We Are Oaklandish: Nolberto Martinez Jr, La Casita
La Casita's business name was inspired by the cottage-like little restaurant located in the heart of the Fruitvale district that felt like home – very much like the first Casita Martinez and his two sisters grew up in. La Casita is more than a hole in the wall; it symbolizes unity, resilience, cultura and most importantly community.
The Foothill Walk of FAME originated to provide East Oakland ORIGINALS a landmark that embodied love and pride for the hood. The black and gold estrellas were designed by Martinez and crafted by local artist @Angelmuthafuckinchavez.
Shortly after the dirty 30’s hood star broke from the concrete, the birria star, pozole star and menudo star followed. When El mas Chingon @GeorgeLopez pulled up for the best menudo in the Bay Area Martinez. La Casita blessed the Walk of FAME with a star for Lopez too.
East Oakland is ground zero for Martinez, who grew up in restaurants surrounded and influenced by humble, successful, and rooted food enthusiasts. His fondest memories as a child include helping his grandmother Isabella Macias, founder of La Estrellita Café & Bar with food orders and shadowing his father Nolberto senior, often referred to as “Kali” during family and friends catering or social events.
Martinez has amplified the Mexican food platform. Helping it into a unique and culturally empowering Oakland experience. He continues to find inspiration from the thousands of fans who follow him on Instagram, including food influencer @MexiPapaAdventures, his two children, his mother, his family, and the loyal Oakland small business and merchant community that has embraced him since day one.
Now you can also join Oaklandish in supporting La Casita by purchasing an Oaklandish La Casita East Oakland Tee.
Oakland is diverse, and Oakland is proud. 'We Are Oaklandish' is a storytelling project to highlight just that.
These stories shed light on the different experiences, memories, and opinions of the people in the city we all love. They are people who give our city its oddball spirit, its passion for justice, and its creative vigor. They lift us with laughter, peace, nourishment, and authentic hard work.
They make us proud to call this town our home. They are Oaklandish.
Read more: We Are Oaklandish