San Francisco

Oakland Eats: Brenda's Oakland expansion nears debut, Meet Fresh opens with Taiwanese desserts, more

In this edition: A San Francisco brunch favorite nears opening day for its Oakland expansion, Piedmont Avenue gets a new upscale eatery, Chinatown has a fresh dessert option and a Fruitvale newcomer is hosting an opening party with a new mural.



Brenda's (4045 Broadway)

Photo: Albertino M./Hoodline Tipline

Veteran tipster Al M. alerted us that San Francisco-based chef Brenda Buenviaje (Brenda’s French Soul FoodBrenda’s Meat and Three) will be expanding across the Bay with a new spot called Brenda's, on the bottom level of the new Maya condominium complex. 

Buenviaje told Hoodline via email that her current best guess for an opening date is late summer.

Eater SF reported last October that Brenda's will offer a fast-casual take on the Cajun dishes that have made Buenviaje's original Polk Street restaurant famous, with po’boys, biscuits, fried chicken and other favorites. We'll keep you posted as its arrival nears.

Piedmont Avenue

Mago (3762 Piedmont Ave.)

Photo: Albertino M./Hoodline Tipline

Mark Liberman, the former chef of San Francisco's AQ, has opened a new restaurant with his wife, Theresa, on Piedmont Avenue. Housed in the former Cybelle's spot, Mago (Spanish for "wizard" or "magician") serves "simple food using innovative, inventive and high-quality ingredients."

Mago's menu largely consists of snacks and small plates, with many items cooked over a wood fire. Current options include a shrimp toast sandwich with herbs and spring radishes; halibut with salted rhubarb, leek and sweet barley butter; or a shaved beet salad with pine nut labneh and snow peas.

There's also a rotating larger plate for groups to share — currently, it's lamb shoulder with capers and husk cherries. The restaurant has a full liquor license, offering cocktails and a variety of wines by the glass. For non-drinkers, there's also a lineup of housemade sodas. 

In addition to meals, Mago will play host to culinary classes taught by Theresa Liberman, who's studied cheese at the San Francisco Cheese School. Classes include "Cheese 101" and "Spring Cheese and Wine."


Meet Fresh (362 8th St.)

Photo: Sivilay T./Yelp

Veteran tipster Al M. reports from Chinatown that Taiwanese dessert chain Meet Fresh is readying to open next Monday. The international chain — which has locations throughout Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States —is currently hiring.

On the menu, customers can find taro balls with red beans, peanuts, boba or with sweet potato, barley and boba. Other options include tofu pudding, hot almond soup or shaved ice. A selection of milk or herbal teas, as well as pineapple or winter melon teas, will be offered as well.



La Guerrera's Kitchen (954 Fruitvale Ave.)

Image: Gabriela Alemán

La Guerrera's Kitchen is hosting a grand opening party at its first brick-and-mortar location in Fruitvale this Saturday, from 1–7 p.m. Guests can expect music and the presentation of an indoor mural by Bay Area-based artist DJ Agana. Next-door neighbor Aloha Club will also offer drink specials, including a mezcal margarita, palomas and mimosas.

As we previously reported, La Guerrera's Kitchen is headed by the mother-daughter duo of Ofelia Barajas and Reyna Maldonado, who got their start with culinary incubator La Cocina. They serve tamales (including vegan tamales), pozole, birria, barbacoa and build-your-own ceviche.

Thanks to our veteran tipster Al M.! Have you noticed a new addition to (or subtraction from) Oakland's food landscape? Text a tip and a horizontal photo to 510-757-9959, and we'll look into it.


Never miss a story.

Subscribe today to get Hoodline delivered straight to your inbox.