The Chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)
April 25, 2017

There’s a reason Alfred’s is beloved for their steaks—they do it right (and have been doing so for almost 80 years!). Photo courtesy of Alfred’s.


A look at the former Champagne Room at the Blue Fox. (For more details, go here.)


Some of my collection of Blue Fox and Alfred’s ephemera. Photo: ©


Some of the vintage Blue Fox sterling silver sauceboats are in use at Alfred’s today! Photo: ©


The Owl ‘n Turtle room at Alfred’s. Photo via Facebook.


Many of you know how obsessed I am with vintage San Francisco restaurant ephemera—I have a rather extensive collection of vintage menus, postcards, restaurant guides, and books, which I have started sharing on Instagram with the #tablehoppervintageseries hashtag. And my collection of tablehopper T-shirts highlight vintage SF restaurant and bar designs.

Since I was a little girl, I have been so fascinated with the Blue Fox. I remember my grandfather telling me about it and am so sorry I never had the chance to dine there before it closed after a 60-year run in 1993. I have collected a Blue Fox menu, matchbook, ashtray, drink tokens, and postcards, and have studied this pantheon of fine and Continental dining for years.

Many of you know that the location where Alfred’s is now, on Merchant and Kearny, was formerly the home of the Blue Fox! Alfred’s was originally on Vallejo Street (when it opened in 1928!), and then Broadway, and moved into the current location in 1997. Alfred’s has also held a special place in San Francisco diner hearts, from the recent Petri family years to now, with the respectfully updated version under the Daniel Patterson Group.

On Friday May 12th, I am hosting a dinner I have wanted to host for a long time. It will be an homage to both the Blue Fox and Alfred’s, to times gone by, and to San Francisco and Northern California history. We are partnering with Anchor Distilling Co. and Robert Mondavi Winery this evening, so there will also be a dash of Italian American heritage in this meal as well.

We will be celebrating in the Owl ‘n Turtle private dining room downstairs, complete with a white baby grand piano that Frank Sinatra reputedly played on. We’re going to enjoy listening to Eric Shifrin playing standards throughout the evening, from Hoagy Carmichael to classic songs Frank would have sung. You may recognize Eric from playing at the Fairmont!

It is a great honor to be partnering with Anchor Distilling Co. on this event, our local and beloved distillery! For our reception (beginning at 6pm), guests can enjoy a martini or Martinez—we will be featuring Junípero gin, Old Tom gin, and the very special pot-distilled Old Potrero 18th Century whiskey this evening. (Just wait until you see the vintage bar downstairs.)

Our wine partner for the evening is one of the greats: Robert Mondavi Winery. I was determined to partner with a storied Napa Valley producer for this event, someone you would have seen on the Blue Fox’s and Alfred’s wine lists, and am beyond thrilled we will be pairing wines from this legendary winery and pioneer. A winemaker or veteran wine educator from the property will join the dinner to share the deep Robert Mondavi Winery history and speak to the wines.

Now, the menu! This is a very special creation, which integrates original Blue Fox and Alfred’s dishes and recipes I tracked down! We’re integrating some new touches as well, thanks to chef Bryan Baker.

First Course
roasted red pepper, pickled celery, crispy artichokes, garbanzo beans, olives, avocado, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, fresh herbs
Paired with Robert Mondavi Winery fumé blanc reserve

Second Course
scampi alla Livornese
Paired with Robert Mondavi Winery Carneros reserve chardonnay

Third Course
spinach gnocchi, spring onion, peas, beef sugo
Paired with Robert Mondavi Winery pinot noir

Fourth Course
roasted filet mignon, asparagus, red wine demiglace
Paired with Robert Mondavi Winery reserve cabernet sauvignon

Fifth Course
baked Alaska
Paired with Robert Mondavi Winery Moscato d’Oro

Please note we will be finalizing the vintages and selections in coming days. Expect something very special, especially with the cabernet selection.

This is not a night you’ll want to miss. It’s going to be a very only-in-San Francisco kind of night. Cocktail attire…start planning your swank vintage outfit now!

The event is $175, inclusive of tax and gratuity—get your ticket here. Your ticket price also includes a tablehopper Blue Fox T-shirt (there is the option to upgrade to an ultra-plush Blue Fox hoodie/sweatshirt instead, ticket price is $190). Thanks to our partners and host, we are able to offer this very unique experience at this special cost (grazie Alfred’s, Anchor Distilling Co., and Robert Mondavi Winery!).

When booking your reservation, please specify any guests you want to be seated with. We are going to have 5 tables of 10.

I also want to note that, as many of you may know, Alfred’s suffered an unfortunate basement fire a couple of weeks ago. They assure me they are going to be reopening within a week—they’re just cleaning up the smoke damage and fixing the electrical issues—and definitely in time for our dinner. See you May 12th!


New A16 executive chef Nicolette Manescalchi. Photo: Di Desmond.

Congratulations to chef Nicolette Manescalchi, who has been with the ~A16~ group for eight years, most recently as chef de cuisine at A16 in San Francisco; she is now going to be executive chef of the group. A16 executive chef Rocky Maselli, who opened ~A16 ROCKRIDGE~, is going to be moving back to Eugene, Oregon, at the end of May. He will be taking over the reins at Marché for chef-owner (and mother-in-law) Stephanie Pearl Kimmel, who is retiring. Over the next month, he is helping the A16 team with the transition.

Manescalchi was raised baking with her mother and cooking traditional Sicilian food with her father and moved to San Francisco almost eight years ago from Minnesota to work at A16. Not only does she have an English degree from the University of Minnesota, but she also has her culinary degree from the Art Institutes International Minnesota and her sommelier certificate from the International Sommelier Guild. She was so dedicated to learning about Southern Italian food that she even spent her honeymoon in Southern Italy to immerse herself more deeply in the cuisine. She was executive sous chef at A16 Rockridge and helped open it, and one year later took the executive chef position at Le Marais Bakery and opened Le Marais Bistro. She returned to A16 San Francisco as chef de cuisine and is now taking this next step.

A couple of updates regarding both A16 locations: If you have visited A16 SF lately, you would have noted the beautiful pottery in the space, from the pasta bowls to dishes, all by Mary Mar Keenan of MMclay. (Did you know she was originally a server at A16 and made the chile oil containers?) Look for some new ceramics to start making their way to A16 Rockridge…

Also at A16 Rockridge, they are going to be remodeling the private dining room in a couple of months. And here’s a fun thing: A16 is going to have a mobile pizza truck! You may have enjoyed their live fire pizzas at Off the Grid Fort Mason and other events, but now they’re going to have a better oven transport, soon. Will keep you posted.


Fried chicken served in a skillet with pickles at Hazel Southern Bar & Kitchen. Photo courtesy of Hazel.


Whiskeys and TV screens. Photo via Facebook.

Opening at the end of the week is ~HAZEL SOUTHERN BAR & KITCHEN~ in the former Cadence in Mid-Market. Gone are the elephant tusks, and it’s more like a rec room with cookin’ from your friend’s awesome mom. Owner Jamie Boatner and executive chef Casey Hatwig are pulling Southern recipes from Boatner’s mother’s recipe book, like collard green dumplings (Hazel’s collard greens, cream cheese, served with a spicy peach chutney) and Hazel’s fried chicken, served in a skillet or with waffles. The menu has casual fare, like po’boys and tater tot nachos with pimento cheese sauce, fried okra, tomatoes, pickled jalapeños, green onions, and sour cream, plus larger plates like shrimp and grits and sides.

As for the rec room side of things, there are two pool tables, 16 TVs, and a retro ’70s vibe from designer Craige Walters, plus private dining rooms and corporate event options.

You’ll find quite the whiskey selection (more than 170 bottlings) and a refreshingly affordable cocktail list ($9-$11), including some classics like a Sazerac and new drinks like a ginger-pineapple mint julep.

Hours are kitchen daily 5pm-1am, bar until 2am. Grand opening is Friday April 28th. 1446 Market St. at Fell, 415-851-8562.


The cheerful interior at Rincón Nayarit. Yelp photo by Guadalupe E.


The new Boba Guys Potrero Hill. Photo courtesy of Boba Guys.

Fans of coctel de camaron, tostadas, and the like may want to check out the newly opened ~RINCÓN NAYARIT~, which has opened in the Mission. You can check out their extensive seafood menu online, and it looks like breakfast (chilaquiles, omelettes) and coffee service is also on offer. Open Mon-Fri 6:30am-10pm, Sat 7am-10pm, and Sun 8am-10pm. 1500 S Van Ness Ave. Ste 100, at 26th St., 415- 654-5413.

Looks like a sushi spot has taken over the former Epicenter Café: ~ZEN IZAKAYA~. Pictures on Yelp include thinly sliced wagyu beef you place on a hot stone, a variety of oysters on the half shell, nigiri, and funky maki. 764 Harrison St. at 4th St., 415-222-9988.

Feeling a little sleepy? Want some fun in your beverage? There’s a new location of ~BOBA GUYS~ that just opened in Potrero Hill. Get your boba on. Open Tue-Fri 9am-7pm, Sat 12pm-8pm, and Sun 12pm-6pm. 1002 16th St. at Missouri, 415-967-2622.


Coming up this Friday April 28th is a special event, Hallah & Spice Pop-Up Shop, featuring visiting Israeli baker Uri Scheft (of Breads Bakery in New York and the newly released book Breaking Breads: A New World of Israeli Baking) and La Boîte’s spice whisperer Lior Lev Sercarz (La Boîte spice shop, The Spice Companion). ~THE PERENNIAL~ is hosting the duo in conjunction with the Jewish Community Center. The pop-up will feature hallah-braiding and spice-blending demos with Uri and Lior; noshes, coffee, and cocktails featuring La Boîte spices for sale from The Perennial; a pop-up shop from La Boîte spices; and signed books for sale from Omnivore Books—the first 40 Breaking Breads book purchases include a fresh hallah, baked just for you by Uri (trust me, you want this!) and the first 40 The Spice Companion purchases include a special spice blend, blended just for you by Lior! 11am-1:30pm. This is a free event! 59 9th St. at Mission.

This Sunday April 30th is the annual Wok on the Wild Side fundraiser for City College of San Francisco’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Studies Department. There will be plenty of dishes and wines to try, live and silent auctions with proceeds benefiting student programs (including a sausage class, a BBQ tasting, SF Giants tickets, and bottles, magnums, and cases of wine and spirits, plus hotel and restaurant certificates), music, and more. Alumni who will join the students in serving dishes include May Seto of Grand Lake Kitchen, Sarah Lau of Nopa, Robert Hurtado of Arguello, Ryan Gozinsky of Authentic Bagels, Kathleen Kwuan of State Bird Provisions, and more. 4pm-7pm. Tickets are $75. City College of San Francisco—Statler Wing, Ocean Campus, 50 Phelan Ave., 415 239-3152.

Also on Sunday April 30th is the reopening of the Mission Community Market’s new incarnation, La Placita. Come by from 11am-3pm for a block party, with food, music, and more. Check out the event here. Bartlett St. between 21st St. and 22nd St.


Okonomiyaki in a stone pot at Namu Gaji. Photo: ©

So, it’s a foggy Friday night, and you’re like, damn, some ~NAMU GAJI~ ramen and stone pot would really do me right… Well, lucky you, it’s not too far away, because on Fridays and Saturdays, come by ~BEACHSIDE COFFEE BAR AND KITCHEN~ from 5pm-10pm for Namu Gaji’s temporary pop-up. You can enjoy noodle soups, KFC-style chicken wings, smoked brisket with roasted kimchi and cultured butter, okonomiyaki, smoked pork donburi, and more. 4300 Judah St. at 48th Ave.

If you enjoy the wines at ~RESOLUTE~, you’ll be happy to know you can now pair a little more with those glasses of wine you’re chugging, like tarte flambée (Alsatian pizza) with toppings, either a classic (crème fraîche, fromage blanc, mozzarella, bacon, sweet onions, and chives) or artichoke (Fontina cheese, marinated artichoke hearts, and asparagus), plus panini (caprese or grilled cheese with sharp cheddar, Brie, shallots, arugula, and vermouth)—both served with a side salad, and there’s an arugula salad too. 678 Geary St. at Leavenworth.

April 18, 2017

The spacious and updated dining room at Pompette. Photo courtesy of Pompette.


Mussels escabeche at Pompette. Photo courtesy of Pompette.


Baked ricotta at Pompette. Photo courtesy of Pompette.


Waffles from the new Neptune’s in Alameda. Photo via Neptune’s on Facebook.


The spacious patio at Arthur Mac’s Tap & Snack in Oakland. Photo courtesy of Arthur Mac’s.

Back in February, I broke the news about the new taker for the former Café Rouge space: ~POMPETTE~ (the name means “a little tipsy”). It’s from chef David Visick, an alum of Chez Panisse and SF’s Cafe Kati, and his wife, Caramia Visick, who worked at Bay Wolf (as well as Oliveto, Zuni, and Stars) before launching her jewelry line (Hotcakes Design) and shop (Favor)—she is running front of house.

As I mentioned, they want to maintain Café Rouge’s rep as an easy place to swing by, no matter the time of day or the extent of your appetite, from a bite and a cocktail to a full-on spit-roasted chicken dinner for two. Take a look at the initial (and highly appetizing) menu here, with French-Cali bistro bar snacks and charcuterie, numerous spring vegetable dishes, and of course a burger.

The space was updated a bit, with even more seating. The restaurant is softly open for dinner starting at 5:30pm Mon-Sat and will be adding lunch in a week or so. As Caramia Visick said, “Customers are happy to get back into their bar seats and try out the new cocktails, wines, and snacks!” Indeed. 1782 4th St. at Delaware, Berkeley, 510-356-4737.

Another icon is getting an update: the former Fosters Freeze in Alameda has been transformed into the charming ~NEPTUNE’S~, which opened today. I had the serendipitous fortune of dining next to chef Naomi Elze-Harris at an event last night and got to hear about it straight from the horse’s mouth. The daytime menu is Southern through a California lens, with some Filipino and Hawaiian references popping up too; ingredients will be sustainably sourced. The menu includes chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, housemade brioche buns, “Not Zippy’s” chili and rice (a reference to a popular Hawaiian dish), Hawaiian breakfast, a burger, and eventually soft-serve ice cream with special flavors of waffle cones designed to go with it.

There are 80 seats, both indoors and on a back patio they installed surrounded with redwood slats. They will also be launching a walk-up window in a couple of weeks, where you can get your lumpia to go. Peek at their Instagram to get a look at their clean, bright, and natural aesthetic, with colorful tiles, glass globe pendant lights, and it’s sweet how the blue throughout references the former Fosters blue. Open Tue-Sun 8:30am-2:30pm (which means you can start your day and come by for some proprietary Lincoln Rosewood coffee and espresso!). 630 Central Ave. at McKay, Alameda.

More outdoor patio action can be found at ~ARTHUR’S MAC’S TAP & SNACK~ in the Longfellow neighborhood in Oakland from Farm League Design & Management Group (Drake’s Dealership, Westbrae Biergarten, East Bay Spice Company, Tigerlily). It’s right across from the MacArthur BART Station and is part of the MacArthur Annex shipping container complex that houses a variety of artist workspaces and start-ups. It’s a pizza-by-the-slice beer garden designed to be a family-friendly and affordable place. The menu also includes wings and salads; chef consultant Michael Williams (Rivoli and Corso in Berkeley) is behind the menu. There are a number of booths, two fire pits, and a kids’ play area so mommy and daddy can enjoy their beers. Speaking of, there are 16 craft beers, 2 ciders, and 5 wines on tap, plus a house-kegged vermouth spritzer. Open Sun-Thu 11am-10pm and Fri-Sat 11am-11pm. 4006 Martin Luther King Jr. Way at 40th St., Oakland.

James Syhabout (Commis, Old Kan Beer & Co.) just keeps on pushing and is opening a full bar and lounge next door to Commis called ~C.D.P.~ (short for chef de partie). It will served cocktails, snacks, and small plates. Syhabout designed it himself and will have 10 seats at the bar, 24 overall, and is due to open in the fall. [Via Scoop.] 3861 Piedmont Ave. at Montell, Oakland.

Folks in Elmwood are lucky to be gaining a location of SF’s ~ITALIAN HOMEMADE COMPANY~, which will be opening in the former AG Ferrari. They will be serving their piadine sandwiches, housemade pastas, and more. 2905 College Ave. at Russell, Berkeley. [Via Nosh.]

In case you missed this fascinating New York Times article on ~LOCOL~’s mission to offer a quality $1 cup of coffee, check it out.


The classic counter at The Castro Fountain. Yelp photo by Steven B.


Let them eat cake! Get a slice (of classic yellow cake, that is) at The Castro Fountain. Yelp photo by Simi J.

The long-awaited ~CASTRO FOUNTAIN~ is now softly open—it’s from Juliet Pries of the retro-vintage Ice Cream Bar in Cole Valley. She has much bigger plans for this ice cream parlor and soda fountain, but thought she may as well soft open for now after countless delays. For now, you can come by for their housemade and organic ice cream (check out the flavors here), plus ice cream bars, sandwiches, and some house-baked desserts (Hoodline reports they are serving cakes, pies, brownies, and cookies). Sundaes, milk shakes, and sodas will be added soon.

Down the road, they hope to get a liquor license to serve their “remedies” and more, but that’s another mountain of bureaucracy, so let’s just swing by, order a cone, and welcome The Castro Fountain to the neighborhood! Limited hours for now (today is 2pm-6pm, and they are running some Tax Day specials), and then Thu 6pm-10pm, Fri 7pm-11pm, and weekend hours are TBD. Again, it’s a soft opening! Follow along on Facebook for updates! 554 Castro St. at 18th St.

There is yet another location of ~MIXT~ opening, its ninth location, at 51 Yerba Buena Lane on Wednesday April 19th. In addition to their trademark fresh and choose-your-own-adventure salads, they are introducing a new menu option called Mixt Market Plates, exclusively at this location. Diners can choose from herb-roasted, free-range chicken, or grilled grass-fed steak or steelhead, with sauces and sides ($10.95-$13.95). Here’s the menu. Open Mon-Fri 10:30am-8:30pm and Sat-Sun 11:30am-8:30pm. 51 Yerba Buena Lane at 4th St.


Malasa’s combo silog with tapa, longanisa, and tocino. Photo by Malasa via Yelp.


The tortilla bocadillo at Champaneria Kharma. Photo courtesy of Champaneria Kharma.

I’ve got a random little mix of openings for you, starting with a new modern Filipino brunch that is popping up at Crawstation in the Sunset: ~MALASA~. The name, which means “tasty” in Tagalog, translates into dishes like silogs (garlic rice plates), including tocilog (cured pork served with a fried egg on top of garlic fried rice and pickled vegetables), kare-kare (oxtail in a rich peanut sauce), and more. They are using quality ingredients, including organic, cage-free, pasture-raised eggs and locally sourced ingredients. Sat-Sun 11:30am-2:30pm. 1336 9th Ave. at Irving, 415-682-9980.

Another pop-up that caught my eye is Champaneria Kharma, featuring Spanish-inspired bites at ~BLOODHOUND~, on Wednesday April 26th. Founder Samantha Kharma went to Barcelona last October and visited a place called La Champaneria (a standing-room only, counter-only restaurant with cava and tapas). She was so inspired by it that she decided San Francisco needs one, too, and is currently hoping to open a brick and mortar in a year and half—she’s targeting the Mission. In the meantime, you can get your bocadillos on at this pop-up (she is getting her bolillo-style roll from a local bakery in South San Francisco she grew up with called Panadería Hernandez).

The featured sandwich will be jamón con pepinillos y queso (ham with pickles and cheese), and take a look at the tortilla española con queso y pimento. There will also be lomo con queso y pimento, and cordero con menta y tamarindo. With every sandwich you purchase, you will get a ticket that is good for a glass of prosecco for $5 instead of $8, and there are plenty of cocktails and local beers on draft as well. 6pm-10pm. 1145 Folsom St. at 7th St.


The stylish and sunny Streamline. Photo courtesy of Streamline.

Now open in the Outer Parkside/Sunset, practically at the beach, is a new and sunny corner café, ~STREAMLINE~. The trio of partners (Brent Willson, Dion Garcia, and David Quinby) have turned a former restaurant and office space into a spacious café with plenty of seating and a gallery (Willson is also a painter, so he wanted to be able to have an art component to the business). They have been ramping up with staffing, always the issue these days—today is just day six for them.

The menu features house-baked scones, muffins, cookies, and a gluten-free oat bar, plus a frittata is available. There are also tartines: a mushroom and herb tartine with Comté, and a ham and Comté version. Expect more salads, sandwiches, and more as they hire additional food prep and bakers, and they also have beer and wine. Hours for now are Mon-Fri 7am-1pm, with plans to expand to weekends ASAP. They are also hosting a show opening this Sat from 6pm-10pm with Gallery 66. (Follow on Facebook for updates.)

They are using Nomadic Ground for their coffee; they have their own blend for their espresso and house drip, plus a single-origin and organic pour-over, and cold brew. They should have approval for outdoor seating any minute, so the next time you’re at the beach, here’s a new place to enjoy a brew. 3560 Taraval St. at 46th St., 415-504-7000.

You can wake up and smell the coffee at the new ~FLIGHTLESS COFFEE AT JAXSON~ coffee window. The owner, Kevin Lopata, is from Houston, and Flightless features Houston’s Boomtown Coffee. You can find a variety of espresso drinks and pour-over, plus cold brew, and he’s working on a specialty drink for the summer. He also stocks some baked goods from Mr. Holmes, including their croissant and a sweet pastry, but those go fast. Open Mon-Thu 7:30am-4pm, Fri 7:30am-2pm, and Sat 8:30am-2pm. 3231 Fillmore St. at Greenwich, 713-584-5119.


The bar at Hecho Cantina. Photo via Facebook.

A couple of upcoming closures to note include the beleaguered ~HECHO CANTINA~ in the Castro, which will be closing in a few months after two and a half years of business (and a couple of iterations). They have an offer on the space, and Hoodline has noticed that Andale Management Group (behind the popular Mezcalito on Polk) has filed for a liquor license transfer at the address. Owners Jesse Woodward and Dana Gleim will continue to focus on their sports bar, Hi Tops. 2200 Market St. at 15th St.

This fall, the temporary food hall ~THE HALL~ is closing, as it was intended to—although it’s a year past when it was expected to close. It ends up they are timing it with The Hall’s three-year anniversary, during the last week of September. The space will then begin its next stage of development, and we’ll have to see where some of the vendors will land. [Via Scoop.] 1028 Market St. at Taylor.

One more item to note: AG Ferrari is refocusing their business on their national CPG product line and is closing their four retail store locations in Montclair Village, Piedmont Avenue, Laurel Village, and SoMa on May 1st. Their growing product line will remain available online and in grocery stores nationwide, and they’ll be offering discounts on their inventory until closing (excluding fresh foods, grab and go, and refrigerated beverages). The brand plans to release more products later this year.

April 11, 2017

Grab a spoon, Salt & Straw ice cream is here. Photo: Leela Cyd.


Cold udon at Kagawa-Ya Udon. Yelp photo by Kat C.

Ice cream fanatics, your time to enjoy Portland’s ~SALT & STRAW~ ice cream is now. Well, almost: Friday is go time for their Fillmore shop, the first in San Francisco. The shop is founded by Kim Malek with her cousin, Tyler, and their ice cream is known for its artisanal and handmade approach—they will also be working with local makers and purveyors for flavor inspiration. Their flavors will fall into three categories: SF classics (only available in SF); SF seasonals (only in SF, but for a limited time); and Crossover classics (available at all S&S locations, which are also in Los Angeles).

You can look at the initial menu here and start pining for flavors like cinnamon ancho and cajeta, or olive oil and lemon custard (yum). Trust me, the roasted strawberry and tres leches is soooo good. Hours will be 11am-11pm. Open Friday April 14th. They will also be at Off the Grid Fort Mason on Fridays. Their second location, in Hayes Valley (580 Hayes St.), will be opening in the summer. 2201 Fillmore St. at Sacramento.

Now open in Mid-Market is ~KAGAWA-YA UDON NOODLE CO.~, a quick-service, 40-seat spot serving Sanuki-style udon (it has a square shape and flat edges, famous in the udon-crazy Kagawa Prefecture in the Shikoku region of Japan, hence the restaurant’s name). I mentioned this spot last month, but here’s the menu—there are many options, including some accompaniments to the udon, and it’s meant to be fast. Open Mon-Fri 11am-7pm. 1455 Market St. at 10th St., 415-703-0995.

Late-night denizens and SoMa partiers, you should know there’s a new pizza place open called ~ANTON’S PIZZA AND DELI~ in the former Citizen’s Band (RIP, sigh), and it has some handy hours for pizza (no slices just yet) and sandwiches (peep the menu here). Open Mon-Wed 10am-12am, Thu-Sun 10am-3am. 1196 Folsom St. at 8th St.

One more little neighborhood opening: ~TEKKA HOUSE~ has opened in the former Tataki in Glen Park and is serving some pretty straight-ahead/give the people what we think they want sushi (i.e., there are wacky rolls). They also have ramen on the menu. Open Mon-Thu 4pm-9pm, Fri-Sat 4pm-10pm, Sun 5pm-9pm. 678 Chenery St. at Diamond.


The exterior of Nourish. Photo from Facebook.

ABC license activity points to a sequel for the 100 percent plant-based and organic/non-GMO ~NOURISH CAFE~: the Inner Richmond café is moving into the former Flour & Co. on Hyde Street in Nob Hill. Eater followed up with chef Brighton Miller and partner Sarah Bacon (she has thought about a name change, I am sure), who will be offering all kinds of vegan items, from salads and sandwiches (and wraps, of course) to vegan baked goods, grain bowls, acai bowls, and smoothies to start your day. They will also be adding Stumptown Coffee espresso drinks and kombucha on tap. They are targeting an early May opening. Hours will be Mon-Fri 10am-7pm, Sat-Sun 9am-3pm. 1030 Hyde St. at California.


Some of the new sunny seating at Aina. Instagram photo via @ainabrunch.

Just in time for spring and more sun, the charming ~AINA~ in Dogpatch has added outdoor seating. It should help cut down on wait times, especially for their popular brunch, and you can bring your furry Fido to sit on the sidewalk with you while you enjoy your malasadas. 900 22nd St. at Minnesota, 415-814-3815.

If you’re looking for a place to perch and enjoy bar bites like spicy yam cake and shio koji beef tongue, ~YUZUKI JAPANESE EATERY~ is offering their version of a bar food/small plates menu (“otsumami”) meant to pair with sake. It’s available Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings, and to coax you to come in, they’re offering a 20 percent discount on the restaurant’s fab selection of 720ml bottles of sake. 598 Guerrero St. at 18th St., 415-556-9898.


A truffle and sea urchin dish at Mosu. Photo via Yelp by Dan H.

The spendy (I’ll just say it, crazily overpriced at $195 for the odd experience) ~MOSU~ is closing this month. Eater writes that it’s not for financial reasons, but because chef-owner Sung Anh is moving back to Korea to be with his wife and children and to open Mosu Seoul in the fall. However, it sounds like he does hope to return to SF at some point. 1552 Fillmore St. at Geary, 415-735-7303.

Longtime ~RISTORANTE UMBRIA~, which has been holding down the corner of 2nd Street and Howard for 20-plus years (since 1995!) with its trademark awnings, is closing May 1st. Scoop reports they are losing their lease. 198 2nd St. at Howard, 415-546-6985.

April 4, 2017

Friendly faces at Black Jet Baking Co. Photo courtesy of Black Jet Baking Co.


The Liberty Cafe banana cream pie. Photo courtesy of Black Jet Baking Co.


Meet the Boston Beam Croissant. Photo courtesy of Black Jet Baking Co.

Do you smell the wonderful aroma of morning buns wafting through Bernal Heights? Maybe (probably) it’s because ~BLACK JET BAKERY~ has opened! Big congrats to Gillian Shaw and her team, who have expanded the wholesale-only business to their first brick and mortar in the former Sandbox Bakery/Pinkie’s. Shaw says, “It’s such a treat to see people eat your stuff! Everyone has been ridiculously sweet—it’s awesome!”

In addition to their trademark spin on pop tarts, plus cakes, pies, cookies, and bars, there are some new additions on the menu, including croissants (made from the recipe Sandbox’s Mutsumi Takehara used; she is also the landlord!). There are also homages to the former Liberty Cafe in the shape of blueberry corn muffins and raspberry bran muffins, plus banana cream pie. Awwww. Look for hot cross buns for Easter and more.

Shaw pays homage to her Worcester upbringing, starting with some “bulkie” rolls, which are fluffy white rolls she grew up eating from the local Jewish bakery (she says it’s light and airy and like a kaiser roll), and it’s what they’re using for their breakfast sandwiches.

Another fun one is the Boston Beam Croissant—her sister (with the married name of Beam) was the evil inspiration to fill a croissant with pastry cream and then drizzle it with chocolate ganache. Wicked pissah.

And then there’s Shaw’s obsession with Fluff, which they are making their own version of and using in their spin on fluffernutter cookies. But here’s where it gets demented: they’re also doing a Somerville latte, which is a latte with a shot of Fluff!

They have partnered with Ritual Coffee for coffee and espresso service (Ritual was their first account back in the day), and they are also serving Song Tea, including a batch of brewed iced tea that has been popular these past warm days.

There are some benches attached to the building where you can perch. Swing by and welcome them to the neighborhood! Keep up with all the goodies at @blackjetbaker. Initial hours are Wed-Fri 6:30am-3pm-ish and Sat-Sun 7am-3pm-ish. 833 Cortland St. at Gates.


Evan and Sarah Rich. Photo: Kassie Borreson.

Quick update for you on ~RT ROTISSERIE~, the upcoming fast-casual/counter-service rotisserie place opening this month from Evan and Sarah Rich of Rich Table in Hayes Valley.

The menu will feature rotisserie chicken (from Rocky Jr.), porchetta (from Olivier’s Butchery), and cauliflower (yup, also from the rotisserie!), all prepared the same way with a buttermilk brine, umami powder, garlic, and Douglas fir, and then brushed with a smoked, roasted garlic oil, and finished with fresh herbs, including dill, shiso, parsley, and mint, and lemon on the side. There will be four or five sauces, like cilantro chimichurri and avocado ranch, and sides like umami sweet potato fries (dusted with porcini powder and herb mix), charred cabbage slaw, and who can say no to oysters on the half shell while you wait for your dinner?

You can enjoy the mains as sandwiches—served on a house-baked San Francisco-style Dutch crunch bread—or in a salad, with seasonal market greens like Little Gem, kale, or chicories, tossed with a miso vinaigrette and a house herb and seed mix. Beer and wine, including a proprietary pinot noir bottling from Jamie Kutch of Kutch Wines, check.

Dessert includes mint chocolate cookies, crackle sugar-topped molasses cookies, a bowl of market fruit, and a milk ice and seasonal sorbet blend.

The 800-square-foot space will have 46 seats, full of windows and natural light, plus continuing the design style of Rich Table’s white oak walls, although now there’s a chicken logo mural (which Evan’s dad designed, awww).

Hours will be daily 11am-9pm—I’ll keep you posted on the opening date. They will also be offering delivery on Caviar. 101 Oak St. at Franklin.


Sababa’s falafel sandwich will be back! Photo: Cameron Neilson.


Sharpening at Bernal Cutlery. Photo: Molly DeCoudreaux.

There are many cases when two are better than one. You know, like a ménage à trois. Ha-ha, I kid, maybe I’m not, anyway, let’s get back on topic. OKAY. There is going to be a second location of the popular ~SABABA~ coming to the Financial District, to 554 Commercial St., just seven minutes away from the original. Lunch service will be coming first, and a seasonal salad will be added. There will also be a larger dining area. Hoodline reports owner Guy Eshel will be able to ramp up more catering and delivery of their fantastic Middle Eastern bowls, hummus plates, and sandwiches in their house-baked pita (the original Kearny Street location is maxed to capacity). Look for a May opening.

Intrepid tipster Jason B. reports there is a second ~STREET TACO~ taqueria coming to SoMa at 83 9th St. My inquiries about the opening went unanswered at the original Haight Street location, but I’ll keep you posted as best I can. 83 9th St. at Mission.

You like shiny and sharp things? ~BERNAL CUTLERY~ is opening a second location in the Mission, which will be a new sharpening workshop and class space around the corner from their shop on Guerrero. Look for classes from owner Josh Donald on basic Japanese whetstone sharpening (along with free drop-in tutorials), while co-owner Kelly Kozak will be offering workshops for community nutrition educators and knife skills classes for kids and families (“Timmy, don’t point that at mommy!”). April 28th will be a soft opening celebration (at 7pm) with Taka Tozawa and Sea Forager’s Kirk Lombard showing the art of breaking down a fish two ways, along with sidewalk grilling, snacks, and drinks. (Mark you calendar!) Bernal Cutlery Workshop, 3505 17th St. at Guerrero, 415-355-0773.

The ~LE MARAIS BAKERY~ team is getting close to opening their second Castro location, and word is out that they’re also going to be opening a new bakery at 1138 Sutter St. in Lower Nob Hill in the former Larkin Street Youth Center. Hoodline mentions the 5,000-square-foot space will also be a production facility, and interestingly, “the youth center’s former offices will be turned into separate tempered rooms for cakes, croissants, and even a small chocolate room.” There will be a 20-seat pastry counter, and even though the offerings will be simplified with brunch, lunch, and pastries, quiches, coffee, and tea, it may scale up in the future. The production component will roll out first in the summer. 1138 Sutter St. at Larkin.


The Bakesale Betty fried chicken sandwich (at a Chase Center media event). Photo via Facebook.

It’s a couple of years out—the start of 2019-20 NBA Season—but the lineup of food vendors at the upcoming Chase Center has been announced (through Bon Appétit Management Company and Levy). While watching a Warriors game, you’ll be able to nosh on fried chicken sandwiches from Oakland’s Bakesale Betty, plus food from San Francisco’s Tacolicious, Sam’s Chowder House of Half Moon Bay, the Hot Dog Bill’s Burger Dog (previously available only to members at San Francisco’s Olympic Club Golf Course), and in homage to the Warriors’ history and late NBA Hall-of-Famer Nate Thurmond, Chase Center will revive Big Nate’s BBQ. They wanted to offer an “only in the Bay Area” experience for visitors and will also be including Bay Area restaurants through their Taste Makers at Chase Center program. Mission Bay Blocks 29-32.

If you were curious who’s taking over ~THE CORNER STORE~ at Geary and Masonic, Hoodline reports it’s going to be a third location of ~MO’Z CAFE~—you may know the location on 5th Street in SoMa. It’s a pretty straightforward breakfast and lunch place, with brunch classics, sandwiches, burgers, and more. Dinner is also going to be offered, and it will have a casual and family-friendly vibe. Look for an opening in April.


Iza Ramen. Photo via Facebook.

Want to mix up your usual lunch lineup? Now serving lunch in SoMa is the latest location of ~IZA RAMEN~, serving lunch Thu-Sat 11:30am-2:30pm. Take a peek at the menu. 1155 Folsom St. at 8th St., 628-444-3070.

And then over in Cow Hollow, ~CONTRADA~ is serving their lunch/brunch Wed-Sun 11:30am-3pm. Wait until you see their awesome back patio. Here’s the menu. 2136 Union St. at Fillmore, 415-926-8916.


The Vietnamese coffee ice cream at Humphry Slocombe. Photo ©


Kured Pork-Betta sandwich with crispy cured pork shoulder and belly with shaved fennel salad and greens. Photo: Tory Putnam.


The communal seating at Victory Burger. Yelp photo via Aaron M.

Exciting news for ice cream fans: ~HUMPHRY SLOCOMBE~ is coming across the bay and is opening a shop in Oakland at the Hive in Uptown, joining Drake’s Brewery, Firebrand Artisan Breads, Red Bay Coffee, and Calavera. Look for an opening this summer, and Nosh reports founders Jake Godby and Sean Vahey will be launching their own Oakland flavor. Can’t wait to see what the Jesus Juice creators come up with. 2335 Broadway at 24th St., Oakland.

Chef-owner Paul Canales of ~DUENDE~ is launching Kured this Wednesday April 5th, a fast-casual lunch concept in Duende’s bodega. Come by for cured meat sandwiches, including Paul’s housemade sausages (like boudin blanc, spicy Italian, and merguez), plus the Pork-Betta Sandwich, with crispy cured pork shoulder and belly ($10), and a Crispy Chicken Sandwich ($8). There are also three salads. Open Wed-Fri 11am-2pm. 468 19th St. at Broadway, Oakland.

Rachel Herbert’s San Francisco-based Park Café Group (Dolores Park Café, Precita Park Café, Duboce Park Café) is now expanding to the East Bay and opening ~PARADISE PARK CAFÉ~ in the former Actual Café on the Emeryville/North Oakland border, which is an area Herbert was happy to discover is called Paradise Park. She said she knew Actual was a great 49-seat café and an important part of the neighborhood, and she wants to bring something good to the area.

It will have a similar offering to the Precita Park Café menu, with breakfast items, smoothies and juices, sandwiches, salads, and plenty of organic, healthy, and vegan options. They will be serving Equator Coffee and are currently tasting for another small Oakland coffee to highlight as well. Local beer will be on tap (with many of the new brews popping up). They are targeting June, hours will be 7am-8pm. 6334 San Pablo Ave. at Alcatraz, Oakland.

But wait, there’s more! Herbert is also taking over the flanking (and closed) ~VICTORY BURGER~ space and will be using the 20-seat space (indoor and outdoor) to host pop-ups, primarily dinner pop-ups. Look for more details on that soon, including a final name. For now, they’re referring to it as Paradise Kitchen Pop-Up. 1099 Alcatraz Ave. at San Pablo Ave., Oakland.

Was sorry to read in the Palmento a Dopo newsletter that the group has decided to close ~ADESSO~ after eight years of serving us some awesome salumi and wines and more. They haven’t set a date yet, but will be running some specials in these final weeks. In their note, they say: “We’d love to see and hear from all of you. It’s truly impossible to overstate how much we appreciate all the employees and customers who have made the past eight years possible.” 4395 Piedmont Ave. at Pleasant Valley Rd., Oakland, 510-601-0305.

March 28, 2017

A rendering of the 450 Hayes condos, where A Mano is opening. Rendering courtesy of Back of the House.

Opening in early May on Hayes is ~A MANO~ (“by hand”), the latest restaurant from Adriano Paganini’s restaurant group, Back of the House. The full-service Italian restaurant will specialize in housemade pasta; the executive chef is Freedom Rains (Belga), whose background also includes Flour + Water and Incanto, so he’s no stranger to pasta dough.

There will also be antipasti, salads, and two pizzas (a margherita and a seasonally changing pizza), along with a daily dinner special. The concept will be casual and affordable but still focused on quality, with some seasonal influences. There’s also a full bar, which will be Italian-centric, with classics like Negronis and Americanos, plus some new variations, as well as amari and Italian liqueurs. The wine list will be all Italian, while beers will span California and Italy. Look for an opening in early May. Dinner will be served nightly. 450 Hayes St. at Octavia.


A slice of pie from Angela Pinkerton. Instagram photo by @iampinkerton.

I have quite a lineup of coming soon news for you, so let’s rip through it. More news from the ~CHE FICO~ team, who are opening their project in a former auto body shop on Divisadero this fall. James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Angela Pinkerton will be opening a pie shop and dinette in the ground floor space next to Boba Guys (the restaurant, Che Fico, will be upstairs). It will be called ~THEORITA~, in honor of her grandmother. There will be sweet and savory pies, plus a grab-and-go counter for breakfast and light lunch. In the evening, there will be a dinette, with seating at the counter or in a dining room area. On the menu: Che Fico’s David Nayfeld will be offering a spin on diner food around the U.S. (one can hope for some Greek diner love!) and some of Pinkerton’s childhood favorites from growing up in northeastern Ohio will be repped as well. There will be natural wine and beer from California and the Midwest as well. I’ll keep checking in on this one since it’s literally around the block from me, yay. 834 Divisadero St. at McAllister.

There is some ABC license transfer activity for Rose Pistola’s recently closed location, listing a DBA of Cantina di Liguria (considering Rose Pistola’s Ligurian focus, it’s hopeful). The new partners are Bonnie Fisher and Boris Dramov of Roma Design Group. Scoop reached out to them and received this tidbit: “We are looking forward to creating a new sociable gathering place that will build on the identity and traditions of North Beach but takes advantage of the innovations and evolution of the food culture that have occurred since Rose Pistola was first established 20-some years ago. We are taking the opportunity now to renovate the space and developing our concepts further.” Stand by for more. 532 Columbus Ave. at Green.

There’s a project called ~BERBER~ coming to the short-lived Killer Shrimp (and previous TAPS) on Broadway in Russian Hill. Here’s a little teaser we found online: “Berber is an exotic North African fine dining establishment and opulent nightlife venue that offers world-class cuisine, blending the traditions of the Mediterranean with the best and brightest of California. Our guests are invited to an experience of elegant cuisine, impeccable service, and a unique ambiance of art presented in a modern context, while enjoying Berber culture and entertainment at its fullest joyful vibration of community.” The executive chef is Ali Dey Daly from Tunisia, and it sounds like there will be quite the lineup of entertainment. I’ll fill you in with more soon. 1516 Broadway at Polk.

Dallas chef John Tesar is potentially opening one of his ~KNIFE~ steakhouses in SF in the Metreon at the end of 2018, according to Eater. The deal isn’t 100 percent confirmed, but it may take over the food court. Stand by for more.

Coming to the Waterfront Plaza this May is ~NORCINA~, an Italian café and delicatessen from Kaitlynn Bauman of Levi Plaza’s Parlor 1255. Breakfast includes frittata, pancetta and cheese cornetti, and bombolini (think: Italian doughnut filled with pastry cream), plus coffee service by local Sausalito roaster Cibo. Lunch will have tigelle (a kind of Italian flatbread) sliced and filled with options like prosciutto cotto, stracchino cheese, and artichoke hearts (sounds like something I’d make at home, so yesssss!), plus salads and housemade gelato. Hours will be Mon-Fri 7am-5pm. 50 Francisco St. at Montgomery.

The folks behind ~THE GROVE~ said they were looking for another location after closing their location on Chestnut a few years ago. It looks like they found a spot in Showplace Square, and it will be opening this summer. 65 Division St. at Rhode Island.


The spiffed-up exterior of Barons Meats. Photo via @baronsonchurch.


The tropical and plant-filled interior of Mestiza Taqueria. Photo courtesy of Mestiza.


The patio/beer garden with large communal tables and a beautiful mural. Photo courtesy of Mestiza.


The retail area of Taproot. Photo courtesy of BAMCO.


A look inside The Night Market in SSF. Yelp photo by Dan F.

There is quite the random pileup of openings this week, starting with ~BARONS MEATS~ opening in the former Drewes Meats in Noe Valley. Look for humanely raised meats free of hormones and antibiotics in the case, plus the addition of seafood! And bring on the sausages. Note the original Alameda location will remain open. You can read this interview with owner David Samiljan in the Noe Valley blog. 1706 Church St. at 29th St. [H/t to Noe Valley Blog.]

More meaty news: ~GUERRA’S TO GO~, an offshoot of Guerra Quality Meats, is now open, offering prepared meats that are hot and ready to go, like pulled pork, pot roast, and Northern Italian beef stew, along with lasagna, eggplant Parmesan, and potato and leek soup. Check out the menu and what’s available at different times. Dinner is ready! Open Mon-Fri 2pm-8pm. 345 Taraval St. at 14th Ave., 415-564-5201.

Yay: Deanna Sison Foster’s ~MESTIZA TAQUERIA~ is holding its super-soft opening and is now ramping up with lunch for the next two weeks. They will be open for their full hours the week of April 11th. Come by for consulting chef Sophina Uong’s taqueria-style menu, with flavors and ingredients from the Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Here’s the first look at the opening menu. Dishes on the preview menu include tacos, burritos, or bowls (your pick) with Filipino pork adobo with ginger salsa cruda and green papaya achara; Khmer lemongrass chicken with avocado crema, peanuts, escabeche; and Thai red curry beef with pineapple-arbol chile salsa, roast shrimp powder, coconut flakes, basil.

The weather is so nice this week, which means you can enjoy their patio (with that beautiful mural) and a cold beer cocktail or michelada, but the cute tropical interior is great too. More details are in my previous post. Open Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm. 595 Bryant St. at 4th St., 415-655-9187.

Mission Bay residents and workers: you have a new casual eatery and café to add to your neighborhood list. Now open is ~TAPROOT~ from Bon Appétit Management Co., the same folks behind nearby STEM Kitchen & Garden. Come in and order a custom sandwich with your choice of charcuterie and artisan cheeses, salads, and heartier Mediterranean-inspired entrées like porchetta with seasonal vegetable sides or something lighter like poached salmon. You can dine on-site (there’s seating) or get it to go. Since it’s like a deli, Taproot should come in handy for stocking your fridge or supplying a party or picnic. There are some pantry items, like honey, plus a selection of wine as well (including wines on tap). There’s also coffee service and espresso (they plan to open in the morning soon). Hours for now are Mon-Fri 11am-7pm. 409 Illinois Ave. at 16th St.

There’s a quirky little spot in the Castro that opened called ~ME & TASTY~, serving Thai rice plates, breakfast and brunch dishes, sandwiches, and more. Dishes range from omelettes to tea leaf salad to shrimp and grits to Thai red curry vegetables to fried chicken and waffles to shrimp tacos. When you have no idea what you’re craving, this place may be able to help you figure it out. Open Mon-Fri 10:30am-3pm and 5pm-10pm, Sat-Sun 8am-2pm and 5pm-10pm. 3970 17th St. at Hartford, 415-923-8498.

There is a second Noe Valley Bakery location that has opened in West Portal, ~NOE VALLEY BAKERY WEST PORTAL~. Hoodline reports it’s now open, and unlike the original location, it has seating so you can take a load off while you enjoy your croissant or cookie. Open Mon-Frid 7am-7pm, Sat-Sun 7am-6pm. 28 West Portal Ave. at Ulloa.

~BLUE BARN GOURMET~ has moved to a bigger location on Chestnut. It’s now in the former Barney’s, which means there’s more room and a patio where you can enjoy your salad. Open Mon-Fri 11am-8:30pm, Sat-Sun 11am-8pm. 3344 Steiner St. at Chestnut, 415-896-4866.

If you’re craving some Hong Kong-style street food, there’s a place that has opened in South San Francisco that sounds really fun: ~THE NIGHT MARKET~. The menu pays homage to the dai pai dongs (street food stalls) of Hong Kong, with curry fish balls, soy-marinated eggs, BBQ pork noodle soup, steamed buns, Hainanese chicken rice, and yes, Hong Kong milk tea. But here’s where it gets extra cool: the food is actually prepared at food carts/counters, and you sit at folding wood tables on red plastic chairs, beside a wall displaying images and sounds from night markets around the world (and movies). I will be checking this out ASAP (hello cheung fun with roast BBQ pork), follow me on Instagram for an update soon! It’s only open during the day for now, Mon-Sat 11am-2:30pm. 230B S. Spruce Ave. at Myrtle, 650-634-8388.


Meatballs from Barbacco. Photo: Eric Wolfinger.

Consider this your meatball report. Mondays are now Meatball Mondays at ~BARBACCO~, where they will be serving them up with complimentary spaghetti alla marinara. Look for the classic polpette (Sicilian meatballs with pine nuts, raisins, braised chard, spicy tomato sugo), and two other kinds, like beef or chicken (all $16). Available for lunch Mon 11:30am-3pm and dinner Mon 5pm-10pm.

After the sad closure of ~SHORTY GOLDSTEIN’S~ in the FiDi, ABC license activity reveals who is taking over the space: ~MEATBALL BAR~. Eater reports the Italian owners (Gianni Chiloiro and Angelo Sannino of Doppio Zero) will be serving meatballs from all kinds of cuisines, not just Italian. And we’re not just talking sandwiches: there will be different sauces and broths, plus vegetable sides and rice and quinoa. They plan to open in May after a quick refresh of the space, serving a fast-casual lunch and early dinner. 126 Sutter St. at Montgomery.


The Rebel Within; photo by William Werner.


The Rebel Within, the money shot; photo by William Werner.

If you feel like playing around this Saturday April 1st (April Fools’ Day)—and I’m not talking about telling people you’re pregnant or you won the lottery or other tomfoolery—you may want to consider swinging by one of the four ~CRAFTSMAN AND WOLVES~ locations and order a Rebel Within. If you end up with one of the four Rebels without an egg inside (a Rebel Without!), you win a free Rebel Within every month for one year. I know, if I bought one and didn’t have the egg inside, I’d be upset! But really, it’s a good thing. Swing by CAW Valencia, CAW Pacific, CAW Den, and the CAW Ferry Plaza Farmers Market stand.

(In related news, CAW may be opening a doughnut shop in Bayview and offer training to local residents; read more in Hoodline here.)

More breakfast fun: the folks at ~BLUESTEM BRASSERIE~ are serving brunch for dinner on April Fools’ Day. (I kind of love this, been waiting for someone to have a brunch for dinner restaurant for a long time.) Chef John Griffiths will be serving their new cinnamon roll with brown butter-cream cheese frosting; Dutch baby with Comté cheese, bacon, caramelized apples, and fried rosemary; steak and eggs with a grilled bavette, charred herb salsa verde, griddled potatoes, and scallions; and a crispy buttermilk fried chicken sandwich with Calabrian chile aioli, bread and butter pickles, red onions, and Little Gems. You can even get a Bacon Bloody Mary with bacon-infused vodka, celery salt rim, and housemade pickles. Reservations or 415-547-1111.


The exterior of the new LocoL Bakery in Oakland. Instagram photo via @welocol.

Word up, the LocoL crew is opening ~LOCOL BAKERY~ this Friday March 31st and will be feeding their neighborhood affordable and well-prepared items like their line of bunnzz (plain, buttery, or egg and cheese), pizza (whole or by the slice), chili, salads, and coffee for a buck, plus green juice and aguas frescas. Hours are daily 8am-8pm. They’re throwing the grand opening party from 3pm-7pm this Friday. 3446 Market St. at 35th St., Oakland.

Looks like there is a taker for the former Capone’s Speakeasy in Alameda: a tablehopper reader said there’s a sign for ~THE STAR ON PARK~ in the window, and their website says it’s coming soon! Get ready for their family-friendly menu of pizza (both thin and deep dish), sandwiches, salads, and hearty apps, plus craft beer and cocktails. 1400 Park St., Alameda.

Now opening Saturday April 8th (originally the plan was for the 1st, no fooling) is ~SLÁINTE~, a new Irish pub opening in Jack London Square from owner and beverage director Jenny Schwarz of Hopscotch. Look for a traditional and home-style Irish menu from Irish-born chef and co-owner Jackie Gallanagh, with classic cocktails and imported Irish beers. Traditional Irish breakfast will be served all day, and there is also shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, sausage roll, and more. The menu will be available all day, with food service until 10pm and drinks until 12am. It has a cozy Irish pub style, complete with a fireplace and armchairs. 131 Broadway, Oakland.

More Oakland beer news: Linden Street Brewery is now Oakland United Beerworks, and owner John Karnay and brewmeister Shane Aldrich plan to open a taproom late summer near Jack London Square (on 2nd St.). Their inaugural lineup of core beers includes a black lager, pilsner, common lager, and IPA, which you’ll find at local restaurants and bars.

Nosh brings news about the opening of ~CORNERSTONE~, a beer garden (with 42 taps!) and music venue in the former Thalassa—there are craft cocktails as well. 2367 Shattuck Ave. at Durant, Berkeley, 510-214-8600.

A couple of changes to report: Amy Murray (who is still at Revival Bar + Kitchen) and Dave Korman of ~VENUS BERKELEY~ have sold the restaurant after 16 years to the owners of Tigerlily. Nosh reports they are not making drastic changes to the menu, though the staff is now accepting tips. Brunch will continue daily 8am-2:30pm, and dinner is Thu-Mon 5pm-9pm. 2327 Shattuck Ave. at Durant, Berkeley.

And after 14 years of numerous cooking classes and more, ~PAULDING & COMPANY~ has sold their location and founder Terry Paulding is going to start enjoying her retirement. It sounds like the new owners, In the Kitchen Culinary (ITK), will continue with cooking classes and more. The new owner, Doug Eng, lost his kitchen in Sausalito when the landlord wouldn’t renew his lease, so he’s thrilled to be taking over the space. 1410 D 62nd St. at Hollis, Emeryville.

March 21, 2017

A rendering of the interior of Noon All Day. Courtesy of Sagan Piechota Architecture.


A rendering of the counter area of Noon All Day. Courtesy of Sagan Piechota Architecture.


A rendering of the exterior of the building and plaza.

Some great news for Dogpatch—the Piccino family (owners Margherita Stewart Sagan and Sher Rogat and director of operations Kerry Glancy) are busy working on the opening of a new project, ~NOON ALL DAY~, slated to open this summer at 690 Indiana. It will be flanking Esprit Park and the upcoming Dogpatch Arts Plaza, a dead-end street being converted into an arts-focused public pedestrian plaza (at 19th and Indiana) by Build Public, a local nonprofit committed to designing and developing more public spaces. Music, a farmers’ market, and more are also being programmed for the plaza. The location is also conveniently close to the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and will be a godsend for the many doctors, residents, patients, and visitors.

The space is just 1,1100 square feet—full of glass windows and opening out onto the plaza—and will have around 65 seats. There will be a full kitchen, so it’s almost like a mini restaurant with coffee service. The small and focused menu will be market fresh and seasonal (some ingredients will be coming from a mini farm up in Healdsburg), with six to eight rotating items that will be taking easy inspiration from many cultures, from a curry clay pot dish to fried rice to za’atar making an appearance. There will be braises and homey favorites like chicken soup stracciatella with egg—they’re also taking the famed Piccino meatballs and working on a mini meatball pocket sandwich. Look for special baked things as well: one item they are developing is a seedy and bready cylinder with a runny egg inside.

Leading the kitchen is a blast from the past: Carlo Espinas—who opened the original Piccino as a cook—is back in SF and excited to work with the ladies again. (He’s currently working on menu testing in the Piccino kitchen.)

Hospitality is a big component of the experience—they will have a concierge at the entrance who will facilitate your order. (This person will help direct people to order at the counter, or maybe a guest just wants to pay for an espresso and go pick it up at the coffee counter.) Food will be brought to your table via food runners who will know the ingredients well. There will additionally be an app, which people can order directly from, and have a lunch or afternoon snack delivered, or dinner to take home.

The name is inspired by the fact that noon is often a reset time, a moment to recharge and take a breath, but this place will give you that feeling all day, whether you are coming by for coffee and pastry in the morning or some soft-serve ice cream with housemade toppings in the afternoon. The space (by Sagan Piechota Architecture) is bright and airy, with lots of glass and light wood and pendant lights. There will be a herringbone concrete-tile floor, a counter for seating (along with tables and chairs), and there’s a custom 10-foot refrigerated case with different temperature zones wrapped in marble (it will have some grab-and-go items). Beer and wine will be available, and they are hoping to secure a license for off-premise sales as well, so you can bring that bottle of rosé home that you like so much.

They are hoping to open in the summer, perhaps June or July. Hours will be 6am-8pm daily. In the meantime, you can follow their progress on Instagram at @noonallday. 690 Indiana St. at 19th St.


Nigiri will be on the menu at Kuma. Photo via Kuma on Feastly.

If you have ever had the opportunity to sit at chef Ryo Sakai’s counter while he was making sushi at the now-closed Pink Zebra or at Domo in Hayes Valley, you’ll be happy to hear he has partnered with longtime friend Cory Jackson to open a restaurant for the first time together (they started working together years ago at Blowfish): ~KUMA SUSHI + SAKE~.

Kuma will be opening in May at Polk and Post in a former Western Union, and they want to be a neighborhood sushi restaurant that can work for all kinds of budgets. Guests can order à la carte or omakase (4, 8, or 12 courses), and they will even offer vegetarian selections. There will be a strong focus on local seafood (from TwoXSea), with some fish sourced from Japan as well. Dishes will be creative and feature some fun touches, like ochazuke (tea-infused dashi stock poured over rice and kombu-cured fluke) and a spin on chawanmushi with smoked goat cheese. House-fermented pickles will also play a part. (The name means “bear”—Jackson collects little animal figures, and it’s also in homage to the California bear, which has a taste for salmon.)

The 25-seat space is pretty intimate—they’ll actually just start with 18 seats, and it will be walk-in only (no reservations). The spacious bar has 11-12 seats, so guests will be able to enjoy a lot of interaction with the two chefs. The counter will feature an inset sushi case that is lower than usual so guests can see inside. The overall design will be warm and inviting, with natural colors, wood, and galvanized steel, plus there are high ceilings. They will be curing the wood at the front entrance through shou sugi ban, a Japanese technique of charring and preserving wood.

There will be both local and Japanese beers, plus wine and a frequently changing list of sakes. Look for some purposefully affordable picks on the beer list.

Right now they are doing some preview dinners and menu testing on Feastly. The two current dinners are sold out, but keep an eye out for future dates. And I’ll keep you posted on their opening. 1040 Polk St. at Post.


A look inside Little Taqueria in the Inner Richmond. Photo via Facebook.


A selection of dishes from Pushkin in the FiDi. Photo via Yelp.


The Epicurean Trader’s new location in Cow Hollow. Photo via Instagram.

There are a couple of new taquerias that have opened up, starting with ~LITTLE TAQUERIA~ in the Inner Richmond. Tacos are $3.50 each, burritos are $9, and platos are $11 (served with rice and beans). You can peek at a menu here, which lists options like slow-simmered beef, lechon (braised sour-orange pork), ground beef with potato, and seasonal vegetables. It has a few counter seats, but true to its name, it’s little, so plan on takeout instead. Hours are daily 11am-4pm. 200 6th Ave. at Cornwall, 415-463-2506.

In SoMa, ~EL CAPITAN TAQUERIA~ has opened its doors in the former Citizen’s Band, serving traditional tacos, burritos, tortas, and quesadillas, plus sandwiches, burgers, special plates, and breakfast burritos all day. Menu here. Hours are Mon-Fri 10:30am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11:30am-11pm, Sun 11:30am-5pm. 1123 Folsom St. at 8th St., 415-525-3676.

Downtown workers who love pirojki will want to track down ~PUSHKIN~ in the International Food Court. The menu lists borscht; split pea soup; beef, chicken, or potato and fried onion vareniki (dumplings); and baked Ukrainean pirojki (like chicken and mushroom, pepperoni, beef, spinach and feta). Hours are Mon-Fri 10am-3pm. 380 Bush St. at Kearny, 415-610-9456.

Last December, I mentioned ~THE EPICUREAN TRADER~ was expanding to Cow Hollow with its second location, and it’s now open. You can swing by for everything from craft spirits to gourmet cheese and charcuterie, plus fresh bread from Tartine Bakery (!!), small-production wines, small-batch coffee, hand-blended teas and spices, craft chocolates, oils and vinegars, and other artisanal pantry items. 1909 Union St. at Laguna.

Ice cream, all over da place! ~SMITTEN ICE CREAM~ is opening a new shop in the Mission this Thursday March 23rd, which is when you’ll want to swing by for “Pay What You’d Like” on opening day (proceeds benefit La Cocina). Look for limited-edition collaboration flavors to roll out from three local Mission businesses: Samovar Tea Lounge (turmeric gold latte), Mission Cheese (chèvre and apricots), and Dandelion Chocolate (Mission hot chocolate). Each flavor will be on the menu for three weeks. Don’t forget all Smitten ice creams are churned to order on their one-of-a-kind, patented Brrr ice cream machine. 904 and 908 Valencia St. at 20th St.


Maybe you love cocktails. (If you’re reading this column, that’s likely.) Maybe you love cocktail books, and even better, vintage ones. Well, on Sunday March 26th, you can have it all at Tipple & Snack, a vintage cocktail book fair and party courtesy of ~OMNIVORE BOOKS~, to be held on the fabulous ~BAR AGRICOLE~ patio.

You’ll be able to peruse unique books covering cocktails from many different eras, all while having unlimited cocktails (yes!) and some snacks too. What kinds of snacks, you ask? How about Gulf shrimp deviled eggs with spring herbs, and chorizo with chimichurri, and fried cauliflower with tartare sauce? All that and more. (Just don’t touch the vintage books with greasy fingers or Celia will want a word with you.)

You’ll also be able to pick up a few of the fun tablehopper T-shirts featuring vintage San Francisco bars, from Tippy’s to Cross Roads, both as regular T-shirts and ultra-soft baseball tees. They’ll be just $20 each!

This afternoon event is only $25; tickets here. Sunday March 26th, 3pm-5pm. Bar Agricole, 355 11th St. between Folsom and Harrison.


The beautiful new Andytown café on Taraval. Photo via @andytownsf.

The Outer Sunset gained a second location of ~ANDYTOWN COFFEE ROASTERS~ over the weekend on Taraval, less than two blocks from the beach. Look for a Kees Van Der Westen Spirit espresso machine, big-batch drip coffee, and a pour-over bar featuring St. Anthony Industries drippers. Fresh pastries, soda bread, and Snowy Plovers for everyone! Not only is this their second café, but owners Lauren Crabbe and Michael McCrory have also moved their roasting operation to a separate location, which means there’s more space at both cafés. Guests can tour and visit the roastery for tastings, as well as buy beans retail and other coffee supplies. The café is open daily 7am-5pm at 3629 Taraval St. at 46th Ave., and the roastery is open Wed-Fri 7am-12pm and Sat-Sun 7am-3pm at 3016 Taraval St. at 40th Ave. [Via Hoodline.]


The exterior of Mamacita. Photo via Facebook.

A sudden closure this past week was ~MAMACITA~ on Chestnut, after 12 years of business. Partners Stryker Scales and chef Sam Josi will reportedly be coming up with another concept for the space, while partner Nate Valentine has moved on to his own new project, August Hall.

I was reading one of my weekly Nextdoor neighborhood updates and learned ~THE CORNER STORE~ in Anza Vista/Laurel Heights has closed after five years in business. You can read their farewell note on Facebook. Their burger and butterscotch pudding will be missed by many regulars.

Tablehopper tipster Jason B. sent along a pic of a farewell letter from ~POLKER’S~, which is closing because they lost their lease after more than 20 years on Polk. The sign mentions their last day is April 2nd, and the East Bay’s Troy Greek will be moving in with a fourth location, their first in SF. 2226 Polk St. at Vallejo.


Cassava. Photo: ©


An al pastor taco from Glena’s. Photo via Instagram.

There’s nothing like seeing a community rally for a beloved neighborhood restaurant. After the owners of ~CASSAVA BAKERY + CAFÉ~ placed a call for help (they ran into some debt from their recent expansion, and winter sales were slow), their customers and friends have sprung into action, contributing $34K of their $50K GoFundMe goal in five days! An article on Hoodline even mentions their landlord offered a cash donation or temporary rent discount, amazing, and neighboring restaurants and businesses have also contributed. They could still use your help, so please consider contributing to their fundraiser (any money you donate is applied to a meal!), or come by for brunch or a midweek dinner soon. Best to you, Yuka and Kris—you’re gonna make it through!

Haven’t been able to make it over to ~GLENA’S~ in Dogpatch for tacos and pozole for lunch yet? Owners Michael and Stephanie Gaines are ready to welcome you over for dinner now too. The liquor license is still a couple of weeks out, FYI—margaritas are imminent! Sun-Thu 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm. 632 20th St. at 3rd St., 415-800-7415.

Congrats to chef Ryan Pollnow (Aatxe), who is now executive chef of Ne Timeas Restaurant Group, while chef Thomas McNaughton is now CEO and culinary director. Pollnow will provide creative and operational direction for Central Kitchen, Salumeria, and Flour + Water, in addition to Aatxe.