I didn’t go into the restaurant business for accolades, but nonetheless I am always grateful when the hard work of our team is publicly recognized. So, a big thank you to Luke Tsai for his kind words about us in his review this week, in the East Bay Express.

It isn’t the most conventional formula for success: Create a restaurant whose menu is rife with kimchi, sausage links, and craft beer, and plop it down in the middle of a working-class Latino neighborhood in Oakland. The Half Orange, which took over the old Taco Grill space in the Fruitvale Public Market about three months ago, somehow makes it work.

Read the whole thing here. Bert Johnson’s pictures that accompany the piece are pretty cool, too (but why the hell didn’t I take the bamboo skewer out of my apron pocket!)

Fort Point Beer Nite, Thursday Nov 13

Photo of Fort Point Manzanita beer lifted from Fort Point’s Instagram feed

This past September, I was lucky enough to participate in the Good Food Awards blind tasting for cider, and among my fellow tasters was Mike Schnbeck, brewer for Fort Point Beer Company in San Francisco. I already knew how good Fort Point beer is, but getting to know Mike a little made it clear why — he’s easygoing, fun, humble, has a great palate and loves food and beverage.

Shortly after that event, we brought Fort Point beer onto our list at The Half Orange, and it has been a consistent community favorite and a best-seller. I love these beers because they are balanced, food-friendly, refreshing, and super delicious. Most everyone who’s had them at our place seems to agree.

So, this Thursday, we’re celebrating our friendship with Fort Point, with a beer night featuring four unique Fort Point beers on draft. We’ll be pouring:

* Tosca – originally brewed as an exclusive for Tosca restaurant in San Francisco, this is a Kolsch-style ale that includes added yerba santa, foraged from Mount Tam, to complement chef April Bloomfield’s use of local herbs and spices in her cooking (by the way, if you haven’t eaten at Tosca yet — the food is amazing, you should check it out).

* Manzanita “smoked alt-bier”, a Westfalia-style beer made with smoked malts and charred manzanita. This beer is a 2015 Good Food Awards finalist.

* Villager IPA – This is Fort Point’s “San Francisco-style IPA”, which I find supremely balanced and as food-friendly as any IPA I’ve ever had (which in my opinion is appropriate for an IPA from the Bay Area).

* Pi Five – A Belgian Blonde brewed for the fifth anniversary of San Francisco’s Pi Bar (another place you should check out if you haven’t yet). I haven’t tasted this yet, but everyone I know who has, loves it.

All these beers will be $4.59 plus tax on Thursday. Also, some of the Fort Point folks will be in the house to meet and greet. The event goes from 5pm to 9pm and I hope you can make it.