The Chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)
June 18, 2019
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The cheerful counter at Daily Driver, with the wood-fired ovens in the back, and the menu displayed on the wall. Photo: Frankie Frankeny.

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You can watch butter being paddled in the dairy room. Photo: Frankie Frankeny.

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The roasted sweet potato sandwich on a salt bagel. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Wood-fired sesame bagels. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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The marvelous “matzo ball” soup. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

If you were anywhere near Dogpatch over the weekend, you would have seen a loooong line of people hoping to score some wood-fired bagels from the newly opened ~DAILY DRIVER~ (from Tamara Hicks and David Jablons, and Hadley and David Kreitz) on 3rd Street. Some folks were luckier than others; the poor team has been completely overwhelmed and selling out, and are working hard to ramp up (and appease cranky Yelpers, who apparently want their bagels toasted—even though they are fresh out of the wood-fired oven—and the tangy, housemade cream cheese “isn’t creamy enough”). To be clear, since I’ve had some people ask me, these aren’t meant to be New York bagels—they’re hand-rolled, organic, wood-fired bagels with their own personality. They’re fantastic, I love the crackly exterior and chewy texture inside.

I was fortunate to get a pre-opening tour (and tasting) at this massive and impressive undertaking, which I previously covered back in February—please read the original piece for all the important background details—I don’t have time to write it all again—but in sum: it’s all about wood-fired bagels; hand-batted organic butter and cream cheese (the owners are behind Toluma Farms and Tomales Farmstead Creamery); small-batch coffee from Red Bay Coffee, and much more, including a stocked case of butter, ghee, and cheeses (don’t forget to bring some Teleeka home with you—gawd, I love that cheese, it’s like a domestic La Tur).

There’s an array of classic bagels (poppy, sesame, everything, salt, garlic, and plain; $3.50 each) with all kinds of toppings and spreads (cultured butter!). Martin Siggins, previously the sous chef at Nico for four-plus years, has put together a menu of awesome bagel sandwiches, including a B.E.C. (bacon, fried or scrambled egg, choice of cheese, which includes Provel, LOL, and chef says it’s great with a garlic bagel); pastrami (sauerkraut, mustard, pickle, white American cheese); and a creative roasted sweet potato sandwich with buttermilk, sprouts, and chives (chef recommends a salt bagel for this one, and I dug it). Of course, you can go for the king salmon gravlax with dill, red onion, crème fraîche, and capers ($18). You can take a look at my food pics on Instagram here.

The ingredients are all top-notch and well-sourced: the bacon is thick-cut and marvelous, and the pastrami is from a local SF company, Robert’s Corned Meats, which has been around for over 100 years. The eggs are from Stemple View Farms in Tomales, and come out so creamy.

They make a clever grilled cheese by slicing the top and bottom off the bagel and exposing more of the crumb (see my pics). And then: bring on the Folly cheese (inspired by Alpine-style cheese, and from another artisan Tomales business they work with). There’s also a bagel dog and lobster roll available after 11am.

The menu includes non-bagely things, like a restorative “matzo” ball soup (made with day-old bagels, and it totally works—such great flavor, and wait until you taste the lovingly made chicken broth); a mixed greens salad loaded with tarragon and other herbs in a buttermilk dressing; a tabbouleh salad made with whey-cooked bulgur wheat, almonds, cucumber, and their own feta; a Turkish egg (poached egg, quark, herb salad, chile oil, fried shallot); house granola with quark and your choice of toppings; and more. Everyone will need to get the bagels checked off their list first, obviously, and then will be happy to find other things to enjoy as well. There will also be items for grab-and-go, handy for neighborhood workers, like the salads.

Oakland’s Red Bay Coffee (Keba and Rachel Konte) is roasting a special collaborative coffee blend on-site (12oz. bags of the Daily Driver drip, espresso, and decaf are available), and wait until you see the beautiful set-up for making your espresso. Beer and wine will also be available for those dining in-house, featuring neighboring breweries Triple Voodoo, Magnolia, and Harmonic, and local wineries such as Oakville Ranch Wines.

The 7,000-square-foot location is spacious and cheerful, full of light and white and punchy blue tiles. There’s an upstairs mezzanine where you can sit at tables (with room for 130!) and couches, and peer down at the operation below. You can see the two big wood-fired ovens (built by owner David Kreitz, an industrial designer who designed and built the space, AND perfected the bagel recipe), and even peek into the dairy room and watch the butter be churned and paddled. You’ll also find a well-curated retail area in the corner with some nice products from other brands as well.

It’s going to be busy for a while, I’d try to go midweek if you can. Open 6am-3pm daily, with an extended brunch menu on Saturday and Sunday. 2535 3rd St. at 22nd St.

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The sign when you enter O’ by Claude Le Tohic. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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A quick snap I took of the dining room (while it was in development, not final). Photo: © tablehopper.com.

I’ve been posting updates as each floor of the ~ONE65~ building has opened with a new experience: ONE65 Patisserie & Boutique, ONE65 Bistro & Grill, Elements at ONE65, and now the final and fine dining concept has opened on the fifth and sixth floors: O’ by Claude Le Tohic.

The O’ from O’Farrell reminded Le Tohic of the French word “eau,” meaning water. He was inspired to base a refined culinary concept and menu on the elements of water, fire, and earth. There is a 10-course tasting menu at $250 per person, as well as a 10-course vegetarian menu, with two wine pairing options by wine director Vincent Morrow. The experience is meant to be luxurious but not pretentious, with some tableside preparations, and carts galore (including cheese and dessert carts, featuring artisan French and local cheeses and mignardises). Le Tohic plans to offer an à la carte menu in time as well.

The space was designed by Le Tohic and D-Scheme Studio, which integrates artwork from photographer and artist Christian Andrade embedded in the walls and as part of the architecture.  

On the sixth floor, there is a spacious chef’s table for eight guests, with a view of O’s state-of-the-art kitchen. There are two additional private dining rooms on the sixth floor: the Cherrywood Room (up to 20 guests) and The Moss Room can accommodate up to six guests.   Open Tue-Sat for dinner service, starting at 5:30pm. 165 O’Farrell St. at Powell, 415-814-8888.

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The open and airy design of Mago, with a punch of purple. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Focaccia with seaweed tapenade at Mago. Photo: Isabel Baer.

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Mago’s potato gnocchi in lobster cream with summer squash and angelica. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Another magician in the house. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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The new Grand Lake Kitchen Dimond. Photo courtesy of GLK.

Last Friday, I swung by the newly opened ~MAGO~ on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland to take some pics and was so charmed with its colorful, breezy, welcoming style. Mago is former AQ chef Mark Liberman’s first solo restaurant, and he wants to offer a menu and experience that are affordable and approachable, but also technique-driven and highly seasonal.

It’s funny, I overheard people at the bar saying they thought it was going to be Spanish tapas, and others were surprised to find okonomiyaki (two people ordered it after seeing mine!), but really, why does every restaurant style have to be so pigeonholed? It’s his own personal take on what’s delicious, and expect the seasonal menu to rotate weekly with California’s micro-seasons, with some dishes staying on the menu longer. (The name comes from Liberman’s nickname from AQ, which means magician—which ties in with the mural you’ll see.)

You’ll want to begin with their housemade focaccia ($8), which comes with a seaweed tapenade made with Castelvetrano olives, sea lettuce, lemon juice, orange peel, chile, capers, and olive oil, and it’s marvelous. I’d buy a jar of it. There are a couple other snacks, and then small plates that increase in size as you read through the menu to large-format dishes. They are designed to be shared, but I had no problem enjoying the bowl of tender potato gnocchi ($20) napped in lobster cream all to myself, with my first bites of summer squash and angelica to cut the richness.

I posted a pic of the hearty smoked cabbage okonomiyaki ($21), which showcases the heart of the restaurant kitchen: the custom wood-burning grill—they use oak and almond wood. (You’ll smell it when you come in, and will make your mouth water for the beef ribeye on the menu, but you’ll need a couple folks to share it with you.)

Save room for desserts like a Bing cherry clafoutis ($10), so custardy and flan-like. There’s a wonderful cocktail list, from consultant Adam Chapman (Gibson), featuring housemade Campari, Cynar, and numerous infused spirits. I loved my Sbagliato (all $13), which uses housemade Campari made with sumac and schisandra berries. Don’t miss the Toasted Sour, with toasted rice whiskey (plus three other whiskies), kombu- and togarashi-infused sake, yuzu liqueur (and fresh yuzu), egg white, and sea beans. I mean, wow. (“Barkeep, make me another, please!”) You’ll also find a well-chosen wine list, full of small-production, Old World picks, plus some modern Californian selections, and Oakland-brewed beers.

Liberman worked with architect Wylie Price (Ramen Shop, State Bird Provisions, Trick Dog) on the design, which centers around an open kitchen surrounded by counter seating (they leave many seats open for walk-ins), a dining area in the front and back, a bar with seating, and there’s a back patio, but usage is TBD for the moment—it will be more for private parties and an on-site garden. (There are 45 seats total.) The minimalist space is full of light, plants, and pops of purple. The vibe is fun, with cooks serving dishes to guests, and a rock-y, upbeat soundtrack of LCD Soundsystem and Grizzly Bear. Hours are Mon-Sat 5pm-10pm. 3762 Piedmont Ave. at W. Mac Arthur, Oakland.

Now open in the Dimond neighborhood of Oakland is the second location of ~GRAND LAKE KITCHEN~, from husband and wife, May Seto and Dave Wasem. They’re bringing their popular brunch and American deli-inspired menu, but they also have a full bar, more indoor and outdoor seating, and a private dining room. Look for their trademark warm service, a casual but stylish environment, a kid- and dog-friendly patio (coming in July), and more. Open 9am-10pm every day (except for Tuesdays in the month of June). Brunch 9am-3pm, dinner 5pm-10pm, with an all-day menu served… all day. 2042 MacArthur Blvd. at Dimond, Oakland.

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Tartine Manufactory’s famed coddled eggs with trout roe and za’atar grilled bread. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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The new Bob’s on Baker Street is coming soon. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

A year ago, I broke the news that Tartine was opening a location in the former Standard Roofing Co. on 9th Avenue in the Inner Sunset, and a very diligent tablehopper reader has been providing me with updates on the project. Last week, he informed me Tartine got final approval for their permits (e.g. full restaurant status), and someone at Tartine said that they estimate July 15th as the planned opening date.

According to planning records, it’s going to be ~TARTINE MANUFACTORY~, serving breakfast, along with lunch and dinner. There will be a café, dining room, interior garden (facing the street), and sun room, with a number of skylights (you can peek at their plans from Studio BBA here). Proposed hours are 7am-10pm. I’ll get more details for you in the next tablehopper issue! 1226 9th Ave. at Lincoln.

I was walking through my neighborhood and couldn’t believe my eyes: a sign for ~BOB’S DONUTS AND PASTRIES~ was on the window of the former Chile Pies at Baker and Fulton. Eater confirmed that yes, it really is THAT Bob’s. Owner Elinor Ahn’s wonderful crumb doughnuts and apple fritters are coming to Nopa and we’re all doomed. Stand by for opening timing, hours, and more. 601 Baker St. at Fulton.

Fans of the Instagram-ready ~U DESSERT STORY~ in the Castro (which is just next door to the cult-like brunch outpost, Kitchen Story) now have a second location to visit in the Marina, U Dessert Story, Vintage. Taking over the former MINA Test Kitchen space, you can come in for Japanese, Thai, and Korean brunch during the day (9:30am-3:30pm) and then dessert from 5pm-12am. Eater mentions owner Tammy Boonlieng is serving omurice, the sweet-and-savory Japanese omelet with fried rice inside. 2120 Greenwich St. at Fillmore. [Via The Chronicle]

Driving along South Van Ness, I spotted a sign for ~TSELOGS~, the Filipino comfort food spot that previously had a location in Daly City (now closed) and on Jones (still open, and with awesome late-night hours, I might add!). Their upcoming Mission location is due to have their grand opening in mid-July, with some soft opening test runs by the end of this month. There are 49 seats and chef Gilla tells me they will be serving their regular menu, with chef specials on a daily basis, plus beer and wine. Follow their Insta for updates. 514-518 S. Van Ness Ave. at 16th St.

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A DIY smoked salmon bagel (on a housemade bagel!) with scallion schmear at one of Early to Rise’s pop-up brunches. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

While everyone is going bonkers and waiting in line at Daily Driver for bagels, have you ever had chef Andrew McCormack’s bagels at his pop-up brunch on Feastly, Early to Rise? They’re about as outstanding as his eggs Benedict (and his housemade English muffins). And now, Eater has noted that he has landed a permanent location in the former The Fine Mousse on Nob Hill (he has partnered with TFM’s Ben Rogers—who still had the lease—on this project). You can check out the prix-fixe brunch service Sat-Sun which can be pre-booked (nope, no lines for you) and is served at 11am ($25) or 1pm ($38). Bottomless low-ABV Italian greyhounds, just $15. Pics here. Look for expanded hours and more soon. 1098 Jackson St. at Taylor.

The recently opened ~THE BRIXTON ON 2ND~ is now serving brunch, starting at 11am on Saturdays and Sundays, featuring wagyu steak and eggs (Mishima Reserve wagyu flat-iron steak, eggs any style, with maitre d’ butter home fries) for $28 if you feel like a having a baller breakfast. Southern fried chicken Benedict with curry coconut waffle, maple syrup, and tasso-spiced béarnaise is $18. Check out the menu here. They also launched a happy hour (4pm-7pm) with dishes for $6-8, including a fried chicken sandwich with sambal oelek mayo and sesame cabbage; house cocktails are only $10, draft beers are $5, and wine by the glass are $8. 701 2nd St. at Townsend.

tselogs s van ness! http://www.tselogs.com

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The spectacular poke at Aina, part of their new tasting menu. Photo: Eric Wolfinger.

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Mission Beach Cafe exterior. Photo by Rick Camargo Photography.

This is always a part of my job that I hate writing about: closures. Sadly, the lovely Jordan Keao and his wife and co-owner Cheryl Liew have decided to close their beloved Dogpatch restaurant, ~AINA~, which was such an innovative and inspiring representation of Hawaiian cuisine. In a post on Instagram, they shared, “Personal and family reasons have made a relocation to Singapore the next step for us. It is a very tough and heartwrenching decision to let go of a business that we have been building from our hearts since 2013, from our days as a tiny popup in Bernal Heights, to hectic street food festivals and then eventually a beautiful brick and mortar space in the lovely Dogpatch neighborhood.” They will be so missed! SF was lucky to have you. Mahalo. 900 22nd St. at Minnesota.

We also have a trio of closures, all happening in the Mission. On Sunday June 30th, after eight years in business of serving up barbecue and whiskey and house-brewed beers and Southern hospitality, ~SOUTHPAW~ is closing. Founder Elizabeth Wells says, ” We have come to a crossroad in our personal lives where it’s time to move onto other goals and dreams. We are starting families, growing other businesses, and moving to other parts of the Bay Area.” They hope you’ll come in for a final plate of BBQ (that smoked pulled goat!) and beer; and if you were a fan of their BBQ, you can still order it for delivery through Sneaky’s BBQ (their sister company). Best wishes to the entire team. 2170 Mission St. at 18th St.

This was a long time coming: ~MISSION BEACH CAFE~ has closed due to a health department shutdown (not the first time they’ve had issues with and in that department) and eviction proceedings. You can read more in this post from SFist, as well as a note from owner Bill Clarke about the entire shituation. It’s a shame their tasty pies are going away, and the brunch hordes now need to find a new roost.

The third closure will be ~MISSION PIE~, but fortunately we have until September 1st to have a long goodbye (especially with their summer fruit pies). It’s a damn shame, owners Krystin Rubin and Karen Heisler have been trying to make it work, but as Mission Local says, “the duo has decided that their long-running business, which has 25 employees, isn’t financially sustainable.” We’re not just losing a pie shop—they have been an important part of the community (since 2007!), with strong values, and they will be missed. 2901 Mission St. at 25th St.

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The wagyu burger available at lunch from The Butcher Shop by Niku Steakhouse. Photo: Isabel Baer.

Burger lovers should know ~THE BUTCHER SHOP BY NIKU STEAKHOUSE~ is offering to-go lunch offerings which includes a burger made with a blend of 50 percent domestic Imperial Wagyu and 50 percent Japanese A5 Wagyu, served with Kewpie mayonnaise and pickles. There’s also a bratwurst (100 percent A5 Wagyu) and skewers (a combination of domestic Imperial Wagyu, Japanese A5 Wagyu, and dry-aged U.S.D.A. Prime New York and ribeye steak). Lunch items range in price from $15.99-19.99 and are available exclusively to-go. One to two items are offered Tue-Fri from 11:30am until they sell out. 57 Division St.

Michael and Lindsay Tusk’s ~VERJUS~ now has a to-go window on Hotaling Place, open for weekday lunch. The menu will feature one rotating sandwich and a small selection of soft drinks (iced tea, yuzu soda, and Kimino ume soda). The window launched with a French dip ($12), available Tue-Fri 12pm-3pm. The to-go window is just around the corner from their 528 Washington Street address on Hotaling Place.

If you’re a downtown worker, ~AYALA~ has opened a café, serving freshly baked goods by Black Jet Baking Co. and coffee and espresso service featuring Intelligentsia Coffee. It’s adjacent to the lobby of Hotel G, with casual seating for up to 30 guests. 7am-11am daily. 398 Geary Blvd.

June 4, 2019
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The updated dining room at flour + water Pizzeria. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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The squash blossom pizza with burrata. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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The trio of marinated vegetables. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Whoosh, someone opened early this past weekend: ~FLOUR + WATER PIZZERIA~ is now open in the former Farina Pizzeria space on Valencia in the Mission. There’s some prime corner real estate, with plenty of natural light and sidewalk seating. The space was updated by Studio KDA with new surfaces, green Heath tiles, and bronze light fixtures, but the layout is the same with the small bar and then bar seating across from the kitchen. (The pizza oven is now a four-deck Pizza Master.)

Chef Thomas McNaughton has put together a fun menu, with starters like fritto misto, meatballs, and their pride and joy: mozzarella sticks with marinara (all $12 and under). It ends up these mozz sticks were one of the toughest things to engineer, but with one bite of the seasoned breadcrumb exterior, I’ll say they nailed it.

There are three different marinated vegetable options for $5 each, including a minty and tangy dish of asparagus, mushrooms, charred spring onion vinaigrette, and pine nuts. All three have a conserva/bright note to them, an excellent accompaniment or precursor to the pizzas. You’ll also find a Caesar salad with white anchovies, a classic chopped salad (McNaughton is from New Jersey, represent!), or a more Cali-style salad with kale, arugula, and quinoa (which you can add avocado to), all $13.

The 13-inch pizzas are divided into white or red pies, 10 in all. Chef Tom told me a bit about some of the different doughs they have been working on, from the delicate-yet-crisp dough for the margherita ($15), to the four-day ferment for the squash blossom with burrata ($19). These are not Neapolitan pies, they’re something unique. Both had an airy yet crisp lightness to them (they bake at 650 degrees), and the flavor of the crust will have you eat every last bite (it ends up they brush the pies with tomato sauce and dry/shaved mozzarella, creating an extra layer of flavor—and you’ll notice some of the blisters on the pizza have a darker red look to them). You want a side of ranch? They got you.

For dessert, there is soft-serve ice cream, featuring Double 8 Dairy, and your choice of flavors and toppings (including Mike’s Hot Honey). There’s also an off-menu topping you can request: the Felipe, named after their bartender, which comes with Cappelletti drizzled over fior di latte ice cream and sea salt. Yes, you want this.

Speaking of Cappelletti, it’s featured in their house spritz ($11), along with a few beers, and a wine list of both California and Italian selections (four of them are their own label, custom-crushed in CA).

Look for the second entrance and counter, where you can pick up takeout orders and soon you’ll be able to grab “the big slice” to-go (it will be a daily-changing slice that will be one-quarter of a full pie), served on a paper plate, and for to-go only. (Perfect on your way to or after Dolores Park.) You’ll be able to order the rest for delivery exclusively on Caviar (use my code for $10 off your first two orders).

Hours are 11am-11pm. No reservations, but there is text notification waitlist functionality. 702 Valencia St. at 18th St.

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The delightful Azalina Eusope. Photo by Tim Benson.

Congrats to Azalina Eusope on getting her new restaurant open in a couple weeks! She’s opening ~MAHILA~ in the former Contigo in Noe Valley on June 15th. She’ll be serving dishes that highlight her Mamak heritage—a community in Malaysia, which melds Chinese, Indian, and Polynesian/Malay influences—along with California influences and inspiration, making dishes in her own unique way. Specialties such as salted fish curry, sweet potato dumplings, mee Mamak (spicy stir-fried noodles), and pasembur (a salad of shredded cucumber, potato, beancurd, turnip, bean sprouts, and seafood, with a spicy nut sauce) will be on the menu. There will also be beer and wine selected to pair well with Mahila’s flavors, plus specialty fermented alcoholic drinks, and teh tarik, a hot, pulled milk tea. A great deal of the produce used in Mahila’s dishes will be sourced from a 3,200-sq.-ft. urban hydroponic farm located within Azalina’s Bayview commissary space.

As for the name, “mahila” means “becoming a woman,” in Mamak, referring to the second stage of a woman’s life, when she comes of age and can become a leader of her community and family. I think it nicely reflects Azalina’s journey as a businesswoman, who started as a farmers’ market vendor in 2010, working with La Cocina, and keeping her family’s legacy of street food vendors alive and well (she is the fifth generation to do so). She has her own line of packaged products in Whole Foods, a kiosk in The Market, and a robust catering business. So excited for this next stage for her.

Open Tue-Sun 5pm-10:30pm and for brunch Sat-Sun 10:30am-2:30pm. You can make reservations on Tock. 1320 Castro St. at 24th St.

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Get excited for a slice of bee sting (bienenstich) cake! Photo courtesy of Hahdough.

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Hahdough’s Berliners come filled with vanilla cream or seasonal jam. Photo courtesy of Hahdough.

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German laugengebaeck: brezel and laugenstange (pretzel and pretzel roll). Photo courtesy of Hahdough.

A new German bakery is coming to Nopa, in the former Panhandle Guitars store on Fell. It will be the first brick-and-mortar location for ~HAHDOUGH~, from baker Ha Do, known for her stand at the Inner Sunset and San Mateo farmers’ markets. She has many fans of her vanilla cream or seasonal (and organic) fruit jam-filled Berliners (they run out early!), pretzel croissants, and German cakes and tortes.

She is thrilled to create a space where people can gather for a slice of cake and coffee or tea, like a slice of her black forest cake, bee sting (bienenstich) cake, mousse cakes, and traditional German cheesecake (made with quark), which is lighter and less sweet. (There will also be the opportunity to order an entire cake in advance.) You’ll additionally find almond cookies, fruit pies, and hazelnut twists. There won’t be German breads (for now)—her production kitchen is limited.

Do grew up in Koblenz, Germany—her father (a refugee) left Vietnam after the war, and was picked up by a German boat. She studied astronomy and graphic design, and came to SF in 2008. In 2015, she made a career change when she realized there wasn’t a German bakery in the city and wanted to fix that. She went home for an internship for three months in a German bakery, and went through the baking science and baking program at City College (for free, what an amazing thing, thank you City College). She also worked for an Austrian owner at CIP (Creative International Pastries), who makes wholesale pastries in Dogpatch, and then started her farmers’ market stand.

She’s hoping to open in time for Oktoberfest so she can serve her pretzels! In the meantime, visit her stand at the San Mateo (on Saturdays) and Inner Sunset (on Sundays) farmers’ markets.

Hours will start at Tue-Sun 7:30am-4:30pm, and until 8pm on the weekend. I’ll keep you posted. 1221 Fell St. at Divisadero.

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Table with a view at ONE65 Bistro & Grill. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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The perfect place to sneak away for a clandestine cocktail: the booths at Elements at ONE65. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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The dimly lit bar and communal table at Elements at ONE65. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

In the last tablehopper issue, I reported on the opening of ONE65 Patisserie & Boutique on the ground floor in the multi-level ~ONE65~ in Union Square, and now it’s time to visit the other floors of the restored, historic Beaux Arts building. To recap, the project is from chef-partner Claude Le Tohic, known for gaining three Michelin stars while at the restaurant Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand (the only three-star in Vegas).

Now open is ONE65 Bistro & Grill (on the second and third floors), offering lunch, brunch, and dinner from chef de cuisine Jennifer Dewasha, with contemporary Cal-French comfort dishes like steak tartare, a crispy onion tart with porcini, a seasonal stuffed artichoke, and dishes from their Spanish Josper charcoal grill, including skirt steak (and entrecôte for dinner). Fun fact: all meals are prepared using induction ranges and the Josper ovens, eliminating the use of gas throughout the building.

Sustainability appears with the recycled cork flooring and recycled porcelain paneling, and it has a sleek look, with white marble and wood tabletops. There’s tufted banquette seating by the windows, or sit at the counter facing the open kitchen.

Also open is the cocktail bar and lounge, Elements at ONE65, on the fourth floor. It’s a dark and dramatic hideaway, with dim lighting, private booths, and some lounge-y seating by the windows if you want to see who you’re drinking with (and take a picture of your cocktail). The black and gold quartz bar is a stunner, and where you’d find me. The bar is overseen by bar director Trevin Hutchins, who came out from Maine, and his cocktail menu covers the four elements, with a couple large-format options for groups. You’ll find wines, and you can order bites from the Bistro (there is also afternoon tea service from 2:30pm-4:30pm, except on Sundays). 

Due to open this Thursday June 6th is O’ by Claude Le Tohic (on the fifth floor, and a private chef’s table on the sixth floor, plus two other private rooms). I’ll have more on that in the next issue!

ONE65 Bistro & Grill is open for lunch from 11:30am-2pm and 5:30pm-9:30pm for dinner (until 10pm Fri-Sat), with brunch Sat-Sun 10:30am-2:30pm. Elements at ONE65 is open daily from 11:30am-12am. 165 O’Farrell St. at Powell.

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Jardinière. Photo: © FrankenyImages.com.

Vegans in SF are rejoicing over the news that an upscale, Italian-inspired, vegan restaurant will be opening in the former ~JARDINIÈRE~ called ~BAIA~ (which means “bay” in Italian). The project is from Tracy Vogt, who owns a 32-acre farm animal sanctuary in Sonoma. She has brought on chef Matthew Kenney, who has vegan restaurants in LA (including Folia in Beverly Hills, Plant Food + Wine) and New York (Bar Verde), and has a vegan pizzeria chain, Double Zero, among other concepts as well.

According to the Chronicle, the space will be modernized a bit, but it sounds like Vogt appreciates the restaurant’s classic character. According to the Matthew Kenney site, lunch, brunch, and dinner will be offered. No opening date yet, stand by. 300 Grove St. at Franklin.

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Hayes Valley is really lucky to be the future home of Gioia’s crazy-delicious pizza. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Opening this Friday June 7th is the new Hayes Valley location of ~GIOIA PIZZERIA~, after closing up their Polk Street location and moving into the former Two Sisters Bar & Books space. Think New York-style pizza, with quality Cali ingredients. Husband-and-wife duo, Will and Karen Gioia, are also known for their original pizzeria in Berkeley, which just celebrated 15 years.

You’ll be able to get whole pies, pizza by the slice, and East Coast faves like meatballs roasted with San Marzano tomatoes, chicken and meatball parm heroes, seasonal salads, and daily specials, all available for take-out and delivery.

Hours: Sun-Thu 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-10pm. 579 Hayes St. at Laguna.

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The colorful new exterior of Bi-Rite Creamery. Photo courtesy of Bi-Rite Creamery.

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In the mood for a soft-serve-filled donut? Uh huh. Photo courtesy of Bi-Rite Creamery.

Just in time for sunny days at Dolores Park, ~BI-RITE CREAMERY~ on 18th Street has reopened after a three-month closure for seismic retrofitting and renovation. You’ll find more communal seating, a vibrant mural, and new treats, like soft-serve stuffed donuts (featuring brioche donuts from Mr. Holmes Bakehouse) served with dipping sauces, three new ice cream bars (vanilla with dark chocolate and puffed quinoa, balsamic strawberry with white chocolate and graham cracker crumble, and chocolate with dark chocolate and rainbow sprinkles), plus three new vegan flavors, created with oatmilk and coconut milk. Open daily 11am-10pm. 3692 18th St. at Guerrero.

With executive chef and co-owner Laurent Gras now leading the helm at ~SAISON~, he will be closing the restaurant for a renovation later this summer. Ken Fulk will be updating the interior of the restaurant, while retaining the open-kitchen format. Will there be taxidermy? Stand by for more.

I was surprised to see ~ALFRED’S STEAKHOUSE~ announce closure for a remodel, which the restaurant recently had when the Daniel Patterson Restaurant Group took it over a few years ago, and then after the recent fire as well. Stand by for what’s next, now that owner Al Petri has taken the restaurant back over once again. 659 Merchant St. at Kearny.

Over in the Castro, ~BREWCADE~ is expanding into the neighboring Botellón space, but they need to close for the expansion, and will rename to ~DISTRICT 8~, since the new format will be more than beer and arcade games. Siblings and owners Shawn Vergara and Tiffny Vergara Chung will now be offering food and cocktails. Look for fast-casual bites, like pizza and lemongrass beef sandwiches. They’re hoping for a mid-summer reopening (with a new entrance). 2200 Market St. B at Sanchez.

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Whoa, was there something in my beer? Nope, Outside Lands always delivers on the trippy lights! Photo: Tom Tomkinson.

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Rich Table’s porcini doughnuts with raclette cheese. Photo courtesy of Outside Lands.

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This will be the second year of Grass Lands at OSL. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Sis showing how it’s done (at the Hendrick’s Gin activation). Photo: © tablehopper.com.

It’s that time of the year, when you start plotting who you’re excited to see at Outside Lands (on my list: The Seshen, Childish Gambino, Leon Bridges, Yaeji, Paul Simon, Toro y Moi, Santigold, Bob Moses, DJ Koze, Luttrell) and what you’re going to eat and drink in between sets! This year, OSL runs August 9th-11th, and single-day tickets are now on sale.

The lineup of food vendors (Taste of the Bay Area) includes over 80 restaurants and food trucks, serving over 200 menu items. Newcomers include Pinoy Heritage from Francis Ang (bringing sisig fried rice and pork lumpia!), Chef Smelly’s Creole and Soul Food, Chris Kronner (Henry’s) will bring KronnerBurger, and also rolling in from the East Bay is Xolo with its creative Mexican eats, including Impossible burritos.

More burger love will come from Causwells (I love their smash-style Americana burgers), Guerra’s Quality Meats will have Toscano Sloppy Joes and vegetarian po’ boys, crab nachos from Metal + Match, Rooh will be there with a chicken tikka kathi roll, as well as Noosh with their housemade chubby pita sandwiches. Look for some Hawaiian vibes from chef Sam Choy of Poke to the Max, and Michelle Karr-Ueoka and Wade Ueoka of Trailblazer Tavern in VIP. Also in VIP: Omakase will serve Edomae-style sushi, and A16 will be offering their wood-fired Neapolitan pies. 

You can also find treats at Outside Clams, GastroMagic, Cheese Lands, Grass Lands (look for Cannaisseur’s five-spice duck meatball sliders!), and something to drink at Wine Lands (46 wineries!) and Beer Lands (with 31 Northern Californian breweries, including newcomer Woods Beer Co., and look for the annual special edition Outside Lands brews!). Happy to hear more than half of the 125 wines on the Wine Lands menu will be priced at $10-14 per glass. Will there be more bubbles this year? A hopper can only hope. Look for some special picks from Terry Theise, bringing his selections of boutique wines from Germany and Austria this year. VIP gets some really special juice, and winemaker visits too. And swing by the 14 Hands horse trailer-turned-wine bar for some frosé (let’s see if Karl the Fog is a headliner this year).

Cocktail Magic will feature six Bay Area cocktail bars (15 Romolo, The Snug, Starline Social Club, Comstock Saloon, The Treasury, and RadHaus), and magicians (Poof! There goes your money!), and music.

There are also some liquor sponsors with booths throughout the grounds (and good deals on drinks—I hit up the Jim Beam booth daily for their Knight Rider—with Jim Beam Black Whiskey, cold brew, macadamia orgeat, and coconut milk—which gave me LIFE). Stand by for more announcements and updates!

Coming up Friday June 21st-23rd is Clusterfest from Comedy Central, with some fun culinary options and plenty of puns, including the Drunk History Beer Garden, with Al Capone’s Italian Sausage, or Alexander Hamiltots, and Agatha Crispy Battered Fish & Chips (har). KronnerBurger and Humphry Slocombe, yes. You’ll also find an international lineup, including dumplings from Bling Bling, Bulgogi Taco, Cochinita (panuchos!), Gerard’s Paella, Señor Sisig, and beef birria tacos from Tres Tequila Lounge & Mexican Kitchen. Civic Center Plaza and the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.  

 

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Flickr photo by yipe.

Some unfortunate closures, including the ~PRATHER RANCH~ shop at the Ferry Building Marketplace. I reached out to Prather for a comment but didn’t hear anything back. According to a letter forwarded to me, it sounded like employees were told to hang on for a reboot, but were laid off after all. (That happened to me at the ad agency where I worked back during DotBomb, it sucks. “Hang on, we’ll get through this rough patch. Shit, sorry, you’re laid off!”) No word about the fate of their farmers’ market appearances (a friend said they were missing from his weekly market, who knows if it’s related), but you can still find them on Good Eggs, so that’s good.

Over in North Beach, ~NAKED LUNCH~ is closing up shop after 10 years in the former Enrico’s. No more of Ian Begg and Ryan Maxey’s amazing sandwiches and burgers, sorry people! The last day is June 15th. 504 Broadway at Kearny.

A tablehopper reader also let me know that ~FRJTZ~ will no longer be open in its somewhat recently new location in the Mission, and is moving to a delivery-only model (via Caviar) for its burgers and stoner piles of fries.

May 21, 2019
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One of the many sweet treats at ONE65 Patisserie & Boutique. Photo courtesy of ONE65.

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The original dashimaki tamago sandwich at Ichi Sando. Yelp photo by Judy M.

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Presidio Twilight returns for its sixth year, now with lawn domes. Photo: Jesus Camacho.

So, the very first part of the multi-level ~ONE65~ from chef/partner Claude Le Tohic has opened in Union Square: ONE65 Patisserie & Boutique. Located on the street level, you’ll find a contemporary French patisserie experience, with breakfast and lunch service, and classic bistro seating in a black-and-white space designed by D-Scheme Studio. Freshly baked breads, pastries, chocolates, ice cream, macarons, and more are available. There is also barista service and a selection of wines on tap. Open Mon-Sat 7:30am-7pm and Sun 8:30am-4pm.

ONE65 Patisserie & Boutique is the first of the four restaurants to open, with ONE65 Bistro (opening May 24th), Elements at ONE65 (opening May 24th) and O’ by Claude Le Tohic (opening June 6th) to follow. I’ll have more on all that in coming issues! 165 O’Farrell St. at Powell.

In case you want to go blow some serious cash, another omakase sushi restaurant has opened in the space that Hashida was supposed to be in. The new restaurant is ~SUSHI NAGAI~, with chef Tomonori Nagai’s menu starting at $200. 125 Ellis St. at Cyril Magnin.

Japanese sandwiches with katsu, tamago, and more are beginning to trend stateside, and we now have not one but two new places serving them. Newly open in Japantown is ~ICHI SANDO~ (no relation to our beloved Ichi Sushi), serving four modern versions of Japanese sandwiches: dashimaki tamago in soft, white milk bread, along with a cheese version, or prosciutto, or mentaiko (with cod roe), and you get your choice of sauce. Also on the menu: a sweet version of the sandwiches (strawberry cream), a couple desserts (like shaved milk with chocolate ice cream, red beans, mochi, and shaved milk), and milk teas, including a strawberry latte. Open Wed-Sun 11:30am-9pm. 1581 Webster St. at Post.

The other location is ~CAFE OKAWARI~ in China Basin, which includes a chicken katsu sandwich, along with a couple bowls (chirashi, vegan), a salad, and an onsen tamago dish (poached egg and rice with toppings). I tried to get some info but no word on soft-opening hours, follow their Insta for updates. 236 Townsend St. at Clyde.

Breakfast fanatics know Nob Hill’s Mymy well, and now the owners have opened ~PLAIN JANE~ in the former Hoffman’s in the Mission, serving brunch dishes like smoked duck breast hash, an oyster mushroom scramble, or a trio of pancakes in their sweet flight (red velvet pancake, a cottage cheese pancake, and pan de mie custardy French toast), which I showed a picture of to a friend and he replied, “That looks like a nap waiting to happen.” Purr. Open daily 8am-2:30pm. 1000 Guerrero St. at 22nd St.

There’s a new Turkish place in Bernal called ~SHISH KE BABA~, serving dips, housemade breads and pies (boreks), soups, kebabs, and wraps. And it’s priced right: an adana kebab platter (with rice and sides) is just $16. Open daily 11am-9pm. 59 30th St. at San Jose, 415-926-8955.

If you were sad over the closure of ~DUMPLING KITCHEN~, it ends up the father couldn’t stay retired for long, so Paul Yu and his daughter Rebecca have reopened as ~DUMPLING SPECIALIST~ in a nearby location in Parkside, serving their housemade dumplings once again. It’s a tiny space, open Thu-Tue 11am-2:30pm and 5pm-8pm. 1123 Taraval St. at 21st Ave. [Via Eater.]

As mentioned in a previous tablehopper, ~COOK SHOPPE~ is now open in the former Chow on Church, with an updated space full of plants and a lighter look. The new menu is still approachable with a comfort-driven style, but certainly pricier than before (but, that’s SF these days, and at least they’re using sustainable, organic, and housemade ingredients). Hours are Mon-Thu 11am-10:30pm, Fri 11am-12am, Sat 10am-12am, and Sun 10am-10:30pm. 215 Church St. at Market, 415-552-2469.

And just so you know, Presidio Twilight has returned on Thursday evenings, bringing food trucks, live DJs, fire pits, and a full bar every Thursday from 5pm-9pm. This year includes some lawn domes to keep you even cozier.

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Some of chef Nora Haron’s dishes at Local Kitchen in SF. Photo: Albert Law.

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Hayes Valley is really lucky to be the future home of Gioia’s crazy-delicious pizza. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Great news for folks who were previously loving chef Nora Haron’s Singaporean-Indonesian-Californian cuisine while she was at Oakland’s Drip Line Cafe—she is now in San Francisco at ~LOCAL KITCHEN~, a 10-year-old SoMa restaurant from owner Jeff Handy. She will reprise some of her popular dishes, like chicken satay skewers, lamb meatballs, Singaporean chicken rice, and za’aar roti.

She’s also going to be putting her baking skills to work (while she was the head kitchen manager and culinary operations manager for Blue Bottle, she was known for making some awesome sourdough pastries). Look for some sourdough pizzas, with toppings like beef rendang (braised brisket, mozzarella, roasted pineapple, micro basil), and baked goods like kaya toast and pandan cake are also in the works. There’s an extensive wine list and cocktails as well to go with your laksa or Singaporean chicken rice. Open Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm, 5:30pm-10pm; Sat 5:30pm-10pm, Sun 5:30pm-9pm. 330 1st St. at Folsom.

And I’ll be writing about these two spots in the next issue, but just so you know, ~FLOUR + WATER PIZZERIA~ from chef Thomas McNaughton is due to open by late May in the former Farina Pizzeria space on Valencia in the Mission. Stand by for THE BIG SLICE, which is basically a quarter of a pizza, and I am here for it. Hours will be 11am-11pm. 700 Valencia St. at 18th St.

And I just received word that the upcoming ~GIOIA PIZZERIA~ Hayes Valley (in the former Two Sisters Bar & Books space) is opening Friday June 7th. Details in the next issue. 579 Hayes St. at Octavia.

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The cheerful and colorful dining room at Dyafa. Photo: Connor Bruce.

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Rum punch is an instant party at Kaya. Photo courtesy of Becca PR.

First, Heena Patel of Besharam announced she was splitting off from Daniel Patterson’s Alta Group, and now Nigel Jones of Kaya has ended his partnership and closed the restaurant (you’ll still be able to find him at Kingston 11, his restaurant in Oakland). And this just in: Reem Assil of Dyafa at Jack London Square is terminating her consulting agreement with Alta Group on August 9th. Read more about the issues afoot in Alta Group in this SF Chronicle piece.

After a year in business, ~DABBA~ is closing its Marina location—they are focusing on a new franchise partnership; the popular SoMa location will remain open. [Via Eater.]

And after 12 years in business on Bernal, ~AVEDANO’S~ butcher shop has decided to close on Sunday June 30th. It ends up their rent has more than doubled, and their building, and the building next door which houses their private dining room (the Udder Room), kitchen, bathroom, general storage, and production space have been sold. Add in labor issues, the fact that many people get their groceries delivered, and other hardships, and they have decided to close, unless someone comes up with some bright idea with how they can continue, or some iteration of the business. You can read the full note on their website. Best wishes. 235 Cortland Ave. at Bonview.

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The Calabrian XO-fried egg on a grilled pork blade chop at Prairie’s new brunch. Photo courtesy of Prairie.

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The stylish interior of True Laurel. Photo: Aubrie Pick Photo.

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Carolina Gold rice grits with roasted mushrooms and a slow-cooked egg yolk. Photo: Aubrie Pick Photo.

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A lineup of some of the brunch dishes at Mestiza Taqueria. Photo courtesy of Mestiza.

It’s time to add some extra-deliciousness to your weekend brunch lineup. Serving brunch both Sat-Sun is ~PRAIRIE~, with chef-owner Anthony Strong cookin’ up some truly creative dishes that speak to me, like a grilled pork blade chop with a Calabrian XO fried egg. You can also get that egg on a Carolina Gold rice waffle with salted maple butter, uh huh. Pressed omelet sandwich. Bellwether sheep’s milk yogurt danish with slow-roasted strawberries. So much goodness.

And they have all their awesome cocktails featuring fresh juices. Brunch is serrrrrved. Plus: reservations! Sat-Sun 11am-2:30pm. 3431 19th St. at San Carlos.

Also in the Mission, ~TRUE LAUREL~ has kicked off weekend brunch service from chef David Barzelay and chef de cuisine Geoff Davis, with dishes like lamb carnitas and spring greens, asparagus, peas, and a cast-iron sizzled egg; heirloom cornmeal pancakes with sweet corn butter and smoked maple syrup; and soft-scrambled eggs with chicken confit, housemade fermented hot sauce, chives, and lots of butter. You can also get that sick patty melt they do so well, and top it with a beef fat-fried egg. Lawdy.

Some new brunch cocktails from their talented bar (led by Nicolas Torres) will also in the house, like the True Brew (Grand cold brew, Caffè Amaro, PX Sherry, cold crème), and the bar will stay open after brunch service into dinner service. That stylish room is also going to look great during the day. Sat-Sun 11am-2pm. No reservations. 753 Alabama St. at 19th St.

Over at ~MESTIZA TAQUERIA~ in SoMa, brunch is in effect, now we just need the weather to warm up so we can take full advantage of their awesome, tropical patio. They’re also bringing in live DJs, plus hosting a mini-mercado with locally made crafts.

Start with some malasadas, move toward some chilaquiles verdes (with lemongrass chicken) or a choose-your-own silog bowl, like with Filipino pork adobo. And then there are Carlos’s cochinita pibil tacos, along with some low-ABV brunch cocktails and a killer-sounding and spiced coffee drink, the Mokkapino. Sign me up! Brunch is served Sat-Sun 10:30am-2:30pm. 595 Bryant St. at 4th St.

I have already mentioned all the wondrous things happening over at ~DANDELION CHOCOLATE~’s new factory, café, and retail shop in the Mission, and now they have launched their breakfast service and afternoon chocolate experiences at Bloom Chocolate Salon, such as chocolate and ice cream tastings.

Executive pastry chef Lisa Vega has put together a breakfast menu that includes cake for breakfast, a chocolate chip pancake cake with vanilla cream and chocolate maple sauce, along with other delish picks that will make you want to schedule your next morning meeting in this chic space. Afternoon service will offer signature experiences, including Afternoon Chocolate with classic French pastries and hot chocolate, served in the traditional style of afternoon tea. Bloom is open Tue-Sun 9am-6pm, with breakfast until 11:30am. 2600 16th St. at Alabama.