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Juhu Beach Club to open brick 'n mortar in Temescal [Oakland]

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Fab news for those of us in the East Bay:
Juhu Beach Club has taken over the location that had been SR24 at Telegraph and 51st St in the Temescal neighb of north oakland.

anticipate opening in March.

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  1. Looks like Juhu is opening tomorrow! Photos from the soft opening are up on Yelp. Menu looks promising, if a bit more expensive than other Indian restaurants in the area, though Juhu seems to offer slightly different, more unique fare. Menu is on the website.

    http://www.juhubeachclub.com/

    1. Here's the report from our chowdown at Juhu Beach Club two years ago when it was still in San Francisco to give you an idea of the cooking philosophy.
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/776012

      2 Replies
      1. re: Melanie Wong

        I made it for lunch yesterday. No line, but then again I was there right as they opened for lunch. Chef Preeti remembered me from the chowdown and stopped by to chat. Good memory! There was a line catty-corner across Telegraph at BSBs. I think a bunch of those folks should have crossed the street and would have been very happy and been served a lot faster if they had gone to JBC instead, even with JBC being a sit down joint! Their loss.

        I had the 3 pav combo with the lamb meatball, pork vindaloo, and short ribs. All three were wonderfully tasty, although I was hoping for more bite in the pork vindaloo -- the menu gives it the highest heat rating, but it never made me reach for my drink. The round lamb meatball squished down enough so that I could fit the pav into my mouth. My combo came with the masala fries which went nicely with the flavors of the pavs, although the fries were a bit salty. There were thin and slightly pliant just as I like them. I had the cilantro lemonade and loved it. While the flavor is intense, the mix of spices and the cilantro float on top were refreshing. I could imagine drinking a lot of that on a hot day. As it was, I poured some water into my glass to get some of the leftovers out of the nookies and crannies of the ice. :-)

        As has been mentioned, the lunch menu is mostly the pavs, so I'm going to have to come back in the evening to try out some other items. I'm just really glad that the restaurant now has a permanent home with a staff to assist Chef Preeti. She was doing it all by herself at her previous pop-up location in SF. I hope this location proves to be a winner.

        1. re: Peter Yee

          The lunch pavs would be fine with me too. I recall long ago an Indian ex-pat complaining to me that none of our local chaat places used the right kind of rolls. From what she described to me then, I imagine that these custom-made buns are exactly the ticket. And swathed with butter as god intended them.

          I very much enjoyed the nimbu pani also. Here's my photo, love the green cilantro rimming the ice cubes.
          http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

          And this also provides a look at the tableware that looks like disposable picnic supplies but they're reusable and sturdy for continued use. Just adds to the beach atmosphere.

      2. Dropped by at 9:15p on friday and found a line of folks waiting for tables. But not too long a wait for a seat at the bar for one. Some photos for opening night:
        http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

        1. Got in with no wait at 7pm tonight. It was bomb. Vibrant spices, bold flavors. We loved everything. Started with the cilantro lemonade---not too sweet and great flavor, really refreshing. Curious about their other lassi's and the chai next time. Crispy Paneer balls were crunchy on the outside and crumbly on the inside. Nice chutney-like sauce underneath. The guju chili was uniquely South Indian, and came out piping hot. Spice combination was comforting and the dollop of yogurt on top complemented it well.

          The Pavs are clearly a large part of the menu, and they help distinguish the restaurant. The starter bakery breads were outrageously good--lightly buttered on top and bottom. Nice color even. We tried the lil'p, the potato and ghost chili, and the chicken. The chicken was nice and juicy and came with the cole slaw which we had ordered separately---kindof a mustard flavor. My favorite was the potato with ghost pepper.

          I must really eat too much spicy food, because while I could tell there was a hint of ghost pepper, even this dish wasn't too spicy. Overall the heat level wasn't there, but the spices were varied, fragrant, and awesome. I felt guilty about asking for hot sauce because of how meticulous the spice combinations appeared.

          The lil'p Pav was great too--a close second to the potato and ghost pepper. Then came the curry shrimp which was a highlight for the night. The shrimp itself was perfectly cooked and fairly large. Quality of the ingredients really stood out with the shrimp. Also enjoyed the sweet peas and rice with this dish. The pickled sides were nice, but felt like they could've been pickled a little longer. The yogurt in the sides was great with the shrimp.

          Would love to go back and try the rest of the menu. And need to figure out if it's OK to ask if they have some sort of really hot sauce...

          Glad to see this place in Oakland!

          1 Reply
          1. re: hungree

            I have no shame in asking for hot sauce anywhere (except Korean and Indian restaurants, where so far, I've never needed it). Asked for it at Juhu and a house made red ghost chili paste was brought to the table that was really good! Since I need my heat pretty much all the time it helped enhance the flavors of the food. I say ask for it next time!

          2. Went for a lovely dinner last week. I had shrimp in a tomato-based sauce. The shrimp were perfectly tender/crunchy, sauce well-balanced, & the condiments (a very cardamomy raita, spiced fresh apples, crunchy picklish bit of chopped salad) really sparked the whole dish.

            Friend had fries & a salad w/ chicken in it, both yummy.

            Best of all, I felt great afterwards! Yay for good ingredients!

            We were charmed by the cups & plates that looked disposable but weren't, & the beautiful decor.

            Service was excellent; a small wrinkle was ironed out with such grace that I was almost more impressed than if it hadn't been there in the first place.

            I hope this is the restaurant that will finally stay in that location! Will definitely be back.

            11 Replies
            1. re: indigirl

              Was it crowded? Do you need a reservation or can you just walk in (with a wait under half an hour)?

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                We just walked in. I think we may have been on the early side, maybe 6ish or so. Waited about half a minute!

                1. re: indigirl

                  Thanks. It's on my "must try" list.

                2. re: Ruth Lafler

                  Starting last week, JBC's open for lunch on Fridays and Saturdays if that suits your schedule better.

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                    My suggestion if there's a half-hour wait or more:
                    walk across the street and have a margarita at Dona Tomas.
                    just sayin'...

                    1. re: escargot3

                      Pizziaolo and Bar Lata are very close too... DT is dead to me after I learned what good mole is.

                      1. re: bbulkow

                        The carnitas have always been good at Dona Tomas.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          Actually, I had possibly the most dried-out, stringy plate of carnitas ever at DT - granted, it was only a sample size of one for me, but bleah. I haven't been back since.

                          On-topic, though, I dropped by JBC for lunch last week, and loved the short-rib and lamb meatball pavs. Need to return soon and work my way through the rest of the menu.

                          1. re: Spatlese

                            +1 for bad, dried out carnitas @ DT. Haven't been back.

                        2. re: bbulkow

                          BB, Juhu only serves beer/wine. So I was just suggestin' a pre-dinner drink.

                          and i completely agree with Robert, the carnitas at Dona Tomas are excellent, as are the margaritas.

                          1. re: escargot3

                            I like Juhu's beer and wine list. They have wine on N2 tap system, I had a gruner veltner that was quite pleasant. For beer, they have Linden St and a few more.

                            The mixed drinks at Pizziaolo are quite good.

                  2. We stopped by for lunch, and want to let people know:

                    Their menu for lunch is more limited than the one for dinner. Currently ONLY the dinner menu is listed on the web.

                    No huge changes, but for example, my DH wanted to try the chicken leg, which is unavailable at lunchtime. None of the starters were available for lunch.

                    7 pavs were listed:
                    - Sloppy Lil'P: (aka pav Bhaji) spicy veggie sloppy joe
                    - Vada Pav. Fried potato puff, pickled red onions, ghost pepper chutney
                    - Chowpatty Chicken: Grilled green chili chicken, tangy slaw
                    - Holy Cow: smoky black cardamon braised short rib, cucumber raita
                    - Pork Vindalated: Pulled pork in a vindaloo sauce
                    - Bollywood Baller: Lamb meatball in a ginger tomato sauce, mint raita
                    - Bom Egg Salad: Garam Masala and yoghurt with chopped hard-boiled eggs, watercress, and slices of cucumber.

                    All come with choice of one of three sides: masala fries, garden salad, turmeric slaw. The pavs are priced for a single, a double, or a trio.

                    There were three of us dining, so we covered all the pavs, all the sides, and the tomato shorba soup and guju chili. Two people had hot chai (free refills) and I had the Darjeeling Ltd., the combo of cilantro lemonade and iced tea (with milk).

                    Summary:
                    Nicely spiced, but nothing really that hot (DH is a chilehead and he rates even the pork vindaloo maybe a 6 on a scale of 10. Any really good Korean or Thai restaurant can surpass this in heat, so if you also love them chiles, do what Melanie suggests and ask for the hot sauce. It is very good.

                    The buns are white and soft but don't fall apart, but it IS a lot of bread for what is a modest filling. So that further dampens any real heat. But the tastes are fresh and forward, and the quality is obviously high.

                    We found some of the fillings (Holy Cow beef and Pork Vindalated) good but simplistic, with nothing to add complexity to counteract all that bread. The lamb meatballs had good flavor but mushy texture; they are very soft so obviously lots of starchy filler goes into the ground meat. All three meat fillings were tomato-based, so a little too similar to be ordering them all together.

                    Mixed reviews on the Bom egg salad and Vada pav (spicy hot mashed potato fried patty). Unanimous thumbs-up on the Chowpatty chicken; great flavor that matched well with the slaw.

                    The fries are spiced but not chile-hot; ours were well executed and we all liked them. DH is not normally a salad lover but he enjoyed Juhu's take on a garden salad. Loser was the turmeric slaw. All of us like coleslaw and all of us like turmeric. But this was unrelentingly sour, like pure vinegar - a large bowl of it! As a small addition to a sandwich or curry plate, it's a refreshing tartness, but in a soup-bowl sized portion, it's only for people who would eat an entire jar of cornichons in a single sitting.

                    The soup was very tart and moderately spicy. The chili far surpassed it. This is an extraordinary lentil chili; even my DH, who doesn't like American chili, thought this was a must for ordering again.

                    The cilantro lemonade is tart and really, really strongly flavored. You must love cilantro to drink this; it is like liquified cilantro in a glass. The chai was very good, sweetened with agave, not as aggressively overspiced as some places make it, and not watered-down, either.

                    We all agreed we would return, but this is a pretty limited menu. You might go once a week, but more likely, once every few months. It's a good contrast to the other places nearby.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: jaiko

                      Great recap, thanks! I do love cilantro, and thought the lemonade one of the best non-alcoholic drinks I've ever had :). Agreed that it is some serious cilantro flavor.

                      1. re: jaiko

                        I found the place similar in bottom line: very very pleasant, very oakland (I miss me some oakland), but the tastes are --- simplistic. There's a benefit in simplicity, allowing individual ingredients more sparkle, but that's not really how Indian works. Arguably that simplicity is a Cal improvement.

                        We arrived at about 6:20 on a friday, and even when we left (7:30) there were two-tops available. The place was mostly full, but the (somewhat poorly placed) bar seats were available the entire time. And, at 7:00, one of the big booths opened up. The place is very kid friendly - Temescal is good for young families, and several tables had very young kids (but not toddlers).

                        The alcohol situation is a few decently chosen beers and wines. Prices are reasonable in an era of $14 glasses - some $8 with generous pours. Mostly white, with an "on tap" system. Beers were local and well chosen too.

                        The apps and sliders were nicely small, and we had a couple of those. The Holy Cow short rib was a nice slider, there was a cheese ball thing with a nice sauce, and a Sev Poori that I liked (lots of apple taste or jicima or something).

                        We had the chicken leg curry main, and it was nice and "beachy". A lighter curry, and well slow cooked chicken.

                        Overall, if I lived in the 'nabe, I'd put it on regular rotation. It wasn't that expensive, had a great feel, and the food was sprightly and homey at the same time. I have a friend a few blocks away, I'd definitely suggest meeting him there for a pint and a nosh.

                        We were going to Shotgun Theater that night, and being right on Shattuck (and near the 51st offramp) this was a perfect no-fuss option. If you have any interest in local theater, you have to check out Shotgun - they do original stuff, we saw the second Stoppard "coast of utopia" play, which can be a bore but was pulled off very well. They also, somehow, have a hard liquor license because they do cocktails - for these, white russians and black russians were the special, and you can drink in the theater. GF likes the brownies, and you can park at BART (or take bart).

                        However, Juhu is not really a destination place for me - this is a Local Gem.

                        (As comparison, Encuentro is nearly a destination, whenever I drive past that one offramp I think of getting off and seeing what they've got going)

                      2. I was in the area about 12:30 pm today (Friday), looked at Bakesale Betty's and noticed the very long line, then went to Juhu. It wasn't crowded and never did get crowded, though toward full near the end. I had the NAVI MUMBAI CHICKEN SALAD ($9), "seasonal greens, roasted root veggies, crunchy sev, grilled green chili chicken". It was very tasty, very unusual, overall quite good. I have no idea how authentically Indian it was but, hey, it was good. Service was both very friendly and excellent.

                        http://juhubeachclub.com/

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Malcolm Ruthven

                          what a coincidence!
                          found a parking space nearby and scored a counter seat after waiting a few minutes. time b/w 1 and 1:30.

                          eats: pavs (sliders) 3/13
                          -holy cow: braised short rib w/cucumber raita, very flavorful, spicy
                          -bollywood: lamb meatball, mellow taste, flavor not overpowering
                          -chowpatty chicken: "grilled green chili chicken, tangy slaw
                          spicy" yummy.
                          *buns made by starter bakery
                          drinK: masala chai (3) flavorful, addictive

                          pavs a good value, other entrees pricey, small portions. service improved when patrons thinned out.

                        2. I had dinner at JBC for the first time a few days ago; around 8:45pm, we were seated in the time it took to re-set a table for two. I had anticipated sitting at the bar, but all 4 of those seats were taken.

                          At that time, they were out of the chicken leg and shrimp dishes, leaving garam masala chickpeas as the only main dish remaining. We ordered that, along with the guju chili and three pavs. The chili- slightly spicy with a tasty dollop of cooling yogurt in the middle- was great, as were the sloppy lil’p and holy cow pavs. My companion liked the chicken pav, which did have really good grilled chicken, but I couldn’t find the advertised green chile, perhaps because by this time we were exchanging bites, having learned the hard way with the lil’p that’s it’s not a good idea to try to cut these in half.

                          The chickpeas flecked with greens and served on lemon rice rice were good too, but what really set the dish apart was the raita, radish salad and pickled green apples alongside. Plenty is provided to make each bite different in an interesting way.

                          Service was excellent, easily 3-4 notches above the price point. The permanent paper plates are a nice touch. We’ll be back often. I am looking forward to getting an opinion on the bread for the pavs from my friend who spent a good deal of time eating them in Juhu Beach before emigrating here.

                          1. Had a nice dinner here recently.
                            It was pretty full when we got there, at about 8:30

                            Had:
                            Paneer puffs
                            fried paneer balls, fine but would probably skip next time. The coating had a kind of chalky mouthfeel.

                            Masala fries
                            Good spicy fries, came with I think a house made ketchup. Made short work of these.

                            3 Pavs - sloppy lil'p, which is a pav bhaji, chowpatty chicken, and the holy cow. All were good, of the three I liked the chow patty chicken the best.

                            Curryleaf coriander shrimp - really well done. We ordered this because they were out of the chicken leg. Perfectly cooked shrimp with a very flavorful tomato sauce, over a bed of rice. The raita that came with it went well with the spiciness of the sauce.

                            The spice level was spot on. Everything had a nice kick to it without being overpowering.

                            The faux disposable plates and cups were a nice touch. Prices are very reasonable.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Mr_Happy

                              I had lunch there with my Mom last weekend, and I agree about the spicing: the food was quite "spicy" without being burning hot. I thought the chicken salad was disappointing -- not very interesting and the promised roasted root vegetables were almost nonexistent.

                              We shared three pavs and I enjoyed all of them. I also really enjoyed the cilantro lemonade. I'm looking forward to trying dinner.

                            2. Went last night and I think the pavs (sliders) are emerging as a consistently good choice: vada (fried potato puff) is my fave, but a new one is lamb meatball which had the deep lamb flavor I love. The bun is wonderful. We also tried the sev puri salad w really flavorful tomatoes and cukes, which was a great mix of texture and flavor, but you have eat fast before the puffs lose their crunch! I've been 3-4x since it opened and I think the food portions have gotten a bit more generous and more niceties have been added (such as pickle and chutney sides for the coriander shrimp). It was great to see that business seems to be good--most tables and bar were occupied heading into 9p but wait was only 10 mins. I think they get quick turnover due to menu format.

                              The menu definitely gets updated with new seasonal bites or Preety's innovations, so it's worth checking out again and again.

                              1. JBC got a nice write-up in yesterday's Chronicle:

                                http://www.sfgate.com/food/article/Ou...

                                That was rather timely for me as I had just eaten there on Thursday for dinner. I enjoyed the lamb kofta (a meatball/duck egg concoction that will make you think of something akin to a Scotch egg) curry which was nicely hot. My son went with the three meat pavs of which he thought the lamb and chicken were the winners. He started with a special-of-the-day appetizer of zucchini fritters, while I started with the fava leaf duck salad because I'm a sucker for ducks and beets. If they hadn't had that, I would have gone for another of the special appetizers which was an assorted tomato salad. Both appetizers were excellent as well. We shared the desi jacks which I had enjoyed on my last visit. The sassy lassi was refreshing, although the menu doesn't note that it does have spices in it beyond the listed description. Having had the nimbu pani before, I wasn't surprised at the flavor and did find it better than the swill found at most Indian places. I still need the try the JBC chicken leg which is on my list of things to get to, if only I were in the East Bay more often.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Peter Yee

                                  I'll point out that the piece in the San Francisco Chronicle was authored by Chow.com's John Birdsall.

                                  And for some back story on the duck salad . . . two months ago I ran into Chef Mistry and her partner out wine tasting on a getaway weekend. Chef said that the restaurant had been open for a year and this was her first time off. It was great to catch up with her and hear the war stories. She said that if I'd not been back since opening night, she had gone even deeper to her roots for flavor and more technique. Her regular customers had asked for more variety and elevated dishes on the menu.

                                  Then Jim Reichardt of Liberty Ducks walked in and I had a chance to introduce them. Mistry said she had not had a duck dish on her menu but that it could be a good idea. Reichardt rattled off his Oakland clientele, and they figured out that dovetailing on the delivery schedule for Pizzaiolo on the next block would work.

                                  I was asked to take a photo of Mistry, Reichardt, and Rod Berglund, owner/winemaker together. It was posted on the winery's instagram and twitter feed.

                                  So, I'm tickled to learn that there's a duck salad on the menu and that you liked it. I'll have to get over there soon.
                                  http://instagram.com/p/nUSaWwsFoh/

                                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                                    I consider myself one of the lucky beneficiaries of your chance pairing of the two. The duck salad was really satisfying on many levels.

                                  2. re: Peter Yee

                                    Good reminder, we went to Juhu last year and liked it a lot. Meant to go back for the chicken and haven't gotten around to a return yet. At the time, she had just started lunch so we weren't aware the chicken leg wasn't available for lunch, only dinner.

                                    This revived thread reminded me that when the board talks about where to eat in Oakland, nobody had mentioned Juhu for a very long time. Chef Mistry definitely deserves to be kept in mind when people are asking "where should I eat in Oakland?"

                                    1. re: jaiko

                                      Indeed, I'm embarrassed to say that I hadn't been back sooner. I meant to. It's definitely a destination for me when in the area. I did go back for dinner intentionally so I could have the chicken leg, but of course I found myself lured away from that choice by another temptation. Next time!

                                    2. re: Peter Yee

                                      We've been wanting to try JBC for a long time and finally made it there last night (Friday) for dinner. We ordered nearly everything on the menu (we were a big party):
                                      - manchurian cauliflower
                                      - zucchini fritter special
                                      - duck salad
                                      - bhel salad
                                      - pulled pork, beef, chicken pavs
                                      - JBC whole chicken leg
                                      - curryleaf coriander shrimp
                                      - lamb kofta
                                      - green chili eggplant
                                      - masala fries with 3 sauces
                                      - sassy lassi
                                      - nimbu pani

                                      All of the appetizers and salads were absolute stand outs; excellent combinations of flavors and textures. The zucchini fritters in particular were a surprise: crispy on the outside but a soft velvety interior. The bhel presentation was super fun: a mason jar filled with the salad ingredients and a bowl to tip it all into!

                                      Of the pavs, the chicken was the best.

                                      Of the entrees, the coriander shrimp was the best; shrimp was perfectly cooked and the tomato sauce harmoniously tied everything together. The lamb kofta was also delicious and the egg yolk perfectly runny. Personally I would have loved more lamb mince around the egg instead of the lamb chunks in the sauce but it was delicious nevertheless.

                                      Unfortunately the green chili eggplant was a big disappointment: eggplant was oddly undercooked and the whole dish was oversalted to our palates. We didn't finish this. The JBC chicken leg was tender, but also a bit salty for us.

                                      The service was excellent and the room was divine- bustling with activity but possible to have a decent conversation.