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Beyond the Creek


Baby Tarantula & Wildflower Hike on Mt. Diablo on Apr. 4th

Photo by Flickr user Tarantuland

Baby Tarantula & Wildflower Hike:

Mitchell Canyon Visitor
Mount Diablo State Park
Saturday, April 4th, 2015
3:00pm – 5:00pm | $15

Explore the habitat of local tarantulas along the north face of Mount Diablo with Jim Holmes, an experienced naturalist. Spring is the time for newly hatched baby tarantulas to emerge from their burrows. Additionally, experience the vast array of wild flowers in bloom. Hikes start from Mitchell Canyon Visitor’s Center at Mount Diablo State Park and cover a distance of 2 miles. Hiking shoes and bottled water are highly recommended. Additional costs: $6 for parking at the Visitor’s Center. Map and directions will be sent after registration completed.


The Ballet School Expanding in Downtown Walnut Creek

1357 N. Main St, Walnut Creek

The Ballet School is expanding in downtown Walnut Creek off N. Main St. in the covered passageway where boutique Norf London and the barber shop Amplify are located. There will be a few small rooms available for private pilates and music classes.

From their Facebook page:

Exciting News! We are expanding!!!! We will have 2 music rooms for private voice and piano lessons with Mr Vince. As well as a new room for Miss Kelley to have her private and duo Pilates Reformer lessons!! It’s a great space in the alley by our friends Norf London and Threads!!!!! This means a wonderful new viewing area lobby for our downstairs studio.



Izakaya Jun Opening End of April in Downtown Walnut Creek

1552 Locust St, Walnut Creek

Back in February we learned that the Japanese restaurant Izakaya Jun stopped development after a stop work order was issued by the city but that has been resolved and when I looked inside recently the extensive wood paneling looked completed. According to Diablo Dish they are planning to open late April. The contractor told me they expect to finish within a couple of weeks.

Izakaya, as explained by Wikipedia:

An izakaya (居酒屋) is a type of informal Japanese drinking establishment that serves food to accompany the drinks. They are casual places for after-work drinking.

Izakaya food is usually more substantial than tapas or mezze. Many items are designed to be shared.

Yakitori – grilled chicken skewers
Kushiyaki – grilled meat or vegetable skewers
Sashimi – slices of raw fish
Karaage – bite-sized fried chicken
Edamame – boiled and salted soybean pods
Hiyayakko – chilled silken tofu with toppings
Agedashi tofu – deep fried tofu in broth
Tsukemono – pickles

I look forward to yakitori with an Asahi when this place opens!


Friday Question of the Day – What Store would you Like to See in Ygnacio Plaza where Fresh & Easy is?


Ygnacio Plaza, Walnut Creek

Supermarkets have pulling a disappearing act lately in Walnut Creek on Ygnacio Valley Blvd. with word that Fresh & Easy will be closing soon, and Safeway closing in Encina Grande a short hop away, to be replaced by Whole Foods next year. Safeway may reappear across the street at Orchards sometime in the future. Considering that Nob Hill Foods and Trader Joe’s are close by, what supermarket or store would you most like to see where Fresh & Easy is now? Draegers? 99 Ranch?


Master Gardeners’ Annual Tomato Plant Sale in Walnut Creek on April 4th

Photo by Flickr user manjithkaini

Master Gardeners’ Annual Tomato Plant Sale:

Contra Costa Master Gardeners Garden
N. Wiget Lane and Shadelands Drive,Walnut Creek
Saturday, April 4th, 2015
10:00am – 3:00pm | Free

Thousands of unique heirloom tomato plants available for purchase! There are more than 58 proven varieties, many unavailable at local nurseries. Seedlings have been propagated by Master Gardeners using open-pollinated, non-GMO seeds. Also, there will be a wonderful selection of artichokes, eggplants, sweet and chili peppers, and tomatillos ready to be planted in your garden.

Experts will be on hand to provide advice about plant selection, site location and preparation, planting, fertilizing, pruning, and harvesting. Avid gardeners can get specific questions answered and learn about strategies to minimize plant disease and maximize production.

Our own veggie guru, Janet Miller, will be giving two talks at the Our Garden sale in Walnut Creek, on April 4 at 11:00 and 12:30 on Growing Tomatoes and other Summer Vegetables.
BYOB (boxes) or better yet, wagon! Tomato plants $3.00 each. Cash or check only, please.
Visit us online to see a list of all available plants, at:

The plant sale is happening in two different locations.


Yalla Mediterranean Opens Today in Ygnacio Plaza in Walnut Creek

1813 Ygnacio Valley Rd, Walnut Creek

Yalla Mediterranean‘s second location (the first one is in Pleasant Hill) opens today in Walnut Creek in Ygnacio Plaza where Sports Basement is located. Last night I had the opportunity to check it out and it looks quite simlar to the one in Pleasant Hill with an herb wall and repurposed wood from an 1880’s farmhouse serving as paneling throughout. Check out their menu here. I usually go with the kefta (Turkish spiced ground beef and lamb) skewers but this time I went for the salmon (marinated in charmoula sauce and fresh herbs) skewers on a salad and it was delicious! The open-flame, rotisserie-style grill that cooks the protein right behind the order station really improves the overall taste. I also enjoyed the Greek eggplant, kale and beet and tabouli salad sides. Very fresh with just the right amount of spices. As you can see from the above photo there is an outdoor patio in front and to the left. There is also plenty of seating inside including a long communal table (not visible in the below photo).


More photos of the inside after the jump… Continue Reading