Tacos El Último Baile

Dominic Prado is no ordinary taco slinger. Originally from the Central Valley, he was incarcerated as a teenager and spent a few years in and out of prison until he was 26. When he got out, he enrolled in a community college and transferred to UC Santa Cruz, and he recognizes that many formerly incarcerated don’t have the chance to go to college. “My story is so different,” he told the Express.

Prado has used his tenacity and entrepreneurial spirit to grow his taco business, which is currently one of the top food stops in the busy Uptown neighborhood. Before starting it, he held short stints at McDonald’s, Burger King, and later at farmers’ markets, selling organic produce. In Oakland, he’s worked at the now shuttered Uptown Juice and at Red Bay Coffee near The Hive.

[Full article here.]

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The Temple Club

After 16 years in Vietnam, chef Geoffrey Deetz is back in Oakland and ready to unveil his first local restaurant since he left in 2000: The Temple Club at 2307 International Boulevard, in what used to be Bakeshop Oakland. He expects to open in three to four weeks.

Naturally, the Temple Club is Vietnamese. But Deetz promises a decidedly different style of Vietnamese restaurant for the East Bay. It will offer a short menu, focusing on dishes from central Vietnam, along with some from the north. Instead of a cocktail bar, he envisions a juice bar. And once a week, he plans to host a special themed dinner, offering just one entree, like so many restaurants do in Vietnam. Expect loads of accompaniments — herbs, pickled vegetables, sauces, crushed nuts — specific to dishes you can't find at other area restaurants.

Read the full article in the Express here.

2307 International Boulevard, Oakland.

Red Bay Coffee

Oakland coffee company Red Bay Coffee was recognized Monday for its work in empowering employees at an award ceremony honoring small businesses throughout the state

State Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, honored Red Bay as “Small Business of the Year” at the California Small Business Day Awards, an award and event sponsored by the California Small Business Association that seeks to recognize “important contributions small businesses make throughout the state,” according to a news release from Skinner’s office.

Read the full article in the East Bay Times.