The Origen of an experience

No, I didn’t spell it wrong.

Origen is the name of a brand new restaurant on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, so new that it doesn’t officially open until Thursday night.  Tonight was the “soft opening”, what might be called the beta test in another industry.  An invited crowd was assembled so that the cooks and waitstaff could practice and get the systems down before the real crowd tries it out.

The bar area as you enter


Dining area.



Origen is the creation of Daniel Clayton and Tracy Leighton, the proprietors of Nibblers, our favorite Pleasant Hill eatery, now turned into The Fig Tree, which they still operate.

Daniel and Tracy in the kitchen.


The menu is similar to Nibblers, but hardly identical.  I’m looking forward to trying the duck sliders–the soft opening tonight didn’t let us order, the menu was chosen by the chefs.

Even though we own a pizza store just down the street, I enjoyed the butternut squash and Gorgonzola pizza we were served.  The best part of tonights dinner was either the shrimp cake or the chicken/apple gyoza, it’s just too close for me to call.

The name Origen comes from Portuguese, or so they tell me.  They bill themselves as a “farm to table establishment”, serving only organic, local, sustainable products.  The food is not only good, it’s wholesome and good for you.

Daniel and Tracy have been working relentlessly for months to get the facility, formerly Locanda de Eva, ready for Thursday’s grand opening.  I’ll have more to say when I can sample the entire menu and the staff has had a bit to settle into a routine.  As great as Nibblers was, I can’t imagine anything less in a larger space with a better equipped kitchen.  Should be fantastic.

Oh, and this is the new assistant patissiere:

Grand daughter Demi

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