East Bay Dish: Pizza, Kamikaze Fries, and Dim Sum
Two mobile operations have made the jump to new restaurants in the East Bay with promising to-go slices of hot pizza and killer waffle fries with Korean BBQ beef toppings—yum is right, Oakland and Berkeley. A longtime dim sum restaurant has new owners, new carpet and a new outlook on service, which means more har gao and shu mai for the hungry masses in Oakland’s Chinatown—this is the one spot where you may want to book that reservation... now.
Mobile pizza trailer Fist of Flour has made the jump into its first brick and mortar location called Doughjo, where slices of the gourmet, thin, and decidedly crisp variety can be had in the Laurel neighborhood. There are also pies in two sizes, 14 or 18 inches. In a nod to our tech-saturated leanings, the pizza operation issued an Initial Pizza Offering (IPO) menu to kick things off. For now, the Doughjo is a cash only spot and to-go orders are strongly recommended, as there are no tables or seats. Do nab a side of addictive spicy ranch sauce for extra pizza love. Since 2010, Fist of Flour Pizza Company has been slinging mobile wood-fired oven thin crust pizzas made with mostly organic, pesticide free, locally sourced ingredients. Founder James Whitehead took over the former Pizza Roma space and the pizzas made at Doughjo are created from scratch and baked in traditional gas-fired ovens--yes please! Wednesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. 4166 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland; (510) 533-6367.
A super hot gourmet Korean-Japanese fusion mobile truck has made the jump to a restaurant outlet to the delight of many Cal students and Bear backers (alums!): KoJa Kitchen. The KoJa kamikaze waffle fries are a (hefty) dream for curing the blues and banishing any hangover: think spicy sauce over waffle spuds with Japanese sweet mayo that comes with Korean BBQ beef, green onions and kimchi. Yes these potatoes are definitely a meal on their own and smaller appetites can order the Cal fries which are smaller and minus the meat and onions. Main items range from pork or veggie KoJas, and Tsunami balls, which are a hybrid meatball. A lovely pairing is the fresh house lemonade—our favorite is the cooling strawberry mint version. 2395 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley; (415) 992-7394.
Over in Chinatown, it really is a new operation for seafood and dim sum at the Peony Seafood Restaurant, which was for years the Restaurant Peony. There is now much more room and while this operation has a similar name, there appears to be a noted improvement for the service and setting categories (check out the new chairs and carpet). That teacup will be quickly refilled as much as you like while you browse buns, noodles, rolls and garlic pea sprouts; there are tripe and pigs blood with black bean sauce chicken feet dishes, too. 388 9th Ave, Suite 288, Oakland; (510) 286-8866.