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Eight People Arrested for Allegedly Running Massive Black Market Caviar Ring in the Bay Area

Plus, the (almost) World’s 50 Best and the Slanted Door pop-up continues

FRANCE-GASTRONOMY-AQUACULTURE-CAVIAR GEORGES GOBET/AFP via Getty Images

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife launched a wild investigation into a local, illegal caviar operation in November 2020, leading to the arrest of eight people on suspicion of illegal fishing, the East Bay Times reports. The suspects are accused of fishing sturgeon in the Carquinez Strait and Sacramento River — highly illegal since sturgeon are a threatened species and federally protected — and selling the sturgeon caviar for $150 a pound, versus the $100 an ounce prices caviar of that type can typically command.

The East Bay Times reports authorities called the illegal caviar operation “one of the biggest” their department has seen, and wraps in other elements, such as “illegal weapons possession, counterfeit cash, and 1,000 pounds of suspected illegal cannabis” found when a search warrant was served last April. Contra Costa prosecutors will also file poaching charges, conspiracy charges, and “dozens” of littering counts against the suspects. Read the fascinating story here.

World’s 50 Best runners up list includes two Bay Area nods

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants for 2022 is set to be announced July 18, but the organization released its 51-100 guide Wednesday with two notable San Francisco restaurants: Benu and Atelier Crenn. Benu moved from #28 on last year’s list to #97; Atelier Crenn moved to #72, down from #48 in 2021 (an interesting move, given that chef Dominique Crenn was awarded the 2021 Icon Award by the World’s 50 Best organization). Notably missing from the 51-100 guide is SingleThread, which landed at #37 last year — so there’s still a chance the Healdsburg restaurant will make it to the top list for 2022.

Slanted Door is extending its UC Berkeley pop-up

If you heard about the limited Slanted Door pop-up at Rice & Bones in UC Berkeley’s Wurster Hall last month but missed out, there’s some good news: chef Charles Phan is extending the residence by another month. The Slanted Door pop-up will take place Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights until the end of July, featuring two new menus (grilled sardines and pork belly served July 6-15, and scallops and oxtail served July 20-29). Reservations can be found here.

Breakfast Little makes a small move to a new home

Breakfast Little is relocating to a new spot, but thankfully won’t be leaving the Mission District — in fact, the restaurant is moving just a block away from its original location. Breakfast Little will soon be slinging breakfast burritos at 3275 22nd Street with a grand opening set for July 9, the owners announced on Instagram.

Mamahuhu to host second book club event

Brandon Jew’s fast-casual restaurant Mamahuhu hosted a book club event in May for AAPI Month, and as it turns out the first meetup went “swimmingly” and now the restaurant is back for another one. The book club is pairing up again with Green Apple Books to give away copies of How Much of These Hills is Gold by C Pam Zhang for a discussion on August 25.

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