Bollywood street food: Preeti Mistry, the "Top Chef" Season 6 chef-testant and former chef at Google and the deYoung Museum, is opening her eagerly-anticipated Juhu Beach Club in Oakland's Temescal neighborhood on Friday. The name is a nod to Mistry's favorite Mumbai city beach, known for its chaat stands, airborne kites and Bollywood celeb-sightings.
Here, Mistry is doing creative street food, curries and pavs -- slider-sized sandwiches such as a Sloppy Lil'P (spicy veggie sloppy joes) and Chowpatty Chicken (grilled green chile with a tangy slaw) -- using sustainably sourced, mostly local and organic ingredients. Wash it down with lassis, coolers or chai, with beer and wine to come. Did we mention dessert? Try Straus soft-serve vanilla sundaes with toppings such as sea salt-curried peanuts, chai-spiced candied pecans and passion fruit syrup.
It's lunch only for the time being, with dinner service coming soon. Details: 5179 Telegraph Ave. (look for the entrance on 51st Street, though, it's the old SR24 spot); http://juhubeachclub.com.
Oakland olé: If you're an East Bay fan of San Francisco's Tropisueno, here's some very good news. Owners Erin Brooks and Michael Sopher just opened El Gusano in Old Oakland. Like its San Francisco sister, El Gusano is a taqueria by day and restaurant by night, but this is no burrito joint. Brooks hails from La Folie, Aqua and Farallon. The decor is hacienda style, with reclaimed wood, abstract paintings and Mexican blankets, and the tostadas, enchiladas and tamales are made with Creek Stone Farms steak, Niman Ranch pork and organic, free-range Rocky Jr. chicken. As for the bar, think mezcal -- El Gusano means "the worm," after all -- and margaritas, rimmed with "artisanal salts." Open 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch on weekdays, and from 5:30 p.m. on for dinner Mondays through Saturdays. Details: 1015 Clay St.; www.el-gusano.com.
Send your Bay Area restaurant tips to food editor Jackie Burrell, firstname.lastname@example.org.