Due In Early October: Origen in Berkeley, LYFE Kitchen in Palo Alto

Art Smith
Art Smith Photo: Courtesy of Art Smith

Two new casual places are on their way to debuting in a few short weeks: one, a Spanish-influenced small-plates place called Origen, in the former Locanda da Eva spot in Berkeley; the other a flagship location for what’s likely to become a major national fast-casual chain. Origen (2826 Telgraph Avenue) will be helmed by Daniel Clayton and Trace Leighton who opened The Fig Tree in Pleasant Hill, and is due to open in early October. LYFE Kitchen, which as we discussed earlier stands for Love Your Food Every day, is the brainchild of a couple of former McDonald’s executives and Chicago chef Art Smith, and will feature healthy, fast-food-style meals all clocking in at under 600 calories.

LYFE Kitchen’s first testing ground location is under construction at 167 Hamilton Avenue in Palo Alto, and is also slated for an early October opening. This Thursday, September 15, they’ll be hosting an open hiring day as they start to staff the place with 100 new employees. They’re looking for people who “seek ‘an avocation not an occupation,’ with a sincere interest in making a difference in the world around them.” (Also resumes can be sent to

Origen’s menu will feature a 300-bottle-long wine list, with 30 wines by the glass, and the menu will feature small plates and mains in the range of $7 to $16, such as sherry-creamed wild mushrooms on an olive oil flatbread with Manchego cheese; Jamón Serrano wrapped Kadota figs with Valdeón blue cheese; and duck confit sliders with green-plum marmalade and golden beet chips.

Check back for exact opening details in the coming weeks.

Earlier: Art Smith’s LYFE Kitchen Breaks Ground in Palo Alto
Chef Art Smith to Open Flagship Healthy Food Place in Palo Alto
Two East Bay Chefs Try to Reverse Curse on Telegraph Avenue Space

Due In Early October: Origen in Berkeley, LYFE Kitchen in Palo Alto