Restaurants

Yalla Mediterranean Opens Today in Downtown Pleasant Hill

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55 Crescent Drive, Pleasant Hill

The Mediterranean restaurant Yalla Mediterranean (the very first one!) is opening today in downtown Pleasant Hill on Crescent Drive and I dropped by their preview party last night to check it out. With a spacious interior and clean, modern design including a living herb wall it looks great.

The ordering process is like Chipotle for Mediterranean food. Check out their menu here. First you choose a style, ie plate, wrap, salad or pita. Next you select a protein such as shawarma, various skewers (steak, chicken, kefta), they even offer a shalafel (half chicken shawarma/half falafel). I tried the kefta (spiced ground beef and lamb) and it tasted so good! The key to cooking the proteins is their special open-flame, rotating rotisserie grill right behind where you order. (Check out a photo of the grill after the jump). By the time you’re done selecting toppings and sides the meat is ready.  My favorite sides were the Greek eggplant and arugula & beets. There are also two kinds of hummus, traditional and spicy. For dessert try the Greek frozen yogurt that reminded me of Pinkberry. Yum!

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More photos of the inside including the open-flame, rotating rotisserie grill after the jump… Continue reading

Vitality Bowls Opening in Downtown Pleasant Hill Early February

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100 Crescent Dr, Pleasant Hill

Vitality Bowls which features açai bowls and opened last year in downtown Walnut Creek is opening a new location in downtown Pleasant Hill on Crescent Drive and is planning on an early February opening. Check out their açai bowl menu here. They also offer smoothies, panini sandwiches, salads, parfaits, soups and more.

From their Facebook page:

‘Twas the month before opening
And all about town,
The buzz was a startin':
“Vitality Bowls is opening downtown!!!”
So, we hung our Now Hiring posters
In our windows with care,
With hopes that great team members
Would soon apply there…

We are not only excited to begin building delicious and nutritious açai bowls for Pleasant Hill, but are also very excited to begin building an exceptional staff of knowledgeable and diligent team players! If you, or someone you know wants to join our team, please email your resume to pleasanthill@vitalitybowls.com!

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McCovey’s Restaurant Closing in Walnut Creek beginning of February – Relocating to San Francisco

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1444 North California Blvd, Walnut Creek

Thanks to a reader for sending word that McCovey’s Restaurant will be closing their downtown Walnut Creek location in early February and relocating to San Francisco to be near AT&T Park. According to a McCovey’s employee they will they close after the Super Bowl and also mentioned that the SoCal based burger restaurant Slater’s 50/50 will be opening at this location. Check out Slater’s 50/50 lunch and dinner menu here.

From the Slater’s 50/50 website:

Slater’s 50/50® was founded in 2009 in Anaheim Hills, California by Scott Slater, a SoCal native with a passion for bacon, burgers and craft beer and a disdain for the boring. Inspired by the belief that bacon is meat candy, Scott created the original 50/50 patty– made of 50% ground bacon and 50% ground beef – and a menu full of amplified burgers and indulgent dishes to pair with one of the most mind-blowing selections of local and regional craft beer available on tap anywhere. As word spread and lines of hungry guests grew, so did Scott’s passion to push the culinary envelope in an environment that was relaxed, fun and most importantly, designed to be customizable for his guests’ preferences.

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Veggie Grill Opening Delayed in Walnut Creek

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1320 Locust St, Walnut Creek

Last month I received an email from Veggie Grill’s marketing team promoting a special giveaway with the December 8th opening in downtown Walnut Creek. Based on the number of emails and comments that have been posted many were sorely disappointing finding out that there would be no opening yesterday. According to the same marketing team, “there is a hold up with construction but I heard there was someone on hand giving out gift cards this morning since it was delayed last minute.” I’m not sure what went down but I apologize for the mix up and hope that there is better communication from their marketing team going forward.

Progress on 1500 Mt. Diablo Development in Downtown Walnut Creek

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1500 Mt. Diablo Blvd, Walnut Creek

Plenty of progress going on at Walnut Creek’s most desirable shopping section, at the corner of Mt. Diablo Blvd. and N. Main St, with structural steel beams having gone up recently. Back in September we learned that the preppy clothing store Vineyard Vines would be opening in this location. Two upper floor restaurants will be be finalized sometime this month. Stay tuned…

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Rendering by Robert Becker / IDF Global

310 Eatery Planning to Open New Restaurant in Albany

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The L.A. street food restaurant 310 Eatery which opened in Walnut Creek earlier this year (and recently relocated within Redux Lounge on Locust St) is looking to expand to Solano Avenue in Albany very soon. Although they started in Walnut Creek, the owner began his restaurant experience in Albany so this will be like a homecoming for them.

They are known for their 405 Traffic Jam Burger and over the weekend I tried their Little Tokyo Po’boy softshell crab sandwich with a fried egg, tomato, homemade spicy slaw and homemade Unagi aioli on a brioche bun and it was delicious! Check out their Facebook page here for updates.

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Ramen Hiroshi Opening in Early December in Downtown Walnut Creek

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1633 Bonanza St, Walnut Creek

The hotly anticipated ramen-ya Hiroshi Ramen that was expected to open earlier this month will be opening most likely in early December. I had a chance to chat with the owner Hiroshi who it turns out owned Yakitori Hiroshi in Dublin and worked in Tokyo for 10 years. This restaurant will focus on ramen noodle dishes such as pork tonkotsu ramen, miso ramen, tantan-men as well as a clear chicken base ramen. There will also be appetizers such as karaage and gyoza. As for yakitori, they’re considering opening a second restaurant in the area focusing on yakitori. Just writing about this is making me hungry… Yum!