Wine Travel Adventure

Bay Area & California travel blog

Category: Berkeley & East Bay

Hot jazz in Vallejo? Yes, Vallejo!

Yoshi’s in Oakland is the center for jazz in the East Bay, but there’s another place that connoisseurs of the heirs of Bird, Dizzy and Duke need to check out: the Empress Theatre in Vallejo.

Vallejo? Yes, Vallejo, now the home of le jazz chaud. One might reasonably argue that Vallejo is the new Brooklyn of the Bay Area, a place that has been the subject of much derision over the years but that is now gradually on the upswing. The center of this resurgence is the downtown Empress, a small, intimate refurbished theatre with a cocktail bar, comfortable seats, and a top-flight, knock-your socks off sound system. Continue reading

Berkeley’s Spoon Bistro: Comfort Korean food with plenty of spice

By Jennifer Kaiser

Satisfying and affordable, Spoon Korean Bistro is a casual Korean café located on an unlikely corner of Berkeley. Across from MacBeath Lumber on Ashby just off the freeway, it’s a family-friendly spot.

Spoon is a sister restaurant to Bowl’d in Oakland and Albany, and the concept is accessible Korean, with a menu that is comfort-food dominated, but offers plenty of spice if you wish.

Mung bean pancakes.

Mung bean pancakes.

Start with one of their savory mung bean ($6) or seafood ($8) pancakes. Mildly flavored on their own, they are served with a bright chili dipping sauce dotted with sesame seeds. We tried the mung bean pancake which was beautifully crisp if a little bland; the sauce made the dish sing. Continue reading