Baba’s House Kitchen brings chef-prepared rice bowls to Oakland

Baba’s House Kitchen, a quick-service restaurant channeling Asian-American nostalgia, is finally opening its doors for dining in downtown Oakland.

Chef-owner AC Boral’s concept is set to celebrate its grand opening the weekend of April 14 on the ground floor of Baba’s House, a newly opened community gathering space for mahjong and snacks located at 410 15th St. But , where Baba’s House stops at White Rabbit Candy and Mama Teav’s Chili Oil, Baba’s House Kitchen specializes in hearty rice bowls with Japanese, Filipino and Asian influences spanning Boral’s decade-long career.

Boral has only been quietly offering its take-out comfort food since the end of January. But now you can experience dishes like his BHK Beef Bowl in the new space. Inspired by the traditional Japanese beef bowl, or gyudon, it comes with slices of beef wasugyu cooked in brown allium butter and a light calamansi sake sauce.

Baba’s House Kitchen Beef Bowl features mozzerella and a fluffy onsen egg. (Angelina Hong)

Another bowl, the Heart & Soul, is inspired by the Filipino picadillo. It’s a farmer’s market vegetable stew mixed with tofu, impossible meat, rice, and wild mushrooms. Leon’s Lucky Noods, named after Baba’s House Kitchen’s lucky cat mascot, showcases garlicky spaghetti with shrimp paste, kimchi and coconut milk sauce.

Boral made its way through Southern California 10 years ago with a traveling Filipino-American brunch pop-up called RICE & SHINE. In January 2020, he opened Bebot Filipino Soul Food in Long Beach, but turned to a community kitchen when COVID hit, using the space to feed the local community. An electrical fire permanently closed the restaurant in August 2020. Shortly after, Boral came to the Bay Area to start Baba’s House Kitchen with Baba’s House owner Jenn Lui.

Baba’s House Kitchen will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch and from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. for dinner from Wednesday to Friday. On weekends, it will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, follow Baba’s House Kitchen at www.instagram.com/bhk.oakland.



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Raymond I. Langston