There’s been much rejoicing as California opens back up and bars and restaurants are allowed to operate at full capacity. But has there ever been a more joyous announcement than the news that the Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar will reopen on July 9? For the first time since it shut down in March 2020, SF’s favorite immersive tiki extravaganza will be open, Friday and Saturdays from 5 to 11 p.m. with dinner from 5 to 10 pm. Yes, the thunderstorms are coming back, the cocktails are set to burst into flame, and pu pu platters are ready to be served on the deck of Tonga’s schooner. At opening, dinner and the bar will be first-come first-served, so prepare accordingly.
- Matt Horn is rapidly expanding his scope, from his current status as an Oakland barbecue legend to fried chicken master to, now, tacos. Dalia, a taco trailer parked outside Horn Barbecue in West Oakland, will serve tacos for breakfast and lunch, topped with brisket and other meats that have spent quality time in the smoker. Right now the opening timeline is “soon,” to keep an eye out here or on their Instagram. [SF Chronicle]
- If California’s reopening felt anticlimactic, fans of iconic Berkeley restaurant Chez Panisse may find themselves excited once more: It has announced plans to resume full service in the dining room this October. Reservations will open in September, so those who haven’t experienced the glory of a simple plate of dates and oranges in over a year should plan ahead. [Instagram]
- Jessie Street, that funky little L-shaped alleyway next to the Cavalier (and the Westfield Centre) will become the scene of a block party this summer. What is normally a loading ramp for the mall will transform with dining cabanas, lighting, plants, and artwork, including a giant mural on the alley-facing wall of Hotel Pickwick. The Cavalier and Executive Order Bar & Lounge will serve food and drinks. It’s going to run Fridays and Saturdays from 4 to 10 p.m. through September 25. Find more info here. [SF Business Times]
- A most excellent collaboration between Oakland’s Shawarmaji and Tacos El Preciosa has emerged for the duration of June, an homage to the traditional tacos al pastor method that Lebanese immigrants brought to Mexico in the 1930s. Stop by on Thursdays and Fridays for chicken shawarma sunk in a traditional Mexican pastor marinade that’s then wrapped with roasted tomatillo salsa verde, grilled pineapple, pickled red onions, and toum. [Instagram]
- To celebrate California’s grand reopening, Anchor’s taproom, Public Taps, will serve “Reopen Sesame,” a toasted black sesame lager. All the rest of Anchor’s classics, plus newer brews like their Tropical Hazy IPA, will be available as it shifts to 100-percent capacity indoors and out. More details on reopening plans here.