For whatever reason, the culinary wave that's been washing over Oakland has largely missed Montclair. Could that be changing?
When the Silver Palace closed last week after 28 years, reaction was mixed. Longtime patrons bemoaned the passing of a Montclair institution. "Another neighborhood loss," one man wrote.
But the very next day, a work crew was there, with an eager new owner outside. Philip Norawong revealed there were two other restaurateurs bidding on the space and that he and his partner won out. Camber will open in September and serve Southeast Asian cuisine like its sister restaurant near the Fox Theatre in Uptown. And while I haven't yet been to Camber Uptown, it's getting plenty of play on Yelp. "The vibe is very chill," wrote one reviewer. Don't look now, but that culinary wave may be lapping at our shores.
Around town: Speaking of cafés, a new Brazilian steak house is open in Old Oakland, on a street known for its restaurants. Galeto Brazilian Grill (1019 Clay) is already getting praise for its signature dish -- free-range organic chicken bathed in a seven-herb marinade, roasted and served family-style. But there's much more to this prix fixe menu, which includes skewers of tender prime beef and pork, carved at your table, along with pasta and a salad bar full of Brazilian delights. Tea for two: Some of us are coffee people and others are tea lovers. I may cross the line and be both, after trying a pouch of Hale and Hearty from Montclair's newest beverage shop -- Sophie's Cuppa Tea.
Did I mention that Kiley is a third-generation Montclarion? I also met her parents, Jamie and Stephanie, and her grandma, Barbara. Stephanie brought her friend, Montclarion reporter Mimi Rohr, and I was with Kelly Powers, who lives in Montclair and manages membership and marketing for the Hotel Council of San Francisco. We were one big happy family, which seems only fitting since the Chancellor is one of the last family-owned and -operated hotels in San Francisco.