Here’s everything you need to know about Oakland’s food scene this week. In this edition: Downtown gets a new fried-chicken spot and sandwich shop, Golden Gate says goodbye to an Asian fusion eatery, and a Jack London Square-based pasta company folds.
Aburaya Go (380 15th St.)
Good news for friends of Japanese fried chicken: Aburaya Go is now open in Downtown Oakland, Berkeleyside reports.
As we previously reported, the new location is the second for punk-rock-inspired Aburaya, whose original outpost is a few blocks away at 362 17th St. While that location serves both lunch and dinner, Aburaya Go will exclusively serve weekday lunch, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
“Abura-ya” is Japanese for “oil shop,” and the house specialties are all fried items: fried chicken (with a potato starch-based batter), fried tofu, and fried vegan “drumstix” with soy-based faux chicken. Also on the menu are rice bowls, including oyakodon (fried chicken simmered with eggs and onions in dashi broth) and marinated tuna poke.
According to Aburaya’s website, everything is freshly made in-house, including marinades and sauces. Ingredients come largely from local farmers’ markets.
Binney Park (409 14th St.)
Hoodline’s veteran tipster Al M. alerts us that a new sandwich spot, Binney Park, is headed to the former Espresso Gourmet space in the Financial Center Building.
According to Binney Park’s Facebook page, it’s set to open soon, serving both breakfast and lunch sandwiches alongside ice cream, cookies, beer and wine. On Instagram, the new eatery says its hours will be weekdays from 7 a.m.-4 p.m.
Noodle Theory Provisions (5849 San Pablo Ave.)
Over in Golden Gate, Asian fusion eatery Noodle Theory Provisions has shuttered after a little more than three years in the neighborhood.
“We want to thank all of our guests and especially to our regulars who have supported us for the last three and a half years,” the restaurant’s owners wrote on Facebook. “It has been a pleasure serving the neighborhood of Golden Gate District.”
In an email to Berkeleyside, general manager Jennifer Avelino explains that the restaurant was hoping to be a neighborhood pioneer, but never did enough business for its sizable square footage.
“Labor costs are high to keep a restaurant of this size ready for a busy shift,” she wrote. “Unfortunately, we just didn’t have enough foot traffic regularly every day to sustain the size of the restaurant. Of course, we definitely had our share of busy lunches and dinners and a huge carry-out and delivery crowd, but it wasn’t consistent enough to keep our doors open any longer.”
Noodle Theory’s original location in Rockridge will remain open, as will an outpost in Moraga.
Jack London Square
Baia Pasta (431 Water St.)
After eight years of pasta-making, Baia Pasta is no more. The dried pasta company had announced earlier this year that its Jack London Square store would close to the public, but factory operations inside would continue. Now, the entire business is shutting down, according to an Instagram post.
The Chronicle followed up with owner Renato Sardo, who said he just couldn’t turn enough of a profit to hire consultants for marketing and other services he’d need to attract investors and grow the business.
“I spent the last year really trying to find solutions to keep the business growing. I couldn’t find anything satisfying,” he told the Chronicle. “I’m not a great businessman, I’m the first one to admit.”
While Sardo tried to sell the business, he didn’t get any offers. He’s now planning to move back to his native Italy.
If you’re looking for one last taste of Baia, its final boxes of pasta remain on the shelves of numerous local retailers.