Mid-Week Menu: Blind Tiger, Boyd’s Barbecue, and James and the Giant Cupcake


Oakland's new underground cocktail bar. - BLIND TIGER
  • Blind Tiger
  • Oakland's new underground cocktail bar.

Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Edward Yoo, a managing partner at the popular Korean barbecue restaurant Gogi Time (2600 Telegraph Ave., Oakland), has opened a massive (8,000-square-foot) and swanky-looking new restaurant and cocktail bar called Blind Tiger in the basement beneath Gogi Time. According to Yoo, Blind Tiger has a twenty-seat bar and offers craft cocktails and twenty beers on tap. As far as the food is concerned, chef Deena Chafetz’s menu consists mostly of pan-Asian small plates: “two-way calamari” (grilled steak and fried tentacles) with kimchi aioli, deviled pickled eggs (with beet ginger, turmeric garlic, and black tea shoyu), and grilled frog legs with Sichuan pepper salt.

Perhaps the most enticing part? The place will be open until 1 a.m. every night — although the kitchen will close at 10 p.m., at least during this soft opening period.

2) A new barbecue restaurant is taking over the old Kau Kau Korner (1623 Park St.) spot in Alameda, Berkeleyside Nosh reports. Boyd’s Barbecue will be run by the folks behind nearby Scolari’s Good Eats, whose casual East Coast-inspired fare I am a fan of. They’ve applied for a beer and wine license.

3) The forthcoming, and newly rebranded, Temescal Brewery (formerly known as New Normal Brewing) is gearing up for its grand opening later this spring by attempting to Kickstarter a $30,000 outdoor beer garden area. Check out the snazzy video, and chip in a few bucks if you feel so inclined.

Coming to Downtown Oakland. - JAMES AND THE GIANT CUPCAKE
  • James and the Giant Cupcake
  • Coming to Downtown Oakland.
4) In other crowdfunding news, North Oakland standby James and the Giant Cupcake (6326 San Pablo Ave.) seeks to raise $20,000 to help open a second location in downtown Oakland — at 341 17th Street, the corner of Webster and 17th, next door to the newly opened Howden Market.

5) Chop Bar (247 4th St., Oakland) is temporarily closed after suffering a small fire in the early morning hours of Monday, February 29. Fortunately, the damage was relatively minor — limited mostly to restaurant’s ventilation system, according to co-owner Lev Delany. In an email, Delany said he’s hoping Chop Bar will be able to reopen on Tuesday, March 8.

6) A new location of Ike’s Sandwiches has opened in Emeryville, in the retail development at the intersection of Hollis and Powell streets, the E’ville Eye reports. A Berkeley shop is also in the works.

7) Berkeleyside Nosh has the scoop on a new Berkeley coffee shop called Algorithm Coffee (1122 University Ave.), which is now open in the old Cafe Yesterday spot — from the same owner who took over the business in 2014. Apparently, the cafe is doing a bit of reinventing the wheel: Instead of listing lattes, cappuccinos, and so forth on the menu, customers are encouraged to just specify how much milk they’d like added to their espressos. For now, food options are limited to Firebrand pastries, but a more extensive menu will come later on.

8) In honor of Women’s History Month, Nido (444 Oak St., Oakland) is running a new line of $12 cocktails inspired by seven influential Latina women — running the gamut from the Sí, Se Puede (a mezcal-based drink inspired by the activist Dolores Huerta) to the El Otro Lado (inspired by author Isabel Allende). Nido will donate $1 of each cocktail sold to Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA), a grassroots organization that works to uplift immigrant Latina women.

  • Chris Duffey/File photo
9) Crossburgers (300 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Ste. 150, Oakland) will celebrate its two-year anniversary with a party on the evening of Friday, March 4. The event’s Facebook page promises “music, magic, beer, art, and hostesses.”

10) ICYMI, I wrote about a neat middle school garden program that’s cooking and selling takeout meals to the general public using the online platform Josephine.

Got tips or suggestions? Email me at Luke (dot) Tsai (at) EastBayExpress (dot) com. Otherwise, keep in touch by following me on Twitter @theluketsai, or simply by posting a comment. I'll read ‘em all.