Food Republic Video

New Chefs Rising, Episode 8: Kyle Itani Of Hopscotch In Oakland

Kyle Itani opened Hopscotch Restaurant & Bar in Oakland’s Uptown three and a half years ago, before the city’s food scene started receiving national scrutiny. The chef, now 33, put up a great neighborhood spot in an area fairly devoid of ’em and created a menu that crosses American classics with influences from his Japanese-American upbringing (and a stint living and working in Japan). Yes, there’s fried chicken and burgers, but also panko boudin balls and albacore sunomono (cucumber salad). Oh yeah, and a bar program with creative cocktails. Hopscotch now has a serious following, and Itani, who is set to open Itani Ramen nearby this winter, is a major league chef in a region where it’s hard to break through. Here, in the latest New Chefs Rising video, he cooks his version of a family favorite, the fried fish dish nanban-zuki, using pickled sardines, and discusses his goals as a young businessman.