The Chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)
September 19, 2017
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We’ll start the party with beautiful canapés and cocktails! Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Salli par eedu baked eggs with spicy potato straws, tomato, and cheese. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Chicken 65 on onion uttapam. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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An array of Rooh’s beautiful cocktails. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Haji Ali mango cream tart. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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The colorful semi-private dining area at Rooh. Photo courtesy of Rooh.

This event is SOLD OUT! Thanks everyone, see you there!

Hello there! I wanted to let you know there are just two tickets remaining for the tablehopper brunch this Saturday September 23rd at 11:30am at ~ROOH~!

Have you had a chance to visit this stylish and unique Indian restaurant that recently opened in SoMa? It’s quite fab—award-winning chef Sujan Sarkar has a contemporary and innovative style, which integrates California seasonality and a global sensibility, and his dishes are as delicious as they are beautiful.

Rooh recently launched Saturday brunch service, and I want to be sure you all have this special place on your radar. This Saturday’s tasting menu was created especially for this event, and thanks to event sponsor Anchor Distilling Company, we’ll have some fantastic cocktail pairings featuring No. 3 London Dry Gin.

Rooh’s cocktails are inventive and playful, inspired by the six rasas of Ayurvedic wisdom (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent), while highlighting Indian ingredients, homemade shrubs, and artisanal spirits. We have put together a special lineup of daytime-friendly cocktails for our brunch featuring No. 3 London Dry Gin.

We’re going to be serving Chai Punch to start (which will highlight the cardamom pods used in making No. 3 London Dry Gin), followed by Rooh’s spectacular Banaras Sour with cucumber and basil (I love this cocktail), plus their aromatic Hyderabad Tonic with fresh turmeric and grapefruit tonic. And wait until you try the Summer Breeze, with guava, citrus notes (which work well with the Spanish orange peel used in No. 3 London Dry Gin), and some fizz from prosecco. It’s going to be quite the tour. We’ll also have folks from Anchor Distilling who can share some background about No. 3 London Dry Gin and talk about the history of India and gin, as well as hear from Rooh’s bar team on their process and inspirations.

Our event will begin with a reception at the bar at 11:30am, with elegant passed canapés like dahi puri and potato-samosa cornetti. When we sit down at 12pm, you can choose from the cauliflower or chicken 65, a savory and textured bite served on onion uttapam, with lemon sour cream and peanut chutney.

We’ll then have an egg course served family style, with their salli par eedu (baked eggs in a cazuela with tomato, cheese, and spicy potato straws on top) and their fried duck egg on tandoori mushrooms, with toasted brioche and chile jam. You’ll also get to try an array of their stuffed kulchas, one of my favorite things on the menu, with fillings like green pea and goat cheese, and pulled duck with apricot and bacon. Uh-huh.

I couldn’t let you leave without experiencing their paneer makhani with garlic naan—the sauce is exquisite, with fenugreek and crème fraîche. You’ll be mopping up every last bite.

For dessert, chef has prepared a special dessert inspired by a famous Mumbai location, Haji Ali, with mango cream, mango sorbet, pistachio kulfi, fresh mango, frozen raspberry, and honeycomb, a delightful mango cloud inside a phyllo cup.

It’s going to be such a special event, and we will be in our own section of the restaurant. We’ll be doing some family-style tables and taking over some booths, too, so you’ll be making some new friends as well. Solo diners, we got you!

Tickets are only $68 (plus a small service fee), including cocktail pairings, tax, and tip, which is an extraordinary deal considering the menu, and cocktail pairings are worth well over $100. We’re going to send you out the door on cloud No. 3, so be sure to arrange for a rideshare—no driving! Space is limited, so hop to it. Only two tickets remain!

When purchasing your ticket, please specify if you are vegetarian—we will be able to take care of you! Please get in touch about any allergies—we may be able to accommodate you, but since this is a set menu, we can’t make too many substitutions. Thanks for understanding.

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Oh you know there will be cheese. All photos: Nadia Andreini.

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These two pazzi Italian chefs can’t wait to feed you (Donato Scotti and Gianluca Guglielmi).

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Killer apps.

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The vino will be flowing (and trust, you’ll be getting much bigger pours than these tastes).

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Apericena is all about tasty bites.

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A man and his pig.

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Well, it’s about time for yours truly to be hosting a tablehopper party in the East Bay, right? Looks like it will be my turn to cross the bridge on Friday October 6th, and I hope you can join me for a very special event, Apericena (more about what this means below). I will be cohosting this opening party for ~DONATO & CO.~, the new, upcoming contemporary Italian restaurant from Donato Scotti (of Donato Enoteca and CRU in Redwood City and Desco in Oakland) and his chef-partner in this and future projects, Gianluca Guglielmi, who is coming from Italy to open Donato & Co.

In case you remember the news from my original post about this (or not!), Donato & Co. is opening in the former The Advocate space in Elmwood. It’s a big space, so this is going to be quite a festa.

I don’t know if you’ve ever attended any of chef Donato’s events and parties, but they are legendary for their fantastic wine and food—like a true Italian, he loves to put out a great spread! You’ll be the first to taste some dishes off the upcoming Donato & Co. menu, from housemade pasta to meats off the rotisserie and live fire—I hear there will be quail lollipops and we’re going to have a roasted pig! There will also be salumi, plenty of antipasti, and vegetable dishes aplenty. Gianluca, who used to be the executive chef at A.G. Ferrari Foods, is also known for his sweet tooth and skill with desserts, so expect some dolci as well. (Yay.)

The party name is Apericena, in honor of a trending style of eating in Italy: a dinner (cena) comprised of antipasti and ample bites and small plates (which is what you find during aperitivo time). It’s one of my favorite ways to eat, and it’s something Donato and Gianluca will be encouraging and bringing to life at Donato & Co., especially since they have that full bar. Consider this your first apericena!

To accompany all those tasty bites at the party, we’ll also be pouring some wines (prosecco, white, rosé, and red) and a couple of cocktails, including an aperitivo cocktail, probably something on the spritz side of things.

Donato and Gianluca are excited to be a part of the neighborhood and will be making a donation to our charity partner for the evening, The Bay Area Outreach & Recreation Program (BORP). It’s an impressive nonprofit organization working to improve the health, independence, and social integration of people with physical disabilities through adaptive sports, fitness, and recreation programs, and it is based in Berkeley.

Tickets are only $45 (plus a ticket service fee), which will get you three drink tickets and access to all the delicious food! (Additional cocktails/wine will be available at a very affordable price.) And a donation will be made to charity partner BORP! Apericena will run from 6pm-9pm. Get your tickets now, these are gonna fly.

I’m having fun putting together the playlist that we’ll be running on the state-of-the-art Constellation and Libra acoustic system from Berkeley’s renowned Meyer Sound they inherited with the space. You may have an Italian accent by the end of the evening (if you don’t already)!

See you on Friday October 6th! Festeggiamo!

2635 Ashby Ave. at College, Berkeley. @donatoandco

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The exterior of the former Mason Pacific. Photo: Nick Vasilopoulos.

Auguri to Claudio Villani, the owner of Cole Valley’s popular Italian enoteca, InoVino, who is taking over the former Mason Pacific and will be opening ~ALTOVINO~. Villani says he’s only making some cosmetic changes—like lowering the bar and making it cozier, and replacing the front room’s high seating and tables with banquettes and normal height seating—so he hopes to be open before Christmas.

He’s going to have InoVino’s chef, Nick Kelly, who has been with him since last December, leading the kitchen. The concept will be neighborhood seasonal and regional Italian—they want to be authentic to Italy’s regional cooking, but not limited to just one area. They will be bringing over some of their top appetizers, like their Tuscan chicken liver pâté and foie gras, and adding 7 or 8 pasta dishes, both fresh/handmade and artisan dry pasta as well—it ends up there is quite the prep room downstairs. With a winter opening, expect some buttery and mushroomy and truffle-y dishes! They will be using quality ingredients, but he doesn’t want prices to skyrocket, so look for pasta dishes costing $16-$20 or so.

Villani, who is Tuscan and grew up in Florence, is also excited to be bringing some tableside dishes to the dining experience, and top of his list is to offer a bistecca alla fiorentina, served off a little cart medium rare and a minimum of a kilo! (He already has some vintage carving knives lined up.) He also wants to offer seasonal risotto for two and is thinking of another dish as well, probably whole fish. This doesn’t mean it’s going to be formal, but he does want to have some fun with tableside service, something he learned during his time in Florence and also at Bartolotta in Vegas. There will be other main courses as well, some featuring some Northern Mediterranean flavors, with plans to have them at $30 and under.

As for the wines, it will definitely be an all-Italian list, with the exception of Champagne, and while he is focused on volcanic and Alpine wines at InoVino, at AltoVino, he’s excited to build up a list with some wines from Tuscany, too, where he first learned about wine, and is excited to offer some beautiful classics.

Another fun thing that will be developed is the bar: they will be offering some aperitivi and 12 vermouths, served as spritzes, cocktails, and more, plus Nick makes some pretty great shrubs, so they’ll be playing around with that as well. With the renovation of the bar area, there will be new shelving added, which will be storing many of the wines and more, with 6 or 7 seats.

I’ll keep you posted on the opening and am so pleased the charming Mason Pacific space is in such good hands. 1358 Mason St. at Pacific.

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Open-faced sandwich with figs and goat Brie. Photo: Daniel Dent, San Francisco Proper Hotel.

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Beet salad with burnt ricotta. Photo: Daniel Dent, San Francisco Proper Hotel.

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A peek into the chic dining room. Instagram photo via @knucklesamwick.

Looking for a swank new hotel lounge, or spot for a breakfast meeting, or a lunch date, or bite for dinner after work? The first food and beverage concept in the San Francisco Proper Hotel in Mid-Market, ~VILLON~, has opened. It’s an all-day restaurant and lounge, under the direction of executive chef Jason Franey (Campton Place, Eleven Madison Park, Canlis, Restaurant 1833) and a beverage program by Josh Harris and Morgan Schick of BVHospitality (Trick Dog, The Bon Vivants).

Come by for breakfast (here’s the menu), and you’ll find eggs Benedict made with speck (the Italian smoked ham); a croissant sandwich with Taylor ham; ricotta pancakes; a smoked salmon dish with socca bread, avocado, and ranch labneh; and then there’s breakfast pho with beef broth, poached eggs, short rib, pork belly, and rice noodles.

It then transitions into an all-day and seasonally driven menu, where you can really see Franey’s contemporary American style, with clever bites like “everything” Hawaiian bread with cultured butter, nectarine preserves, and strawberry chicken-liver mousse; scallop ceviche; and mushroom dumplings with pickled chanterelles, mushroom broth, brown butter (all $8-$16). There’s steak tartare ($14) with yuzu, nori cracker, and furikake; grilled Little Gems ($12) with Sherman potato, pancetta, smoked egg yolk; and baby beet salad ($13) with burnt ricotta, pumpernickel streusel, and plum.

Larger dishes include squid ink tagliatelle ($22) with uni, bottarga, Parmesan; tai snapper ($25) with Beluga lentils, yogurt, garbanzo beans; and for the table, whole duck ($110) with Brussels sprouts and duck bacon, plum chutney, vadouvan-glazed carrots, crispy sunchokes, soubise, and duck jus.

Now, you look thirsty. Crack into Harris and Schick’s playful “7x7” cocktail menu, with seven thematic categories of seven cocktails each, like “7 x Hotels” (invented in famous hotels), “7 x The Bay” (invented or made famous in the Bay Area), and “7 x The Book” (featured in novels). You have your work cut out for you—49 drinks in all, just like our square mileage. And then the rooftop bar (Charmaine’s) will be open in a month…

Villon is in the lobby of this historic building, with a fun style by designer Kelly Wearstler. The salon has 32 seats, featuring one-of-a-kind art and furnishings arranged into living room vignettes, plus a 44-seat dining room and a 14-seat private dining room.

Hours are Sun-Thu 7am-10:30pm and Fri-Sat 7am-11pm. 1100 Market St. at Jones.

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The classic BEC. Here’s one of the in-progress egg on a roll sandwiches they’re developing at Newkirk’s. Photo courtesy of Newkirk’s.

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Looking good with new glass and paint at Newkirk’s. Photo via Facebook.

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I get truly happy when I hear about someone with East Coast roots who wants to bring the BEC (bacon, egg, and cheese; i.e., egg on a roll, fried egg sandwich) to San Francisco, plus classic subs, and since we’re in SF, offer some big, well-made salads too. You with me? Ryan Blumenthal has lived here for 17 years, but grew up in Vermont and Pennsylvania (just ooutside Philly), with family in New York too, and he has been missing these East Coast classics. He got lucky and found a space with a hood that is right across from SF General, so he’ll be able to fry up eggs the way he intended. It’s time to meet ~NEWKIRK’S~.

His BEC is going to feature a custom-made kaiser roll (he found a baker in the Richmond who was also a New Yorker, and they have been perfecting their recipe), and he has really honed his bacon technique to hit that chewy-crispy balance. He’s going to be using quality organic eggs, but in a true nod to tradition, American cheese will be on offer. Yes! (It’s the right move.) Although there will be another variation, probably with some cheddar.

He’s also working on 6 or 7 subs, including a cheesesteak he has really been tweaking and perfecting. I was also pushing for an Italian combo, which he’s keen to offer, so yay. Ends up he worked for some New Yorkers who opened a deli in Colorado when he was living there, so he learned some true NYC deli ways. Instead of flying out Amoroso or parbaked rolls from the East Coast, he wants to have a locally made French loaf that is East Coast style but doesn’t use preservatives, so he’s finding the best baker for that right now too.

He’s also going to offer some vegetarian subs, and he’s working on a vegan tuna melt, inspired by his five years working at Gestalt in the Mission (he was behind the sandwich menu development there). And sometimes, all you want is just a big salad, so he’s going to offer two or three kinds, simple but satisfying, like one with kale and romaine, and you can add protein to them. (Ryan also mentioned offering fried chicken later in the game, always wicked on a salad.)

As for the name, Newkirk was his New York grandma’s maiden name, as well as his middle name, so there you have it. He’s going through inspections right now and is targeting mid-October for the opening. I’ll definitely keep you posted, but you can follow along on Instagram for now.

When they open, hours will be Mon-Sat 7am-4pm, so you’ll be able to come by for breakfast and some Ritual Coffee on your way to work, or order in 20 BECs to be delivered for your office meetings (he’s going to be on some apps).

The location was New Aux Delices II, a Vietnamese restaurant for almost 30 years before they closed three years ago. Before that, he has reason to believe they sold fried fish based on the sign he found in the walls during construction. The building dates back to 1901, so he’s excited, although the remodel has been quite a big endeavor. He’s looking forward to being a part of the neighborhood. 1002 Potrero Ave. at 22nd St.

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Farewell, beloved bistro. Photo via Facebook.

Wow, it’s the end of an era. A friend let me know that a beloved icon of South Park, ~SOUTH PARK CAFE~, is closing this Friday September 22nd after 32 years in business. What a run. How many pig salads and grilled hanger steaks and glasses of rosé have I consumed there over the years? And you? It was one of the city’s steadiest bistros, just right for so many occasions. For a lovely photo homage, check out this post from a few years ago by Julia Spiess.

Tremendous thanks to chef Ward Little, who was ALWAYS there in his grubby apron, and now gets to enjoy some immensely deserved time off. Same goes for GM Marty Berg, who is off to Europe for a vacation. Hoodline confirmed the bistro’s owners have sold the restaurant to their landlord, who has plans to renovate the space, so we’ll have to see what comes next. Thanks for all the fond memories! 108 S. Park St. at Jack London Alley, 415-495-7275.

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Last week, I announced that ~CASEY’S PIZZA~ was soft opening for business, and now I want to share a couple more things with you, like a peek at the space and the menu.

You’ll see a couple of salads, plus five pies (for now!), like the Kale Pie (roasted lacinato kale, mozzarella, red onion, garlic, lemon juice, chile flakes; $22) and the Bianca (mozzarella, ricotta, garlic, fresh basil, chile flakes; $22), all in Casey’s trademark East Coast-meets-thin-crust Neapolitan style. (“Strong bake, lots of char, simple fresh ingredients, and a long proofed dough.”) Be sure to check out the wine and beer selections, too, with six on tap.

The truck is only open for private events until everything gets under control at the restaurant, stand by. No delivery plans at this time but customers can order online at their website for pick up. Hours are still Tue-Sat 5pm-9pm for now. Lunch will start later this year, with hours running from 11:30am-9pm. 1170 4th St. at Channel, 415-336-1368.

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

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The Periodic Table is now open at Public Market Emeryville. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Khao mun gai at Chick’n Rice. Photo via Facebook.

Unfortunately I was not able to get in touch with Nite Yun of ~NYUM BAI~ in time for my column for details, but according to ABC license activity, it appears she will be opening her permanent brick-and-mortar location in the recently closed The Half Orange space in Fruitvale. Her homey Cambodian dishes and noodle soups have been a hit during her temporary run in the La Cocina incubator space in the Public Market Emeryville, so it’s great to see she will be able to spread her wings and fly into this new perch of her own. We look forward to hearing ’60s Cambodian pop songs and rock ‘n’ roll at the new spot! Stand by for an update as soon as I connect with her. 3340 E. 12th St. Suite 11, at 34th Ave., Oakland.

Speaking of the Public Market Emeryville, last week I swung by for some ramen at Shiba Ramen and got a peek at the new ~THE PERIODIC TABLE~, their taproom and sake bar. Husband-and-wife team Jake Freed and Hiroko Nakamura have selected a wide range of craft brews sourced from the Bay Area and beyond, sake and distilled spirits from Japan, craft cocktails using Japanese spirits, and some bar bites too, including a burger, or Shiba wings and chashu pies from next door. It’s also a bottle shop, so you can take home your favorites. Open Mon-Sat 11am-9pm and Sun 11am-8pm. 5959 Shellmound St. #11 at 59th St., Emeryville.

Nosh mentions who is opening in the former Adesso space: it’s ~CHAI THAI BAR~, which is soft open now. It’s from the Chai Thai Noodles folks in Oakland and Hayward and will feature Thai-inspired cocktails with a small menu of Thai and Laotian dishes. Looks like they will be open again this Friday September 22nd (5pm-1am). Follow along on Instagram for updates. 4395 Piedmont Ave. at Pleasant Valley, Oakland, 510-601-0305.

I have been waiting for some pics to share of the new ~CHICK’N RICE~, but let’s just get to the details. This new Thai fast-casual restaurant is all about the simple but magical dish of khao mun gai, juicy and tender poached chicken that is sliced and served with fragrant rice cooked in rich broth (read: chicken fat), a side of rich chicken broth, and a piquant sauce of ginger, garlic, chiles, and soy that you’ll want to eat far too much of on everything. It’s one of those ugly-but-delicious dishes that is also the ultimate comfort food—here’s a pic of a place I visited in Thailand.

It’s from the founding partners of Umai Hospitality Group, UC Berkeley alums Jason Wang, Shawn Tsao, Vince Cao, and John Keh, who were not only behind food delivery app Caviar, but they also own The Halal Guys franchise in the Pacific Northwest Region. John Keh partnered up with Chavayos (Bob) Rattakul of Tenyuu Restaurant Group in Bangkok to find the best versions of khao mung gai in Thailand and brought their version to the U.S. (yes, they have plans for expansion).

You can order the classic version, but there’s also fried chicken and braised pork on the menu, all served with rice, cucumbers, cilantro, sweet and sour sauce, and a side of chicken broth soup. A vegetarian option is available and option add-ons include a soy-marinated egg. For dessert, you can order coconut milk ice cream with sticky rice, and there’s Thai iced tea, coconut water, and juices like guava, lychee, and mango. Open daily 11am-10pm. 2136 Center St. at Shattuck, Berkeley.

Looking for something to do this weekend? It’s the ninth annual Eat Real Festival, a three-day celebration (Friday to Sunday, September 22nd-24th) at Jack London Square, with street food, demos, tastings, and more, all celebrating local, artisan, and small businesses and sustainable ingredients. The festival is free to attend, and all street food is $10 or less. Plus there are plenty of adult beverages too. Check out the schedule of events here, and since Eat Real is presented by the Food Craft Institute, you’ll be able to learn about how to make things like kombucha, sausage, and fermented pickles, plus there’s plenty for the kiddies, and music and entertainment too.

September 12, 2017
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The Banaras Sour at Rooh. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Salli par eedu baked eggs with spicy potato straws, tomato, and cheese. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Duck egg with tandoori mushroom. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Chicken 65 on onion uttapam. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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An array of Rooh’s beautiful cocktails. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Haji Ali mango cream tart. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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The colorful semi-private dining area at Rooh. Photo courtesy of Rooh.

Have you had a chance to visit the stylish and unique Indian restaurant that recently opened in SoMa, ~ROOH~? It’s quite fab—we’re lucky to have this exciting restaurant from the Good Times Restaurants group, who chose to open their first restaurant in the U.S. here in San Francisco. Award-winning chef Sujan Sarkar has a contemporary and innovative style, which integrates California seasonality and a global sensibility, and his dishes are as delicious as they are beautiful.

Rooh recently launched Saturday brunch service, and I want to be sure you all have this special place on your radar—I included them in my recent brunch roundup of 10 new places to try.

Take out your calendar and get ready to check it, because we’re going to be hosting a tablehopper brunch on Saturday September 23rd at 11:30am. The tasting menu was created especially for this event, and thanks to event sponsor Anchor Distilling Company, we’ll have some fantastic cocktail pairings featuring No. 3 London Dry Gin.

Rooh’s cocktails are inventive and playful, inspired by the six rasas of Ayurvedic wisdom (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent), while highlighting Indian ingredients, homemade shrubs, and artisanal spirits. We have put together a special lineup of daytime-friendly cocktails for our brunch featuring No. 3 London Dry Gin.

We’re going to be serving Chai Punch to start (which will highlight the cardamom pods used in making No. 3 London Dry Gin), followed by Rooh’s spectacular Banaras Sour with cucumber and basil (I love this cocktail), plus their aromatic Hyderabad Tonic with fresh turmeric and grapefruit tonic. And wait until you try the Summer Breeze, with guava, citrus notes (which work well with the Spanish orange peel used in No. 3 London Dry Gin), and some fizz from prosecco. It’s going to be quite the tour. We’ll also have folks from Anchor Distilling who can share some background about No. 3 London Dry Gin and talk about the history of India and gin, as well as hear from Rooh’s bar team on their process and inspirations.

Our event will begin with a reception at the bar at 11:30am, with passed apps like dahi puri and potato-samosa cornetti. When we sit down at 12pm, you can choose from the cauliflower or chicken 65, a savory and textured bite served on onion uttapam, with lemon sour cream and peanut chutney.

We’ll then have an egg course served family style, with their salli par eedu (baked eggs in a cazuela with tomato, cheese, and spicy potato straws on top) and their fried duck egg on tandoori mushrooms, with toasted brioche and chile jam. You’ll also get to try an array of their stuffed kulchas, one of my favorite things on the menu, with fillings like green pea and goat cheese, and pulled duck with apricot and bacon. Uh-huh.

I couldn’t let you leave without experiencing their paneer makhani with garlic naan—the sauce is exquisite, with fenugreek and crème fraîche. You’ll be mopping up every last bite.

For dessert, chef has prepared a special dessert inspired by a famous Mumbai location, Haji Ali, with mango cream, mango sorbet, pistachio kulfi, fresh mango, frozen raspberry, and honeycomb, a delightful mango cloud inside a phyllo cup.

It’s going to be such a special event, and we will be in our own section of the restaurant. We’ll be doing some family-style tables and taking over some booths, too, so you’ll be making some new friends as well. Solo diners, we got you!

Tickets are only $68 (plus a small service fee), including cocktail pairings, tax, and tip, which is an extraordinary deal considering the menu and cocktail pairings are worth well over $100. We’re going to send you out the door on cloud No. 3, so be sure to arrange for a rideshare—no driving! Space is limited, so hop to it. Only a third of tickets remain!

When purchasing your ticket, please specify if you are vegetarian—we will be able to take care of you! Please get in touch about any allergies—we may be able to accommodate you, but since this is a set menu, we can’t make too many substitutions. Thanks for understanding.

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A margherita. Photo: Casey’s Pizza.

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A peek at the new Casey’s Pizza. Instagram photo via @caseyspizza.

Back in May, I released the details of the first ~CASEY’S PIZZA~ brick-and-mortar location, and it’s having its soft opening this Thursday September 14th!

Chef-owner Casey Crynes launched SF’s first pizza truck in 2012, and now he’s upgrading to table service at the Douglas fir tables (there’s also a slab bar). The 28-seat space will be serviced with a brick-lined double-deck Marsal & Sons pizza oven, which means the menu will expand to eight pizzas instead of the truck’s three: classic margherita, pepperoni, bacon kale, arugula pie, rapini, funghi, brunch pie (with Zoe’s bacon and egg), and hot bianca, with rotating specials.

I’ll have more details to share next week, but wanted to let you know about the opening now since many of you have been patiently waiting!

This week, it will be soft open Thu-Sat 5pm-9pm while they work out the kinks. Dinner will eventually be Tue-Sat 5pm-10pm, and then lunch will start later, with hours running from 11:30am-10pm. 1170 4th St. at Channel, 415-336-1368.

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Chef Parke Ulrich.

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So. Much. Beer. At City Beer Store. Photo via Facebook.

Coming to Treasure Island’s Great Lawn this fall is ~MERSEA~ from chef Parke Ulrich (Waterbar, EPIC Steak) and co-founder MeeSun Boice. The menu will be “elevated comfort casual” and span a range of cuisines, from pozole verde to clam chowder to a pork roll and egg sandwich with kimchi, aioli, and arugula, plus a double-stacked Wagyu cheeseburger and a tuna melt.

I am so happy to see they are partnering with the Treasure Island Homeless Development Initiative and member organizations Toolworks and Bakeworks, providing job training and opportunities for low-income and formerly homeless individuals. (You’ll see some breakfast pastries by Bakeworks on the menu.)

The entire restaurant is made out of recycled shipping containers (it’s created by Mavrik Studio). There will be some pretty stunning views from the spacious patio—actually from anywhere you sit, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows. The name is Old English for “island oasis.”

Meanwhile, I noticed an ABC license transfer for our beloved ~CITY BEER STORE~, which is moving to the former The Coachman space in SoMa (Charles Phan’s late-night restaurant). I reached out to the owners for more details, but it has since been confirmed that it’s true, and they’re going to be adding more of a food component to their business (TBD on what that is for now). The move is a good one since not only were they running out of room, but their rent was raised and finances got tough, so now they’ll have more space for their extensive retail selection and more. No word on when the 1168 Folsom Street location is closing, and the target is spring 2018 for the new spot, hopefully in time for their 12th birthday. 1148 Mission St. at 8th St.

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Tamarind soup at Esan Classic. Photo courtesy of Esan Classic.

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Breakfast sandwiches and burgers at Bandit. Yelp photo via Alba B.

The latest project from Lers Ros owner Tom Silagorn, ~ESAN CLASSIC~ has now opened in the former Olive on Larkin. We hilariously and finally got an email back from, oh, 2015, when we first inquired and wrote about the project. The menu is focused on Northeastern Thai (Issan/Esan) and Laotian cuisine—take a look at the lunch and dinner menus here from Silagorn, who is working with chef Chanon Hutasingh. Bring on the larb, fermented pork sausage, raw shrimp salad, tamarind soup, and Massaman curry! Open Sun-Thu 11am-12am, Fri-Sat 11am-2am (closed from 4pm-5pm daily). 743 Larkin St. at O’Farrell, 415-800-7979.

Great news: ~MONG THU~ has reopened a few months after making some updates to the kitchen (thanks to city assistance via SF Shines for the upgrades). Owner Kim Nguyen has been running the café for more than 20 years (since 1993!), and now has an expanded menu (including bún mắm, a “Vietnamese-style gumbo soup,” via Hoodline). Open Tue-Sun 7am-4pm. 248 Hyde St. at Eddy

Over on Geary, the newly opened ~BANDIT~ is getting rave reviews for their breakfast sandwiches (six kinds!) and American Wagyu burgers on brioche buns, which are reportedly full of flavor and the price is right (nothing over $12). There are also chicken and vegetarian options. Plus there’s “butcher’s cut bacon,” which is gaining all kinds of friends and fans. I know where I’m getting my next breakfast out! 683 Geary St. at Leavenworth, 415-658-7780.

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The spread at Tilak. Photo courtesy of Tilak.

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Parigo’s Little Gem salad with goat milk feta, crispy Parma ham, quail eggs. Photo courtesy of Parigo.

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Ribs, brisket, and more at Hardwood Bar & Smokery. Photo via Facebook.

Over in Bernal Heights, the former Spicy Bite is now ~TILAK INDIAN CUISINE~, and the new owner, chef Tilak Gurung, is reportedly making things even tastier (he previously cooked at Apple and Dropbox), and the interior got a refresh. Open for pickup only Tue-Sun 11:30am-2pm, dine in nightly 5pm-10pm. 3501 Mission St. at Cortland, 415-647-4036.

Folks in the Marina have a new wine bar, ~PARIGO~, now open in the former Bin 38/Scotland Yard space. Barrel Room owner Sarah Trubnick has brought on chef de cuisine Danny Murcia, who is bringing the business’ name to life, which means “pairing”—each course features two wines, one that complements the food and one that contrasts. Or you can come by for selections from the raw bar and bar bites and a glass of whatever you want—there will be more than 50 wines available by the glass and half glass. 3232 Scott St. at Chestnut.

Cow Hollow is the new home and first neighborhood location for the latest fast-casual ~MIXT~, opening Wednesday September 13th. You can come by for salads, grain bowls, and their new market plates for lunch and dinner, plus there’s a kombucha bar, cold brew, and iced nitro chai—and outdoor seating. Open daily 11am-9pm. 3130 Fillmore St. at Filbert.

Over in SoMa, ~HARDWOOD BAR & SMOKERY~ has moved in to the former Blueprint Tap Room by Zynga, serving barbecue, a bunch of bar bites, cocktails, beer, and some boozy pops, in flavors like pineapple daiquiri and French 75. Open Mon-Thu 11:30am-11pm, Fri 11:30am-12am, Sat 4pm-12am. 680 8th St., Ste. 170 at Brannan, 415-796-2437.

And over in Rincon Hill, there’s a new taqueria, ~FISTFUL OF TACOS~, serving tacos, burritos, and burrito bowls, with a pretty straightforward selection of carnitas, carne asada, pollo, and sautéed vegetables. Open Mon-Fri 10:30am-8pm and Sat 11am-6:30pm. 201 Harrison St., Suite C2, at Beale, 415-400-4780.

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A peek at the new chairs, counter, lighting, and artwork at State Bird. Instagram photo via @statebirdprovisions.

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Old Bay egg salad on griddled brioche at Serpentine. Photo: Kristen Loken.

A bunch of SF restaurants took advantage of the Labor Day holiday to close for some refreshes and updates, and here’s the reopening report. ~STATE BIRD PROVISIONS~ was closed for a bit more than the holiday. If you manage to snag a table (they totally jammed OpenTable when they reopened their reservation books!), you’ll note new surfaces, artwork, lighting, seating, and more.

Another big refresh was at Dogpatch’s ~SERPENTINE~, which just reopens today (September 12th) after a month-plus of demo with a new look—you’ll note larger windows letting in more light, a larger dining room, a new bar, and more. The new chef-owner Tommy Halvorson’s menu features some Southern references (he’s from Kentucky), from pimento cheese to honey fried chicken. Sign me up for the Old Bay egg salad on griddled brioche for lunch. And cochinita fritters with a cocktail. Speaking of, the cocktails look great, and there is more attention on the craft beer list on tap as well. Hours are Mon-Fri 10:30am-2:30pm, dinner Mon-Thu 5pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm, and weekend brunch 10am-3pm.

Over on Russian Hill, ~BELCAMPO~ reopened their restaurant and butcher shop, featuring an all-day menu of their signature burgers, including the Fast Burger, the Belcampo Burger (with white cheddar, caramelized onions, butter lettuce, and house sauce), and the 100-Day Dry-Aged Burger (with raclette, caramelized onions, and whole-grain mustard aioli—that funky enough for ya?). At the counter, you’ll find some grab-and-go items (soups and stocks, ready-to-cook meats, salads, and meal kits). The restaurant is open daily 11am-8pm, and the butcher shop is open 10am-8pm. 1998 Polk St. at Pacific, 415-660-5573.

Just so you know, ~ABSINTHE BRASSERIE & BAR~ is also back open with a refreshed space.

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A KronnerBurger with a side of marrow. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Some fun pop-ups are happening at ~TRICK DOG~, starting with a visit from Oakland’s ~KRONNERBURGER~ tonight from 5pm-1am, serving burgers (duh), his patty melt (my fave), an Impossible Burger (and Impossible chili-cheese fries!), hot chicken wings, tomato salad with oyster vinaigrette, his awesome chopped salad with cashew-coconut dressing (so good), and more. He’ll also be back 9/24 and 9/25!

Meanwhile, David Nayfeld of the upcoming ~THEORITA~ with Angela Pinkerton and Matt Brewer (at 834 Divisadero) will be previewing their menu next Sunday and Monday (9/17 3pm-1am and 9/18 5pm-1am), with a BLT salad, Belgian waffle with braised oxtail, fried chicken sandwich, and more—like pie! And then Joey Elenterio will be doing a vegetarian menu on Wednesday 9/27 5pm-1am. 3010 20th St. at Florida, 415-471-2999.

Fans of the tasty Cubano and more at ~MEDIA NOCHE~ in the Mission will be pleased with the news that the shop is now open daily (they used to close on Tuesdays). You can come by and check out how the new chef Casey Rebecca Nunes is doing with the croquetas and pressed Cuban sandwiches. 3465 19th St. at Lexington.

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A cheese plate at the Cheese Fest. Photo via Facebook.

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Don’t miss the Real Food Real Stories’ first annual benefit Story Slam: Salty & Sweet.

There are a bunch of dinners and food events this month, so consider this a quick-fire round, and click through for more info.

This Saturday September 16th is the third annual SF Cheese Fest from the California Artisan Cheese Guild, featuring more cheese than you can imagine, plus some other tasty bites, and brews, ciders, and wine. Tickets are $84 each and include all food and beverage sampling and live jazz. 6pm-9pm. Social Hall SF, 1270 Sutter St. at Van Ness.

Come by ~TAWLA~ on Thursday September 21st (or the 28th!) for their latest “Tawla Does…” family-style dinner, as they make a pit stop in Provence. There will be ratatouille! Tickets are $96, inclusive of service and tax.

On Sunday September 24th, seven of the Bay Area’s foremost French chefs, in association with the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France organization, are teaming up to serve a six-course, wine-paired dinner with proceeds donated to the Justin J. Watt Foundation to aid in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. $175. 6pm. Tickets can be purchased by emailing here. Piperade, 1015 Battery St. at Green, 415-391-2555.

On Wednesday September 27th, come to Airbnb HQ for the Real Food Real Stories’ first annual benefit Story Slam. The storyteller lineup (speaking on the theme of salty and sweet) includes Erin Gleeson of The Forest Feast, Keba Konte of Red Bay Coffee, Laurence Jossel of Nopa, Nik Sharma of A Brown Table, Rebecca King of Garden Variety Cheese, Pim Techamuanvivit of Kin Khao, Yoni Levy of Outerlands, Dilsa Lugo of Los Cilantros, and Margo True of Sunset magazine.

A local food night market, an auction, and some bites (like Coletta Gelato and Nana Joes Granola are partnering to serve a yogurt gelato and strawberry sorbetto topped with vegan and g/f granola) will round out the evening. The event is a fundraiser to continue RFRS’ pro bono storytelling-coaching program for food changemakers to bring eaters the authentic stories behind our food. 6:30pm-9:30pm. Tickets are $75 and up.

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The side dining room. Photo courtesy of Waxman’s SF.

Things didn’t quite work out for Jonathan Waxman over at Ghirardelli Square. Seems his recently opened chicken spot ~JBIRD~ has closed, and the restaurant ~WAXMAN’S~ will not reopen after all.

Meanwhile, over in Noe Valley, ~CASKHOUSE~ (3853 24th St.) has closed, and owner John Dampeer is now focusing all his attention on his newer bar and restaurant, ~HAMLET~ (1199 Church St. at 24th St.).

A reader let me know that after five years of taking care of surfers, day-trippers, beachgoers, and fire pit-lovin’ locals, the ~SURF SPOT~ in Pacifica has closed. 4627 Coast Hwy. 1, Pacifica, 877-625-2929.

September 5, 2017
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The Banaras Sour at Rooh. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Salli par eedu baked eggs with spicy potato straws, tomato, and cheese. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Duck egg with tandoori mushroom. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Chicken 65 on onion uttapam. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Haji Ali mango cream tart. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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The colorful semi-private dining area at Rooh. Photo courtesy of Rooh.

Have you had a chance to visit the stylish and unique Indian restaurant that recently opened in SoMa, ~ROOH~? It’s quite fab—we’re lucky to have this exciting restaurant from the Good Times Restaurants group, who chose to open their first restaurant in the U.S. here in San Francisco. Award-winning chef Sujan Sarkar has a contemporary and innovative style, which integrates California seasonality and a global sensibility, and his dishes are as delicious as they are beautiful.

Rooh recently launched Saturday brunch service, and I want to be sure you all have this special place on your radar—I included them in my recent brunch roundup of 10 new places to try.

Take out your calendar and get ready to check it, because we’re going to be hosting a tablehopper brunch on Saturday September 23rd at 11:30am. The tasting menu was created especially for this event, and thanks to event sponsor Anchor Distilling Company, we’ll have some fantastic cocktail pairings featuring No. 3 London Dry Gin.

Rooh’s cocktails are inventive and playful, inspired by the six rasas of Ayurvedic wisdom (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent), while highlighting Indian ingredients, homemade shrubs, and artisanal spirits. We have put together a special lineup of daytime-friendly cocktails for our brunch featuring No. 3 London Dry Gin.

We’re going to be serving Chai Punch to start (which will highlight the cardamom pods used in making No. 3 London Dry Gin), followed by Rooh’s spectacular Banaras Sour with cucumber and basil (I love this cocktail), plus their aromatic Hyderabad Tonic with fresh turmeric and grapefruit tonic. And wait until you try the Summer Breeze, with guava, citrus notes (which work well with the Spanish orange peel used in No. 3 London Dry Gin), and some fizz from prosecco. It’s going to be quite the tour. We’ll also have folks from Anchor Distilling who can share some background about No. 3 London Dry Gin and talk about the history of India and gin, as well as hear from Rooh’s bar team on their process and inspirations.

Our event will begin with a reception at the bar at 11:30am, with passed apps like dahi puri and potato-samosa cornetti. When we sit down at 12pm, you can choose from the cauliflower or chicken 65, a savory and textured bite served on onion uttapam, with lemon sour cream and peanut chutney. (If anyone attend Eat Drink SF’s Taco Knockdown, you got a taste of the chicken 65!)

We’ll then have an egg course served family style, with their salli par eedu (baked eggs in a cazuela with tomato, cheese, and spicy potato straws on top) and their fried duck egg on tandoori mushrooms, with toasted brioche and chile jam. You’ll also get to try an array of their stuffed kulchas, one of my favorite things on the menu, with fillings like green pea and goat cheese, and pulled duck with apricot and bacon. Uh-huh.

I couldn’t let you leave without experiencing their paneer makhani with garlic naan—the sauce is exquisite, with fenugreek and crème fraîche. You’ll be mopping up every last bite.

For dessert, chef has prepared a special dessert inspired by a famous Mumbai location, Haji Ali, with mango cream, mango sorbet, pistachio kulfi, fresh mango, frozen raspberry, and honeycomb, a delightful mango cloud inside a phyllo cup.

It’s going to be such a special event, and we will be in our own section of the restaurant. We’ll be doing some family-style tables and taking over some booths, too, so you’ll be making some new friends as well. Solo diners, we got you!

Tickets are only $68 (plus a small service fee), including cocktail pairings, tax, and tip, which is an extraordinary deal considering the menu and cocktail pairings are worth well over $100. We’re going to send you out the door on cloud No. 3, so be sure to arrange for a rideshare—no driving! Space is limited, so hop to it.

When purchasing your ticket, please specify if you are vegetarian—we will be able to take care of you! Please get in touch about any allergies—we may be able to accommodate you, but since this is a set menu, we can’t make too many substitutions. Thanks for understanding.

August 29, 2017
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The Banaras Sour at Rooh. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Salli par eedu baked eggs with spicy potato straws, tomato, and cheese. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Duck egg with tandoori mushroom. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Chicken 65 on onion uttapam. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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An array of Rooh’s beautiful cocktails. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Haji Ali mango cream tart. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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The colorful semi-private dining area at Rooh. Photo courtesy of Rooh.

Have you had a chance to visit the stylish and unique Indian restaurant that recently opened in SoMa, ~ROOH~? It’s quite fab—we’re lucky to have this exciting restaurant from the Good Times Restaurants group, who chose to open their first restaurant in the U.S. here in San Francisco. Award-winning chef Sujan Sarkar has a contemporary and innovative style, which integrates California seasonality and a global sensibility, and his dishes are as delicious as they are beautiful.

Rooh recently launched Saturday brunch service, and I want to be sure you all have this special place on your radar—I included them in my recent brunch roundup of 10 new places to try.

Take out your calendar and get ready to check it, because we’re going to be hosting a tablehopper brunch on Saturday September 23rd at 11:30am. The tasting menu was created especially for this event, and thanks to event sponsor Anchor Distilling Company, we’ll have some fantastic cocktail pairings featuring No. 3 London Dry Gin.

Rooh’s cocktails are inventive and playful, inspired by the six rasas of Ayurvedic wisdom (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent), while highlighting Indian ingredients, homemade shrubs, and artisanal spirits. We have put together a special lineup of daytime-friendly cocktails for our brunch featuring No. 3 London Dry Gin.

We’re going to be serving Chai Punch to start (which will highlight the cardamom pods used in making No. 3 London Dry Gin), followed by Rooh’s spectacular Banaras Sour with cucumber and basil (I love this cocktail), plus their aromatic Hyderabad Tonic with fresh turmeric and grapefruit tonic. And wait until you try the Summer Breeze, with guava, citrus notes (which work well with the Spanish orange peel used in No. 3 London Dry Gin), and some fizz from prosecco. It’s going to be quite the tour. We’ll also have folks from Anchor Distilling who can share some background about No. 3 London Dry Gin and talk about the history of India and gin, as well as hear from Rooh’s bar team on their process and inspirations.

Our event will begin with a reception at the bar at 11:30am, with passed apps like dahi puri and potato-samosa cornetti. When we sit down at 12pm, you can choose from the cauliflower or chicken 65, a savory and textured bite served on onion uttapam, with lemon sour cream and peanut chutney. (If anyone attend Eat Drink SF’s Taco Knockdown, you got a taste of the chicken 65!)

We’ll then have an egg course served family style, with their salli par eedu (baked eggs in a cazuela with tomato, cheese, and spicy potato straws on top) and their fried duck egg on tandoori mushrooms, with toasted brioche and chile jam. You’ll also get to try an array of their stuffed kulchas, one of my favorite things on the menu, with fillings like green pea and goat cheese, and pulled duck with apricot and bacon. Uh-huh.

I couldn’t let you leave without experiencing their paneer makhani with garlic naan—the sauce is exquisite, with fenugreek and crème fraîche. You’ll be mopping up every last bite.

For dessert, chef has prepared a special dessert inspired by a famous Mumbai location, Haji Ali, with mango cream, mango sorbet, pistachio kulfi, fresh mango, frozen raspberry, and honeycomb, a delightful mango cloud inside a phyllo cup.

It’s going to be such a special event, and we will be in our own section of the restaurant. We’ll be doing some family-style tables and taking over some booths, too, so you’ll be making some new friends as well. Solo diners, we got you!

Tickets are only $68 (plus a small service fee), including cocktail pairings, tax, and tip, which is an extraordinary deal considering the menu and cocktail pairings are worth well over $100. We’re going to send you out the door on cloud No. 3, so be sure to arrange for a rideshare—no driving! Space is limited, so hop to it.

When purchasing your ticket, please specify if you are vegetarian—we will be able to take care of you! Please get in touch about any allergies—we may be able to accommodate you, but since this is a set menu, we can’t make too many substitutions. Thanks for understanding.

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A look at the bar area and dining room. Photo courtesy of Mamanoko.

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The dining room at Mamanoko. Photo courtesy of Mamanoko.

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A look at the bar at Mamanoko. Photo courtesy of Cindy Beckman, Architects II.

I have been receiving tips from tablehopper readers about things going on in the former Mamacita space in the Marina, and it looks like ~MAMANOKO~ has softly opened in the location. Partners Stryker Scales and Sam Josi (Mamacita, Umami, Tipsy Pig, Padrecito, Blue Barn) have put together a Japanese-inspired concept, featuring an izakaya-style menu of bar-friendly bites like dumplings, tataki, skewers, tempura, sliders (including pork tonkatsu), and snacks (take a first look at the menu here).

There is also an eight-seat sushi bar they added, helmed by Taka Iwamoto, who is offering a nice selection of nigiri, sashimi, and a range of rolls, from classics (“the usual suspects,” $10-$12) to specialty house rolls ($16-$19) like the Wiki Wiki (spicy ahi tuna, tobiko, avocado, and kaiware, with albacore tuna, ponzu, crispy garlic oil, and scallions on the outside). Here’s the sushi menu for you to take a look at.

The cocktail menu features Japanese whiskies, all Japanese beers, and 20 sakes. Bar manager Tim Cosgrove has created eight cocktails (which will increase in time), including the Spirited Away, a spin on a Manhattan, with jasmine tea-infused Toki whisky, Carpano Antica, Grand Marnier, and Angostura bitters, served in a ceramic cup with an ice sphere.

Architects II is behind the updated layout and overall design, but Josi had a lot of feedback on the details (he has traveled extensively in Japan)—the team all collaborated closely. You’ll note some shou sugi ban (charred cedar, a Japanese method of curing wood) throughout, on the bar wall, wainscoting, and trim out front. The team sourced Japanese Akari lanterns from the Noguchi Museum, and there is a lot of traditional cedar as well. There are 90 seats total.

The name is a nod to the former Mamacita and means “mother’s child” in Japanese. Marina, meet your new hangout. Hours are Mon-Sat 5:30pm-10pm for now. 2317 Chestnut St. at Divisadero, 415-346-8494.

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Amara’s Lou Maldonado and Mourad Lahlou. Instagram photo via @amara_sf.

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The interior of Aziza. Photo via Facebook.

Exciting news: Mourad Lahlou will be reopening the former ~AZIZA~ space, but it will be a new concept, ~AMARA~, spanning the cuisine of Northern Morocco and Moorish influences on Mexico (the name refers to the Moors in Spanish). Lahlou is bringing Aziza’s former chef de cuisine Louis Maldonado (The French Laundry) back on, and they are aiming to open early next year. This will be the first restaurant of its kind in the U.S. Anyone who knows the history of tacos al pastor is familiar with the many Middle Eastern influences in Mexican cuisine, from cooking techniques to ingredients and spices.

The menu will be inspired by abundant family gatherings with dishes to share, like grilled branzino Veracruz with chanterelles, capers, riesling, and Cerignola olives; as well as cumin- and chile-braised lamb shanks with smoked lamb and tomato, and wilted greens; and roasted chicken legs with caramelized bone and ancho chile glaze, yam, mint, and toum (garlic paste).

Pastry chef Annemarie Catrambone will take inspiration from Mexican paleta and ice cream shops and the French influence on pastries in Morocco for her desserts.

The cocktails at Aziza were always something special, and Mourad bar manager J.P. Smith is going to be using aromatic spices and ingredients found in the food menu, as well as freshly squeezed juices and smoky spirits like mezcal and tequila. Mourad wine director Tara Patrick will be assembling a global wine list with 80 selections priced at $40-$80/bottle.

Aziza originally opened in 2001, an homage to Lahlou’s mother, and was the first Moroccan restaurant in the U.S. to be awarded a Michelin star. (Lahlou’s downtown fine dining project, Mourad, has also received a Michelin star.)

The space is going to be undergoing a renovation, but Aziza’s good bone structure will still be felt. Look for some textures, colors, and patterns of Moroccan marketplaces and contemporary touches. Dinner will be served nightly, and weekend brunch will also be on offer. Keep up with the restaurant on social at @amara_sf. 5800 Geary Blvd. at 22nd Ave.

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The beautiful new garden patio at Duna (which you can also enjoy in the evening). Photo via Facebook.

You around this weekend? Staycationing? Well, lucky you, because you’ll be the first to check out ~DUNA~’s new Sunday brunch. It starts this Sunday September 3rd from 11:30am-1:30pm, and there is a spiffy new garden patio for you to enjoy! The Middle European brunch menu is still in development, but is looking like it will include a flatbread with eggs, housemade yogurt, crêpes, kefir coffee (in partnership with Sudden Coffee), and a sparkling cocktail. Whatever it will be, it will be creative and delicious, oh you know it.

Service will be fast-casual, just like dinner. No reservations (or delivery—you gotta get out of bed for this one). For the opening weekend, they’ll be offering their custom rosé (made exclusively for Duna by Pomebandit Wines and served on tap) for $25 per 500ml carafe. Yes way. 983 Valencia St. at 21st St.

Huge congratulations to Carrie and Rupert Blease of ~LORD STANLEY~, who are welcoming their new baby, Hazel, into their lives. The restaurant will be closed for summer break for a couple of weeks, reopening September 12th. 2065 Polk St. at Broadway.

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Jardinière. Photo: © FrankenyImages.com.

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Food trucks at last year’s J-Pop Summit. Photo: © Kumi Yamauchi.

Leave it to ~WING WINGS~ in the Lower Haight to be one of the first local businesses to rally to help Texans affected by the flood. On Tuesday September 5th, they will be hosting Tacos for Texas, with tacos, queso, beers, and more from Señor Sisig, Minnie Bells, Miguel from Papalote, and more. Beats will be provided by Ross Hogg, Mr. E, and the Sazon Libre Crew. 5pm-9pm. Follow @wingwings for updates.

Next week, ~NOMICA~ is celebrating their one-year anniversary with special dinners and offers all week (from September 4th-9th). They’ll be giving away a bottle of sparkling wine with every whole chicken in brioche (as always, there is a limited quantity of chickens available), but if you have been wanting to check it out, now would be the time. And be sure to try their special iwashi (sardine) appetizer—chef Hiroo began a very special process to cure it a year ago. There is a ticketed dinner, new cocktails (Scott Baird of Trick Dog will be guest bartending on Thursday September 7th), and a whole lot more—read all about it on their site. 2223 Market St. at Sanchez.

Since I’m going dark next week, I also wanted to be sure you knew about ~JARDINIÈRE~’s 20th anniversary (!) festivities, from an anniversary kickoff dinner to a private alumni event to a women of Hayes Valley celebration. It’s going to be an amazing week—raise a glass to chef Traci Des Jardins and her outstanding team! We love you!

Returning to SF on the weekend of September 9th-10th is the J-Pop Summit street fair, which moved from Japantown to Fort Mason Center. Like in years past, there will be quite the lineup of ramen restaurants (from the Bay Area and Seattle) at the Ramen Summit, sake makers and distributors, a special Sake Summit Premium event on Saturday, Japanese food trucks, snacks, and drinks. Tickets are $35 for adults and $15 for kids ages 6 and up. Fort Mason Festival Pavilion, 2 Marina Blvd.

Make sure you save the date for the San Francisco Street Food Festival, which returns Sunday October 15th to benefit La Cocina’s food entrepreneurs. The event will be scaled back but there will still be more than 30 Bay Area chefs and restaurants. A limited number of tickets will be sold for $5. I’ll keep you updated. It will run 11am to 8pm at The Power Station at 420 23rd St. in the Dogpatch. 

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The new Humphry Slocombe shipping container at The Hive in Oakland. Photo courtesy of Humphry Slocombe.

Now Oakland has a chance to #lickthat with the opening of the latest ~HUMPHRY SLOCOMBE~ location at The Hive, its first East Bay address. Starting in September, they will be launching Oakland tribute flavors each month (the first collaborations will be with Oaklandish, Feelmore, the Oakland Museum of Art, and Oaktown Spice Shop). You can’t miss the bright blue shipping container, recycled and retired from the Port of Oakland and painted in Humphry Slocombe signature blue. UrbanBloc built and refurbished the environmentally-friendly container with the help of students from Laney College’s carpentry program. Right on. Hours are Mon-Thu 1pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-12am, Sun 12pm-10pm. 2335 Broadway at 24th St., Oakland.

Oakland folks, miss Hawker Fare? Yup. Chef James Syhabout will be popping up at ~OLD KAN BEER & CO.~ tonight, August 29th, from 5pm-9pm. 95 Linden St., Oakland. [Via Scoop.]

Good news: the beautiful ~LONGITUDE~, which sadly closed earlier this year, is going to have another tiki-friendly owner moving into the space: ~THE KON-TIKI~. Hoodline reports (via Critiki) the new owners are Christ Aivaliotis (of SF’s Holy Mountain) and Matthew Reagan. There will also be a food menu from Manuel Bonilla, previously at Hawker Fare Oakland, and they plan to serve until last call (12am on weekdays, 1am on the weekend).  They hope to open in October. 347 14th St. at Webster, Oakland.

East Bay Express brings word (and pictures) of ~GIO’S PIZZA AND BOCCE~, (formerly Giovanni’s) which was brought back to life after a fire with new owners. There’s a simple Italian menu focused on Sicilian-style pizza and calzones from Fred Oliveira (Boulevard, Sea Salt in Berkeley), along with some appetizers, salads, and pasta. There’s also reportedly quite the vintage amaro and vermouth collection, along with spritzes on tap, cocktails, beer, and more. And per the name, there’s a bocce court. Come by for aperitivo hour from 5pm-6pm, with the kitchen open until 10pm, and the bar even later. Brunch is coming soon. 2420 Shattuck Ave. at Channing, Berkeley, 510-647-9963.

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Hog Island Oyster Co. now owns the iconic Tony’s Seafood in Marshall and it’s open! Photo via Facebook.

Just in case you are thinking of heading up to Marshall on Tomales Bay over the holiday weekend for some oysters, you should know that Hog Island Oyster Co. is now open in ~TONY’S SEAFOOD RESTAURANT~. They acquired the third-generation, family­-run seafood restaurant when brothers Anton and John Konatich approached Hog Island with an exclusive offer to purchase it.

On the menu, you’ll find an array of oysters (raw or grilled); plus chowder; steamed Manila clams or cove mussels; local halibut crudo with sorrel-mint pesto, cucumber, radish; seafood salad; Gulf shrimp Louie; a fried oyster po’boy; linguine and clams; and Tony’s Burger (Stemple Creek Ranch beef, housemade tartar sauce, lettuce, tomato, pickles, red onion). There will also be specials.

Open Fri-Sun 11am-7pm, no reservations. 18863 Shoreline Highway, Marshall, 415-663-1107.

August 22, 2017
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Roma Antica, opening in the Marina, has an airy and contemporary look. All photos: © tablehopper.com.

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One of Top Round’s beefy sandwiches. Photo via Facebook.

You read all about the opening of ~ROMA ANTICA~ in the Marina last month in tablehopper, and I wanted you to know it’s now open! You can look at the dinner menu here, which is focused on Roman pasta (handmade) and pinsa, plus lots of appetizers, and some big plates like porchetta, saltimbocca, and eggplant parmigiana—and plenty of wines by the glass to go with it all. Here’s the lunchtime menu, perfect to reenact a real Italian pranzo. Hours are Mon-Thu 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-12am, Sun 11am-9pm. 3242 Scott St. at Chestnut.

After getting things ramped up, ~J BIRD~ is now up and cluckin’ in Ghirardelli Square. The fast-casual concept has opened in Waxman’s, which was such a huge space the team decided to trim it down and open this chicken stand in the location. Owner Jonathan Waxman is famous for his roast chicken, but the J Bird menu also offers fried chicken and hot and cold sides, plus sandwiches, salads, and picnic baskets if you want to get something to go. Plus there’s pie. You can hang out on the terrace with gingham-covered tables (and covered seating). Waxman’s will continue to be closed for renovations, stand by for more on that. J Bird is open Tue-Thu and Sun 11am-7pm, Fri-Sat 11am-8pm. Delivery is also in the works. 900 North Point, Suite B201 B at Larkin, 415-226-1244.

I previously broke the news about LA’s ~TOP ROUND ROAST BEEF~ coming to the former Discolandia (and Pig & Pie) space in the Mission, and it’s opening this Saturday August 26th. Top Round is known for its menu of slow-roasted beef sandwiches, buttermilk-marinated fried chicken, hot dogs, fried sides (like hand-cut curly fries fried in beef fat), and frozen custard, plus some vegetarian items too. Breakfast is also served, with LA’s Lamill Coffee. Hours will be 8am-9pm daily. 2962 24th St. at Alabama.

There’s a new offshoot of Kaiju Eats in the 
Inner Richmond called ~KAIJU COOKS~, serving a variety of Japanese appetizers (gyoza, skewers, sake clams) and nine kinds of ramen, from kimchi to kara-age, plus lunch specials. Open Tue-Sun 11:30am-2:30pm and 5pm-9:30pm. 1650 Balboa St
. at 17th Ave., 415-221-6288.

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Dottie’s back dining room. Photo courtesy Dottie’s.

Brunch institution ~DOTTIE’S TRUE BLUE CAFE~ is going to have new owners. Chef-owner Kurt Abney has been trying to sell the location for some time, and when I saw the ABC ownership transfer hit the wires, I reached out to him for the story. I wondered if the folks behind Z&Y were taking over, but he confirms in a note on the window it’s going to a young couple and he will be working with them in the transition. Thanks for the 20-plus years of making all that cornbread and those awesome pancakes! 28 6th St. at Stevenson.

Some changes from the ~WISE SONS~ team: they will no longer be at the CUESA Tuesday and Thursday markets at the Ferry Building (today was the last day), but they will continue to have their stand there on Saturdays.

And in the “oh no” category, there is a lawsuit that threatens North Beach’s 62-year-old ~CAFFÈ TRIESTE~. It stems from a family feud, you can read more in Hoodline. Let’s hope they sort this out, it would be such a shame to rob SF of this historic cafe. Come on, fam, figure it out. Papa Gianni is turning in his grave over this. 601 Vallejo St. at Grant.

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Forbes Island, with its shuttle, in the Pier 39 marina. Photo via Facebook.

Wow, quite the slew of old-timers just closed, starting with the ever-quirky ~FORBES ISLAND~, the floating barge disguised as an island that has been in the Pier 39 marina for over 20 years. It seems owner Forbes Kiddoo (the best sailor name ever) has retired), and we’ll have to stand by to learn where the island will end up next. Anyone want to buy an island? It comes with a lighthouse. And a beach. And palm trees. And a dining room that’s like a ship. And a tiki bar. Hmmmm. [Via Inside Scoop.]

Another quirky closure is ~BUCA DI BEPPO~, after 20 years. The building is going to be turned into office space. 855 Howard St. at 5th St.

And then fusion outpost ~CHAYA~ on the Embarcadero has also shuttered after 17 years (its lease was not renewed). 132 The Embarcadero at Mission.

Lastly, Hoodline reports Vietnamese ~MEKONG KITCHEN~ in the Castro has closed. Farewell, spicy oxtail pho. 4039 18th St. at Noe.

A tablehopper tipster also let me know that ~MEN OH TOKUSHIMA RAMEN~ and ~SHABUWAY~ in the Inner Richmond (which were just next door to each other) have closed. The other Shabuway locations remain open. 5120 Geary Blvd. at 16th Ave.

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Oysters suprême with uni, salmon caviar, black truffle perlage, and foie gras brûlée at Perle. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Fried oyster deviled eggs (with smoked trout roe and Calabrian chile relish) at Perle. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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The French onion dip burger at Perle (with a milk bun). Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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The sleek wine bar at Perle. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Chef Donato Scotti. Photo: Nadia Andreini.

Over the weekend, I took a field trip to Montclair to check out my chef buddy Rob Lam’s menu at his new spot with Marcus Garcia (previously wine director for Fleur de Lys), ~PERLE WINE BAR~. It’s designed to be a comfortable place, whether you’re dining with friends or snagging a couple seats at the spacious bar for date night (it was previously Pour Wine Bar & Bistro).

The menu is rooted in French bistro classics, with a focus on seafood, and Lam weaves some of his Vietnamese and Italian touches throughout the menu (after closing Butterfly earlier this year, he took some time to stage at Acquerello and brush up on some other techniques—you may remember him from the Jook Joint pop-ups we did back in November!).

You’ll find an array of housemade charcuterie (the tête de cochon and foie gras torchon are excellent) and there’s a selection of cheeses as well, so you can come in for just those and a glass of wine. Take your pick from a variety of “pearls,” from caviar service to oyster shooters in acqua pazza, and for a bite of luxury, you have to get the oysters suprême with uni, salmon caviar, black truffle perlage, and the kicker: foie gras brûlée.

Bites like fried oyster deviled eggs, smoked salmon toast (with crème fraîche whitefish—it’s like your dream bagel!), and a decadent dish with bone marrow, steak tartare, and black truffle caviar are all unique and perfect bites to pair with wine. Fortunately, Garcia has plenty of ideas for you.

Larger dishes include Pernod mussels (so plump and sweet) with petite meatballs and saffron rouille; linguini alle vongole (topped with clams casino); and a rich onglet steak with pommes dauphinoise (au gratin, baby). The French onion dip burger comes with a housemade milk bun that really makes it all come together—I could totally see myself plunking down at the bar here by myself, with just the company of this fine burger and a glass of wine.

Take a look at the menu here—Lam is still developing it and always tinkering (the space has only been open this past month), but you’ll get an idea. Same goes for the extensive wine cellar—Garcia has something for all palates and budgets, but if you feel like splashing out a little, this would be a place to go for it. Dinner Tue-Sun, starting at 5:30pm. 2058 Mountain Blvd., Montclair Village, Oakland, 510-808-7767.

Due to open in the former Advocate in Elmwood in late September is ~DONATO & CO.~ from Donato Scotti (of Donato Enoteca and CRU in Redwood City, and Desco in Oakland) and his chef partner in this and future projects, Gianluca Guglielmi. The two met back in 1999, when Guglielmi was executive chef, food research, and development, and vice president at A.G. Ferrari Foods, but lately he has been cooking at his Ristorante La Berlera in Riva del Garda since 2010 with his wife and son.

Donato & Co. will feature contemporary, rustic Italian cuisine highlighting housemade pasta and local seafood and meats cooked over live fire. There will also be a selection of seasonal salads, vegetarian, and vegan dishes, and look for some special sweets (it ends up Guglielmi has quite the passion for Italian pastries). There will be 20 wines by the glass, with a focus on Italian imports, plus French and Northern Californian producers, and many small-production wines. Cocktails will be Italian-inspired, with fresh juices and small batch spirits.

Chef Scotti and his longtime restaurant designer Anna Klint of Iron Skirt are designing the space, which includes a 20-foot bar and seating for 120 guests in the main dining room. And then there’s that state-of-the-art Constellation and Libra acoustic system from Berkeley’s renowned Meyer Sound they inherited with the space, which makes for the best dining room acoustics. It will be open for lunch and dinner Tue-Sun plus weekend brunch. I’ll keep you updated on the opening. 2635 Ashby Ave. at College, Berkeley.

East Bay folks: if you are always a little jealous of SF’s ability to order the lamb rotisserie salad or pork gyro from ~SOUVLA~ for delivery—and believe me, you should be—you get your chance to order Souvla for delivery via Caviar (that link will get you $20 off!) Thursday August 24th-27th! East Bay residents (in El Cerrito, Berkeley, Oakland, and Alameda) will be able to order for dinner starting at 5pm. Pro tip: order the juicy potatoes and add them to your salad. You’re welcome.

Congrats to ~RED BAY COFFEE~ on getting their roastery and coffee bar open in Fruitvale. Details in East Bay Express. Open Mon-Fri 7am-4pm and Sat-Sun 9am-4pm. 3098 E 10th St. at Fruitvale, Oakland.

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Shima aji, oboro kombu, melon, radish, kombu salt. Photo courtesy of Madcap.

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The bohemian style of Madcap. Photo courtesy of Madcap.

Chef Ron Siegel has been a well-known chef at some of SF’s finer establishments (Michael Mina, The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton, Masa’s, Charles Nob Hill, and Aqua), as well as Yountville’s The French Laundry, and now after two decades of working for others, he has opened his first solo restaurant, ~MADCAP~ in San Anselmo.

You can order à la carte (menu here), but there’s also a chef’s tasting menu ($80 for 8 courses). Dishes will feature Siegel’s technique-driven style, with plenty of Japanese influences (one of his trademarks). In addition to the wine and international beers (look for some Japanese selections), there are also some seasonal sake cocktails, like the Chiyo Chiller, with Choya umeshu (plum liqueur), lemonade, sparkling water, and mint.

The 47-seat space was previously Lincoln Park Wine Bar and was completely remodeled with some help from designer Michael Brennan, now featuring Venetian plaster walls, chandeliers, dark wood tabletops, and velvet banquettes, plus there’s a cozy bar with a marble countertop. The design was meant to be approachable but still sophisticated and destination-worthy. Open for dinner Mon and Thu 5:30pm-9:30pm, Fri-Sat 5:30pm-10pm, Sun 5pm-9pm (closed Tue-Wed). 198 Sir Frances Drake Blvd., San Anselmo, 415-453-9898.

August 15, 2017
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Kuma Sushi’s Cory Jackson and Ryo Sakai. Photo via Facebook.

Color me impressed. Back in March, I wrote about the upcoming ~KUMA SUSHI + SAKE~, from best friends Ryo Sakai (Pink Zebra, Domo) and Cory Jackson, and they reached out to let me know they are now softly open on Polk. Nice work, guys. The official opening is this Thursday August 17th.

They are opening a neighborhood-friendly sushi spot, designed to work for all kinds of budgets, while not skimping on quality seafood, with much of it local (from TwoXSea). The menu features small plates and salads to start, like sakekawa ($8), fresh arugula leaves and crispy salmon skin dressed with ponzu; chawanmushi ($9), a savory egg custard with shiitake mushroom, smoked gouda, and crab; and there are some tasting spoons for those who love those one-bite wonders.

You’ll also find nigiri, sashimi, and maki rolls, from a California roll (with real crab) to some kookier ones, like the Hey Girl ($14), a tempura shrimp roll topped with layers of tuna and avocado, spicy mayo, and unagi sauce. You can sit at the sushi bar for omakase, which is definitely fun with Ryo driving the bus. Vegetarians will also find some selections.

Local and Japanese beers, an ever-changing list of sakes, and wines are available. There’s a custom sushi case at the counter, and look for the shou sugi ban wood at the entrance (it’s a Japanese technique of charring and preserving wood).There are 18 seats, with 12 at the bar, and no reservations. Hours are lunch Tue-Fri 11:30am-2pm, and dinner Sun and Tue-Thu 5pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm. Closed Mon. 1040 Polk St. at Post.

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The Wagyumafia cutlet sandwich. Photo via @wagyumafia on Instagram.

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The sushi counter at Omakase. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

I know, you actually are reading that correctly. A $180 sandwich is coming to San Francisco from Japan’s Wagyumafia (careful, the video on their site is on blast), known as “Japan’s preeminent Kobe and Wagyu beef ambassadors and purveyors.” They basically buy the spendiest beef imaginable and feature it at their pop-ups around the world (they also opened a members-only club in Tokyo).

Co-founders Hisato Hamada and Takafumi Horie will be opening the first certified Wagyu butcher and sandwich shop in the United States in early 2018, their fifth location and first outside of Asia, which will sell Japanese Kobe and Wagyu beef in a retail setting. Sandwiches will be available at lunchtime, from $8 to $180, depending on the quality and cut of Wagyu or Kobe beef and if you stopped by your money tree that morning and picked a bushel of Benjamins (or not). There are also plans to host pop-up dinners with guest chefs from Japan.

They are partnering with ORG (Omakase Restaurant Group) owners Kash Feng and chef Jackson Yu (Omakase, Okane, Dumpling Time, Live Sushi, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s) on the shop. It will be part of ORG and Equity Residential’s One Henry Adams project in the design district (which also has a yakiniku steakhouse, whisky bar, and an udon noodle shop in the works).

To celebrate the partnership, ~OMAKASE~ is hosting an exclusive five-course dinner on Wednesday August 30th with Louis Roederer Champagne (yes, the Cristal will be flowing, and the Kobe beef “Shabusando” Chateaubriand cutlet sandwich is part of the menu). Seatings at 5:30pm and 8:30pm. $595 per person, excluding tax and gratuity (oof). For reservations, call Omakase at 415-865-0633.

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Exterior of the Hotel Bijou. Photo via Facebook.

While waiting for chef Robin Song to get his Korean-influenced project Junju off the ground after departing from Hog & Rocks, it ends up he has pivoted and is now the chef behind ~GIBSON~, a restaurant opening in the soon-to-be-renovated boutique Hotel Bijou in the Tenderloin.

His contemporary American menu will be focused on live-fire cooking, seasonality (due to his close relationships with many small and nearby farms), sustainability, and also affordability, while still delivering quality and good service (well, that’s nice). The menu will be designed to share, starting with charcoal-grilled sourdough bread service with seasonal accompaniments that will literally have guests break bread together. There will also be classic cocktails featuring juices, shrubs, and ingredients from the kitchen.

Oakland-based Mister Important (Chambers Eat + Drink, Gitane) is behind the design, which will take some inspiration from Art Deco. Look for an opening in late summer. 111 Mason St. at Eddy.

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The exterior, with LED artwork from Mexico-based artists Héctor Falcón and Fernando Llanos. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

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The former Renoir Hotel flatiron building is now the San Francisco Proper Hotel. Photo courtesy of San Francisco Proper Hotel.

Adriano Paganini’s Back of the House restaurant group has confirmed they are taking over the former La Urbana space on Divisadero and will be opening their 22nd restaurant in the location. Their PR team hints it will also be their 12th concept, we’ll just have to wait and see what that will be. The plan is to open later this November. Stand by for updates. 661 Divisadero St. at Grove.

Meanwhile, details have emerged about the three food and beverage concepts that will be in the San Francisco Proper Hotel, opening in Mid-Market this summer. First will be Villon, offering an all-day dining experience by chef Jason Franey (Campton Place, Eleven Madison Park, Canlis, Restaurant 1833). Look for a menu of contemporary American cuisine featuring updated classics, or as Franey is calling it, “comfort geek cooking.” There will be a main dining room and lobby salon, with cocktails from Josh Harris and Morgan Schick of BVHospitality (their “7x7” cocktail menu—a tribute to SF’s seven-by-seven-mile radius—will feature seven thematic categories with seven cocktails in each), plus wine and beer. There’s also a private dining room that will seat 14.

Next will be Charmaine’s, the rooftop bar and lounge, with cocktails, large-format drinks, highball service for groups, and bar bites, and La Bande, serving housemade pastries, tartines, sandwiches, and salads, plus coffee, tea, beer, and wine. There will also be a specialty market, with products and housemade provisions to go. 1110 Market St. at 7th St.

There’s something new opening in late August on Belden Place in the former Belden Taverna: ~TOY SOLDIER~. The menu will focus on contemporary American cuisine paired with house-brewed beer. Executive chef and co-owner Fred Turner is working with general manager and co-owner Franz Meis and co-owners Nick Pigott and Johnny “Love” Metheny. The hearty menu includes rabbit arancini, Brussels sprouts Caesar salad, and hefty dishes like Toy Soldier IPA-braised beef short ribs. Cocktails, 14 beer taps, and an on-site microbrewery, plus a California-focused wine list will be on offer, with live musical entertainment Thu-Sat and occasional weekend DJs. Michael Brennan is behind the renovation, which includes a communal table, booths, and banquette seating, plus an upstairs lounge. Lunch, happy hour, and dinner will be served, plus there are plans for late night (until 4am, whoa) and brunch. Hours will be daily 10:30am-3pm and dinner 4pm-11pm. 52 Belden Pl. at Pine, 415-906-9048.

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Absinthe. Image: © FrankenyImages.com.

Just in case you’re planning on grabbing a Ginger Rogers cocktail or raw oysters or their soft garlic pretzels with Vermont cheddar Mornay sauce (the best!) at ~ABSINTHE BRASSERIE & BAR~, the restaurant is currently closed for a refresh until Thursday September 7th. I’ll remind you when the renovations are complete. And don’t worry, you can still book a table for opera season!

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Enough Tea & Coffee is opening soon. Photo via Facebook.

A couple of quick notes for you fellow caffeine lovers. Just about to open in the Financial District is ~ENOUGH TEA & COFFEE~, a small shop serving hot and cold coffee, espresso drinks, brewed tea, milk tea, fruit tea, and their Enough Milk Mousse Tea: black, green, or oolong with sea salt. There are also some yogurt drinks if you need a break from a caffeine buzz. Follow along on Instagram at @enoughteasf for their official opening date in a week. Hours will be Mon-Fri 7am-6pm and Sat 8am-5pm. 49 Kearny St. at Maiden Ln.

Meanwhile, Hoodline caught the closure of ~TROUBLE COFFEE COMPANY~’s location in Bayview, which opened in 2013. Bummer news, but let’s congratulate founder Giulietta Carrelli on Trouble’s 10-year-anniversary—and for being the progenitor of our toast scene. The original Judah Street and the West Oakland locations remain open. 1730 Yosemite Ave. at 3rd St.

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Bubba’s breakfast sandwich. Photo: New Revolution Media.

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Eleven wine bar and bistro in Bolinas. Photo courtesy of Kate Sterlin.

New Orleans-inspired ~ALBA RAY’S~ in the Mission just started lunch and brunch service. You’ll find po’boys on Leidenheimer’s French bread, a muffuletta (chef Adam makes the bun in house), salads, and check this out: on Fridays, lunch patrons can purchase $1 MARTINIS. Whut.

Brunch includes red beans loco moceaux (white rice, red bean gravy, andouille sausage, two sunny-side up eggs), boudin Benedict with scallion purée and Cajun hollandaise, crawfish omelette with chèvre and Creole gravy, and Bubba’s breakfast sandwich (fried eggs, ham, andouille, fried eggs, roasted tomato, caramelized onion, pimento cheese, rémoulade). Lunch is Wed-Fri 11am-3:30pm, brunch is Sat-Sun 11am-3:30pm. 2293 Mission St. at 19th St., 415-872-9409.

Meanwhile, if you’re near Bolinas over a weekend, ~ELEVEN~—a newer wine bar and bistro that opened in early summer from sisters Kate and Rebecca Sterlin—is now serving Sunday brunch. They updated a long-shuttered building that dates back to the 1890s with a farmhouse chic look, a crisp color scheme, and furnishings made by their brother. Sunday brunch is 10am-3pm, but you can stay until 6pm for oysters, natural wines, and pizza as the day goes on. 11 Wharf Rd., Bolinas, 415-868-1133.

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Exterior of the new Paradise Park Cafe. Photo courtesy of PPC.

Back in April, I reported that ~PARADISE PARK CAFE~ was coming to the former Actual Café in the NOBE (North Oakland, Berkeley, Emeryville) neighborhood, historically known as Paradise Park. The grand opening is this Thursday August 17th, and 20 percent of the day’s proceeds will benefit the East Bay College Fund and Oakland Promise.

It’s the fourth cafe from Rachel Herbert and Dana Oppenheim of SF’s Park Cafe Group (Dolores Park Cafe, Precita Park Cafe, Duboce Park Cafe). The casual, seasonal, and affordable menu includes sandwiches (BLT, fried chicken), burgers (meaty and not), housemade pastas, salads, and organic juices and smoothies, plus vegan and gluten-free dishes. Like a true neighborhood café, they want to have something for everyone, even the kiddies. Weekend brunch will also be offered (Sat-Sun 8am-3pm). Equator Coffee, local craft beers, California wines, and wine cocktails are also available. Open daily 7am-8pm. 6334 San Pablo Ave. at Alcatraz, Oakland, 510-756-4141.

Meanwhile, the Temescal location of SF’s ~ROSAMUNDE SAUSAGE GRILL~ has closed (thanks to a tablehopper Twitter follower for the tip). We reached out to Rosamunde’s Josh Margolis, who said, “We would like to thank the neighborhood and all of our friends and fans who made Rosamunde a great place to hang out with friends, enjoy delicious grilled sausage and fantastic beer. Although we are unable to continue serving in Temescal, we invite you to get your sausage fix downtown Oakland at Swan’s Marketplace (911 Washington St.) or in San Francisco at 2832 Mission Street or 545 Haight Street.” 4659 Telegraph Ave. at 46th St., Oakland.

Was also sorry to receive the news that Jay Porter and Katie Mayfield decided to close ~THE HALF ORANGE~ in Fruitvale. Their note said: “Thank you very much to all of you who’ve eaten here and supported us in many ways! It’s been a very fun experience for us, and we are grateful to everyone for welcoming us so warmly to the community.” They are looking for someone to purchase the restaurant space from them, so be sure to reach out to them if you’re interested. 3340 E. 12th St., Ste. 11, at 33rd Ave., Oakland.