A chic new American restaurant is coming to Alameda, along with other openings in East Bay

Welcome to the first episode of New in the East Bay, a monthly overview of the latest restaurant and bar openings this side of the Bay Bridge.

It’s been a busy year so far, with lively openings in smaller towns like Alameda and Walnut Creek. The East Bay also saw new spots specializing in underrepresented cuisines like Jamaican and Filipino. The latter is already finding eager crowds for its crispy, hand-rolled lumpia, driving early sales.

These openings join new restaurants The Chronicle has already visited and endorsed for our monthly guide to the Bay Area’s new must-try restaurants. So far this year, staff members have recommended Cafe 86, an ube-centric bakery and cafe in Union City; Gangnam Jajang, a Korean-Chinese spot in Oakland’s Temescal; Joodooboo, a Korean grocery store specializing in tofu; Kowbird, Matt Horn’s fried chicken restaurant; and Squabisch, the pretzel bakery that draws long lines in Berkeley.

Also check out the new restaurant guides on the Peninsula, South Bay and Wine Country. Read on for the latest news in the East Bay.

Another fine dining restaurant is coming to Alameda

An octopus entrée with Spanish chorizo, beans and tomatoes at Ceron Kitchen in Alameda.

Courtesy of Ramon Piquero

Ceron Kitchen arrived this year with an unusually splashy space for the West Island of Webster Street. It comes from new restaurateurs Vincente Ceron, owner of a local business, and Juan Jaquez, a chef who previously worked at the upscale Paradiso in San Leandro and the famous Boulevard de San Francisco. For Ceron Kitchen, Jaquez prepares new American cuisine, often with Latin American or Mediterranean influences. Think ribs in a pool of rich taupe poblano ($38); steak with caramelized onion yogurt and carrot chimichurri ($48); and octopus draped over Spanish chorizo ​​and beans ($23). Pastry chef Krishna Patel, who has also rubbed shoulders with Boulevard as well as Corey Lee’s Monsieur Benjamin, whips up elegant desserts ($13), like a passion-ginger meringue pie and coconut mousse.

1619 Webster Street, Alameda. 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday; 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday to Saturday. ceronkitchen.com

Miami vibes hit Walnut Creek

Jerk chicken at Lita, a contemporary Caribbean restaurant in Walnut Creek.

Jerk chicken at Lita, a contemporary Caribbean restaurant in Walnut Creek.

Provided by Lita

One of the busiest restaurants to open in Walnut Creek in years, Lita draws crowds for its electric design, Miami nightclub vibes and Caribbean-inspired dishes. It’s the latest spot for Ghaben Partners, the family behind Lafayette’s Batch & Brine and Walnut Creek’s Broderick Roadhouse. The menu includes dishes to share like chicken empanadas with coconut curry ($14), salt cod fritters with jerk aioli ($14) and guava-tinged kampachi ceviche with plantain chips. ($21), all designed to accompany cocktails and an energetic atmosphere.

1602 Bonanza St., Walnut Creek. 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. litawalnutcreek.com

Lumpia draws crowds to Contra Costa County

Previously an in-home operation, Mama’s Lumpia recently graduated into permanent space in Pacheco, near Concord. The excitement was palpable with long lines and food selling out early. The menu is simple: either buy lots of crispy lumpia, the Filipino spring roll ($8 for 12), or build a plate of lumpia ($8-$10) with sides like adobo rice and noodles. garlic. Vegetarian lumpia are available, as are fun, rotating specialties like “mac-ghetti,” macaroni treated with sweet Filipino spaghetti and cheese rain.

5868 Pacheco Boulevard, Pacheco. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. or full Wednesday to Saturday. mamaslumpia.com

Jamaican favorite reopens in new digs

For 12 years, Sweet Fingers operated as a popular Jamaican restaurant in San Leandro before a fire shut it down in 2019. In January, it reopened in a new space in East Oakland. The classics are all there: jerk chicken ($13-$24), goat curry ($18-$27), Jamaican patties ($5) and more. Vegetarians can also eat well here with options like tofu jerk ($15-$23) and ackee (a tropical fruit) with vegetables ($14-$20).

5859 Foothill Blvd, Suite 1, Oakland. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday. sweetfingersrestaurant.com

A colorful and modern Thai spot opens near the Albany-Berkeley border

Kanoom jeen nam ngew, a noodle soup with pork, shrimp paste and tomatoes from Sistory Thai Kitchen in Berkeley.

Kanoom jeen nam ngew, a noodle soup with pork, shrimp paste and tomatoes from Sistory Thai Kitchen in Berkeley.

Janelle Bitker/The Chronicle

Sistory Thai Kitchen serves a mix of modern Thai dishes, typical classics and hard-to-find traditional dishes. At the more contemporary end of the spectrum, there’s cheesy lobster ravioli in tom kha soup ($19) and crispy fish tacos that use flaky roti instead of tortillas ($13). Northern Thai specialties include sai oua ($11), a lemongrass-lime flavored pork sausage makrut, and kanoom jeen nam ngew ($23), a tangy noodle soup loaded with pork, shrimp paste and cherry tomatoes. The casual and colorful space is run by a team with prior experience in Bay Area Thai spots like Farmhouse Thai Kitchen.

1233 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley. 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday, noon to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. www.sistorythaikitchen.com

Mexican brunch is in the spotlight at Berkeley

Gilberto Monroy, longtime cook of Berkeley brunch classic Bette’s Oceanview Diner, has branched off to open a Mexican restaurant. Given its resume, it’s no surprise that Nuevo Sol also puts a heavy emphasis on brunch. Along with the standard American egg dishes and French toast are added Mexican morning favorites like chilaquiles ($13.95) and huevos rancheros ($12.95). Most intriguing are the chorizo-stuffed potato pancakes, which get a finish of applesauce and sour cream ($13.95).

1335 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday to Monday. www.nuevosolberkeley.com

All-American cuisine, served all day in Oakland

Inside the new Split location in Oakland, in the former Dosa by Dosa space.

Inside the new Split location in Oakland, in the former Dosa by Dosa space.

Courtesy of Mithy Evans

San Francisco’s Split has expanded out of town for its third location, bringing its classic American cuisine to Oakland. The all-day dining restaurant has taken over the prominent Dosa by Dosa space in Uptown, repurposing its airy modern design with a dose of Americana. (Think plaid.) The restaurant, which comes from the same team behind salad chain Mixt, is known for its crispy fried chicken sandwiches, burgers and breakfast entrees. New dishes for the Oakland location include Seared Ahi Tuna Burger with Wasabi Aioli ($14.95); Cinnamon Swirl French Toast Challah with Whipped Mascarpone ($8.95); and mini blueberry pies ($6.95).

2301 Broadway, Oakland. 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Take-out, delivery, indoor and outdoor seating.

Janelle Bitker is a staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected]: @janellebitker

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