The 510 is blowing up with new openings. Plus: how to get dinner delivered in SF for $12.
While San Francisco always has a ton of new places to check out, we would be remiss if we didn't mention all the culinary amazingness that's popping up on the other side of the bay right now. Two words: en fuego. Currently in its soft opening mode is the brand-new Iyasare (1830 Fourth St, Berk. www.iyasare-berkeley.com ) from chef-owner Shotaro Kamio, most recently at Yoshi's in San Francisco. This very personal project looks to Kamio's hometown of Tohoku in northeastern Japan for inspiration. The menu has rustic appeal, with dishes like eggplant and miso and whole-roasted branzino, but it's elevated by Kamio's fantastic sourcing and flair (there is also intriguing sushi, and some other raw items). Lunch is coming in a couple weeks.
More Berkeley action: a new modern Greek restaurant, Pathos (2430 Shattuck Ave, Berk. www.pathorestaurant.com ) from chef-owner Nick Eftimiou, who is breaking out some family recipes, and plans to stay open late on the weekends — there's a full bar. Opa!
All kinds of hype is brewing around Oakland's new Penrose (3311 Grand Ave, Oakl. www.penroseoakland.com ) from Charlie Hallowell (Boot & Shoe Service, Pizzaiolo). The stylish 60-seat space is eye-catching to say the least, with custom elements like chic dining tables, glass lighting, and dark gray concrete bar. The menu, under chef Miles Schaefer, features many items coming from the wood-fired grill, plus some raw items too, like a hamachi crudo with za'taar and radish. Cocktails, check. Hours are Thu–Mon 5pm–12am.
Additional Oakland openings include the intimate Osmanthus (6048 College Ave, Oakl. www.osmanthusrestaurant.com ) in Rockridge, serving a modern-classic Asian menu from chef Julia Klein (previously at Terra in St. Helena); her menu has plenty of small plates like chicken wings, dry-fried green beans, mapo tofu, and some fried rice dishes. There's a bar in the back, too.
Just down the street is Box & Bells (5912 College Ave, Oakl. www.boxandbells.com ) from chef James Syhabout (Commis, Hawker Fare), with Benjamin Coe (Commis) leading the kitchen. The hearty menu includes country pork pâté, fried chicken, and tikka masala mussels — damn, that sounds amazing. Cocktails are $10.
The folks behind the popular Ohgane have opened Copan (4869 Telegraph Ave, Oakl. 510-654-2000) in the former Sura in Temescal. The Korean-Japanese menu features small plates like scallion pancake, bibimbap, stews, and soups. Lunch and dinner daily, 11am–10pm.
Craving some Jamaican eats, mon? Swing by the newly opened Kingston 11 (2270 Telegraph Ave, Oakl. 510-214-2311) which graduated from its pop-up status into a full-fledged restaurant. The Jamaican menu, which uses organic ingredients, includes salt fish fritters, black pepper tofu, and of course jerk chicken with rice, peas, and plantains, along with oxtail stew. A rum bar provides cocktails, with other spirits, wine, and beer.
You're hangry, it's Tuesday night, and you don't want to spend $20 on a delivery minimum from your local Thai place, plus tax and tip, and wait 45 minutes. You just want a well-balanced meal, nothing too fancy, but definitely tasty. Meet Sprig (www.eatsprig.com ), a new service that delivers a meal to you via its iPhone app in about 20 minutes. For $12, all-inclusive. Say what? You can check out Sprig at this introductory price through December; the cost will go up a little bit in the New Year (the delivery area is also expanding too, and Android support is on its way).
Delivery hours are Mon–Thu 6pm–9:30pm, and you can choose from three different entrées (with sides) each night, which range from a lighter option to a heavier one, plus there's a vegetarian pick, and one is always gluten-free too. The food is from former Google executive chef Nate Keller, and you can expect quality and seasonal ingredients. My dinner one night (the "light" option) included two chicken empanadas — I saved one for lunch the next day — with sautéed spinach and saucy chickpeas on the side. It was on the level of a simple home-cooked meal, but only took me a few taps on my phone. And just one dish to wash.
Marcia Gagliardi is the founder of the weekly tablehopper e-column; subscribe for more at www.tablehopper.com. Get her app: Tablehopper's Top Late-Night Eats. On Twitter: @tablehopper.