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Walnut Creek Magazine

Local Flavor: Restaurant and Food News

Jun 10, 2021 04:33PM ● By Harper Klein

From cupcakes to donuts and tacos noodles to kebabs, Walnut Creek's culinary scene is heating up. Here's the latest food news. 

Known for her incredibly moist cupcakes in dozens of flavors, Lila Owens is bringing her Cupcakin’ Bake Shop brand to Walnut Creek, opening a fourth sweet spot in the former Kara’s space on Main Street on July 3. Owens began her bakery business on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley seven years ago, followed by a second inside Oakland’s Swan’s Market and a third in the Gourmet Ghetto.

Third Culture Bakery, known for its mochi muffins and donuts, is expanding to 1310 S. California Street as Matcha Café, where it’ll serve drinks and desserts flavored with green tea (matcha) as well as it’s wildly popular baked goods made with mochi (Japanese rice cake paste.)  Originally on track for a July debut, permits and construction delays have pushed it out to at least mid-August.  

Two new taco spots came to town dishing up classic Mexican food at seriously good prices. For crispy shrimp tacos, check out Taqueria Limon 3 on Mt. Diablo. They also do delish breakfast burritos and veggie quesadillas. Concord’s loss is Walnut Creek’s gain—known for its baja fish tacos, Taqueria La Plaza at Palos Verdes Mall, is getting rave reviews. And we're still waiting for word on when Five Tacos & Beers will emerge on Locust Street. Stay tuned  

Bay Area fast casual chain Starbird opened its ninth restaurant in Encina Grande shopping center last month, serving tasty fried chicken sandwiches and big baskets of chicken tenders. A new Turkish restaurant, Sultan’s Kebab, is renovating the former Bombay space on Main Street. And while we wish the news was all good, we're sad to report Burma Unique closed permanently on Broadway. 

Speaking of news, retailers on Main Street were interviewed by KPIX5 last week about a dispute with Main Street Kitchen over the size of their 80-foot-parklet obscuring storefront views. While the project was fully approved by the City of Walnut Creek and the restaurant used a city-approved contractor, the city ordered Main Street Kitchen to reduce its parklet size. As Walnut Creek looks at the future of pop-ups downtown, will other restaurants be asked to scale back?

Chefs with impressive resumes are behind Table 7 and Killiney Kopitiam, two new restaurants opening in the former Prima space. Chef Nora Haron, known for her celebrated IndoMex cuisine, is reported to be working on modern Singaporean/Indonesian cuisine for the menu at Table 7, while Killiney Kopitiam, one of Singapore's oldest franchises, will do more casual fare like kaya toast and noodle bowls. 

Meanwhile, Chef Peter Chastain's new neighborhood trattoria, Via Del Corso, made its debut on Shattuck in Berkeley last week with some familiar faces in supporting roles like Chef Alison Negrin. We can't wait to go and try the black mission fig salad, burrata con zuppa, handmade pastas, and grilled pork chop. 

MORE NOTABLE NEWS: Bierhaus is back dishing up weekday dinners, adding lunch to its offerings on weekends, for now. A new boutique event space, Gather Walnut Creek, opened on Locust Street hosting weddings and other intimate affairs. The Planning Commission approved Shake Shack’s parking, outdoor dining, and pick up window plans moving the project closer to getting a final nod. Rita's, a new Latin American-style bar/restaurant is coming to Lyric, West Coast Sourdough is replacing Jimmy John’s over on North Main Street.

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