All posts by Lisa Adamos

California Restaurant Month

It’s 2019 and January is California Restaurant Month.  Visit California‘s annual month-long campaign aims to bring foodies to culinary destinations up and down the coast and throughout the state.  Northern California restaurants continue to master the farm-to-table cuisine, including many new, local restaurants in Pleasanton.  From well-established, white tablecloth dining spots to more casual cafes, Pleasanton has numerous offerings.  With the opening of Pacific Pearl on the east end of Pleasanton, diners have several options to delight their Asian taste buds.   Downtown Pleasanton continues to entice locals with Burmese dishes to Tex-Mex and some of the best burgers in town.  Discover a new delicacy, or revisit an old favorite… there’s a dining destination sure to please your palate!

Opened in 2018, come by these new, local dining treasures in Pleasanton:

NEW Pacific Pearl
Basil Delight 2709 Stoneridge Drive, Suite 101
Fiery Shanghai 2717 Stoneridge Drive Suite #103
Jinya Ramen Bar 2693 Stoneridge Drive
Poke Moana 2725 Stoneridge Drive
Yummy Chengdu 2733 Stoneridge Drive, Suite 105
Downtown Pleasanton  
Experience Burma 220 Division Street
Salt Craft 377 Saint Mary Street
Sidetrack Bar & Grill 30 West Angela Street
The Clubhouse at the Pleasanton Hotel 855 Main Street
Uptown Burger 724 Main Street
Wild One Cal-Mex Grill 349 Main Street
Pleasanton Locations
Aappakadai Indian Restaurant 4555 Hopyard Road (Crossroads Center)
Bentolicious 4833 Hopyard Road (Gateway Center)
BurgerIM 4233 Rosewood Drive (Rosewood Pavilion)

Meet Our Small Businesses: Edition 2

As we near the holidays, shopping for gifts is on the top of our lists.  Pleasanton Downtown Association is featuring “12 Days of Downtown Deals” with numerous merchants offering specials and discounts beginning on December 10 through December 21.  Look for these two local businesses that are dedicated to bringing you personable customer service and unique products.  Shop small and support our small businesses in Pleasanton!

KJ Couture has been in Pleasanton for three years and started the company off Instagram in 2013.  Their Pleasanton location is perfect in downtown and they love the atmosphere and sense of community by being a business on Main Street.  Come check out their specialty item of Shapewear!   They are located at 706 Main Street.

The Gourmet Works is no stranger to downtown Pleasanton.  This family-owned and operated business has been in downtown for 20 years!  They are located at 420 Main Street and love being in the heart of Pleasanton’s downtown district.  All of their chocolates are handmade on the premises… come in on December 15 for $5 off any purchase over $25!  You’re sure to find a holiday gift in Downtown Pleasanton!

Meet Our Small Businesses: Edition 1

Come to Downtown Pleasanton for “friendly, personal service, exciting events, and fast special orders” at Towne Center Books.  Owner, Judy Wheeler has been in business for 23 years and her goal is to keep every customer satisfied.  Supporting small business helps shops like Judy’s stay in business, so stop on by and you may even get to meet the shop’s furry greeter, Max.

Speaking of furry friends, could you use some unique pet supplies?  Murphy’s Paw is just the ticket… Dean Mancini has owned this Downtown Pleasanton gem for 10 years.  It’s family-owned and is dedicated to serving the community with all your pet needs.  #Shopsmall at Towne Center Books and Murphy’s Paw on Small Business Saturday, November 24 and remember to shop all year-round to support small businesses in Pleasanton!

Shopping Small Helps Pleasanton Thrive!

Support your favorite local spots, or find new ones in Pleasanton!  Small Business Saturday is a day for everyone – from the business owners who create jobs to the customers who buy locally – to support small businesses that invigorate the economy and keep communities thriving.  American Express started the Shop Small movement in an effort to support these local places that make our communities strong.  They launched Small Business Saturday on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, hoping to help bring more holiday shopping to small businesses.

In Pleasanton, there are over 3,750 small businesses that employ more than 33,500 people collectively.  Supporting these businesses is a critical component of restoring and rebuilding a healthy economy.  Let’s support small businesses by shopping small on November 24.  Pleasanton Downtown Association is hosting an Open House in historic Downtown Pleasanton with free photos with Santa at Museum on Main located at 603 Main Street from 10 am – 1 pm.  Over 30 downtown merchants will be participating in this all-day event by offering special discounts on shopping, dining, and services.  Balloons, stickers, shopping bags, pet bandanas, pens and more will be given to lucky customers throughout the day as a thank you for supporting local businesses.

“When we support our local businesses by shopping here in Pleasanton, our sales tax dollars stay in the community.  For every $100 spent, $46 stays here based on an independent retail study conducted several years ago,” said Lisa Adamos, City of Pleasanton Economic Development Specialist.  Show your support when you shop in Pleasanton on November 24.   Take a selfie at your favorite business, tag the business plus #inPleasantonCA, #downtownpleasanton, #pleasanton and share them with #shopsmallpleasanton.  Let’s make November 24 the Biggest Day of the Year for small businesses in Pleasanton!

Restaurant Month Highlights Local Flavors – New Dining Guide

California Restaurant Month occurs every January to feature the amazing menus offered by restaurants throughout the region.  Whether you’ve frequented your favorite spot all year long or are interested in trying something new, the Tri-Valley is fortunate to have award-winning restaurants sure to satisfy your foodie cravings.  It’s not too late to take advantage of special menus and offers.  Visit Tri-Valley gives a nod to California Restaurant Month with “Wine & Dine Tri-Valley” where restaurants will waive corkage fees when patrons bring in their own bottle of Livermore Valley wine.

Dine out in Pleasanton this month at the following participating restaurants; special corkage fee waived at locations denoted with *:

  • Ascona Pizza Company
  • Baci Bistro and Bar
  • Barone’s Restaurant
  • Blue Agave Club
  • Chianti Reserve
  • Eddie Papa’s American Hangout*
  • Faz Pleasanton
  • Gay Nineties Pizza Co.
  • McKay’s Taphouse & Beer Garden*
  • Nic’s Wood Fired Pizza*
  • Nonni’s Bistro
  • Oasis Grille
  • Pasta’s Trattoria
  • Sabio on Main
  • Strizzi’s*
  • The Hop Yard American Alehouse & Grill

For more Pleasanton restaurants, check out the 2018 Pleasanton Winter Dining Guide!

Icicles is on a Roll

By Ryan Harding, Contributing Writer

If you’ve spent any time walking along Main Street since March, it’s very likely that you’ve seen a long line stretching from Downtown Pleasanton’s go-to stop for a sweet treat: Icicles. The unique dessert shop located on Division Street has enthralled locals with its selection of exciting and delectable ice cream bowls and ice cream tacos, but this isn’t your average scoop. Icicles only serves rolled ice cream.

The inspiration for Icicles came from founders Lit Leong and Lynda Huynh who saw street vendors in Bangkok crafting fresh rolled ice cream on frozen pans. They brought the idea back to the US to open the very first Icicles store in San Jose in 2016 where the dessert rocketed into popularity, leading to new stores in Cupertino, Newark, San Mateo, and our very own Pleasanton. The Instagram-worthy dishes are made from a simple base of cream, milk, eggs, and sugar, which is mixed with additional ingredients like fruit, cereal, and cookies depending on which of the fourteen flavors is chosen. The base is spread onto an ice-cold pan until it has frozen and then rolled up into seven spirals that are carefully fit into a bowl. From there, the ice cream can be topped with a variety of drizzles and an unlimited amount of the over fifteen tasty toppings that range from roasted marshmallows to bananas and mochi bits. The Icicles staff says that Oreo Blast and Strawberry Fantasy are the current most popular flavors offered, but that choosing less toppings is the best way to fully enjoy the smooth texture and bold flavors of the ice creams themselves.

Since its opening, Icicles has attracted a wide variety of fans. “Icicles is definitely well-loved by everyone, from young children to seniors,” Icicles employee Sem Leong shared. The store, which is particularly popular with students from Amador Valley High School and Pleasanton Middle School who can walk over after classes, is busiest in the evening until closing and on weekends. Sem explained that Icicles is so busy because it’s the only rolled ice cream joint around and patrons appreciate the positive environment in which employees strive “to be better at each and every roll.” But don’t let the long lines scare you away. Icicles has a large and efficient staff and each bowl only takes a couple of minutes to be made right before your eyes. For $7 plus tax, you can get a large serving of gourmet ice cream customized to your liking and a fun Benihana-style dessert experience unlike anything else Pleasanton has to offer.

Icicles is located at 600 Main Street, Suite F and open every day from 12:00pm-10:00pm.

www.iciclescreamroll.com     (925) 399-8153

Get Your Forkful in Downtown Pleasanton

 

A brand new event is coming to Downtown Pleasanton which is sure to be every foodies dream come true!  FORKFUL is on Saturday, September 9 from 3-6pm.  Come join in an evening of culinary delight with a unique self-paced tasting experience which will allow guests to stroll through downtown and visit 15 participating dining locations to taste their perfect forkful of deliciousness.  An added highlight are complimentary adult beverage tastings along the way.  This new event will expose guests to the amazing culinary landscape that downtown Pleasanton has to offer.

“Forkful is something we have been dreaming of for over a year and we are so excited to bring this unique culinary event to Downtown Pleasanton. We have an incredible array of restaurants here – some new, some well-established –  and we think Forkful is a wonderful way to give people a taste of what dining in Downtown Pleasanton is all about, “ says Pleasanton Downtown Association Executive Director Laura Olson.

Tickets are $50 and are now on sale online HERE.  Guests must be 21 and over to participate and the event is on, rain or shine with no refunds.  FORKFUL goers check in at Museum on Main located at 603 Main Street beginning at 2:30-4pm.  Cheers to Pleasanton Downtown Association and Alameda County Fair Fall Horse Racing for sponsoring this unique offering in Pleasanton!

Pleasanton Downtown Association 

(925) 484-2199

Restaurant Bringing Innovation to Stoneridge Shopping Center

By Ryan Harding, Contributing Writer

Everyone loves a little comfort food, but for anyone dealing with allergies, fun and flavorful foods can be near impossible to come by. That’s exactly where 3 Potato 4 comes to the rescue. The unique restaurant, which is located on the upper level of the Stoneridge Shopping Center between Zales Jewelers and Men’s Warehouse, serves a variety of items that are all organic, 100% vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, and non-GMO. “We want to make delicious vegan food accessible to everyone, even if they have allergies,” says manager Edan Cohen. 3 Potato 4, which was inspired by CEO Guenevere Blanchard’s experiences living in the Netherlands, brings a healthy twist to fast food.

Though 3 Potato 4 has only been open a short time, it is already garnering strong support. “People love that they can finally get a quick and healthy meal in the mall,” explains Cohen, “Usually the only options are greasy fast foods, but now people can have something light.” Those light and delicious treats include soups, vegan soft serve ice cream, over 50 rotating house-made dipping sauces, tater tots, and a variety of crunchy baked fries. “We bake all of our potatoes instead of frying them, so they’re 99% fat free,” says Cohen. The restaurant’s “always baked, never fried” approach mirrors all of the fun and flavor of European street food with none of the guilt. And since every potato dish is made to order, guests can be assured that they are getting only the freshest product.

If that wasn’t innovative enough, 3 Potato 4 is not only Stoneridge Mall’s first common allergen-free restaurant, but also its first zero carbon footprint tenant. “Everything we are serving to our customer is consumable, compostable, recyclable or biodegradable,” Blanchard confirmed. No waste from the store – from paper cones to potato starch bowls – ends up in a landfill. “We really want to be part of the community,” mentioned Cohen. To the 3 Potato 4 crew, being a part of the community means not only supporting the environment they inhabit, but also supporting the efforts of local charities and organizations. So far, 3 Potato 4 has served as host to multiple fundraisers and has partnered up with Build-A-Bear to provide food for allergy-friendly kids’ parties. As the crew maintains, from club meetups, to fundraisers, to the release of new menu items, there’s always something new and exciting happening at 3 Potato 4.

3 Potato 4, 1 Stoneridge Mall Rd, Pleasanton, California 94588

@3p4shop

(925) 425-7205

Hours:  Monday – Friday: 11am – 9pm, Saturday: 10am – 9pm, Sunday: 11am – 7pm

Poke Takes Over Pleasanton

By Ryan Harding, Contributing Writer

Pleasanton is now the latest community to take part in a tropical trend that is sweeping the globe: poke. By the end of the summer, Pleasanton will be home to three poke shops dedicated to providing the newest staple in fast-casual dining, a Hawaiian dish with endless variations. Poke, pronounced “poh-kay,” is a raw fish salad that has been enjoyed by native Hawaiians since centuries before European explorers stepped foot on the islands. Originally, poke was served as an appetizer or snack made from leftover fish, but the dish underwent a transformation in the 1970s when it was first sold as a complete meal of fresh fish and seasonings in a takeaway bowl. Since then, poke has spread across the continental US and to metropolitan cities around the world, transforming to reflect the tastes of each location.

In the traditional Hawaiian style, poke is simply sliced raw fish (usually ahi tuna or salmon) topped with soy sauce, sesame oil, and green onions. In modern poke shops, the central proteins range from the traditional fishes to shrimp, octopus, and even tofu, all of which can be served over rice and paired with a variety of toppings like avocado, mushrooms, and chili peppers. The poke bowls served at Pleasanton’s three poke shops, Local Poke, North Shore Poke Co., and Prime Poke, can be customized to fit anyone’s taste, and are always full of vibrant and refreshing flavors.

Poke’s current rise to fame only began about five years ago when cities along the Pacific Coast started to see poke shops pop up by the dozens. Now, there are more than twenty specialized poke restaurants in the East Bay alone. Despite poke’s rapid and recent growth, Chai Lonh, manager of North Shore Poke Co., doesn’t see this culinary trend fading away anytime soon. “Poke is a really healthy alternative to all of those burgers, fries, and other fast foods,” explained Lonh, “People want something that tastes good and is good for them.” As Californians move toward more health-centric lifestyles, raw preparations and produce-filled dishes like poke continue to grow in demand. This poke craze isn’t coming out of the blue, but rather filling the need for more quick, easy, and healthy dining options in the Bay Area. It’s no wonder that Pleasanton has jumped on the poke bandwagon – now it’s just a matter of seeing where it leads.

Local Poke is located at 6700 Santa Rita Rd in the Trader Joe’s/Cort Plaza; North Shore Poke Co. opened recently on July 1 and is located at 6786 Bernal Ave #820 in the Pleasanton Gateway Shopping Center; and Prime Poke is located in Downtown Pleasanton at 349 Main St Suite 140 and currently having their soft opening.  Stop by one of these locations today and get your Poke fix!