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Monday, January 25, 2016

Berekely's MeloMelo Kava Bar Introduces Your Next Addiction

Posted By on Mon, Jan 25, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Kava truffles made by Coracao - A. K. CARROLL
  • A. K. Carroll
  • Kava truffles made by Coracao

In addition to giving every woman (and man) a go-to in times of stress and indulgence, chocolate has long been a sweet and seductive vehicle for other culinary curiosities. Chocolate-covered espresso beans deliver quick caffeine. Chocolate-covered acai berries boast antioxidants. Chocolate-covered insects help you choke down the exotic, while chocolate-covered potato chips prove that it really is possible to blend sweet and savory and still get no nutritional value.

My most recent discovery in the world of chocolate-covered delicacies was unexpectedly found in a kava bar in Berkeley. To say MeloMelo Kava Bar lives up to its name would be a terrible understatement. The coffee and alcohol-free bar, which opened a year ago in February, offers a trippy tranquil vibe that promises the opposite of caffeinated jitters or morning-after hangovers. In their inaugural year, they've acquired quite the following of regular customers. This could be due to the kava — a stress-reducing drink made from a peppery plant root grown in the South Pacific — but I think it's due to the chocolate.

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

La Marcha Offers Tapas, Paella in Berkeley

Posted By on Thu, Nov 5, 2015 at 2:00 PM

Arroz Negro, with squid ink, clams, fennel sausage, piquillo peppers, peas, anchovy breadcrumbs, uni aioli and saffron at Berkeley's La Marcha. - ALIX WALL
  • Alix Wall
  • Arroz Negro, with squid ink, clams, fennel sausage, piquillo peppers, peas, anchovy breadcrumbs, uni aioli and saffron at Berkeley's La Marcha.

La Marcha (The March) refers to the Spanish custom of hitting up numerous restaurants in an evening, having a few tapas and a glass of sherry, and then moving on to the next one.

At the new restaurant of that name in Berkeley, with its 21 tapas, five paellas, and the requisite Spanish cheeses and charcuterie, the chefowners hope you won’t need to move to the place next door.

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Future Bars' East Bay Outpost Tupper and Reed Provides a Symphony of Cocktails

Posted By on Thu, Oct 29, 2015 at 5:00 PM

COURTESY OF FUTUREBARS
  • Courtesy of FutureBars

Eight months after opening in a gothic storybook-style building on Shattuck Avenue (between Kittredge and Bancroft), Tupper and Reed is a new local favorite and a welcomed neighbor in Berkeley. The first East Bay venture from Future Bars (the team that brought you Bourbon & Branch, Rickhouse, et al.), this music-shop-turned-bar-turned-speakeasy is also their most recent (though rumor has it, that won't be true for long).

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Come Fly with Me: Longbranch Saloon Offers a Crash Course in Selecting Spirits

Posted By on Wed, Sep 9, 2015 at 12:00 PM

A.K. CARROLL
  • A.K. Carroll

On approaching the bar of the Longbranch Saloon, I immediately pull out a chair and take a seat alongside the stretching smooth slab of wood. The shelves and shelves of bottles and long row of taps in front of me have my head swimming with options. And that’s before I open the spirits menu, which is clipped in a three-ring binder bound in soft worn leather.

“The guys here are great,” says the woman to my right. “Really, they were wonderful.” She tells me she’s from out in the suburbs, visiting a friend that lives in Berkeley and this is the latest great thing in the neighborhood. She tasted three or four beers before settling on her lager and couldn’t be happier with the selection she’s made.

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Bay Area Book Festival: Food Trucks, Cookbook Panel This Weekend

Posted By on Thu, Jun 4, 2015 at 3:30 PM

Over 51,000 books were sorted for the Lacuna book installation - BAY AREA BOOK FESTIVAL
  • Bay Area Book Festival
  • Over 51,000 books were sorted for the Lacuna book installation
Over 300 authors and 50,000 books make a debut splash at the Bay Area Book Festival this weekend in downtown Berkeley, near the BART station. The festival is free and for the hungry amongst us, there will be food trucks, a cooking stage, and a beer and wine garden — factors that seem to confirm that the Bay Area remains an area that appreciates its books, booze and food (not necessarily in that order).

Tickets are recommended for panel discussions, and they're free. Wet that mental whistle via the panel on The Science of Booze, with Adam Rogers (Proof: The Science of Booze) and Amy Stewart (The Drunken Botanist) explaining the magic and mysteries of alcohol on Sunday, June 7.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Tigerlily in Berkeley Brings a Hit of India to California Cuisine

Posted By on Wed, May 6, 2015 at 8:00 AM

The "Strawberry Blonde" from the punch bowl section of  Tigerlily's cocktail menu is not to be missed. - ALIX WALL
  • Alix Wall
  • The "Strawberry Blonde" from the punch bowl section of Tigerlily's cocktail menu is not to be missed.

How fun is it to get what’s called a “Strawberry Blonde” from the “punch bowl” section of a cocktail menu, and be served a fruity elixir from a true antique punchbowl, complete with mismatched glasses?

And if the drink has strawberries so boozy they’ve turned light pink, and there are rose petals and mint leaves floating on top? With the right amount of ginger and lime to cut through the sweetness, the vodka, rose syrup, and Prosecco concoction at Berkeley's Tigerlily hit all the right notes, including the visuals. Although it looked incredibly girly, we were wowed at first sip — and without even trying, impressed our server with how quickly the four of us made it through the entire bowl. (In our defense, the punch bowl was only about a quarter full to begin with.)

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Does Berkeley's New Paleo Cafe Have Food for the Rest of Us?

Posted By on Tue, Jan 27, 2015 at 10:45 AM

Berkeley's Mission: Heirloom Cafe has a cozy patio in back with heat lamps. - ALIX WALL
  • Alix Wall
  • Berkeley's Mission: Heirloom Cafe has a cozy patio in back with heat lamps.
Since Mission: Heirloom Café opened its doors a few months ago, Yelpers of the Paleo persuasion rave about its healthy, clean, non-allergenic, non-inflammatory, grain and gluten-free, toxin-free food. Finally, they say, here’s a place they can go where they can eat almost anything on the menu. But the question is, does Mission: Heirloom Café serve food for the rest of us who could care less what our ancestors ate, have no particular dietary restrictions, and just want tasty food?

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Chez Panisse Chef Wants to Help You Master the Basics in New Book

Posted By on Tue, Jan 13, 2015 at 9:33 AM

twelve_recipes.jpg
With all the cookbooks from the Bay Area’s beloved restaurants — Bar TartineTacolicious, and Brown Sugar Kitchen, to name a few – that came this past fall, it was easy to overlook Twelve Recipes by Cal Peternell (Harper Collins), a chef with almost 20 years tenure at Berkeley’s beloved Chez Panisse.

After all, going by the title alone, who shells out more than $20 bucks for a cookbook with only twelve recipes? But the title is misleading. Yes, there are twelve recipes and corresponding chapters for each one, some ingredient-based and some technique-based. But each one contains numerous variations on a theme.

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Opening Alert: Muracci’s in Berkeley

Posted By on Fri, Aug 1, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Delicious Spicy Beef Curry Noodles coming soon to Berkeley. - OMAR MAMOON
  • Omar Mamoon
  • Delicious Spicy Beef Curry Noodles coming soon to Berkeley.

Husband and wife owned-and-operated Muracci’s Japanese Curry & Grill is expanding to Berkeley with its third location. The exact address was not disclosed, but according to the duo it will be located on Telegraph Ave, very close to the UC Berkeley campus (Go Bears!).

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Cooperative Cafe Serves Best Coffee in South Berkeley

Posted By on Wed, May 1, 2013 at 10:50 AM

MOLLY GORE
  • Molly Gore

South Berkeley's stretch of Adeline Street is not the most promising drag. Peppered with empty storefronts and neglected lots, it's a string of blocks I used to forego walking on most days, until recently, when I spotted Alchemy -- a tiny, glimmering sign of neighborhood revival that happens to be the best coffee on this side of Berkeley.

See also: How Many Artisan Coffee Shops Does San Francisco Need?

Saint Frank to Bring Story of Coffee to Russian Hill

Oakland's New Marrow Does The Locavore Thing Right

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"