Photo from Zaika website.
tablehopper reader Marc R. alerted me to the upcoming opening of ~ZAIKA~ in Berkeley, in the short-lived Meridian International Foods Cafe. This 120-seat Indian restaurant—a sister to India Garden in Pleasanton—is due to open by the end of this week or the beginning of next. Dishes will span the north and south of India, from butter chicken and lamb curry to dosas and idli, along with numerous tandoori dishes, lunch specials, extensive appetizers, and chaat, like sev puri and bhel puri. Zaika—whose name means “flavor” or “taste”—will be open for lunch and dinner, serving beer and wine. 2054 University Ave. at Milvia, Berkeley, 510-705-1343.
In mid-August, ~JOSHUYA BRASSERIE~ will be opening in the substantially remodeled space that was formerly home to Joshu-ya Sushi Bar. Executive chef/owner Jason Kwon will be serving contemporary Japanese cuisine prepared using seasonal, sustainable, and often locally sourced ingredients. Starters include a cured salmon salad with shaved daikon, fennel, Asian pear, and truffle-crème fraîche sauce, and Maine lobster sushi with Santa Barbara uni (another version of East meets West?). Mains include pork chashu (slow roasted pork belly) soba, and braised short rib sukiyaki. In addition to the 55-seat dining room, there will be a garden patio. Hours are Mon-Sat 11:30am-4pm, and nightly for dinner from 5pm-10pm. 2441 Dwight Way at Telegraph, Berkeley, 510-848-5260.