By Brooke Porter Katz
June 29, 2015
Chef Kyle Itani
Credit: Aubrie Pick

Oakland’s fast-rising food scene just keeps getting hotter—and come November, there will be one more reason to pay attention. That’s when Itani Ramen from chef Kyle Itani opens in the Uptown neighborhood. In his a follow-up to Hopscotch—a retro diner known for its Japanese-inspired American comfort food—he’ll serve five types of ramen in a casual, counter-service spot. Here, Itani gives us a meal-by-meal look at his favorite spots around Oakland.


Boot and Shoe Service, set in a former shoe repair, is owned by a former Chez Panisse chef. They make top-notch in-house pastries and tarts, including a simple strawberry galette.”


As B-Dama moved downtown from Piedmont Avenue to the Swan’s Market food hall. They have great curry plates, served with salad and rice, plus bento boxes for lunch. It’s fun and fast.”


Nido Kitchen & Bar is a Mexican restaurant with a strong cocktail program. They cook with fresh, seasonal ingredients—I especially love the ceviches and salads. There are a lot of Mexican restaurants off of International Boulevard that are more down and dirty. This is a different take.”


Curbside Creamery is my go-to dessert spot. I like the Vanilla Malt Ball and Bourbon Vanilla flavors. Also, the ice cream sandwich with sugar cookies and Earl Grey Tea is really unique and delicious.”


“One of my favorites is the Double Standard, set in the former Kim’s Backyard space. The owner came from Bourbon & Branch in San Francisco, and it has a big backyard patio with three red wood trees rising from it. I’m more of a beer guy, and they have some great brews on tap.”