Welcome to p.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.
- Downtown San Jose is getting a sizable food-focused project from Uber co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick, according to reporting from the Mercury News. In 2018, a real estate venture controlled by Kalanick purchased a historical property known as the Odd Fellows Building with plans to open a CloudKitchens site in the space. Now, details have expanded to include a food hall on the first floor of the building, which will add a public dining element to the collection of small commercial kitchen spaces. But all this begs the question: is it still a ghost kitchen if it’s haunted by real diners? [Mercury News]
- The option to order spectacular buttermilk-brined fried chicken for takeout from Divisadero Street icon Nopa helped make the past year slightly more bearable for Bay Area diners. But as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end: The restaurant announced it will stop offering takeout after today, Thursday, June 24. As the late-night dining staple has resumed indoor dining, it’s become increasingly difficult to “sustain a takeout flow,” according to Nopa’s Facebook post. As such, Nopa will close entirely from June 25 through July 6 to spend the next couple of weeks preparing to reopen for dine-in at “full-ish capacity” on Wednesday, July 7. Diners can expect a slate of upgrades including reinstalled booths and an update to the bar. [Facebook]
- And Nopa isn’t the only restaurant flaunting a post-pandemic glow-up. Saffron Indian Bistro, the downtown San Carlos restaurant from Michelin-starred restaurateur Ajay Walia, recently reopened with a new look. Since opening 17 years ago the restaurant has offered a “buffet-style, fast-dining setting,” but after soliciting feedback from friends, family, and the community, Saffron shifted to sit-down service. The restaurant’s menu of Northern Indian food is now available for dine-in, takeout, and delivery. Reservations can be made via the Saffron Indian Bistro website.
- Those looking for more plant-based protein options at Bay Area restaurants will soon have one more to add to the list. OmniPork, a vegan protein from OmniFoods, has expanded its roster of restaurant customers to three new restaurants in San Francisco and Oakland. The pork substitute is now on the menu at Oakland’s Casa Borinquena and Malibu’s Burgers, as well as at The Lucky Pig in San Francisco. The product made its debut in the area several months back at Shizen and Chef Reina, the delivery-focused online business from chef Reina Montenegro, known for her mini-chain of Filipino restaurants that did not serve meat.