Lulu in Berkeley; The Cheese Board hosts a fundraiser and brings back soft dishes



Chef Mona Leena has ended her pandemic-born pop-up, The Mana’eesh Lady, to make way for an upcoming restaurant in Berkeley called Lulu. Credit: The Mana’eesh Lady

Mana’eesh Lady founder to open restaurant in Berkeley this fall

Mona Leena Michael The Lady Mana’eesh is one of the biggest pandemic pop-up hits of the year. The Palestinian American chef has worked hard at top Bay Area restaurants like Serpentine in San Francisco and Oakland’s Dyafa (among many others), but when COVID-19 shut down the restaurant industry in its tracks, she started to appear in places like The Libertine with its round topped and baked flatbreads called mana’eesh, which the SF Chronicle called it “Palestinian pizza” which “recalls the texture of the legendary Una Pizza Napoletana pie”.

The hugely successful pop-up served its last mana’eesh of zaatar and mozzarella on May 1, but Michael is not ending the business. Instead of, Michael announced in April, she will open a California-Palestinian restaurant called Lulu at 1019 Camelia St. in northwest Berkeley, the former location of the cozy nest of comfort tea house, which closed last month.

Michael tells Nosh that her hope is to start serving customers by the end of July, but she is realistic about the challenges of opening a business in the Bay Area, and says that it is ready for launch around “early October”. In the meantime, people who crave his salty dips and cheesy mana’eesh can request his catering services on a “case-by-case” basis; requests can be made by email to [email protected] Lulu, 1019 Camelia St. (near 10th Street), Berkeley

Cheese Board Hosts COVID-19 Aid Fundraiser, Brings Service Soft

The soft serving of buffalo milk returns to the Cheese Board in Berkeley, starting May 23. Sunday flavors will be cardamom and Kashmiri saffron. Credit: Sarah Han

In February, the cheese board added on Sunday hours, but this month the worker-owned bakery-pizzeria announced that Sundays are a day of rest again for the collective. However, this weekend they will make an exception. On May 23, the Cheese Board will open from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for a special cause – to raise funds for COVID-19 relief in India through today’s pizzeria sales. The menu will include a curry potato pizza; Corn, red onion and cucumber salad with chaat masala spices with raita dressing and – wait – two flavors of soft buffalo milk: cardamom and Kashmir saffron. Profits will go to Hemkunt Foundation, a humanitarian group setting up oxygen centers in India and a fundraising initiative launched by journalist Rana Ayyub, who provides rations to underprivileged Indian communities.

Soft service has not been available at the Cheese Board since the start of the pandemic, so Sunday dessert will be an added treat. When asked if this event would revive the regular service of non-alcoholic services, Ambri Pukhraj, Community Liaison Officer for the Cheese Board, told Nosh: “Honestly, it depends on the staffing. In short, to be determined. ” Cheese board, 1512 Shattuck Avenue (Vine Street), Berkeley

All-day roast spot brews in Oakland

Aman Cafe, a “vegetarian / vegan” roti restaurant, is about to open next door to the Teni East Kitchen in Oakland. Credit: Supriya Yelimeli

According to a sign in the window of 4021 Broadway, Aman Kitchen, which promises “roti all day”, is about to open. It moves through the space that many people still consider to be the China Hut, a 12-year-old takeout stand. which closed last February, and was most recently occupied by Next door neighbor Teni East Kitchen. Details on the restaurant are sparse and an email to Teni East owner Tiyo Shibabaw was not answered at time of posting. But this place could be great news for vegetarians, because an Instagram page associated with the restaurant displays only plant-based dishes like vegetables mixed with impossible meat and vegan roti. Cafe Aman, 4021 Broadway (near 40th Street), Oakland.

Oakland Chopped Star Rashad Armstead is back on TV

When this correspondent spoke with Founder of Black Food Collective Rashad Armstead last fall, Oakland Chief and season winner 41 of the Food Network competition show Chopped, said that “it is only through therapy that I am speaking to you here today.”

Armstead, who operated Oakland spots Grammie’s Chicken and Seafood Down-Home and Crave BBQ, has been quite outspoken about its struggles to maintain its sanity in the face of systemic racism and pressure from the restaurant industry, and now its mission has a new platform: The me you can’t see, an Apple TV + series co-produced by Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry on “Insightful Stories that Help Unveil the Current State of Mental Health and Emotional Well-being”. Armstead says he shared his story with the show’s producers “in the hopes it would spark the conversation for others.” The series will be released on May 21 on Apple TV +.

Playt appears to have served his latest order of ‘Sideways Southern comfort food’

Playt was known for southern classics with influences from California and Africa, like this braised oxtail dish that the restaurant served during Black History Month in 2020. Credit: Playt/ Instagram

After about two years in business, Playt – a Hayward restaurant of the people behind late and late Oakland spot Picán – Looks like he’s shut down for good. Owner Michael LeBlanc, who described the spot’s offerings as “Sideways Southern comfort food” when it opened in 2018 with a menu of hot wings, okra and oatmeal, didn’t respond to a request for comment, but Playt’s website is down, Yelp mark it as closed, his Instagram is dormant and its outgoing voicemail message says it is “closed until further notice” as of November 6, 2020. According to a tipster from Nosh, a sign recently appeared on the restaurant door suggesting the place may not reopen and thanked customers for their years of support. Playt, 1036 B St. (near Main Street), Hayward

The Well has opened a take-out restaurant in Oakland Food Hall

The Well’s organic food menu is now available at Oakland Food Hall. Credit: The Well

North Oakland Herbal Restaurant The Well Cafe has virtually expanded, opening a take-out and delivery-only outpost in Fruitvale, he said in an email to customers. The new outpost is inside the Oakland Food Hall at 2353 E 12th St., owned by CloudKitchens commissioner formerly known as Jingletown Eats. Well’s new outpost menu of bowls, smoothies and toast is the easiest found via DoorDash, but owner Anwen Baumeister says it’s also available on UberEats, Grubhub and Postmates, or you can call to order take out at 510-328-0539. Pickup and delivery times are 7:30 am-10:30pm daily. Well, Oakland Food Hall, 2353 E 12th St. (near 23rd Avenue), Oakland

Afro Soca Love heads to Oakland

International collective Afro Soca love is known for its weekend food, drink and music festivals around the world – events that have been put on hold over the past year to slow the spread of COVID-19. But now the celebration is back, this time as a black family market with African American, Caribbean, African and Afro-Latin food vendors. It takes place from May 29 to 31, with tickets (which go fast) available here. Afro Soca love, Lot 13, 341 13th St. (near Webster Street), Oakland

Save our Chinatowns has changed its name

Save Our Chinatowns has rebranded the Cut Fruit Collective and sells merchandise, like these reusable shopping bags, to raise funds for AAPI causes. Credit: Collective of cut fruits/ Instagram

Save Our Chinatowns, the food and folk arts nonprofit behind the zine “Have You Eaten Yet”, which supports Oakland Chinatown, changed his name to Collective of cut fruits to May 1stspokeswoman Daphne Wu told Nosh. She says the name change was motivated by the realization that they must “go beyond a dynamic of ‘saving’ a community to fully join forces with and uplift our fellow Americans and Islanders. Pacific (AAPI). ” They chose “cut fruit” as the name because “it’s a language of love shared by Asian diasporas,” Wu says. The group has already given up. a tasty line of merch, with funds earmarked for local non-profit organizations Family bridges, the Vietnamese American Community Center East Bay and Equality laboratories.

Quick bites

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Nosh editor-in-chief Sarah Han contributed reporting.



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