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
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.
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