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Izakaya Jun Opens in Walnut Creek

1552 Locust St, Walnut Creek

A couple of weeks ago we learned that Izakaya Jun would be soft-opening in downtown Walnut Creek and they opened over the weekend. The wood paneling looks great with a long bar towards the back and various sake bottles decorating the perimeter. I sat there and enjoyed eating dishes I haven’t tried since being in Japan such as shiokara (fermented squid) and yaki onigiri (grilled rice balls) with ume (pickled plum) and grilled salmon. (See photos after the jump). Both went great with the draft Asahi beer they offer. (Warning: shiokara is an acquired taste, try it if you dare!) Check out their appetizer and sashimi menu here, the entrees menu here and drinks menu here. They are also open for lunch.


More photos including food and entrance after the jump… Continue Reading


1500 Mt. Diablo Lighthouse Restaurant Renamed ROOFTOP and Executive Chef Announced

1500 Mt. Diablo, Walnut Creek

Back in February we learned that a new rooftop restaurant called Lighthouse would be opening at the corner of Mt. Diablo Blvd. and N. Main St. in downtown Walnut Creek and now California Home + Design reports that the top floor restaurant will be renamed ROOFTOP with executive chef Justine Kelly, formerly of Slanted Door and The Battery in San Francisco, at the helm.

ROOFTOP is expected to open, “late fall 2015″, will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and will feature a, “raw bar, multiple fire pits, and plentiful lounge seating”.

Check out the cool rendering of the inside:

Robert Becker / IDF Global

Check out the bricks going up:


Jack’s Taps Signage Up in Pleasant Hill

15 Crescent Dr, Pleasant Hill

Back in March we learned that Jack’s Taps would be opening early summer in the Downtown Pleasant Hill Shopping Center and their signage is now up. The sign notes that 20 taps will be featured including micro, local and organic brews.

From their Facebook page on May 10th:

Jack’s in PH will be closed for construction so we can break open the wall and connect Jack’s Taps to Jack’s restaurant and bar!!!



Something is Amiss at Johnny’s Donuts in Lafayette

3629 Mt Diablo Blvd

Anyone know what’s going on at Johnny’s Donuts in Lafayette? A reader emailed:

Once a month or so, I take my 9 year old there in the morning for a donut.  He’s been going in by himself to buy a donut since he was 6, and he says the people are not the same and they are not nice anymore…that they ignore him.   And the donuts look different.


Crafts Creamery Opens in Danville

100 Railroad Ave, Danville

The ice cream shop Crafts Creamery opened in Danville recently and as you can see in the photo below it’s made using liquid nitrogen although it doesn’t seem to be mentioned on their website. Unlike Smitten which also uses liquid nitrogen in their ice cream making process, Crafts Creamery offers a HUGE selection which is great. Check out their menu here.

A small size is $4.95 and is available in a premium, organic, low-fat, and a coconut/granita dairy-free base. After you choose a base you can choose from flavors such as Cap’n Crunch, adzuki bean, milk and cookies, and plenty more. Normally I stick with chocolate but I tried low fat caramel popcorn out of curiosity and it did indeed taste like caramel popcorn.


Photos of the caramel popcorn ice cream and inside signage after the jump: Continue Reading


Local Lamb Dinner Featuring Napa Valley Lamb Co. Lamb at Pizza Antica on May 26th in Lafayette

Photo from Pizza Antica Facebook

From an email:

Napa valley lamb company’s lambs are raised on the grounds of the infineon raceway in sonoma. lamb expert-owner don watson takes a hands-on approach when it comes to caring for his sustainably raised livestock. don, with the help of a handful of expert peruvian sheepherders, personally cares for his heard. for this dinner, chef bradley will travel to sonoma to meet don, where he will select a very special lamb. that animal will then be hand-delivered by don watson. if we’re lucky (if he doesn’t need to race back to the “ranch”) he might stick around long enough for you to meet him! a special selection of wines from oregon and washington will be paired with each course.

eat & drink

lamb mortadella, prosciutto cotto,
pickled vegetables, gnocco fritto
pinot gris, ponzi, willamette valley 2013
lamb sugo, mint, pistachio, pecorino
gsm, gramercy cellars, lower east, columbia valley
mixed grill of lamb
fork-crushed fava beans, english peas, new potatoes
syrah, elk cove, rogue valley 2002
fresh strawberries
almond shortbread, whipped ricotta
brut rosé, argyle, willamette valley 2010

food & wine $90 | food only $58
(inclusive of gratuity)

click here to reserve.


Izakaya Jun Soft Opening this Weekend in Downtown Walnut Creek

1552 Locust St, Walnut Creek

Eagerly anticipated since beginning of the year, the Japanese restaurant Izakaya Jun in downtown Walnut Creek is set for a soft opening this weekend. Check out photos of the inside below. The wood paneling throughout looks great. The menu will feature traditional izakaya fare including appetizers such as shiokara (salted fresh squid), dashi maki tamago (Japanese style sweet egg omelet), yaki onoigiri (grilled rice balls), and gyoza. There will also be a selection of sashimi, grilled and pan-fried dishes such as yakitori, ika-yaki (grilled squid). Deep fried dishes will include tori nankotsu no kara-age (deep fried chicken cartlidge), various tempura and more.

There will also be a large selection of Japanese sake and Asahi draft beer on tap. This is going to be a great addition to downtown, can’t wait to check it out!


Bar area with sake selection:


54 Mint Il Forno Offering Dinner Service Beginning on May 20th in Walnut Creek

1686 Locust St, Walnut Creek

The bakery and pizzeria 54 Mint Il Forno, which opened last May in downtown Walnut Creek, is expanding their pizza offerings to accompany their new dinner service times and is having a grand opening celebration this Wednesday, May 20th from 5-8pm. Check out this month’s menu here.


“Please join us and bring a friend or two, if you like to RSVP please send an email to Daniele @”