4 New East Bay Dining Destinations for Spring
From Livermore to Walnut Creek, these new restaurant openings are worth a try
WALNUT CREEK – The first of two new restaurants going into Walnut Creek’s three-story Mt. Diablo Blvd. development, Teleféric Barcelona, opened mid-January to rave reviews. Located on the second floor, its trendy look, designed by Oakland based architecture and design firm Arcsine, gives the impression that a piece of Manhattan has dropped in on Walnut Creek.
Artisan cocktails with greenery in your glass, sangria with fresh fruit, and an extensive wine list will make it a go-to spot to meet up with friends.
The prawns sautéed in garlic and olive oil are a must have. They pair well with the crispy potatoes in biscaine sauce. Much like Dim Sum, a server will come to your table with a cart of smaller bites, like skewers of pan seared ahi tuna that melts in your mouth like butter.
Tapas start at $5. Full bar. Open daily, 5pm-11pm. TelefericBarcelona.com or 925.300.3826.
SAN RAMON – He’s been talking about it for years, and now it’s a reality. Rodney Worth has opened his barbecue restaurant in San Ramon.
Barbecue is one of those controversial food styles – especially if you hail from one of America’s great barbecue cities. I recommend the slow smoked options so you can try out the different sauces.
My table started with the drunken gulf prawns cooked in bourbon, butter, garlic and shallots. Notably good side salads were next, followed by the barbecue sampler, a large platter with pulled pork, brisket, a hot link and ribs. The pulled pork was fork tender and full of flavor, definitely our favorite, with the brisket a close second.
Entrées start at $18. Full bar. Open daily, 11:30am-9pm.
RodneyWorth.com or 925.831.2175.
DUBLIN – Korean barbecue fans are in for a treat at Dublin’s Go Goong. A few minutes after our arrival at the cozy restaurant, dishes started appearing at our table, starting with complimentary cups of tea and bowls of velvety pumpkin porridge.
The kimchi pancake is a good starter, but it’s huge, so most of it went home with us.
Bibimbap dishes come with an entire day’s serving of veggies. Possibly two. We chose spare ribs from the different options. The meat was tender and flavorful, the veggies crisp, and the rice at the bottom of the bowl crunchy.
Spicy pork rounded out our meal. It was good, but I would have liked it to be spicier.
Dishes start at $11. Beer and wine only. Monday-Saturday 11am-8:30pm (9:30 Friday & Saturday), Sunday 12-8:30pm. 925.829.7237.
LIVERMORE – Kobe Japan has ventured out from its Pleasant Hill home to open a second location in Livermore. The restaurant, located in the old Sumo Sushi spot, is divided into two sections, sushi and habachi. I’m a habacahi fan, so that is where I headed.
Entrées come with onion soup, salad, a choice of hibachi shrimp or sautéed mushrooms, fresh veggies, and steamed or fried rice. I opted for the shrimp, but would skip that in favor of the mushrooms next time. I chose filet mignon for my entrée, which was a large, thick cut, cooked to perfection.
Kudos to the chef who kept a 2-year-old entertained.
Habachi starts at $18. Full bar. Open daily. Call for hours. KobeJapanRestaurant.com
Janet Fazio writes ‘Tastes of Your Town’, a monthly feature in the print edition of Your Town Monthly. This article was originally published in the March 2016 issues.