3 New East Bay Restaurants to Try This Weekend
The latest foodie happenings across the Bay Bridge.
For those looking to roll with it, Kasago Sushi is a new, small sushi spot with counter seating on a busy street near Chinatown. The rolls are familiar and fresh, if somewhat straightforward, and the California roll is made with real crab meat. Umami seekers can get a fix via the Una-kyu roll, which is six pieces with eel and cucumber. A handful of sashimi is offered from sake salmon to maguro tuna, and sushi nigiri is an even bigger list to choose from: will it be tako (octopus), hotate (scallop) or perhaps ika (cuttlefish)? Starters include gyoza, seared albacore tataki (white tuna with tobiko and tata dressing), salmon carpaccio with ponzu sauce, and Hawaiian tuna poke with seaweed salad. Should you need platters for that important weekday meeting, just give 1.5 hours notice before placing an online order. 388 9th Street, Oakland.
The wood fired, thin crust, pizza scene at Cugini Manzone Ristorante in Berkeley's Elmwood neighborhood is worth mentioning, though not in Oakland. The opening of this restaurant shows the area's enthusiastic appetite for pizza hot from an Italian oven. Cugini Manzone adds another option to an already crowded pizza scene, and the doughy delights therein range from two types of calzone to pasta – risotto, gnocchi and cannelloni, etc. Various insalates like beet and warm spinach freshen the menu, and plates of fritto misto and eggplant Parmesan are good alternatives to pie. Brother Giuseppe and Michele Manzone are behind this new spot, which is a sister restaurant to Cugini's over in Albany. Lunch service just launched and the dinner hours are locked in with a spuntino (post-lunch) menu in the works. 2930 College Ave., Berkeley
Caffeine, carnitas tacos, and hearty sandwiches will please even the most ravenous of crowds at the new Cafe Kolao in East Oakland. Besides coffee drinks and fresh juices, it's an eating scene with an international vibe: Cubano sandwiches, tacos, salads, burritos, and panini. Picadas – also known as gorditas, sopes, and even huaraches depending on size and fillings – get special treatment here. There's even a big and pretty Kolao salad with ample avocado for the carb shy. If the decision making is just too much, claim your sweet finish in the form of ice cream, post-meal. You so deserve it. 5311 Fairfax Ave., Oakland.