The Chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)
February 14, 2017
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The glowing cobalt bar area at Rooh. Photo: Sameer Yagnik.

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The dining room, with blue booths separated by gold mesh curtains. Photo: Sameer Yagnik.

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Beetroot Kanji, made with tequila and beetroot spice shrub. Photo: Anthony Thornton.

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Lamb shank nihari with ginger, saffron, cilantro, chile gremolata. Photo: Anthony Thornton.

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The paneer pinweel in red pepper makhani. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

San Francisco’s upscale Indian restaurant scene keeps on ramping up, and the latest addition is ~ROOH~ (which means soul or spirit). It’s the first project in the U.S. from Good Times Restaurant Group (the Bhambri family) in India—they have restaurants and nightclubs in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, and other locations. The chef is Sujan Sarkar, a top-rated chef who has cooked around the world. Sarkar has created a progressive menu that melds regional Indian flavors, modern techniques, and local and seasonal ingredients.

There is a seven-course tasting menu ($80), as well as an à la carte dinner menu that includes some fun bar bites, like chile, pea, and goat cheese-stuffed kulcha; Goan chorizo Scotch egg; and the can’t-miss Kashmiri duck puff. The section of small plates is extensive and intriguing, and at least half of the dishes are vegetarian.

It’s a good thing Sarkar has a big kitchen team from the Good Times’ other Indian restaurants with him here, because there is also an extensive listing of large plates. At a preview meal, we got to taste the elegant paneer pinwheel, such a fun presentation of this classic dish, with a deeply flavorful red pepper makhani, fenugreek, and butter emulsion; the same sauce is used with their tandoori chicken. The tandoori portobello with polenta was a surprise hit at the table. I will admit I thought it sounded too much like a 2002 dish with its truffle oil, but the bite I had made me not care what year it was. Don’t miss the side of black dairy dal—just letting you know. The Indian breads are also fun to try.

The presentations are refined, with many innovative touches and details. Save room for the banana tarte Tatin and tutti-frutti cassata, some of the best Indian-inspired desserts I’ve had.

The creative cocktails are playful, feature many culinary influences, and are based on Ayurveda and its six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, astringent, and bitter. Maybe come before your reservation and hope for a seat at the swanky cobalt blue bar. The Banaras Sour is a good place to start (gin, basil, cucumber, Chartreuse), and the Beetroot Kanji is made with tequila and beetroot spice shrub. The Mustard Old-Fashioned features mustard ghee-washed Four Roses bourbon—it’s wild.

The SoMa location is in the base of the Dropbox building, and they did a lot to build out what was otherwise a rather industrial and characterless shell. The interior has many flashy touches, with bright colors and shimmery chandeliers plus tiled flooring. The dining area features blue booths separated by gold mesh curtains, and there are wicker-backed chairs throughout, although the barstools also have patent cherry red seats and lanterns suspended above.

Open for dinner Mon-Thu 5:30pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm, with a late-night menu Fri-Sat 10:30pm-12:30am. Happy hour, lunch, and brunch to follow shortly. 333 Brannan St. at 2nd St.

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You can’t miss the cheerful exterior of Bayou in the Mission. Photo via Instagram.

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Frog legs are on the menu at Bayou. Photo courtesy of Arthur Wall.

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Gumbo, broiled oysters gratinée, and barbecue shrimp. Photo via Instagram.

Newly open as of Saturday is ~BAYOU CREOLE KITCHEN AND ROTISSERIE~ in the Mission. It’s in the former Young’s BBQ space and is from Garcon’s Jerome Rivoire and chef Arthur Wall, a New Orleans native. It’s meant to be a casual and authentic place, no-frills but still mindful (Wall described it as “a po’boy shop on steroids”). It’s also designed to be affordable, with most menu items ranging from $10-$20. They expect to do a lot of takeout, delivery, and catering.

Wall is excited to be cooking his native dishes. You’ll find a menu (here’s the preliminary menu, subject to change!) of po’boys (from fried soft-shell crab to oysters to boudin, served on Leidenheimer rolls he’s flying out from NOLA), seafood or chicken and andouille gumbo, broiled oysters gratinée, shrimp cocktail, and some other classics like frog legs and a few slighty nicer entrées like sole (or flounder) meunière, crawfish étouffée, and filet mignon medallions with mushroom peppercorn sauce. There is also a rotisserie, which they’ll be spinning Creole-spiced chicken and baby back ribs on.

They have a close relationship with and will be sourcing their meats with Olivier Cordier of Olivier’s Butchery in Dogpatch (he grew up with Rivoire in Burgundy), and the seafood is from Louisiana and the Gulf (via Gulfish), including Gulf oysters, shrimp, catfish, and blue crab fingers. Look for some seafood boils when it’s the season, and you know they’ll have some specials for Mardi Gras.

There are wines by the glass, either an affordable $8 selection or you can spring for a Gigondas—it’s up to the guest how much they’d like to spend, but they want people to feel like there’s a lot of value. The dining room has 22 seats and features some eclectic artwork. It reopens for dinner this Wed, and soft opening service for now is dinner Tue-Sat. They’ll launch lunch either this weekend or next, when hours will extend to Tue-Sat 11am-11pm. Sunday brunch will be coming later. 3412 17th St. at Valencia.

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

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The bar at the new Glena’s, which will be serving margaritas and more in March. Photo courtesy of Glena’s.

Opening tomorrow in Dogpatch is ~GLENA’S~ from Michael Gaines (Kin Khao, Central Kitchen, Manresa), a casual taco and margarita spot we told you about last year. It’s in the former The New Spot in the Dogpatch, and he’s opening it with his wife, Stephanie Gaines (Plow), who will be acting as the GM.

His menu features some classic taco styles (al pastor, carne asada, grilled fish, and Hodo Soy tofu), with meat tacos on Sonoritas (flour tortillas with lard) and fish and vegetarian tacos on corn, both kinds are from La Palma. Meats are organic, and all the tacos are $5. Gaines says his food has a California sensibility, bright with acid and freshness, and are a touch lighter (for example, the beans aren’t cooked with lard and are vegetarian).

Other dishes include ceviche tostadas wtih Gulf prawns, pozole made with Rancho Gordo hominy, and eggs and chorizo with fried potatoes, onions, garlic, chile, chorizo, and two poached eggs in a cazuela. Yes, please. There’s also a fried chicken torta, sides like sweet plantains, and churros for dessert.

Once the liquor license kicks in (they are hoping for early March), beverage director Lachlan Bray (Kin Khao, Tosca) has some good things in store. There will be cocktail classics like a margarita and a Paloma, but here’s where things get fun: they want to bring back the blended margarita and make a really, really good one. Can’t wait. There will be four other cocktails, ranging from a spritzer to a low-ABV selection to a spirituous option, and there will be a non-tequila drink too. Bray says his cocktails will be made with quality ingredients and will be approachable and quickly executable.

The space has 31 seats, and they designed it to be good for to-go service. For now, Glena’s is open Mon-Fri 11am-3pm, and once they can serve alcohol (I’ll let you know, don’t you worry), it will be open daily 11am-11pm. 632 20th St. at 3rd St., 415-800-7415.

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

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

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Thai red curry beef taco with pineapple-arbol chile salsa, roast shrimp powder, coconut flakes, basil. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

On Friday evening, I attended a preview party for the upcoming ~MESTIZA TAQUERIA~ in SoMa, and when it opens at the end of this month, you’re going to be happy about that. The owner is Deanna Sison Foster (Farmerbrown, Little Skillet, Victory Hall & Parlor), who is working with consulting chef Sophina Uong (Calavera, Revival Bar & Kitchen, Picán, 900 Grayson).

The name Mestiza, which means mixed culture or heritage, gives you a clear hint about what’s going on with the street food-inspired menu. It’s like a Mexican taqueria, with flavors and ingredients from the Philippines, plus Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Some tacos on the potential lineup include Filipino pork adobo with ginger salsa cruda and achara; Khmer lemongrass chicken with serrano-avocado crema, peanuts, pink onions, pickled Fresno chiles; and Thai red curry beef with pineapple-arbol chile salsa, roast shrimp powder, coconut flakes, basil. And for $1 more, you can have the tacos in a queso shell. Uh-huh.

Some more straightforward options are carne asada, hongos y rajas (shiitake and oyster mushrooms, rajas, Spanish onions, eggplant salsa negro, avocado crema, pink onions, radish sprouts), and grilled rock cod (with pineapple-arbol chile salsa, Spanish onion salad, and cilantro). All tacos will range from $3.50-$4.

There are also tostadas (vegetarian or Gulf shrimp), a chopped salad, mixto bowls with a choice of protein and garlic rice (yes!), ceviches, and pulutan (Filipino finger food, like pork adobo empanadas, lechón, and sweet plantains). There will be housemade beverages (including cinnamon horchata, pineapple ginger, cucumber mint, and hibiscus watermelon aquas frescas), a well-selected beer program with seven to nine taps, a tight wine selection, and low-ABV beer and wine cocktails, like a pineapple sangrita, tamarind michelada, and a calamansi lime shandy.

It’s opening in the former Chavo’s, although you’ll hardly recognize it now. The outdoor patio is like an island beer garden and features a stunning floral mural by Jet Martinez, with plenty of plants and live edge wood tables, perfect for groups. The interior is full of more plants and has an easy tropical vibe.

Another thing to look forward to: in late summer, Mestiza Taqueria will also host a community of chefs and entrepreneurs through a series of pop-up dinners in collaboration with SoMa Pilipinas.

Hours will be Mon-Fri 11am-10pm, and eventually will ramp up with weekend brunch Sat-Sun 10am-4pm. Look for an opening in late Feb—will keep you posted! Follow along on Instagram. 595 Bryant St. at 4th St.

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Okane brunch with sides. Photo: Michael Ogata.

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The Bird. Photo: Aubrie Pick.

If you want to shake up your usual brunch routine, ~OKANE~ in SoMa has launched a prix-fixe brunch inspired by traditional kaiseki and onsen breakfasts. Choose from an $18, $20, or $22 menu, with dishes like grilled fish, chicken teriyaki, stewed pork belly, gyoza, vegetables, and sesame tofu, with salad, miso soup, pickles, and rice. It’s like having a bento box for brunch. You can also share larger dishes with your table, like kani lobster gohan, a rice bowl with crab and lobster meat ($16). Served Sat-Sun 10am-2pm. 669 Townsend St. at 8th St., 415-865-9788.

Popular FiDi fried chicken sandwich pushers ~THE BIRD~ are launching breakfast Wednesday February 15th. On the menu: fried chicken biscuits ($4.50) and other biscuit sandwiches (sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit; and bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit), and all come with hash rounds. There are also housemade apple fritters (don’t tell your cardiologist), Four Barrel drip coffee, and OJ. Serving Mon-Fri 8am-10am.

Beginning at 8am this Wednesday, they’ll be giving away 200 breakfast sandwiches to the first 200 people who stop by that morning. (It’s their way of saying thank you to the supportive fans who’ve waited in long lines for their fried chicken sandwiches). 115 New Montgomery St. at Minna, 415-872-9825.

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The bar and communal table at The Drawing Board. Photo: Molly DeCoudreaux.

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The Drawing Board’s gluten-free rosewater cardamom cake. Photo: Molly DeCoudreaux.

Now open in Downtown Petaluma is ~THE DRAWING BOARD~, an eatery from first-time restaurateur Rosie Wiggins. Chef Ariel Nadelberg (previously Seed + Salt) has crafted a menu that features minimally processed whole ingredients (many of them local and heirloom) with international influences that’s designed to fit many diets, from gluten-free to paleo. Dishes can include crudo, farinata pizzette, and duck confit cassoulet, and there are desserts from Robin Luu (Nopa, Bar Agricole). See, it’s not all restrictive—there’s also a full liquor license with a focus on herbaceous tinctures, tonics, shrubs, and bitters made from locally foraged botanicals. Dinner to start, and breakfast, lunch, and farm dinners will roll out soon. And look at the space, it’s pretty damn charming. Wed-Sun 5pm-12am. 190 Kentucky St. at Washington, Petaluma, 707-774-6689.

A longtime tablehopper reader (grazie, Gnocco!) forwarded an email to me from Christopher Lee—formerly the meat maestro of Eccolo—who is returning to the Bay Area after working in New York (at Il Buco) and Europe. It ends up he’s taking over Molly Best’s ~THISTLE MEATS~ in Petaluma (she is stepping away to be with her young family), and he will be transitioning the space into his own version of the butcher shop. In the email, he says, “The ‘new’ shop offerings will be diverse and will include fresh meats, poultry, game, sausages, and a range of house-cured meats and charcuterie, as it has done. But we’ll also offer excellent cold sandwiches to take away and tasty sausage sandwiches grilled to order. There’ll be a selection of condiments, vinegars, olive oils, salt, salt-packed capers and other jarred delights, and a selection of tinned seafood from Spain and Portugal, the beauty of which I discovered over the past few years. (They are a story unto themselves, a revived artisanal industry of extraordinary quality and charm.)”

There will also be some staples, and Lee mentions in time he’ll have a couple of pickup points: Bartavelle in Berkeley and Cosecha inside Swan’s Market in Oakland. 160 Petaluma Blvd. N. at Washington, Petaluma, 707-772-5442.

~WISE SONS~ is opening in the former Miette location in the Marin Country Mart in Larkspur. They are targeting mid-April to be open and serving bagels and bagel sandwiches, schmears, coffee, and deli items. 2227 Larkspur Landing Circle. [Via Scoop.]

February 7, 2017
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A look at the new Iza Ramen SoMa. Photo courtesy of Iza Ramen.

Perfect timing for this rainy-ass week. After gaining quite the following at their Lower Haight location, ~IZA RAMEN~ is expanding to SoMa. They will be opening their second location on Friday February 10th at 5pm. The menu is almost the same as Lower Haight’s, though they will be adding yakitori and kushiage skewers later. Dinner to start, and they may add lunch hours too. Hours are daily 5pm-9:45pm. 1155 Folsom St. at 8th St., 628-444-3070.

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A lineup of boba drinks from Boba Guys. Photo courtesy of Boba Guys.

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Sunday Bird in a box! Complete with honey-butter bao-scuits. Yelp photo via Sam L.

Last month I reported that ~BOBA GUYS~ was close to opening their fifth location on Fillmore Street (just next door to Wise Sons Bagelry), and they are now open. The menu features their trademark boba drinks made with brewed tea (no powders), Straus Family Creamery organic milk, and housemade syrups (no fructose). Drinks range from matcha-horchata to a strawberry-matcha latte. Open Tue-Thu 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-11pm, Sun 12pm-6pm. 1522 Fillmore St. at Geary, 415-967-2622.

Open in the back of the Boba Guys shop is ~SUNDAY BIRD~, a takeout Korean fried chicken spot from New York’s Deuki Hong, of the awesome Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong. Expect Mary’s birds, brined for 24 hours and double-fried (Korean Style), sold by the quarter, half, or whole. There are sides like honey-butter bao-scuits and slaw, and sauces too (soy-garlic, spicy Korean chile, and chicharrón). Hours are Mon-Fri 11am-9pm and Sat-Sun 11am-11pm. 1522 Fillmore St. at Geary.

A sneaky little dim sum parlor has opened above ~TASTE OF JIANGNAN~ called ~DIM SUM TEA HOUSE~. The intrepid Melanie Wong of Chow has pics of the menu and more. She also mentions there are “discount coupons good through the end of the month on the counter downstairs and upstairs.” Hours are 11am-3pm, dinner may come later. 332 Clement St. (second floor) at 5th Ave., 415-702-6711.

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Photo of the old interior from Rose Pistola. How many drinks people have had at that bar… Photo via Facebook.

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Prosciutto and jamón heaven at La Nebbia. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

I was just putting the finishing touches on this week’s column when I received the unfortunate news that ~ROSE PISTOLA~ has decided to close its doors after 21 years in business in North Beach. In their farewell note, they say, “While it’s been an amazing experience, with many friends and great memories made over the years, we have decided that due to rising costs it is no longer feasible to continue to operate. We have loved being part of this neighborhood and are so grateful for the support of the North Beach community over the past two decades. Many thanks to all our employees, vendors, and customers for their support and patronage over the years.”

Kudos to the team for such a long run, Rose Pistola was an integral part of the North Beach scene and the home of so many memories for people, both locals and tourists who would return again and again. I remember being so in love with their wood-fired pizzas and family-style dishes, the jazz and cocktails and outdoor seating. They did a lot of things right, and chef Steve Walker was doing a great job with his salumi and pasta dishes. Thanks to the team for taking such good care of so many people over the years. 532 Columbus Ave. at Green.

Sad news for Noe Valley (and beyond): Massimiliano Conti and Lorella Degan of La Ciccia have decided to close their casual pizzeria-enoteca, ~LA NEBBIA~. Scoop says they decided to take a step back, try to work a little less, and focus more on their precious La Ciccia. Anyone who knows these two knows how hard they work, so good for them on taking care of themselves, although La Nebbia (and its insane selection of aged prosciutto) will be missed by many as an easy neighborhood hang. There are supposedly takers already for the space. Once the deal is final, expect to hear what’s next. 1781 Church St. at 30th St.

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Nyum Bai’s chicken curry with nom pachok. Photo via Facebook.

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The chicken bowl, part of Taco Bowls for Dreamers at Comal. Photo courtesy of Comal.

SF’s loss is Emeryville’s big gain. After popping up as ~NYUM BAI~ and then enrolling in La Cocina’s incubator kitchen program, Cambodian Nite Yun is now serving her food from La Cocina’s pop-up stand in the Emeryville Public Market for six months (when she may have the opportunity to extend the lease or sign on for her own stall). Scoop reports she is serving three of her noodle soups: kuay teav Phnom Penh (rice noodles, minced pork, pork slices, crispy garlic, herbs, Khmer pork, shrimp broth), kuay teav Koh Ko (rice noodles, braised brisket, carrots, onions, crispy garlic, herbs, spicy beef broth, side bone marrow), and a vegetarian rice-noodle soup with roasted mushrooms and leeks. Hours are 11am-8pm daily. Emeryville Public Market, 5959 Shellmound St., Emeryville.

In response to the Cheeto’s recent executive orders targeting immigrants entering the United States, ~COMAL~ is running a Taco Bowls for Dreamers special throughout February on Mondays and Tuesdays. Come by for chef Matt Gandin’s fried flour tortilla “bowl” filled with rice, black beans, lettuce, pico de gallo, cheese, crema, guacamole, and a choice of either beef picadillo, rotisserie chicken, or seasonal vegetables ($15). Why a taco bowl? It’s in reference to Drumpf’s infamous 2016 Cinco de Mayo tweet that proclaimed his love for the taco bowl at Trump Tower Grill and “I love Hispanics.” Um, no. Net proceeds from taco bowl sales will be donated to the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant (you can donate here), a nonprofit organization that offers legal aid and support services to immigrants and refugees.

Nosh reports that ~AG FERRARI~ has closed in Elmwood after 27 years, citing the ever-increasing cost of doing business as the cause. Employees will reportedly be offered jobs at other AG Ferrari locations (4001 Piedmont Ave. and 6119 La Salle Ave. in Oakland and 688 Mission Street and 3490 California St. in San Francisco). 2905 College Ave. at Russell, Berkeley.

January 31, 2017
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Caviar and blini, a classic. Photo via The Caviar Co.’s Facebook page.

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Golden osetra. Photo via The Caviar Co.’s Facebook page.

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Osetra from The Caviar Co. Photo via The Caviar Co.’s Facebook page.

If you’re lucky, you may have already met the charming sisters behind ~THE CAVIAR CO.~, Petra and Saskia Bergstein, at some swish culinary events around town. (I attended a Ketel One vodka and caviar tasting during the holidays and enjoyed their fun yet informative attitude about caviar.) They supply national customers and a number of chefs and restaurants with their caviar and care deeply about sourcing sustainable and quality caviar, but they also like to offer affordable options so everyone can enjoy it.

The sisters are opening their first brick-and-mortar shop on Union Street, by Perry’s and right in the thick of things (they have just been online up to now). Visitors to the store will be able to ask questions and buy caviar and caviar-related items, like potato chips and mother-of-pearl spoons. The shop will stock their best sellers, like white sturgeon, local hackleback, spendier golden osetra, and smoked trout roe—perfect for your weekend brunch at home. And since they pack to order, their product is always fresh. Guests will also be able to pick up special orders at the shop, and their caviar club members will be greeted with a glass of Champagne (it will be their Caviar Clubhouse).

The room is going to be very Hollywood glam, with velvet, and there is also going to be a large marble table (with brass legs!) with room for 10, which is where they are going to hold special caviar tastings. When you book the experience, guests will have their own small jars to taste from and explore. Don’t have 10 friends to do it with? No problem, just talk to the sisters about what you want to do, and they’ll work with you. They also offer caviar catering for events and private parties and have a custom trike for events that you will see in the shop as well.

They will be doing a soft opening for Valentine’s Day needs, and the grand opening will be in March. Follow along on Instagram to keep up with the news (and here, of course). Hours are TBD, but are looking like 10am-6pm for now. 1954 Union St. at Laguna.

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You can’t miss the colorful entrance to Garden Creamery. Photo via Facebook.

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The Strawberry Pretzel pop at Garden Creamery. Yelp photo by Rodney H.

Back in 2015, we mentioned the closure of ~JOCELYN’S BAKERY~ in the Mission, and we have been tracking the progress of ~GARDEN CREAMERY~, which is taking its place (some of you may know their bright watermelon-colored truck). Thanks to some longtime tablehopper readers, I learned Hawaiian-born owner Erin Lang and her boyfriend Donny Capozzi softly opened their first brick-and-mortar location over the weekend. And like the truck, you can’t miss it.

You will find flavors made with Straus organic dairy, as well as vegan ice cream (it’s coconut-based and sweetened with agave nectar) and sorbets. Some flavors include chocolate made with Guittard, Thai tea, mango chile lime, guabanero (guava and habanero), and rocky road sorbet. There are semifreddo pops and sandwiches that you can have dipped into all kinds of toppings, like a Strawberry Pretzel pop, with strawberry mousse dipped in white chocolate and salty pretzels, or a Crunch Daddy sandwich, with your choice of peanut butter or chocolate mousse sandwiched between cocoa or classic Rice Krispies treats. And there are brownie sundaes too.

Once their mixer starts behaving, they’ll also be offering chimney cones on the weekend, which are like Hungarian doughnut cones. Imagine a crisp and flaky cinnamon sugar-dusted cone with a soft interior holding a scoop of ice cream. Yeah, you want that. Hours are Tue-Sun 12pm-10pm. 3566 20th St. at Lexington.

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A selection of Japanese hot dogs, now available for lunch at ICHI Sushi. Photo: Darren Samuelson.

A couple of Korean openings for you, starting with ~THE KOREAN KITCHEN~, now open in the Inner Sunset and serving a menu of classics like bibimbap, tofu soup, jap chae noodles, and more. Open Mon and Wed-Fri 11am-3pm and 5pm-10pm, Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11am-9pm, closed Tue. 1220 9th Ave. at Lincoln, 415-566-5777.

There’s a new all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue place in the former Juban Yakiniku House in Japantown called ~BEQUE~ (it also has locations in Santa Clara and Newark). You can look at the menu and pricing here. Lunch is $15.99 and dinner is $21.99. Beer towers in effect. 1581 Webster St. Suite 145 at Post, 415-872-9868. Open Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm and 4:30pm-12am, Sat-Sun 11:30am-12am.

Let’s move away from meats for a moment, because you also need some vegetables. Opening Wednesday February 1st in ~THE HALL~ is the second location of Oakland’s ~CORE KITCHEN~, which claims to be the world’s first produce-only restaurant, making meals only from fruits and vegetables, without salt or oil. The location will be open Mon-Fri 11am-8pm. Although it seems it will be short-lived since it looks like The Hall’s temporary existence is truly limited—Hoodline reports it will be closing at some point since plans for the building taking its place have just been approved, so demolition should be soon. 1028 Market St. at 6th St.

Great news for the ~ICHI SUSHI~ crew, who keep on trucking. They are now serving lunch during the week, including sushi rolls and a selection of Japanese hot dogs (like a kimchi dog, curry dog, and mapo tofu dog), plus seasonal side dishes. Grab a seat at the counter, crack open a beer, and congratulate yourself on knowing how to do lunch right. Open Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm. 3369 Mission St. at 30th St.

Night owls and partiers: ~MEZCALITO~ on Polk Street is now open late, until 2am, with food available until 11pm. 2323 Polk St. at Green.

Just before Valentine’s Day, ~TOUT SWEET PÂTISSERIE~ is moving from the third floor to the ground floor at Macy’s Union Square, right at the Geary Street entrance. And to celebrate, the first 100 customers each day from February 1st-5th will receive a free Valentine’s Day Hot Lips, from chef Yigit Pura.

Was sorry to read that Emily Day is closing her Lower Nob Hill bake shop, ~FLOUR & CO.~, after almost four years. The Hoodline piece mentions she will continue to sell some items online, like her granola. 1030 Hyde St. at California.

It seems things were slipping for a while at ~KIJI JAPANESE~ on Guerrero with the new owners that came on last fall, and now it has closed. 1009 Guerrero St. at 22nd St.

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The distinctive custom leather banquettes at Belcampo. Photo via Belcampo’s Facebook page.

Affordable and awesome meals are always appreciated, so here are a few to have on your radar. At ~BELCAMPO~ on Polk, they are starting a weekly Home-Cooked Sunday Supper series, a comforting three-course dinner for $35 per person. Each week, the menu will feature a recipe from Belcampo founder and CEO Anya Fernald’s cookbook, Home Cooked (and with the purchase of the Home-Cooked Sunday Supper, diners will receive 50 percent off the cookbook). Sample dishes include beef tartare or market salad; steak frites, spaghetti bolognese, the Belcampo Burger, or wild-caught fish; and dessert like warm seasonal crisp or flourless chocolate cake. 1998 Polk St. at Pacific, 415-660-5573.

And then on Mondays, ~JARDINIÈRE~’s Monday Night Supper Club is back, a three-course menu that changes every week for $55 per person WITH beverage pairings. Sweet! Check their site for updates.

First Fridays is when ~1300 ON FILLMORE~ hosts Fried Chicken Friday. You get a three-course prix-fixe menu for $29: mixed green salad, David’s fried chicken with mashed potatoes, and chef’s selection of dessert. And look at that, this Friday February 3rd is a first Friday. Bwok!

Hard-core brunch partiers, one more to add to your repertoire is ~CHAMBERS EAT + DRINK~, which has added bottomless mimosas every Saturday to go with your Eggs Royale (sous vide eggs, crispy hash browns, cold smoked trout, mandarin hollandaise, caviar, chive, dill, crème fraîche) and other tasty-sounding brunch dishes on chef Yosuke Machida’s menu. Just $18 to add bottomless mimosas with the purchase on an entrée. Sat only, 10:30am-2:30pm. 601 Eddy St at Larkin, 415-496-5178.  

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A look at the new Curry Up Now in Oakland. Photo courtesy of CUN.

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The communal table at the new Curry Up Now in Oakland. Photo courtesy of CUN.

Now open in Oakland is ~CURRY UP NOW~’s first East Bay location, adjacent to The New Parish, with 50 seats inside and 16 outside. Come by for their playful spins on Indian street food, like a tikka masala burrito and deconstructed samosa. They also serve classic street food dishes like bhel puri (puffed rice, potato garbanzo mash, cucumber) and two of my favorites, vada pav (mashed potato fritter sandwiched between an Amul buttered bun) and pav bhaji (a Mumbai slider with a mash of cauliflower, beans, carrots, potatoes, and peas).

New to the menu are kofta fauja singh (chicken or lamb kofta meatballs), Indian railway cutlet (schnitzel-like cutlet of crumb fried Maggi masala noodle and vegetables with sriracha aioli), and kababpav (chicken or lamb kofta meatballs on a Amul buttered bun with onions, chutney, hot sauce, and chips). Dine in or do takeout (off-premise catering is also available). Dishes range from $5.50 to $15. Beer, wine, and sangria are also served. Open daily 11am-9pm, with possible late night hours after New Parish events. 1745 San Pablo Ave. at 18th St., Oakland.

January 24, 2017
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Boudin balls. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Gumbo. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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The bar at Alba Ray’s (the shelves will be filled in more, trust). Photo: Pierce Larick/New Revolution Media.

I have been keeping you posted on ~ALBA RAY’S~, and just last night, the bar and restaurant opened in the Mission from owner Alvin Garcia and chef-partner Adam Rosenblum (Causwells, Popsons Burgers). This homage to New Orleans is named after Rosenblum’s baby daughter (Alba) and Garcia’s son, and the intention is to have it be a fun space for cocktails, dinners of Cajun fare, seafood boils with friends (right now with head-on shrimp, corn, potatoes, and andouille), and crawfish when it’s in season (plan on March to May).

The menu features classics like charbroiled Gulf oysters with herbed butter and romano cheese, boudin balls with a kicky Creole mustard aioli, a beautifully dark-hued gumbo, shrimp and grits, and two kinds of jambalaya (which is actually prepared paella style and served tableside). There are also dishes like salade lyonnaise and seafood linguine to round things out. Rosenblum worked at New Orleans’ Herbsaint, and the chef de cuisine is Matt Woods, previously executive chef at Schmidt’s and a New Orleans native. And we have Jimmy Galle of Gulfish to thank for the legit seafood sourced from the Gulf.

Groups will be able to take over the five six-person booths, and there will also be a zinc-topped communal table by the kitchen that seats 16. There are two-tops and round café-style tables in the dining room, along with ferns, ornamental iron arches and corbels, vintage chandeliers, and a velvet banquette. The 100-seat space was designed by Arcsine (Calavera, Duende).

The bar has nine New Orleans classic cocktails (like a Sazerac, Hurricane, French 75), plus absinthe service, and some blended drinks (gotta have a frozen Irish coffee) will be coming soon. Beers range from Abita to Belgian to Japanese, and Tom Patella (a partner at Causwells) and Rafael Souza (Lolinda) are behind the wine list.

Open Sun-Thu 5:30pm-11pm (bar and bar food until 12am), Fri-Sat 5:30pm-12am (bar and bar food until 1am). 2293 Mission St. at 19th St., 415-872-9409.

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Classic Halal Guys combo platter. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Homegrown’s winter seasonal sandwich for SF: grilled cheese with Black Mission fig jam, local Brie, organic apple, caramelized onions, and greens. Photo: Homegrown Sustainable Sandwiches.

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Gelato from Coletta. Photo: Chloe List.

Opening this Friday January 27th will be the first location of New York’s ~THE HALAL GUYS~ in San Francisco. The Union Square/Tenderloin restaurant is opening in the former Naan ‘n’ Curry space. You can order their classic street food dishes: chicken and/or gyro or falafel over rice or in a wrap (the platter comes with rice, pita, lettuce, and tomatoes). Sides include fries, hummus, and tahini, and baklava for dessert. Remember: the white sauce is what will save you from their crazy-hot red sauce! There are late-night hours too. Look for an opening soon in Berkeley. Hours: Sun-Wed 10am-2am, Thu-Sat 10am-4am. 336 O’Farrell St. at Mason.

Newly open in the FiDi is ~HOMEGROWN SUSTAINABLE SANDWICHES~, a Seattle-based sandwich shop. It’s known for being sustainable and environmentally friendly, and it even has its own organic farm that supplies produce for its Seattle locations. As for SF, the founders did some very local sourcing for the menu of sandwiches, salads, soups, and warm quinoa bowls—look for seasonal items too. They are currently looking to to start their own farm here as well—this is the first shop to open in the Bay Area, two more will be coming to Danville and Lafayette. Open Mon-Fri 7am-6pm for breakfast and lunch. 222 Battery St. at California.

Gelato lovers will want to check out the new ~COLETTA~ that just opened in SoMa. The founders—Venezuelan-born Antonio Massimini and Swiss native Henri Waltenspühl—attended Bologna’s Carpigiani Gelato University (I’d like an MA from there) and are taking things to the next level by making and pasteurizing their own gelato base in a state-of-the-art “clean room.” Look for superfresh gelato made daily with their own infusions from spices and herbs, with flavors like Almost Chai, Irish Coffee, Mint Chocolate Chip Stracciatella, and sorbetti too. Cones and pints are available. Open Mon-Sat 11am-8pm. 685 Harrison St. at 3rd St.

A quick reminder that ~KINJO~—a sushi restaurant from the chef-owner of Saru in Noe Valley and Ijji on Divis, Billy Kong, and the chef-owner of Seiya in San Carlos, Kuo Hwa Chuang—opens tonight on Russian Hill. Takatoshi Toshi of Sushi Ran is running the kitchen, serving Edomae-style omakase sushi ($120). Open Tue-Sun 5:30pm-10pm. 2206 Polk St. at Vallejo, 415-921-2222.

~URBAN REMEDY~ just opened in Hayes Valley, serving organic and plant-based food and juices, with six new menu items such as Blue Magic Milk and Umeboshi Sushi Salad. This is the company’s ninth location. There is both indoor and outdoor seating. 450 Hayes St. at Octavia.

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Chicken lunch special at Deccan Spice. Yelp photo by Asma K.

Some quick tidbits for you (and I mean quick): looks like ~DECCAN SPICE~, the Hyderabadi Indian spot on Valencia Street, is taking over the former A.G. Ferrari space in the Castro. 468 Castro St. at Market. [Via Hoodline.]

Chef Alicia Jenish-McCarron’s new menu is in place at ~BLACK CAT~. Look for updated supper club cuisine with NorCal ingredients and modern techniques, like chicken-fried Devil’s Gulch rabbit with tea-soaked prunes and bacon-onion gravy; chicken roulade with king trumpet mushrooms, porcini cream, and cress; and the Kitten Burger with house pimento cheese, aged cheddar, lettuce, radish, carrot, and house-cut fries. Vegetarians will dig a Moroccan quinoa with chard, radish salad, and carrot soubise.

Have you ever dreamed about how amazing Paula Wolfert’s culinary library must be? Well, this is a bit heartbreaking, but she is actually selling it right now: her cookbooks in English are being sold at Green Apple Books in San Francisco, and you can find some of her foreign language cookbooks for sale on eBay. Don’t delay!

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A feast at Hawker Fare. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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1951 Coffee Company. Photo courtesy of 1951.

Some unfortunate news out of Oakland: chef-owner James Syhabout is closing ~HAWKER FARE~ on Saturday February 18th. (Let’s all pause for a collective groan.) Sadly it’s about the building—which has been sold with the surrounding buildings to investors—so the area is going to be developed (and Eater reports his lease went month to month). So he decided to close up shop. Fortunately the SF location will continue forth, and Syhabout is also plenty busy with his redux of The Dock. His first cookbook is coming out too. For a full-on experience with Lao Issan funk, plan on coming by Hawker Fare Oakland during its final week, when Syhabout is reportedly going to be bringing the heat and running dishes that didn’t end up in the cookbook. 2300 Webster St. at 23rd St., Oakland, 510-832-8896.

And now for some good news: Downtown Oakland has a wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizzeria that just opened, ~BARE KNUCKLE PIZZA~ (you may recognize Viet Nguyen from his farmers’ market stall). There are pies for everyone, even a vegan pie. Open Tue-Sat 5pm-9pm. 351 12th St. at Webster, Oakland, 510-463-1524. [Via Nosh.]

More pizza: Charlie Hallowell will be opening a second location of his ~BOOT AND SHOE SERVICE~, this time in downtown Berkeley in the former Build Pizzeria space. Look for an opening in a year or so. There is also an 8,000-square-foot basement club, but plans are TBD. 2286 Shattuck Ave. at Bancroft, Berkeley. [Via Nosh.]

The socially conscious and nonprofit ~1951 COFFEE COMPANY~ is now open in Berkeley, providing employment to graduates from a refugee barista training program. Here’s more: “To date, 1951 Coffee Company has 26 graduates of its barista training program and participants have gone on to secure jobs at Blue Bottle, Due Torri, and Dropbox, among others. Currently, the training program is able to enroll eight participants per each two-week cycle. And now, graduates have the opportunity to gain additional experience by working at the café in Berkeley.” Co-founders Doug Hewitt and Rachel Taber partnered with the creative team at Montaag, a Norwegian-American research and design agency, to collaborate on the 1,176-square-foot interior that also helps educate coffee patrons about the path to resettlement. You’ll find an assortment of coffee drinks by Verve Coffee Roasters, cold brew from Berkeley’s Algorithm, and pastries from a variety of local bakeries. Open Mon-Fri 7am-7pm, Sat-Sun 8am-7pm. 2410 Channing Way at Dana, Berkeley.

More cawfee: there’s a new café in Albany, ~HAL’S OFFICE~, which opened next door to Bonnee and Abraham Elterman’s frozen yogurt shop, As You Wish. Nosh reports they are serving Counter Culture Coffee, along with pastries from Oakland’s Firebrand. For now, hours are daily 7:30am-5:30pm. 1207 Solano Ave. at Cornell, Albany.

January 17, 2017
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Last week at Sunday Joint at Magnolia: prime rib of Brandt beef, Yorkshire pudding and beef gravy, duck fat-roasted potatoes, and roasted fennel, broccoli, parsnips, red onions, and carrots. Photo: Kaitlyn Chiu.

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Gnocchi Tuesdays at Barzotto mean dishes like potato gnocchi in chorizo ragù with rapini leaves, slow-cooked egg, and bread crumbs. Photo via Instagram.

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The cart for bollito misto at Poggio. Photo courtesy of Poggio via Facebook.

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From Eat Chinatown: Hon’s Wun Tun House. Photo: Andria Lo.

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1760 chef Carl Foronda and Acquerello chef Suzette Gresham. Photo: Grace Sager Photography.

There’s nothing like a good Sunday night roast, which ~MAGNOLIA GASTROPUB & BREWERY~ obviously understands, as they just launched a new weekly dinner, Sunday Joint. (And since it’s in the Haight, the other joint makes sense too.) Each prix-fixe Sunday Joint dinner (always under $40 per guest) will center around a cut or joint of meat, such as beef prime rib, pork loin, or leg of lamb, plus an appetizer and sides like Yorkshire pudding, roasted potatoes, and other vegetables. And, oh yes, there will be dessert, like a seasonal trifle or sticky toffee pudding. Starts at 4pm and available until it runs out. Weekly menu details will be revealed via Facebook and Instagram as each dinner approaches.

Also in the Haight, the new ~SLICE HOUSE~ by Tony Gemignani is honoring Janis Joplin’s birthday on Thursday January 19th with a special pie (Cry Baby), a spicy number topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, red and white onions, garlic, serrano chile, Calabrese chile, shallots, and ‘nduja. Buy a slice and receive a free psychedelic lemonade or fountain drink of your choice, all day. Open Sun-Thu 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm. 1535 Haight St. at Ashbury, 415-552-2520.

~BARZOTTO~ has added gnocchi night to Tuesday dinner (5:30pm-10pm). Each week, there will be an off-menu gnocchi special, like potato gnocchi with herbed brown butter, walnuts, and balsamic, or sweet potato gnocchi. (And don’t forget, their Italian ramen is on Sundays and Mondays.)

Fans of ~POGGIO~ in Sausalito know this is the time of year they host their annual bollito misto. Come by January 25th-29th, and chef Benjamin Balesteri will be carving tableside a variety of meats simmered in a rich broth and served with sauces like salsa verde, horseradish crème fraîche, bone marrow butter, and kumquat mostarda. On the cart, you can expect to find cotechino sausage, beef tongue, brisket, veal breast, and oxtail. This traditional Milanese winter meal is $25 per person.

On Friday January 20th, you can ignore the inauguration footage and head to the opening party for the Eat Chinatown exhibit instead. This photo exhibit by Andria Lo and Valerie Luu (the duo behind Chinatown Pretty/@chinatownpretty) is at 41 Ross, and it commemorates classic Chinatown restaurants, diners, and bakeries that have been open for more than 40 years—and their patrons. The opening reception is 5pm-9pm, and beer and snacks from featured restaurants will be provided (including New Lun Ting Cafe/Pork Chop House, Capital Restaurant, Hon’s Wun Tun House, and Eastern Bakery). The exhibition is up through April 9th, don’t miss it (gallery hours are Thu-Sun 11am-4pm). 41 Ross Alley at Jackson.

This weekend is also the 2017 Good Food Awards, with 193 food crafters in town on Friday January 20th for the Good Food Awards Ceremony, with small bites, cocktails, and the winning food and drink at the reception. On Sunday January 22nd is the Good Food Awards Marketplace at Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion (8am-2pm). For $5, you can buy a ticket for access to the marketplace, with 75 of the winners selling their winning food and drink, many of which are normally unavailable in the Bay Area. (Retailers and media are also invited to join 140 of the winners at the Good Food Merchants Guild at the industry-only Good Food Mercantile for $35 on Saturday January 21st.)

Whatcha doing on Sunday January 22nd? Book a seat for this collaborative dinner with Acquerello chef Suzette Gresham and Carl Foronda of ~1760~. Both chefs are having fun with this cross-cultural dinner and coloring outside their usual lines. Courses include mini lumpia with shrimp and longanisa and lobster cannoli, and “Spam” embutido musubi and truffled arancini. Tickets are $65 per person (wine option available as an add-on) with multiple seating times from 5:30pm-9:30pm.  

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The well-known (and loved) signage of Lefty O’Doul’s. Yelp photo by Alan B.

An unfortunate landlord dispute is bringing down a classic and beloved San Francisco institution: ~LEFTY O’DOUL’S~ in Union Square is closing Friday February 3rd. The dispute is between landlord Jon Handlery and Lefty O’Doul’s owner Nick Bovis. If those names ring a bell, it’s because it’s the same duo who locked horns over the Gold Dust Lounge, which was just around the corner before Bovis was evicted and saved the bar by moving it to its current location in Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s pretty despicable to see this happening all over again.

Hoodline reports Bovis has already stripped the Lefty’s walls of their memorabilia in an effort to save them from Handlery’s claims that he owns the name and contents of the restaurant. Bovis is reportedly hoping to secure a nearby location in Union Square where they can reopen Lefty’s later this year. And Handlery says he’s going to reopen Lefty’s in the current location. This is gonna get ugly. (You can read more about the history of the baseball-lovin’ restaurant and bar here.) 333 Geary St. at Powell, 415-982-8900.

I was sorry to get an email from Andrea de Francisco, the owner of ~CAFÉ ST. JORGE~ in Bernal that she is selling the business after opening her love letter to Portugal back in 2013. Silver lining: the new owners (the Saleh family) are keeping it exactly the same—same staff, same menu, same everything. Andrea will be staying on for a bit and training after the sale goes through, so be sure to swing by and give her your best wishes over the next month or so. She says she is going to miss you! 3438 Mission St. at Kingston.

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Nasty women and bad hombres at Brenda’s French Soul Food. Photo courtesy of Brenda’s.

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This weekend is going to be an intense one, with protests and Women’s Marches and even a performance art piece across the Golden Gate Bridge as the inauguration happens. Some San Francisco businesses are adding their voices to the dissent and offering support to Planned Parenthood and other crucial services and organizations.

From ~BRENDA’S FRENCH SOUL FOOD~: “On Fri Jan 20th and Sat Jan 21st in protest of the incoming presidential administration, the owners of Brenda’s French Soul Food and ~LIBBY JANE CAFE~ will be donating 10 percent of all sales to Planned Parenthood and the SFILEN (San Francisco Immigrant Legal and Education Network). At this pivotal point in our country’s history, the owners and managers agreed that any gesture to support anti-hate groups, provide a space of inclusivity, and offer extra support to our immigrant community that the restaurant industry depends so heavily on is vitally important.

“Our goal this weekend is to provide comfort and solace to those who may find themselves on the streets of the Civic Center exercising their freedom of speech, while knowing that they will also be supporting two important cause groups.”

~TACOS CALA~, the taco shop behind ~CALA~ in Hayes Valley, is generously donating proceeds from taco sales all week (!) to organizations that help preserve our rights, including Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Watch, Centro Legal de la Raza, Horizons Foundation, and the ACLU. Open Mon-Fri 11am-2pm. Hickory Street (behind 149 Fell St.).

There is also this list on Facebook of “California businesses [that] are showing their support for Planned Parenthood and all that it does to provide critical health services and provide responsible family planning. On [Friday] January 20th, companies throughout California are donating proceeds from sales and making other contributions to Planned Parenthood Advocacy and Planned Parenthood Texas, which is on the verge of having its Medicaid funding cut.

“You can show the incoming administration that the people of this great state are with Planned Parenthood and all that it does by opening your wallet and supporting these businesses on Inauguration day. Please check back as the list of participating businesses is growing every day. If you have a business of any type and would like to participate, please email Pamela or Tala.” (Thanks Pamela Busch and Tala Drzewiecki for assembling this amazing list! If you’re in LA, there are some businesses listed as well!)

San Francisco
Bi-Rite Market - $1,000 cash donation (3639 18th Street, Mission, and 550 Divisadero, NOPA)
Castro Village Wine Company - 10% of sales on 1/20 (4121 19th Street, Castro)
Christopher’s Books - 10% sales on 1/20 (1400 18th Street, Potrero Hill)
Collage Gallery - 10% sales on 1/20 (1345 18th Street, Potrero Hill)
Delfina - (3621 18th Street, Mission)
Dig Wine - 100% of Friday night tasting fee. Six wines from Domaine Sigaut in Chambolle-Musigny, $35. (1005 Minnesota Street, Dogpatch)
Doc’s Clock - 50% of proceeds from bar on 1/20 (2575 Mission Street, Mission)
Dynamo Donut - 10% of sales on 1/20 (2760 24th Street, Mission)
El Rio - 100% of proceeds from bar on 1/20 (3158 Mission St, Mission)
Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant - 10% of sales on 1/20 (One Ferry Building, #23, San Francisco)
Fig & Thistle Wine Bar - 100% of profits from special rosé flight on 1/20 (313 Ivy Street, Hayes Valley)
Fox and Lion Bread Company - 10% of pizza sales (5273 Third Street, Bayview)
Gratta Wines - 10% of sales on 1/20 (5273 Third Street, Bayview)
Jackalope - 100% of tips from 6-9pm on 1/20 (1092 Post Street, Lower Nob Hill)
Nectar Wine Lounge - 10% of sales on 1/20 (3330 Steiner Street, Marina)
Ona.life - $1 from from every purchase / delivery on Jan 20th - Premium Cannabis Delivery Serving San Francisco + Marin County - (www.ona.life)
One Ocean Seafood - 40% of sales from oysters at Ruby Wine Fundraiser (1419 18th Street, Potrero Hill)
Provender Coffee and Food - 100% of sales from special pink scone (1415 18th Street, Potrero Hill)
Radio Africa - 10% of sales on 1/20 (4800 Third Street, Bayview)
Revel Wine - 10% of sales on 1/19 (wine distributor)
Ruby Wine - Proceeds from Friday night wine flight (1419 18th Street, Potrero Hill)
Sacred Thirst - one case of wine to be raffled off at Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant on 1/20 (wine importer)
Scuola di Vino - 10% of sales on 1/20 (wine importer)
Terra Firma Wine Company - 10% of all wine delivered on 1/20 (wine distributor)
Terroir Wine Natural Wine Bar & Merchant - Proceeds from three wine flight (1116 Folsom Street, SoMa)
Trumpet Wine - 10% of sales on 1/20 (wine importer)
Umi Sushi - gift certificate to be raffled off at Ruby Wine (1328 18th Street, Potrero Hill)
William Cross Wine Merchants - $10 from each Women Winemakers tasting flight (2253 Green Street, Russian Hill)

East Bay
Joli Vin Imports - 10% of sales on 1/19 & 1/20 (wine importer)
Ordinaire - 10% of sales on 1/20 (3354 Grand Avenue, Lake Merritt)
The Punchdown - 10% of sales and personal donation matching (1737 Broadway, Downtown Oakland)
Selection Massale - 10% of sales (wine importer)
Starline Social Club - 10% of proceeds and 50% of a special pink drink (645 West Grand Street, Downtown Oakland)

Lastly, for those who are gathering at Justin Herman Plaza and marching on Saturday January 21st, ~WHITECHAPEL~ will opening early at 2pm to provide a safe and comfortable place to gather before the march, with 100% of the proceeds of their special menu offered that day going to Planned Parenthood. AMAZING. Thank you, Whitechapel. (Tip big, people.) 2pm-5pm. 600 Polk St. at Turk.

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Look what you can get for lunch from Zero Zero: housemade casareccia pasta with prosciutto, Grana Padano, arugula, Straus butter, and bread crumbs. Photo via Facebook.

It’s that time of the year, when Bay Area restaurants offer special lunch and dinner menus and deals. SF Restaurant Week returns January 18th-29th, with 120 restaurants. Some places offer two-course menus for $15 or $25 and three-course (or more) menus for $40 or $65. It’s a good way to check out a place you’ve been curious about, and newcomers to Restaurant Week include ‘Aina, Babu Ji, Bellota, Black Cat, Cassava, Chouquet’s, Matador, Old Bus Tavern, The Perennial, Tratto, Wayfare Tavern, and more.

Berkeley Restaurant Week is running January 19th-29th, also offering lunch ($20) and dinner menus ($25 or $35). Check out places like Ajanta, Comal, Easy Creole, Gaumenkitzel, La Marcha, Revival Bar + Kitchen, and more.

Oakland Restaurant Week is also January 19th-29th, with restaurants offering prix-fixe lunch and/or dinner menus at $20, $30, $40, and $50 price points (promotional prices reflect up to 25 percent off regular à la carte items). Be sure to visit the site each day to enter the “Lucky 7” sweepstakes, with three ways to win gift certificates and more.

January 10, 2017
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Uma Casa partners Nora Furst and Telmo Faria harvesting touriga nacional in Chocapalha in Portugal. Photo courtesy of Uma Casa.

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The WPT on Nora Furst’s cocktail menu at Uma Casa. Photo courtesy of Nora Furst.

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Arroz de pato, with smoked duck breast, confit-mushroom risotto, cherries, red wine reduction. Photo: Uma Casa.

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The classic Portuguese treat: pasteis de nata. Photo: Uma Casa.

Huge congrats to chef-owner Telmo Faria for opening his dream restaurant, ~UMA CASA~, an homage to his native Portugal (he was born in the Azores). It’s a pet project that he has been planning and working toward for years, so it’s great to see the restaurant swing open its doors. His business partner and right-hand woman is Nora Furst (previously Belga, Lolinda), who is also the beverage director—but more on that in a sec!

Faria has been working with Tacolicious since 2009, and he diminished his role in 2015 in order to start working on this project. His menu pays homage to classic Portuguese dishes, like rissois de camarão (shrimp turnovers), pasteis de bacalhau (salt cod fritters), and caldo verde (a hearty soup with potatoes, linguica, collard greens). Of course seafood plays a big part on the menu, but there are meaty dishes that are perfect for this rainy season, like carne de porco à Alentejana (braised pork, tomato-wine sauce, clams, fingerling potatoes, cilantro, $22) and homey dishes like frango churrasco (grilled half Mary’s chicken, piri piri glaze, fries, greens, $22). Nothing on the menu is over $28, so you can see how Uma Casa wants to be a good neighborhood hangout.

Faria wants San Francisco’s sole Portuguese restaurant to educate and expose local diners to the canon before branching out into some of his newer interpretations; look for more of his individual expression to come in time. He wants the food to be approachable and to highlight the shared maritime heritage that San Francisco and Portugal have. Lisbon in particular is very San Francisco-like, with its coastal position, hills, trolleys, and it even has its own version of the Golden Gate Bridge (check out my past jetsetter post on Lisbon).

Noe Valley’s former Incanto has been given quite the facelift and is now much lighter and airy. There are 82 seats, with 10 at the bar, and two large maple communal tables for room for 14 walk-ins or when you just want to swing by for some snacks and drinks. You’ll see some traditional Portuguese elements, like classic blue and white tiles, mixing with postmodern-style chairs to give things a taste of the present. You will also be greeted by a raw bar display of seafood on ice when you come in, a nod to something many restaurants in Lisbon do.

Nora Furst has assembled quite the beverage list. Even though Uma Casa just has a beer and wine license, she tells me she looked at it as an opportunity and not a challenge to explore categories more deeply, like fortified wines. There are five low-ABV cocktails, including the signature WPT (white port and tonic), made with a less-sweet port that is actually a bit more saline and acidic, served with Carpano bianco, Mixwell dandelion tonic, lime, and seasonal botanical garnish. There are five in all, $10 each, and they look fantastic. In the aperitifs section, there is a selection of vermouths—from Italian to French to domestic—available over a big ice cube and served with different garnishes, plus some sherries and more.

Her wine list is almost 90 percent Portuguese, with a few California producers that use Portuguese methods or varieties. They wanted to offer a large by-the-glass selection so guests can explore Portuguese wine and taste and learn. Look for the list to expand by a third in time. There are also some fun beer selections and cider as well.

Look for the 18-seat private dining room to be coming next. It’s going to pay homage to Faria’s and Furst’s family heritage, from his Portuguese roots to her father’s past as a chef. Large-format dinners will be offered, from suckling pig to seafood feasts.

Hours are Tue-Thu and Sun 5pm-10pm and Fri-Sat 5pm-11am, closed Mon. Brunch should be coming by spring or summer. 1550 Church St. at Duncan, 415-829-2264.

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The interior of ICHI Kakiya, which is once again ICHI Sushi. Photo by Darren Samuelson.

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Snag those Souvla pita sandwiches! Photo courtesy of Souvla.

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A sweet treat at The Riddler: dark chocolate pot de crème with chocolate pearls, served in a caviar tin. Photo courtesy of The Riddler.

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There will be all kinds of pop at The Riddler. Photo: Kassie Borreson.

Some great news from our beloved ~ICHI SUSHI~ crew: after dealing with a health scare/setback with chef-partner Tim Archuleta, and then deciding to close their larger location, they have successfully made the move back to their smaller original location, and Tim is home from the hospital and on the mend. That is a great way to start 2017, ICHI gang! (And way to take care of business, Erin Archuleta!) You guys are amazing. Now it’s up to us to come visit and put our money where our mouth is, which is where the fish goes.

The 21-seat spot has chef Max Bauer leading the charge right now, and the omakase menu is in full swing with sustainable fish, nigiri, and sashimi in season. Sake, beer, and wine are served. Dinner is served nightly Mon-Thu 5:30pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5:30pm-11pm, Sun 5:30pm-9:30pm. Lunch will kick in next week and be served Mon-Fri. Reservations available. 3369 Mission St. at 30th St., 415-525-4750.

The Souvla team can’t stop, won’t stop. Opening this Sunday January 15th is Charles Bililies and chef-partner Tony Cervone’s third location, ~SOUVLA VALENCIA~, near Craftsman & Wolves, Dandelion Chocolate, and Tacolicious (it’s in the former Grub space). Look for the same menu of delicious rotisserie meats in pita sandwiches and salads, Greek fries, frozen Greek yogurt with toppings, and a 100 percent Greek beverage list (which includes their new private label wines). Hours are daily 11am-10pm. 758 Valencia St. at 18th St., 415-400-5458. (And just a little reminder that ~SOUVLA~ Hayes Valley reopens on January 12th.)

In case you hear the sound of popping corks, here’s why: also opening this Sunday January 15th is Jen Pelka’s ~THE RIDDLER~ in Hayes Valley. I’m going to have the menu and pics to share next week, but wanted to let you know you can come by for Champagne and more in case your Sunday needs some extra fizz (doesn’t it always?). Pop pop! One sneak peek: check out this brilliant dessert of dark chocolate pot de crème with chocolate pearls, served in a caviar tin. You can read more in my previous post. Hours are Tue-Thu and Sun 4pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 4pm-12am. 528 Laguna St. at Linden.

Congrats to ~LUKE’S LOCAL~ for opening their brick-and-mortar grocery store in Cole Valley (in the former Alpha Market). Look for an extensive selection of premade dishes and ingredients, something they perfected with their weekly prepared meal delivery service. Look for a bunch of local brands and products, a well-stocked deli case, and more. Open daily 9am-9pm. 960 Cole St. at Parnassus, 415-643-4510.

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Artwork at Alta CA. Hello, blue cow. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Saucy Asian short rib bowl with lemon soju (please note this is styled for a photo shoot: all dishes will be served in takeout containers). Photo courtesy of Saucy Asian.

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Korean tacos at Saucy Asian. Photo courtesy of Saucy Asian.

It’s a new year and there are a bunch of new projects to match, so let’s look at what’s coming up.

There’s an update on Daniel Patterson’s plans at the Minnesota Street Project in Dogpatch, and it looks like he’s going to be opening a second ~ALTA CA~ there. Chef Anthony Lee of the Market Street Alta will oversee the menu as well, and Scoop reports there will be a strong art component. Look for an opening in the spring. 1275 Minnesota St. at 24th St.

Back in 2015, I reported on ~KINJO~, a sushi restaurant that was coming to Russian Hill from the chef-owner of Saru in Noe Valley and Ijji on Divis, Billy Kong, and the chef-owner of Seiya in San Carlos, Kuo Hwa Chuang. Eater now reveals that Takatoshi Toshi of Sushi Ran will be running the kitchen, serving Edomae-style omakase sushi ($120). We’ll have more details in a couple of weeks, which is when it’s expected to open. 2206 Polk St. at Vallejo.

Opening in the former H Cafe in the Castro is ~SAUCY ASIAN~, from owner Andrew Shinn. He’s going to be serving Korean-inspired “super fusion” street food, in the form of burritos, tacos, sandwiches (banh mi, cheesesteaks), BBQ bowls, and poke bowls. You’ll be able to choose from meats like bulgogi, spicy prawns, short ribs, spicy pork, braised pork belly, and fried chicken, plus tofu. And a bunch of sauces, oh you know it.

The fast-casual concept will have everything served in takeout containers, although there will be around 20 seats you can hang out in (outdoor seating is also coming). Beer and wine are on the list too. Shinn went to grad school in Seoul and was inspired by all the late-night food he saw there, so this is his spin on it. It’s a family affair—he’s opening it with his parents. Hours will be 10:30am-3pm and 5pm-10pm daily, which will expand once things ramp up. Look for an opening in February, I’ll keep you updated. 3801 17th St. at Sanchez.

More Korean news: New York’s Deuki Hong, of the awesome Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong, is coming to SF. Eater reports he’s opening a KFC (Korean fried chicken) joint called Sunday Bird in the back of the upcoming Boba Guys location on Fillmore Street (just next door to Wise Sons Bagelry). Think whole Mary’s birds, used for fried chicken (half or whole), chicken soup, fried chicken skin, and more. It’s due to launch in February, and since it’s going to be a pop-up space, Sunday Bird will be there indefinitely (the plan is to find a permanent space for the concept). 1522 Fillmore St. at Geary.

He’s also about to sign a lease for a Korean barbecue restaurant (also on Fillmore), which will have a fermentation lab and late-night vibe. Look for SF’s Korean BBQ game to get upped significantly by the end of 2017.

Some upcoming changes at the 44-year-old ~CAFÉ FLORE~, which was just purchased by Terrance Alan (chairman of San Francisco’s Cannabis State Legalization Task Force) and Aaron Silverman (a cannabis entrepreneur). The BAR reports the duo are trying to turn the space into a cannabis café. Although we aren’t going to be able to enjoy an alfresco toke à la Amersterdam cafés, perhaps cannabis can be integrated in the food instead. Read the article for more about the complex legalities as Prop 64 gets closer, but it’s certainly fun to think about. In the meantime, look for some updates to the management, décor, food, cocktails, and service—the two will be reaching out to the community for input.

SoMa’s former Paradise Lounge, which has been closed fo-evah and was completely gutted, is opening soon as a three-story Puerto Rican restaurant and club, ~CALLE 11/DEL ENCANTO~ from Leticia Luna. Chef Christopher Caraballo (of Oakland’s Puerto Rican food stand, Borinquen Soul) is running the upstairs kitchen and dining room, and the salsa will be pumpin’ on the dance floor (look for live salsa bands Fri-Sat). There’s also going to be a rooftop patio. Look for classic Puerto Rican dishes (the post on Inside Scoop has the menu and pics). To start, hours will Thu 4pm-10pm and until midnight Fri-Sat, with brunch on Sun 10am-4pm and dinner 5pm-10pm, plus happy hour and more. Mojitos, check. It all gets going this Thursday January 12th. 1501 Folsom St. at 11th St., 415-431-3000.

Noe Valley residents are happy with the news that David Samiljan of Alameda’s Barons Meats is moving into the ~DREWES MEATS~ location which closed last year. Eater reports the opening will be in February, with humanely raised meats free of hormones in the case, plus the addition of seafood! The original Alameda location will remain open. 1706 Church St. at 29th St.

And then there’s gonna be ice cream too! Coming to Fillmore Street (2201 Fillmore St. at Sacramento) and Hayes Valley this spring will be outposts of Portland’s famed ~SALT & STRAW~, from Kim and Tyler Malek (who are cousins), which will be their first shops in San Francisco. They are known for their organic, small-batch, chef-driven ice creams, like Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache, and Freckled Chocolate. Look for some seasonal influences in their flavors—and a strong sense of community.

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This is how Bar Agricole does steak and eggs for brunch. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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A peek at some of the sandwich bodaciousness Josey Baker is concocting at The Mill. Instagram photo via @joseybakerbread.

Some restaurant news around town for you. First up, I was surprised to run into ~FRANCES~ chef Michaela Rahorst out for dinner during the holidays (instead of seeing her hustling in the galley kitchen at Frances), and it ends up she has left her position. I checked in with Melissa Perello’s PR team, who expressed they were all very sad to see Michaela go (she has been at Frances since it opened). Connie Tsui—who has been with Frances since 2015—has been working with Michaela as her right hand since Michaela took over the chef position in September of 2015. Connie is currently transitioning into the role of chef de cuisine and working very closely with Melissa at this time—they expect that she will take over the position officially by the beginning of spring. In the meantime, I’ll keep you posted on Michaela’s whereabouts. For now, she’s doing things like running marathons and having fun cooking with her boyfriend over at Poesia restaurant.

Good news: the fine folks at ~BAR AGRICOLE~ have decided to extend brunch to Saturday as well, so now you can come by for fab dishes like grass-fed tri-tip with fried eggs, rutabaga, Piracicaba broccoli (which is like a sweet broccolini), and salsa verde both days, 10am-2pm. Sunday dinner service has also been added, 6pm-9pm.

The newly opened ~FLORES~ in Cow Hollow is launching brunch this Saturday January 14th and will serve Mexican brunch Saturdays and Sundays 11am-3pm. Dishes include pancake de elote ($13, corn pancake, maple crema, powdered sugar), huevos poblanos ($13, chicken mole, mini quesadilla, pickled onion, oregano), and carne asada ($19, 6-oz. skirt steak, rice, refried beans, two eggs any style, housemade tortillas, pico de gallo). The Vida Fuerza ($6, cold-brewed coffee, coconut milk, cinnamon) will get you back in the game. There are also large-format beverage options, like a passion fruit mimosa for six (which is basically a bottle of bubbles and a carafe of passion fruit purée—so it could be good for just two people, or even one, heh). 2030 Union St. at Buchanan, 415-796-2926.

After doing a fair amount of testing, Josey Baker is rolling out sandwiches at ~THE MILL~, served Thu-Sun 11am until they run out. This week’s beast is roast cauliflower, spring red onion, Tokyo and scarlet turnips, baby kale, JBB special sauce, roast garlic aioli, and provolone, $10. Expect something different each week! They are also serving beer and wine for their pizza nights, Mon and Wed from 6pm-9pm. Look for beers from San Diego’s Pizza Port and some French wines.

January 3, 2017
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Farro-juniper rigatoni with wild boar sugo and aged pecorino at Contrada. Photo via Facebook.

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Crispy golden quail at Khai. Photo courtesy of Khai.

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The Almanac burger, with California beef, cheddar, onion, pickle, and secret fried tomato aioli. Photo via @almanacbeer.

Opening on Wednesday January 4th in the former La Cucina in Cow Hollow is ~CONTRADA~. The restaurant is from managing partners Dena Grunt and Mick Suverkrubbe, with chef Jason Tuley (TBD, Parlour in Oakland, and most recently at Picco Restaurant and Pizzeria in Larkspur) leading a Tuscan menu with housemade pasta, wood-fired pizza, and other items such as slow-roasted meats. Sample menu dishes include farro-juniper rigatoni with wild boar sugo and aged pecorino; squid ink bucatini with Dungeness crab, chiles, and smoked bread crumbs; local clam pizza with Calabrian chile, wild nettle, cured lemon, and tomato sauce; and wood-oven grilled romanesco with capers, charred lemon, and bottarga. Look for a Cal-Italian wine list from consultant Shawndra McCrorey (previously A16). There is also a back deck that seats 40, with two communal live-edge walnut tables and a wine garden. Open Wed-Mon 5pm-10pm (until 12:30am Fri-Sat). 2136 Union St. at Fillmore, 415-926-8916.

Chef Khai Duong, known for his years at Ana Mandara (which closed in 2012), is back in San Francisco and has opened ~KHAI~ in the former Bonjour Patisserie. Scoop reports he’s offering a 10-course tasting menu for $95—sample dishes include coconut crab soup with hand-cut noodles, wild smelt ceviche, and crispy golden quail (the menu is on the site). Wine pairings are from Quinton Jay of Bacchus Wine Shop. Open Tue-Sat: two seatings (6pm and 8:30pm). 655 Townsend St. at 8th St., 415-724-2323.

Last year, I mentioned that Jesse Friedman and Damian Fagan of Almanac Beer Co. were opening a taproom in the former Sous Beurre Kitchen in the Mission, and ~ALMANAC SAN FRANCISCO TAPROOM~ is now open. Scoop notes there will be taproom-exclusive offerings, and right now there are 15 beers on tap, with 11 barrel-aged selections, plus a list of vintage beers, along with wine from Paul Einbund (Morris White and Morris Red) and housemade sodas. Growlers will be available soon, but you can get bottled beers to go in the meantime—and I am sorry to hear they have discontinued their canned beers.

The chef is Chad Arnold—who was behind the charcuterie program at Dopo—so expect plenty of salumi and charcuterie (from duck salami to pork rillettes), plus sandwiches (banh mi), a salad, Spam musubi, oysters, a burger, and hop salt fries. Check out the entire menu here. There are 74 seats inside, with a beer garden in the back. Open Tue-Sun 3pm-11pm. 2704 24th. St. at Potrero, 415-932-6531.

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AQ’s open kitchen (and groovy whisk lights). Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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The dining room at Restaurant Lulu. Yelp photo by Tomo Toroeater T.

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Chef Rob Lam of Butterfly. Photo courtesy of Butterfly.

It’s the beginning of the year, which always brings a batch of news about unfortunate closures after the holiday parties wrap up. Both ~BAR TARTINE~ and ~RANGE~ had their last nights on New Year’s Eve, and now word is out that owner Matt Semmelhack and chef-partner Mark Liberman’s ~AQ~ will be closing down this month as well (date TBD), after five years in business. Read the revealing Thrillist article, not only for a detailed portrayal of how the restaurant’s numbers fluctuated greatly over that five-year span, but to take a wider look at the financial pressure restaurants are operating under. Scoop followed up with Liberman and reports he will be leaving the Mercer Restaurant Group once the AQ space deal is final to pursue his own project; Fenix remains open. [UPDATE: AQ is now closing on Saturday January 14th.]

A tablehopper reader let me know about another casualty in SoMa: SF old-timer ~RESTAURANT LULU~ has posted a closure notice in its window and has served its last wood-fired mussels and pizzas. I remember it being the first place where I had family-style food service outside of Italy, and I drank many a Cosmo at that long bar. Even though it lost its luster in recent years, here’s to 24 years of many fond food memories there. 816 Folsom St. at 4th St.

Another successful restaurant that is closing is ~BUTTERFLY~. Chef-owner Rob Lam is closing the Embarcadero restaurant after dinner service on Saturday January 7th—after 15 YEARS of business in San Francisco (his lease is up). In a note, Lam says: “We bore witness to our beloved city’s growth as one of the finest epicenters of this great American culinary movement. We’ve shared many bowls of garlic noodles and countless shots of Fernet together. So it is with extreme pride that we can say we were a part of this San Francisco dining scene.”

As some of you have noted, we have done a few Vietnamese pop-ups together, which have been partially serving as R and D for his new concept. Lam is currently looking for a space, hopefully in San Francisco, but he hasn’t ruled out Oakland. Stand by for updates, and a big slow clap to Rob for 15 years of feeding so many happy guests (and pouring so much Fernet for them). Pier 33, 415-864-8999.

Foreign Cinema’s John Clark and Gayle Pirie have decided to close ~SHOW DOGS~ and the flanking ~MACHINE COFFEE~ at Market and Golden Gate after seven years of business at the challenging corner. [Via Hoodline.] That chicken sandwich is going to be missed. 1020 Market St. at Taylor.

Hoodline also reports that Latin American tapas and cocktail bar ~POQUITO~ in the Dogpatch is now closed. 2368 3rd St. at 20th St.

The original ~LORI’S DINER~ on Mason Street is closing after almost 32 years in business due to an expiring lease; the other locations remain open. [Via Hoodline.] 336 Mason St. at Geary.

William Lue of Oakland’s Grocery Cafe has closed ~TENDER LOVING FOOD~ in the Tenderloin. But not all is lost: Hoodline reports he’s going to be opening his new restaurant, ~LAPHET~, serving banquet-style Burmese food and tea pairings in January at 448 Larkin St. (formerly Bento House). 393 Eddy St. at Leavenworth.

Just a short closure: ~SOUVLA~ on Hayes Street will temporarily be closed until January 11th for a refresh and will reopen on Thursday January 12th. (Delivery is still available via the Divisadero Street location, and the new Valencia location at 758 Valencia St. is opening January 16th, I’ll post more details on that next week!)

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A sneak peek of the upcoming Contraband counter. Photo courtesy of Contraband.

SoMa is going to be the home of a second ~CONTRABAND COFFEE~ location next week (the original is on Larkin in Nob Hill). Due to open on Monday January 9th (follow along on Instagram here for updates) is a second outpost for the local microroaster, this one will be in the Mosso residential complex. They source fair-trade, single-origin coffees from independent coffee farms around the world. There will also be teas, pastries, and light, savory fare like empanadas. Hours will be 6:30am-7pm (or possibly 9pm, TBD). 5th and Clementina Streets.

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The #BaconSlut at The Gastropig. Photo: Aubrie Pick.

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The Ode to Genova at The Gastropig. Photo: Aubrie Pick.

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The Squash King pizza at Lucia’s PIzzeria, with squash purée and Gorgonzola. Photo via Facebook.

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The bar at Café Rouge. Photo courtesy of Café Rouge.

Open today is a new fast-casual breakfast and lunch spot in Uptown Oakland from Ann Thai and Loren Goodwin, ~THE GASTROPIG~. As you may gather from the name, the menu of breakfast sandwiches and more is rather pig-centric, with a trademark sandwich called #Baconslut (an applewood-smoked bacon sandwich with an over-easy egg, cheddar cheese, and Aleppo chile aioli, served on a brioche roll, $9.50). The Gastropig is conveniently two blocks from the 19th Street BART station, so that breakfast sandwich can be yours (plus three others, and avocado toast with cilantro crema) the next time you’re hungover and heading to work.

There are also pastries, grab-and-go deli sandwiches (including the Ode to Genova, $8, a classic Italian deli sandwich that pays homage to Oakland’s Genova Delicatessen), and hot lunchtime options. You can also find a waffle iron hash brown with cheddar and scallions ($4), plus coffee service (including nitro-charged cold brew and Vietnamese iced coffee). There are 49 seats if you want to hang out. Open Mon-Fri 7am-3pm, Sun 9am-2pm. 2123 Franklin St. at 22nd St., Oakland, 510-817-4663.

Now open near Grand Lake in the former Aztecali space is ~CHICA~, a Norcal-Mexican-American restaurant that started as a takeout window in San Francisco. Owner Maria Esquivel serves a menu that includes tacos, soup, Mexi-bowls with rice or salad as a base, Tex-Mex mac and cheese, and more, including espresso service. Eater’s original post mentions there is seating for 25. Open Tue-Sat espresso 7:30am-8pm, with food 11am-8pm; and Sun food and espresso 10am-5pm. 303A Oakland Ave. at Pearl, 510-735-9748.

The high cost of doing business precipitated a change at ~ALAMAR KITCHEN & BAR~ in Oakland, with chef-owner Nelson German moving to a quick-service format. You can still enjoy their peel ‘n’ eat shrimp, but you’ll be ordering at the counter now.

Now open in Berkeley is ~LUCIA’S PIZZERIA~ in the former Belli Osteria, from Steve Dumain and Alessandro Uccelli, serving Neapolitan-style pizza but with modern toppings from a Stefano Ferrara wood-fired oven (take a look at the extensive menu here). There are also small plates, like charcuterie and calamari fritti, salads, and Italian wines. Open Sun-Thu 5pm-9:15pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-10:30pm. [Via Nosh.] 2016 Shattuck Ave. at University, Berkeley, 510-225-9467.

A sad closure in Berkeley: owner Marsha McBride closed ~CAFÉ ROUGE~ after 20 years in business. The butcher shop-restaurant was a seminal business for the butchery community, with numerous people who learned the craft there. Sadly staffing issues precipitated the closure, and executive chef Rick DeBeaord was departing to pursue other projects. [Via Scoop.] 1782 4th St. at Delaware, Berkeley.

Need a drink after that news? Head over to Richmond at the old Kaiser Shipyard and you’ll find ~EAST BROTHER BEER COMPANY~, with a taproom in a 12,000-square foot warehouse from Chris Coomber and Rob Lightner. They serve five classic styles (pale wheat, red lager, Bo pils, red IPA, and oatmeal stout) at a wood 14-seat bar and there are open picnic tables, plus a ping-pong table, corn hole, and a regulation-size bocce court. Food trucks will be on hand during the weekend. Open Wed-Thu 4pm-8pm, Fri 4pm-9pm, Sat 12pm-9pm, and Sun 12pm-8pm. 1001 Canal Blvd. at Wharf, Richmond.