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A monthly column dedicated to keeping you updated about new, notable and upcoming dining places in the East Bay.

LB Steak – Bishop Ranch, San Ramon

Now open in the San Ramon Bishop Ranch City Center, LB Steak is a stylish steak house that serves the best high quality cuts of meat at prices to match.

This is not a stuffy, old-style, dark and dimly lit steak house though. Although there is plenty of wood, the surroundings are bright and comfortable. Although you can certainly spend a small fortune on a meal (think well over $100 for a Wagyu New York strip steak, and that’s without any sides), you can have good meal for a lot less than that. A Wagyu burger is on offer at what seems a very reasonable $22, and there are other entrees from around $30 as well as some interesting sides and appetizers. A plus is their extensive list of wines by the glass.

LB Steak is at 6000 Bollinger Canyon Road, Suite 1614, San Ramon. Their website is at

Southern Comfort Kitchen, Pleasant Hill

Taking over the space previously occupied by Yalla Mediterranean, Southern Comfort Kitchen is a New Orleans style restaurant started by 3 brothers from Louisiana in Castro Valley. This will be their second location.

If reviews for the Castro Valley location are any indication, this will be a welcome addition to the Pleasant Hill dining scene, where they are joining a number of similar sized eateries serving shoppers and theater goers in the pedestrian friendly Pleasant Hill downtown area. The menu is full of authentic Cajun dishes and includes Crawfish Etouffee, Seafood Gumbo, Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya, BBQ Shrimp and Grits, plus a selection of Po’Boys. Lots of choice for afficionados of New Orleans style cuisine.

Southern Comfort Kitchen will be at 45 Crescent Drive, #10F, Pleasant Hill. Their website is at

Onigilly, Walnut Creek

And now for something a little different.

Koji Kanematsu is opening a fast-casual option on Walnut Creek’s Locust Street in the spot previously occupied by De Afghanan. This will be the first Contra Costa County location for the small Bay Area chain.

Onigilly is a gourmet rice-ball eatery where the signature dish is Onigiri, a handheld triangle of partially milled brown rice and savory fillings wrapped in seaweed. Throughout the years, this staple of Japanese sustenance has become a wildly popular everyday street food in Japan where it is consumed by millions daily.

A single onigiri will cost $3 to $4 each, and there will be a choice of nearly 20 fillings, from snow crab and spicy miso beef to soy-braised shiitake mushrooms and flash-fried teriyaki tofu. There will also be trios with sides such as edamame or wakame salad. As well as onigiri, the menu will have rice bowls and poke bowls plus soups, side dishes and desserts including matcha and yuzu cheesecakes.

Onigilly is at 1372 Locust St., Walnut Creek. Their website is at