East Bay food scene vets team up for new venture at Jack London Square

East Bay food scene vets team up for new venture at Jack London Square
Photo Credit: @belladikitchen/Instagram
By Wesley Severson - Published on July 06, 2022.

A new restaurant at Jack London Square in West Oakland is serving several different themes thanks to a partnership between three people who know the East Bay food scene very well. Rana Chang, who founded the popular retail drink company House Kombucha, Anson Abdulla, the Yemeni owner of the former People’s Cafe in Berkeley, and Hani DeSouky, who runs the Egyptian food pop-up Baladi, have teamed up to create a new restaurant that gives you a taste of all their ventures. 

Belladi Kitchen is now open at 378 Embarcadero West, on the ground floor of the new housing complex Modera. The restaurant is to-go only, but there are plenty of places to sit when it comes to waterfront seating at Jack London Square. Early last year, Chang saw the potential of combining her kombucha taproom idea, which she had also established inside People’s Cafe before it shuttered during the pandemic, with the cooking talents of Abdulla and DeSouky. “They have long, long histories [in] food. Hani is Egyptian. His parents were cooks and butchers. So he can feature the food of his homeland. Anson is Yemeni and has an agricultural lineage; food, grocery, and egg distributor,” Chang told Nosh

DeSouky and Abdulla also have a history together. DeSouky’s pop-up took over the kitchen at People’s Cafe for a brief time before Abdulla closed it. Now, the trio is hoping the fresh start in a new location will pay off by offering a large variety of healthy-minded food served in ultra-sustainable fashion. 

One example of a smaller footprint is the to-go meals that come in steel containers which you can return to Belladi Kitchen or Dispatch Goods which makes them. The steel containers are handed out in reusable bags, and compostable forks are optional. Another example is the strawberry lavender, coconut ginger, ginger peach, and citrus hibiscus kombucha on tap. You can fill up your own containers from 16 to 64 ounces. “You’re not eating out of plastic. That feels good to me when it comes to presenting food and just feeling good about your meal,” Chang told Nosh.



As for the food, everything on the menu is uniquely spiced, like the rice, which is cooked with cardamom, clove, and cinnamon. The sliced-to-order grass-fed meats are halal and are used in rice bowls and pitas. There’s also a wide selection of salads and vegan and vegetarian options. Homemade sauces also take center stage like the garlic toum, the Shaata, or the Sahawak, which highlights a Yemeni serrano pepper.

Right now, Belladi Kitchen is only catering to the lunch crowd and is open Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. It could expand its hours to serve breakfast in the near future. Follow the Belladi Kitchen Instagram page to find out when it happens.