The Chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)
July 18, 2017
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Original Namu Stonepot rice. All photos: © tablehopper.com.

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A look into the space, featuring an open kitchen and custom woodwork throughout (including the dividing walnut counter).

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The back counter (for takeout pick-up and ordering additional items).

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The magic stonepot rice (after you let it crisp and then mix it up).

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The new Namu Stonepot chicken ramen.

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Sizzling sisig!

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The Lee brothers: Dan, chef Dennis, and David.

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Some of the custom two-top tables.

Nopa/Western Addition residents have been (im)patiently waiting for updates on when the Namu Gaji crew was going to open their latest project on Divisadero, ~NAMU STONEPOT~, and that time is sooooo close: Thursday July 27th! Last night, the Lee brothers gave me a sneak peek of the space, menu, new dishes, and adult beverages, and let’s just say I’ve found what’s going to become my new neighborhood fixation.

They did quite the transformation of the former Jay’s Cheesesteak space, thanks to designer Brian Ford of Metropolis Design (who designed Namu Gaji, his first restaurant project) and woodworker Sebastian Lane, who cleverly outfitted the narrow space with walnut counters and 22 seats across from an open kitchen. Local artist/muralist Victor Reyes is behind the Cuban-style distressed plaster with pops of color throughout, and the Lees are continuing their tree-themed artwork commissions with Mike Giant, who is going to be doing a custom piece on the front left wall.

The menu is going to be such a hit—it’s generous (fast-casual service helps), unique to the neighborhood, and perfect for a quick bite, takeout (there’s even a dedicated pick-up counter), and should travel well for delivery as well (they are launching on Caviar and Postmates). Take a first look at a preview menu here—which is still being tweaked, btw.

The stonepot concept is inspired by their signature Namu stonepot rice at Namu Gaji—here you can get a piping hot dish in two sizes (regular is $10, large is $18) with Koshihikari rice, seven vegetables (ranging from shimeji and enoki mushrooms to tamari-marinated eggplant from their farm), egg, silken tofu, kimchee, sesame, Other Brother Co. local EVOO, and nori, which you can add grass-fed bulgogi beef ($5) or organic soy-marinated chicken thigh ($3) to—it all sizzles in front of you as you let the rice on the bottom brown to your desired crispness before you mix it all up. In a rush? You can order it all mixed up bibimbap-style (without the stone) for $8.95.

The stonepot is also making appearances with their kimchee okonomiyaki ($12), another Namu favorite, and they are bringing back a Namu original from when they opened on Balboa Street: their sisig ($18)! It comes in a stonepot full of crispy and crackling pork (both ground pork and pork head and jowl, rendered twice!), its richness cut by green cabbage and pickled onions, jalapeños, and celery.

There’s also a creative spin on ramen ($15): a stonepot comes with Tokyo-style ramen noodles, which get a little golden in the sizzling pot with a hit of oil before they are covered with a rich chicken bone broth, and then it all starts bubbling and cooks the noodles more. The ramen also comes topped with slices of sous vide organic chicken breast, a slow-cooked egg, bean sprouts, toasted sesame seeds, and a hit of fried garlic. While it’s a less-brothy version of ramen, it’s rich and full-bodied and really hits the spot.

Another stonepot play is instead of the traditional kimchee stew (kimchee jjigae) presentation bubbling in a bowl, it comes bubbling in the flatter stonepot here, with pork and kimchee broth, rice cakes, silken tofu, and pork belly ($14)—and you can add ramen noodles for $3, hell yes.

A new addition will be a daily poke ($12), with fresh and well-sourced fish (right now it’s yellowtail from the Channel Islands), plus tamari, chile flakes, sesame, garlic, ginger, chive, and lettuce.

Namu favorites like their gamja fries and Korean tacos are on the menu, plus a couple salads too. They have engineered a gluten-free fried chicken, their Mochiko chicken ($10), with crisp brined thigh bites and your choice of having it dry-spiced “tatsuta style” or KFC “Korean Fried Chicken” style. Crunch crunch. Shout-out to the addition of the budget bap: rice, slow-cooked egg, Other Brother Co. local EVOO, and kimchee, just $5.95. They also offer gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan versions of dishes when and where they can, just ask.

Desserts include a matcha milkshake (made with Lush gelato) and a dairy-free version too, and then there’s butter mochi: warm-baked mochi with burnt sweet miso, dark chocolate ganache, and whipped cream, which will be perfect after getting out of a show at The Independent across the street and you have the munchies.

The Lees worked with another great Lee (well, minus an “e”) on their wine and beer list: Trac Le of Bi-Rite Market. There are three local beers on tap (Fort Point’s KSA , Fieldwork’s Painted Gold Pale, and Old Kan’s Dark), and the wines include a couple Tendu wines by Steve Matthiasson, Poe Wines pinot rosé 2016, and a few more selections, which you can also order by the carafe—same goes for some of the sakes on the list. Well, except for the sparkling sake, Dewazakura “Tobiroku/Festival of Stars,” which you’ll want your own bottle of anyway.

If space is tight, or maybe you’re craving a cocktail with your Korean tacos, the fine folks at Waziema (the neighborhood bar just next door) are cool with you bringing your food over. Cheers to that.

On a personal note, I remember these guys when they were slanging hot dogs in Golden Gate Park, and then opened their restaurant on Balboa—it was 11 years ago, and it’s so satisfying to watch how they have evolved their business over time, from their Namu Farm and Ferry Plaza Farmers Market stand to Smaak Edibles. They even just launched a new branding look—you’ll definitely note the three branches (“gaji”) that represent the three brothers. Keep it up, guys!

Follow @namustonepot for news about their soft opening nights over the next two weeks (and you might even get an invite to one, follow @tablehopper for details on a giveaway!).

Hours will be Tue-Sun 11:30am-1am (yeah, late-night baby!), and look for an abbreviated breakfast to come soon too (including a rice porridge with panchan and an egg, sign me up). 553 Divisadero St. at Hayes, 415-926-8065.

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Garlic mac and cheese topped with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos at Mac’d. Yelp photo by Sandy B..

Some quick updates on new openings for you: if you want to say Pilates class be damned, or you had a little too much chardonnay, you can head on over to ~MAC’D~ in the Marina for build-your-own mac and cheese, with bases like cheddar or French onion soup mix, your choice of pasta, and mix-ins and toppings like bacon, chorizo, kimchi, tri-tip, cauliflower, and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos (opening menu pic here). They just had their grand opening weekend, so they are still ramping things up. Open Sun-Thu 11am-9pm and Fri-Sat 11am-2am. 3347 Fillmore St. at Chestnut, 415-795-1026.

Also in the Marina is a location of the (perennially unfortunately named) ~ASIAN BOX~, offering salad, rice, and noodle boxes made with organic ingredients, plus there’s a full bar (they moved into the former Tacolicious). Open daily 11am-10pm. 2031 Chestnut St. at Fillmore, 415-228-3688.

If you’re catching some international (or Alaska Air) flights, you’ll find a location of ~GOTT’S ROADSIDE~ in SFO’s International Terminal A. You can enjoy your last American cheeseburger before flying to Croatia or wherever it is you’re going. (Just don’t bring it on the plane with French fries, that is truly mean.)

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Photo courtesy of Farina.

And…now ~FARINA~’s liquor license was seized by the state. Mission Local noted it was selling at auction for a minimum of $225K, which will be going toward the $275K Farina owes in back taxes and penalties. No word yet on who purchased the license, and for how much. (It’s like the restaurant is a car up on blocks and getting stripped.)

Over in Dogpatch, ~SERPENTINE~’s new chef-owner Tommy Halvorson is closing the restaurant for the month of August, and plans to reopen Wednesday September 6th. The 10-year-old restaurant (this fall) is getting a renovation—look for a new palette, windows will be added to the exterior, plus an expanded bar, kitchen, and dining room after moving both bathrooms to the back of the space. Halvorson’s menu now has more Southern influences (he’s Kentucky-born), with fried green tomatoes with brown butter and Nashville hot chicken. Small-batch craft beers will also be appearing on tap. Stand by for an update on the reopening in September.

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A look inside Maker’s Common. Photo: Molly DeCoudreaux.

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Beet salad at Maker’s Common. Photo via Facebook.

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A peek at the latest saison release at Roses’ Taproom. Photo via Facebook.

SF’s Mission Cheese has opened their second project, but this one’s in Berkeley and it’s called ~MAKER’S COMMON~ on University in Berkeley. Sarah Dvorak, Oliver Dameron, and Eric Miller have opened both a market and an eatery fully stocked with the best in American craft goods: cheese, charcuterie, beer, wine, and more. Cheese is cut to order, there’s an ever-growing selection of charcuterie (thhey are ramping up their offering, and even have a certified meat processing facility for in-house charcuterie production), and everything you’d need for your pantry or a picnic.

The menu (check the site) includes some favorites from Mission Cheese, plus sandwiches, snacks, salads, sides, and a family-style dinner option, like chicken in whey or cheddar brats. Eight tap beers and a well-assembled wine list (with 12 by the glass) will keep you feeling good, plus there’s weekend brunch. Cheers to the team on meeting their unique fundraising goals: over two years, they raised $532,000 from 170 Californians, becoming the first investment-crowdfunded restaurant in the state, a business truly built by the community.

There’s a large outdoor patio, plus communal tables, 2- and 4-top tables, a bar, and a market counter, making it a pleasant gathering space for groups of all sizes. The market is open Tue-Sun 9am-8pm; the eatery is open Tue-Thu 11am-10pm, Fri 11am-11pm, Sat 9am-11pm, and Sun 9am-10pm; brunch is served Sat-Sun 9am-2pm. 1954 University Ave. at Milvia, Berkeley.

New in Oakland is ~ROSES’ TAPROOM~, a welcoming brewpub (with a cute design) from husband and wife Luke Janson and Hillary Rose Huffard. You’ll find three house-brewed beers on tap right now, with quite the extensive menu of snacks too. Open Mon-Thu 1pm-10pm, Fri 1pm-11pm, Sat 12pm-11pm, Sun 12pm-10pm. 4930 Telegraph Ave. at 49th St., Oakland.

Over in Jack London Square is a new spot called ~DIAMOND DOGS~, specializing in “hot dogs for grown-ups,” which means dogs like one white cheddar béchamel, garlic confit, crispy fried leeks, and watercress, all on a Starter Bakery bun. I love being a grown-up. Peep the menu here, which also has wings, sides, and more. You’ll also find draft beer, wine, and patio cocktails. Open Wed-Fri 5pm-9pm and Sat-Sun 2pm-9pm. 468 3rd St. at Washington, Oakland.

Pssst, ~PENROSE~ is hosting another 
Secret Garden Pop-Up this weekend, serving burgers, chicken sandwiches,
 beer, wine, and cocktails every
 Friday through Sunday from 4pm-10pm.

 And this Friday July 21st at sundown, 
they are screening Breaking Away (the best—Cutters forever!) on their garden wall—they will provide some blankets 
but feel free to bring your own. 3311 Grand Ave. at Elwood, Oakland, 510-444-1649.

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The counter at Wise Sons Bagelry in Larkspur. Photo via Facebook.

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Mac and cheese at Fisher’s Cheese + Wine. Instagram photo via @fisherscheeseandwine by @mianakanooakland.

Marin County residents not only get sun for the summer, they also get a couple new businesses from SF folks, starting with a location of ~WISE SONS BAGELRY~, which just opened in Marin Country Mart in Larkspur. On the menu: fresh-baked bagels, schmears, bagel sandwiches, and new salads (like The Country Club Cobb Salad with pastrami bacon, turkey, hippie greens, pickled carrot, cherry tomato, onion, avocado, radish, and blue cheese), plus items to go, like their babka and corned beef. Pro tip: try the L.E.O. breakfast sandwich (pastrami salmon, scallion shmear, and egg) before you hop on the Larkspur ferry to work (there is even a commuter deal!). Enjoy a Stumptown Coffee drink, or fun ones like an egg cream shakerato, coconut cold brew, and nitro chai on tap. Open daily 7am-3pm. 2227 Larkspur Landing Circle, Marin Country Mart, Larkspur.

Also newly open in the Marin Country Mart is ~FISHER’S CHEESE + WINE~ from Kiri Fisher of The Cheese School of San Francisco. This all-day café (with sidewalk seats!) has dishes beyond their gorgeous cheese boards, including Fisher’s trademark artisan grilled cheese sandwich (duh), creamy mac and cheese (yup), bites like housemade focaccia with Achadinha Cheese butter or carrots with pimento cheese dip, healthy grain salads, chicken cassoulet, meatballs in a creamed chard sauce, and more. It’s also a cheese and wine retail shop, with all cheese and charcuterie cut to order. Plus, they cater, so the next time you need a showstopping platter, you know who to call. Open Sun-Mon 11am-7pm, Tue-Thu 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-10pm. 2201 Larkspur Landing Circle, Marin Country Mart, Larkspur, 415-779-2201.

July 11, 2017
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An initial rendering of Il Casaro Castro. Courtesy of JMalnick Studio.

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An initial rendering of Il Casaro Castro. Courtesy of JMalnick Studio.

Fans of the Neapolitan pizzas at ~IL CASARO~ in North Beach will have a second location to visit by the end of 2017. Opening in the former Chilango on Church Street, co-owner Francesco Covucci (with Peter Fazio) tells me they are targeting December for their new Castro location.

Il Casaro’s delicious and affordable menu will mostly be the same, but the full kitchen in this location means a few more antipasti, and pastas will be added to the menu as well. The pizza oven will also be a bit bigger, but they’ll still be using the same imported Caputo 00 flour and D.O.P. San Marzano tomatoes on their pizzas like they do on Columbus. There will be a little more seating too.

It ends up there was a patio in the back of the restaurant, which they are developing, and they also filed to serve full liquor, so I’m looking forward to when that goes through. I already have visions of a Negroni sbagliato during brunch on the back patio. 235 Church St. at Market.

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The castle on the hill. Photo via NoeHill.com.

I never thought I’d see the day that I could write that the long-closed ~JULIUS’ CASTLE~ (since 2007) is going to reopen on Telegraph Hill. (My grandpa Ernie is smiling from the other side, he loved that place.) After all kinds of NIMBY complaints and opposition, the Planning Commission still voted positively to let the old-school establishment (a historical landmark!) reopen. In fact, it was a clean sweep of 7-0. All right!

The restaurant first opened in 1922 (although I have also seen 1923 and 1924 listed). Julius Roz, the Italian owner, even outfitted the Gothic revival building with “interior wood paneling from the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition” (via SFGate). And then there’s that view. And that deep history—numerous stars dined there over the years, from Cary Grant to Ginger Rogers (read more about its fascinating history here). Current owner Paul Scott—who purchased the restaurant in 2012 and lives on Telegraph Hill—is looking for an operator and will be busy restoring the restaurant. I will keep you posted on how his plans progress. 302 Greenwich St. at Montgomery.

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

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The Drunk Cookie Monster at FK Reserve. Instagram photo via @fkreserve.

There are a few upcoming projects for you to keep an eye on, starting with a big collaboration at the former Renoir Hotel, which will open as ~SAN FRANCISCO PROPER HOTEL~ this summer (August 2017) from Proper Hospitality and The Kor Group, with design by Kelly Wearstler. This 131-room flagship hotel will have four restaurant concepts—an all-day lobby restaurant, an upscale destination eatery, a café, and a rooftop terrace (!!) with an indoor/outdoor bar and lounge—helmed by chef Jason Franey (previously Campton Place, Eleven Madison Park, Canlis, Restaurant 1833), working with Josh Harris and Morgan Schick of BVHospitality on the bar programs (remember their pop-up bar Rio Grande before the hotel restoration started?). Look for the building’s many historical elements and details to be brought back to life, with vintage furnishings, European modernism, and work from local artists as all part of its style. Can’t wait to see this beauty, which it better be at $400 a night for the rooms. More on all this soon. 1110 Market St. at 7th St.

Hoodline caught the news that ~FROZEN KUHSTERD~ appears to be opening a brick-and-mortar shop for their playful frozen custard in the former P-Kok space in the Lower Haight. Stand by for more. 791 Haight St. at Scott.

In the meantime, you can enjoy boozy milk shakes and sodas made with FK’s booze-infused creations at their FK Reserve section inside Trademark sports bar on Folsom, like the Drunk Cookie Monster with Biscoff cookies, Oreos, bourbon burnt caramel, and a shot of Bulleit Bourbon. Just wait until you see their black and gold waffle cone. 1123 Folsom St. at 7th St.

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A selection of what’s on offer at Sylvia’s Bakeshop. Yelp photo by Cynthia L.

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Empanadas from El Sur. Photo via Facebook.

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Dirty! Cheesesteak on Clay is now open. Yelp photo by Meo T.

After reading a post in Hoodline that Pete Mrabe (Don Pisto’s, Pete’s, Chubby Noodle) has opened ~SYLVIA’S BAKESHOP~ in the former North Beach Baking Co. space in North Beach, I followed up with him for a few more details. It ends up the bakeshop isn’t using the famed ovens to create the baked goods: chef Daniel Sudar is making them at their nearby Central Station Deli. You’ll find cookies, biscotti, coconut macaroons, cakes (red velvet), scones, pies (apple), cupcakes, tarts, and more. They will also be carrying about five kinds of bread from other purveyors, like Acme, Boudin, and focaccia from Liguria Bakery.

The original bakery ovens require a major rebuild (they date back to 1917). Mrabe says they are basically crumbling brick, so their repair will be down the road. In the meantime, you can swing by the retail bakery—named after Mrabe’s mother—for an affordable sweet treat or two and a cup of coffee (the roaster is still being determined; they’re still taste testing). Open daily 7am-6pm, and they may be opening around 6am soon. 1501 Grant Ave. at Union.

More baked goods: ~EL SUR~, known for their Argentine empanadas served off their 1970s Citroen van, are soft opening their first brick-and-mortar production kitchen and café in Potrero HIll this week, with the official opening slated for Monday July 17th. Founder Marianne Despres will be serving her trademark and exquisite empanadas (Parisien, pollo saltado, champiñones, verde, and traditional), which are made with beef fat (except the vegetarian ones, of course), plus short rib and chicken skewers with housemade condiments like chimichurri and salsa criolla, salads, and desserts (menu here). Open Mon-Fri 10am-2pm; look for longer hours in the fall when their beer-and-wine license kicks in. 300 DeHaro St. at 16th St.

Cheesesteak fans, there’s a new spot called ~CHEESESTEAK ON CLAY~ that opened in the Financial District. It’s a pretty straightforward menu: three kinds of cheesesteaks on Amoroso rolls, a bunch of different kinds of fries (waffle, garlic, and then there’s dirty waffle), wings, a couple of salads (but really, who are you kidding), and six beers on tap (happy hour is Mon-Fri 4pm-7pm, you’re welcome). I blame them for bringing on my cheesesteak craving last night—after looking at pics online, I had to order one from Phat Philly. Damn it! Open Mon-Fri 10am-9pm. 653 Clay St. at Kearny, 415-433-2222.

After all those cookies and empanadas and cheesesteaks, maybe you’d like a vegan salad and some green juice? There’s a new ~URBAN REMEDY~ by herbalist and nutritionist Neka Pasquale that opened in Noe Valley, serving her line of snacks, salads, wraps, cold-pressed juices, and more. (I’m a fan of their salads—they really have a lot of flavor!) Open Mon-Fri 8am-7pm and Sat-Sun 9am-6pm. 3870 24th St. at Sanchez. [Via Hoodline.]

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Young Fava’s burrata-spring onion dip. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Just in case you were getting addicted to ~YOUNG FAVA~’s spring onion burrata dip for delivery, founder Anthony Strong has decided to put everything on hold. The Turtle Tower kitchen proved to be too small to handle the demand (it’s SO HARD to be popular), so now he’s looking for a new location and would like to add a dine-in area as well—Strong realized he missed seeing people. Yup, doing delivery only from a commissary kitchen setup can be lonely. He’s on the hunt for a permanent space and is excited to tweak the menu and concept and move to version 2.0.

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Caviar and blini, a classic. Photo via The Caviar Company’s Facebook page.

I’m not a big fan of National Whatever Days, but for caviar, I’ll make an exception. Heh. On Tuesday July 18th, ~THE CAVIAR COMPANY~ is hosting a party in honor of National Caviar Day, and they’re pulling out all the stops with unlimited caviar, chilled Champagne, and premium vodka and whiskey. It’s all going down at The Club at Wingtip. Tickets are $150. 6pm-8pm. The Club at Wingtip, 550 Montgomery St. at Clay.

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A look at the Love Veggie pizza at Navi Kitchen (with cherry tomatoes, roast eggplant, and a combo of mozzarella and paneer). Photo via Facebook.

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Some of the street food dishes at the new Curry Up Now Alameda location. Photo courtesy of CUN.

Can you smell that Indian pizza? Mmmmmm. Congrats to ~NAVI KITCHEN~, which is launching pizza and dinner service this Saturday July 15th! Will it be chef Preeti Mistry’s Kheema Kale (lamb and beef tomato sauce, lacinato kale, red onion)? Or the Leelu Potato (fenugreek pesto, roasted potato, pepper, which is vegetarian and can be made vegan)? And then there’s the Love Veggie. And Preeti’s Peppah. Check out the updated menu here. Add in some low-ABV cocktails, wine, and beers from Temescal Brewing on the patio, and you have a perfect summer dinner. (Although that Dr. Pai’s Green Chili Turmeric Lassi is totally catching my eye too.) New hours will be Wed-Sun 8am-8pm. 5000 Adeline St. at 53rd St., Emeryville, 510-285-6923.

Meanwhile, over in Alameda, ~CURRY UP NOW~ is continuing their expansion—the company has acquired Tava Kitchen and has taken over their Alameda location, reopening and rebranding it as a Curry Up Now. Did you know their curries, chutneys, and sauces are gluten-free and never frozen? This location features an open kitchen and patio dining. Open Sun-Thu 11:30am-9pm and Fri-Sat 11:30am-10pm. 2640 5th St. at Mosley, Alameda.

~BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE~ has opened a café and training facility in Old Oakland, on the ground floor of Blue Bottle’s headquarters (Henry House), where founder James Freeman sold the first Blue Bottle beans at the Old Oakland Farmers’ Market 15 years ago. Outdoor tables, score. Open daily 7am-7pm. 480 9th St. at Broadway, Oakland.

N.B. Due to open this Thursday July 13th is ~MAKER’S COMMON~. I’ll be filling you in next week once I receive some pictures and more! Check out their Credibles campaign if you plan on heading over. 1958 University Ave. at Bonita, Berkeley.

July 4, 2017
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Cheers to rooftop parties. Photo courtesy of The Douglas Room.

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The Douglas Room’s grilled cheese on brioche with duck confit and Comté. Instagram photo by @eatyourveggis.

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THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT, THANKS EVERYONE, SEE YOU AT THE NEXT TABLEHOPPER EVENT!

On Friday July 21st, join tablehopper for a rooftop whisky party with Bruichladdich and Westland Distillery at the top of the recently opened ~TILDEN HOTEL~. We’ll be taking over the penthouse, woo woo, where you’ll be enjoying two whisky cocktails (featuring Bruichladdich Classic Laddie and Westland American Oak) to get things started and shake the week off.

And we’re not talking about any ole cocktails: these will be crafted by cocktail wizards Mo Hodges and Brian Felley (Benjamin Cooper) and their rad team, who are behind ~THE DOUGLAS ROOM~, their new bar and kitchen just downstairs in The Tilden Hotel.

Guests will also enjoy some appetizers from co-chefs Glen Schwartz and Timmy Molloy—like grilled cheese on brioche with duck confit, Comté cheese, fig jam, and watercress; roasted beet hummus with herb goat cheese, bull’s blood microgreens, and chive blossoms; and lamb tartare pies in puff pastry with fava beans, Espelette pepper, coriander, and mint—before we move inside for a special whisky tasting focused on an exploration of peat.

You’ll taste a range in three special whiskies: Westland Peated, and from Bruichladdich: Port Charlotte and Octomore, the most heavily peated whisky in the world.

We’ll finish the evening with two more whisky cocktails, a double nightcap if you will (featuring Port Charlotte and Westland Peated), and some more bites too. Yes, this is going to be one heck of a party. And space is limited.

Thanks to our retail partner Maison Corbeaux, you’ll be able to purchase any whiskies you like for a 10% discount, with free in-store pick up or courier service in the city ($18 for 1-100 bottles, flat rate).

This special event is only $60, and tickets will move quickly, so hop to it. 21 and over.

The Tilden Hotel
345 Taylor St. at O’Farrell

June 27, 2017
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Photo courtesy of Farina.

Last week, I reported on the strange goings-on at ~FARINA~: the extended closure, the mysterious “technical problems” and “construction,” and now a Mission tipster sends in a picture of a notice posted by the landlord about unpaid water and garbage collection bills to the tune of $5,491. The notice says the bills had to be paid by the end of last week. Let’s see what the next note says…I’m going to guess it’s a notice of eviction.

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Time to stack the chairs at State Bird. Instagram photo via @statebirdprovisions.

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

Anyone planning to travel to San Francisco and stand in line for a spot at ~STATE BIRD PROVISIONS~ in late August will need to adjust their dates: the five-year-old restaurant is temporarily closing starting on Monday August 21st to make some updates to the space. I spoke with chef-owner Stuart Brioza, and he said it should be a couple of weeks, with plans to reopen the week after Labor Day. They’re going to be doing some freshening up and refurbishing, like new paint and tabletops and putting a polish on things. They will be making an announcement to newsletter subscribers when September reservations (and beyond) will be released. In the meantime, there’s always that fabulous bar menu at ~THE PROGRESS~ you can enjoy.

Over on Russian Hill, ~BELCAMPO~ has closed for a revamp and plans to reopen Tuesday August 1st. The restaurant will soon feature a streamlined and casual menu (and service) based around their burger, daily butcher specials, and charcuterie. The expanded butcher shop will offer more grab-and-go items (including more salads). And please note: the butcher shop will remain open during the remodel, so come by 10am-8pm as your meaty needs dictate.

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BBQ Tuesdays at Hog & Rocks are back. Photo via Facebook.

It’s summer, which makes it barbecue o’clock for some of you. Over at ~HOG & ROCKS~, BBQ Tuesdays are back, which means a $45 BBQ special for two that includes a tray with barbecued meats (like beef brisket, spare ribs, pulled pork), cornbread, pickles, and choice of two sides (like braised greens, potato salad, baked beans, and more). You can roll deep with The Chief for $65 and get a meat of the week, too, like hot links, quail, tri-tip, wings, and other specials. Available starting at 5pm (until the meats run out). Tip (not tri-tip): you can make a reservation.

Over at ~ONE MARKET~, they’re in soft-launch mode of their Back Porch BBQ Pop-Up Series. Chef Mark Dommen has put together a menu of St. Louis-style spare ribs, spit-roasted Mary’s chicken, 12-hour beef brisket, and a pulled chicken sandwich, with sides like Patti’s Parker House rolls, potato salad, coleslaw, salads, and desserts (Bradley’s butterscotch pudding, duh). Available Tue-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm until sold out. You can dine in, get it for takeout, and there are large-party Pitmaster Packages as well.

Also for your radar: One Market’s annual half-price wine month launches July 1st, with half off their bottle list of 300-plus wines (note wines from the Old and Rare section of the menu are not valid for this promotion). Come by for their new weekend three-course seasonal menu, The Downtown Social, just $45 every Friday and Saturday night. There’s also live jazz during dinner service, 5:30pm-9pm.   

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Soft-boiled egg, rajas poblanas, and braised greens tacos at Tacos Cala. Photo: Chloe List.

Some quick updates over at ~CALA~: you can now come by for Sunday dinner, and with these long days right now, I can’t imagine a better place to get into a Mexico City frame of mind. Love the skylights and airy look over there. Enjoy. 5pm-10pm.

More good news: Tacos Cala, their alley-side taqueria, is now open on the weekends. So you can stumble out of bed and head over for tacos de guisado on housemade corn tortillas. Hours are now daily 11am-2pm. 50 Hickory St. (between Franklin and Van Ness).

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Guest chef Azalina’s Malaysian taco for the Tacolicious guest chef series. Photo courtesy of CUESA.

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The first act of SOLIS will be an alfresco dinner in West Marin. Photo: David Briggs.

Summertime is in full swing, with Karl the Fog frolicking in the early evening more than some of us would like. So that’s when the Summer Movie Nights at ~TOP OF THE MARK~ come in handy, since they’re indoors. On Tuesday evenings through August 29th, come by for films from the Summer of Love, like Easy Rider and The Odd Couple. Check out the lineup here. The screenings are complimentary and seating is first come, first served. No reservations required. Bonus: the 19th-floor sky lounge features complimentary wine tastings (including Etude, Cloudfall Wines, and Domaine Chandon) prior to each film from 5:30pm-7pm. Movie at 7pm. InterContinental Mark Hopkins, One Nob Hill (California at Mason).

The Tacolicious annual guest chef series kicks off Thursday June 29th at their Ferry Plaza Farmers Market stand, and this year includes Aaron London of Al’s Place, Kim Alter of Nightbird, Telmo Faria of Uma Casa, and even more chefs slinging their own taco variations on the weekly lineup. All the proceeds from the sales of each chef’s taco benefits CUESA (the Center for Urban Education and Sustainable Agriculture). This week is Arthur Wall of Bayou. Check the lineup here. 10am-2pm.

On Tuesday July 4th, it’s the second annual Eat Trill Festival, dedicated to “real people, real food, real music, and real community.” It’s going to have food (including Wing Wings, Craftsman & Wolves, Minnie Bell’s, and more), music, art, vendors, and it’s kid- and dog-friendly. Plus you can see the fireworks. And it’s free.

There is a real charitable component too: last year they raised more than $4,000 for the Homeless Youth Alliance to help them move into a new space, and this year they’re raising money for Support for Families, an organization that provides support and resources to families with children that have disabilities or special health care needs. Spark Social, 601 Mission Bay Blvd. at 4th St.

The party doesn’t stop: on Saturday July 8th, Broke-Ass Stuart and the ~SOMA STREAT FOOD PARK~ are teaming up for the French Fry Fest, with food trucks doing up french fry specials, DJs spinning funk and disco, and the option to buy a ticket for all-you-can-drink beer (and sangria) for five hours (11am-4pm) for $30, including admission (which is just $5). 428 11th St. at Division.

Sometimes you need to escape the city completely for any sense that it’s summertime, and this special experience in West Marin would be one way to do it: SOLIS from Julia Adam Dance. Each evening starts with a multicourse, farm-to-table, family-style alfresco feast featuring Marin and Sonoma purveyors like Big Mesa Farm, Gospel Flat, Star Route Farms, True Grass Farms pork and lamb, and Aaron Lucich’s Holistic Ag Beef. Wines, beers, and nonalcoholic options will be served. After dinner, guests will walk (sipping chocolate in hand) to the open-air stage for the world premiere of the latest ballet from Julia Adam Dance. SOLIS is held the weekends of July 14th-16th and July 21st-23rd. Tickets are $200. 5pm-10pm. Big Mesa Farm, 280 Mesa Rd., West Marin.

June 20, 2017
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Oysters and bubbles. Photo: Aubrie Pick.

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The new Caesar salad-inspired deviled eggs at Petit Marlowe. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Sticky Fingers and hand-stiched toile at Petit Marlowe. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Tasmanian trout crudo. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

After taking over and massively renovating the former Les Clos space in SoMa, ~PETIT MARLOWE~ is opening this Friday June 23rd. Big Night Restaurant Group’s Anna Weinberg and designer Ken Fulk have created a charming 49-seat wine bar and oysterette, with pale pink leather banquettes, a marble bar, hand-stitched toile wallpaper, and painted black-and-white checkerboard floors. They complete the look with some antique and flea market finds from Paris, like vintage bistro chairs and lamps and paintings. It’s chic, quaint, and where you’ll want to go on a date—and with The Riddler in Hayes Valley, it now brings our city’s truly stylish wine bar count up to two. (Keep it up, SF. Way to finally move away from wine barrels as décor and black leatherette couches.)

Executive chef Jenn Puccio is overseeing the menu of bistro bites and small plates, with three kinds of her brilliant deviled eggs, including a Caesar salad-inspired filling with Spanish anchovy, Parmesan, and bread crumbs, while another has ‘nduja egg filling with brûléed lardo. Oy. There are charcuterie, cheese, and tartare options (like côte de boeuf with porcini oil and lemon) and another of beet with harissa, whipped sheep’s milk cheese, fennel fronds, and seeded toast. Salads and tartines round out the savory picks (like a PB&J of a warm torchon of foie gras with apricot-chile jam).

Chef Henry French (Leo’s Oyster Bar) is bringing his raw bar knowledge over to Petit Marlowe, with eight kinds of oysters (don’t miss the kimchi-like pickled ramp cocktail sauce!), plus clams, scallops, and there are even percebes (gooseneck barnacles) on the menu, which I have only seen in Portugal, so, cool. Shrimp or Dungeness crab cocktail, check, plus crudos, like a silky Tasmanian ocean trout with lemon, capers, and olive oil will also be on offer. For dessert, Emily Luchetti has created a brilliant rosé ice cream with Smitten Ice Cream, made with Scribe’s Una Lou Rosé. Ooh la la.

The wine list assembled by Jennifer Gomez is of course full of bubbles (including their Big Night sparkling rosé from Burgundy), plus some interesting selections you can request a half-bottle of to try instead of having to commit to a full bottle.

Open Mon-Wed 4pm-10pm, Thu-Sat 4pm-11pm, closed Sun. Raw bar only from 4-5pm daily, full menu after 5pm. 234 Townsend St. at Lusk, 415-923-8575.

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Milk bread toast with torched lardo and smoked maple syrup. Photo: Albert Law.

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Salmon belly nigiri with whipped tofu, confit of Japanese tomato, and Thai basil. Photo: Albert Law.

Last summer, I mentioned chef Adam Tortosa’s upcoming sushi restaurant in Hayes Valley, and things are getting very close to opening. It’s now called ~ROBIN~ and will be featuring a highly seasonal and NorCal sensibility, from the housemade condiments, like umeboshi and blood orange kosho, to the custom Fireclay Tile mosaic and original artwork by SF’s Ferris Plock.

Tortosa’s background includes 1760, and prior to that, he was at Michael Voltaggio’s Ink in Los Angeles and also spent four years working for master sushi chef Katsuya Uechi, including in the chef position at Uechi’s Kiwami in Los Angeles.

Omakase will be available at the sushi bar, while guests in the dining room can choose omakase or from an à la carte menu. Look for local seafood and creative nigiri, like salmon belly nigiri with whipped tofu, confit of Japanese tomato, and Thai basil; seared A5 wagyu with foie snow, lemon-soy, and Half Moon Bay wasabi; and uni with shiro dashi egg emulsion and Meyer lemon. Some Japanese classics like milk bread toast will be updated with torched lardo and smoked maple syrup, and sesame noodles will come with shaved black truffles and Japanese chimichurri. Seasonal soft-serve flavors for dessert can include green tea with olive oil, sea salt and housemade umeboshi, or sake lees with Cara Cara granita and pistachio.

The beverage list will be assembled by experts Anna Nguyen (a certified sake sommelier who has worked with Kinjo and Liholiho Yacht Club) and Andrew Nelson (Grandes Places Sélections), who will be assembling a list of Champagnes along with German and Austrian varietals. Plus, Hitachino will be on draft.

620 Gough St. at Fulton.

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Calm in the Alfred’s dining room (just before we took it over for our Blue Fox dinner!). Photo: Blair Heagerty Photography.

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There’s a reason Alfred’s is beloved for their steaks—they do it right (and have been doing so for almost 90 years!). Photo by Alanna Hale.

Great news, buckaroos. ~ALFRED’S~ is finally reopening this Wednesday June 21st after that nasty fire in the basement back in April. You just can’t keep an almost 90-year-old restaurant down! The space is sparkling clean, and really, the vintage crystal chandeliers got quite the cleaning. (I feel so fortunate we were able to host the tablehopper Blue Fox homage dinner there for one night only last month.)

The menu also got a bit of a revamp. I’m so happy to see chef Daniel Patterson has put a modern interpretation of a classic SF dish on the menu, Celery Victor, plus some other additions to the bar bites menu, like mushrooms stuffed with oxtail, marrow, and smoky crumbs, and you can now get their onion rings and fried shishito peppers to share as well.

An addition that harks back to Alfred’s Italian roots is the debut of housemade pasta on the menu. There are now three kinds: clam linguine with Manila clams, hand-cut noodles, garlic, parsley; gnocchetti with summer vegetables and green olive oil; and strozzapreti with spicy tomato-vodka sauce. And for those who don’t want to partake in Alfred’s glorious mesquite-grilled, dry-aged Flannery Beef steaks, you’ll find some new options, like lamb chops and petrale sole, on the menu. It’s summertime, so grilled peach melba with raspberry sorbet has made its way onto the dessert menu.

See you there. I have one of their burgers (available in the bar only) on my mind, and there are some new seasonal cocktails to try too. New dinner hours: Mon-Thu 5:30pm-9pm, Fri-Sat 5:30pm-10pm; happy hour Mon-Fri 4pm-6pm; Thu lunch 11:30am-2:30pm. 659 Merchant St. at Kearny, 415-781-7058.

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Young Fava’s burrata-spring onion dip. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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The MF Chicken spread you can enjoy at home. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

If you follow me on Instagram, then you already know chef Anthony Strong’s ~YOUNG FAVA~ started a trial of its delivery service over the weekend.

The official delivery start date is this Thursday June 22nd, and you’ll be able to order truly delicious dishes like burrata-spring onion dip (perfect for a party appetizer) and my personal fave, the chicken lettuce wraps “Parma style” with a Bolognese of Mary’s chicken with pancetta and green garlic, served with Parmigiano crisps. It’s like having restaurant-quality food delivered to your door, all the way down to the exclusive Josey Baker bread Strong is using (called Rustic Blunt, ha-ha-ha). The salads are so good and full of flavor, and everything is built to travel well. Look for more mains and prix-fixe dinners to be added to the menu too. Young Fava is on UberEats for the moment and will be adding Caviar, Postmates, and more, plus pickup is available (at Turtle Tower, 645 Larkin St.). Hours will be Wed-Sun 6pm-10:30pm.

Another addition to the delivery game is ~MF CHICKEN~ from the Tacolicious crew, which just launched last night. It’s all about getting a complete meal of Mexican-style rotisserie chicken with sides, all made with quality ingredients. Extremely juicy Rocky chickens are rubbed with a spicy, tangy ancho chile-based marinade that will get all over your fingers, but fortunately they come with Wet-Naps.

The birds also come with excellent sides: creamy Rancho Gordo black midnight beans, some of the tastiest Mexican rice I’ve had in some time (made with Rue & Forsman long-grain), a stack of fresh La Palma tortillas, and chopped onions, cilantro, curtido (zippy cabbage slaw), and their housemade “orange sauce” inspired by La Victoria in San Jose. You can get a half or whole chicken, for $17 or $32, on Caviar, and here’s my code for first-time users to get $20 off.

Even better: order in the first 10 days (the clock started ticking last night, June 19th!), and MF Chicken will include free delivery plus 30 percent off a whole or half-chicken meal. Delivery service is for dinner-only (for now), 4pm-10pm. Lunch coming soon. Bwok.  

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The welcoming and timeless space at Le Marais Bakery in the Castro. All photos: © tablehopper.com.

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A gluten-free pizza by Booster Foods made with a cauliflower, quinoa, hemp, and almond meal crust. Photo via Facebook.

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The “Llorana” dog from Los Shucos. Photo: Dana Eastland. © tablehopper.com.

Let’s start with some good news, right? After some permit approval snags, ~LE MARAIS~ in the Castro is now open! You can read my in-depth piece from last month about the menu, dishes, concept, and more. Bring on the almond croissants and key lime pie cream puffs and baguettes and rotisserie chicken. The bakery will be open 7am-7pm daily (although for the next week it’s opening at 8am), while the bistro portion is until 3pm—dinner will come later this summer. 498 Sanchez St. at 18th St.

There’s a new pop-up over at Chile Pies Baking Co. in Nopa. During the week, you can come by for a really healthy lunch by Booster Foods, a creation of GCK owner Trevor Logan and natural chef Wesley Monahan. Look for nutrient-dense food like spreads, salads, bowls, and pizzas that are gluten-free, locally sourced, non-GMO, and clean and whole, plus they come with boosters that are a mixture of seaweed, nutritional yeast, spices, and algae. Boost it, yo!

There’s a beet hummus with a curried coconut and turmeric booster served with housemade turmeric flax crackers; or you can chomp on a seaweed salad with kale romaine mix, sea palm, daikon, cilantro, Bragg liquid aminos, toasted sesame oil, and dulse gomasio booster. Balanced bowls come with ancient grains, fermented vegetables, roasted sweet potato, seasonal greens, herbed Greek yogurt, and a choice of protein (grass-fed beef meatball, tempeh falafel, gingered turkey meatball). There’s even a pizza with grass-fed beef, New Mexican green chile, Gouda, and seasonal greens on a signature cauliflower, quinoa, hemp, and almond meal crust with chile pepper booster. Open Mon-Fri 10am-2pm. At Chile Pies Baking Co. 601 Baker St. at Fulton.

Just in time for the gorg weather, Ghirardelli Square is opening an outdoor beer garden with San Francisco Brewing Co. this Friday June 23rd in the West Plaza (although don’t worry, there are heat lamps as well—you are not a clueless tourist and know how things go here). You’ll find five of SF Brewing Co.’s craft beers, along with two Bluxome Street wines and two local ciders. Hungry? You can order food from nearby Waxman’s and The Pub to bring back to the space and dine at the communal tables. The Stu Tails will perform daily from 1pm-3pm and 4pm-6pm, plus there’s ping-pong, corn hole, Jenga, and a life-size Connect Four. Thu-Sat 11am-10pm and Sun 11am-6pm.

And now, the sad/bad news. After trying to make things work over the past five years and dodging three nearby fires, ~LOS SHUCOS~ is sadly calling it quits, although owner Sofia Keck will keep up her catering business. According to Mission Local, she’s closing on June 25th. We loved your Dirty Dogs, Sofia!

Also in the Mission, according to some folks in the neighborhood, ~FARINA~ has been closed for at least a month, and a tipster sends in this pic mentioning the closure is due to “a technical problem.” A call in to their number connected me to someone at Farina Pizza, who said it’s because of construction and they’ll reopen in a couple of weeks, and why don’t I come over to Farina Pizza instead? But considering the news last year involving unpaid workers and services and shifting LLCs, one has to wonder what’s really going on…

Meanwhile, up on Potrero Hill, ~GOAT HILL PIZZA~ is taking a summer break for some legit construction and upgrades (after 42 years, it’s time to make some updates!). They will be adding additional ovens and reorganizing the interior, plus developing a mobile app. Delivery and pickup from the SoMa and West Portal locations will continue daily from 11am-10pm.

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The new silver dollar pancakes at brunch at The Monk’s Kettle. Instagram photo via @monkskettle.

Some quick updates for you: over at ~MONK’S KETTLE~, they have a new chef, Matt Woods, most recently at Alba Ray’s. He’s doing some updates to the menu, like all fries are hand cut in-house, there’s a smoked trout salad, and the new brunch menu (Sat-Sun 12pm-4pm) includes gravlax Benedict, bananas Foster French toast, tasso hash, chicken and waffles, and more.

Craft beer lovers should also read this recent post about some not-so-savory moves lately by Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI) and may want to come by this Craft Beer Is Caring event this Saturday June 24th at 12pm (although the Mission is going to be getting crazy with the Dyke March, jus’ sayin’). They’ll be pouring local beers, and $1/pint will also go to charity.

Over in the Lower Haight, ~MAVEN~ has new co-chefs Jeremy Browand and Freddie Pacheco (former chef Isaac Miller will stay on as partner and co-owner). Their new menu includes heartier portions and lower prices—we all like that. Dishes include summer squash cavatelli with tomato cream, Parmesan, and parsley purée, and the clams and mussels dish comes with peas, carrots, couscous, bacon, and chermoula.

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Pig on the spit at the Cheese School of San Francisco. Photo via Facebook.

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Sunday means meatballs. Photo courtesy of Adam Zolot.

I know many of you are trying to get your Pride body (LOL) all ready and in shape for a weekend of tight shorts and shirtless shenanigans, but just in case you’re like me and can’t resist the call of things like roast pork, well, here are some events for you. Click through for more details, I am keeping this quick.

This Thursday June 22nd is a roast pork happy hour and garden party at ~THE CHEESE SCHOOL OF SAN FRANCISCO~ in the Mission, and the weather is looking gorg! 5:30pm-8pm. 2124 Folsom St. at 17th St.

If you aren’t joining Pride festivities on Sunday June 25th, you can get your East Coast Italian vibes on instead and enjoy an old-school Italian Sunday gravy supper, complete with fusilli alla vodka, meatballs, and cannoli. And since my buddy Adam is a friend, he’s styling you guys with a 20 percent off code: GRAVYHOPPER (which is case sensitive, bee tee dubs). Buon appetito!

On Monday the 26th, you can come by Pizzahacker in the Mission (3299 Mission St.) for the latest Through the Kitchen Window pop-up, serving dim sum for dinner. Tickets and details on their site! Seatings begin at 6:30pm.

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The spread at the upcoming Chick’n Rice. Photo via Instagram @eatchicknrice.

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Short ribs at Mockingbird. Photo courtesy of Mockingbird.

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The breakfast sandwich at Loco’L Oakland. Photo: Audrey Ma.

Some quick updates for you in the 510. Fellow chicken rice fans, get ready, because some Thai folks are opening ~CHICK’N RICE~ in Berkeley this August, right across from the UC campus and just in time for fall semester. Details are slim at the moment, but I’ll keep you posted. Bring on the chicken fat. Also on the menu: mango and coconut rice. 2136 Center St. at Oxford, Berkeley.

Back in March, I gave you all the details about the new ~MOCKINGBIRD~ location in downtown Oakland, which is opening for lunch this Wednesday June 21st. A few more updates for you on this welcoming neighborhood spot: co-owners Melissa Axelrod and William Johnson brought on Shirley Brooks and Matt Grippo of cocktail consulting company Bottom of the Barrel, who developed signature house cocktails with many local spirits, such as the Oakland Maid, featuring Oakland Spirits Co.’s Automatic gin and shiso brandy. Look for a food-friendly and accessible wine list by consulting sommelier Arron Sweeney.

Lunch first, Mon-Fri 11am-3pm; happy hour launches Wed June 28th, and dinner service starts after the 4th of July holiday. 416 13th St. at Broadway, Oakland, 510-290-0331.

~LOCO’L~ in Uptown has closed after a year in the former Plum location and has moved into the recently opened Loco’l Bakery in West Oakland. It turns out the lease was up; you can read more in this repost by Daniel Patterson from the team. Congrats on employing more than 100 people this past year and feeding countless others, Loco’l team! Keep on hustling. Loco’l Bakery.Open daily 8am-8pm, 3446 Market St. at 35th St., Oakland. [Via Scoop.]

June 13, 2017
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Alta at the Minnesota Street Project. Photo courtesy of Alta.

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The interior of Alta at the Minnesota Street Project. Photo courtesy of Alta.

The second location of Daniel Patterson’s ~ALTA~ has opened inside the Minnesota Street Project art galleries at 1275 Minnesota Street in Dogpatch. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the menu is designed to be welcoming all day—you can even get coffee and more, to stay or to go. Chef Matt Brimer, most recently at Haven in Oakland, is keeping things market-fresh, but don’t look for a menu that’s a facsimile of the Alta Mid-Market location. Breakfast includes sweet and savory rice porridges, toasts on Della Fattoria bread, and braised pork hash with a fried egg, while lunch has snacks and soup, salads (like smoked trout and endive), sandwiches, and the Alta cheeseburger.

Dinnertime brings table service, and a combination of small and large plates (like grilled levain with a spread of fava beans and fromage blanc, green garlic potato soup, and hand-cut pastas), with soft-serve sundaes for dessert and more. Look for low-ABV cocktails too. There is a no-tipping policy, by the way.

The 45-seat space has a natural, modern style, with a walnut bar and tables, ceramic pendant lights, and an open kitchen. It has a minimalist look but also includes murals by Catherine Wagner. Open daily. Mon-Fri 7am-10pm, Sat-Sun 10am-10pm. 1275 Minnesota St. at 24th St.

And that’s not all: a newsletter from the Daniel Patterson Group mentions there is an Alta coming to the YOTEL in Mid-Market (1095 Market St.).

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1085 Mission St. exterior photo via LiveSOMA.

There’s a taker for the AQ space on Mission, and it’s chef-owner Chris Bleidorn, who will be opening ~BIRDSONG~ this winter. His experience includes Saison, Atelier Crenn, Benu, and Alinea, and he will be celebrating the Pacific Northwest through a fine dining menu. Think ancient cooking methods (open fire and smoke, dry-aging of meat, and fermentation) and dishes that will highlight cold-water shellfish, wild game (like elk, buffalo, boar), berries, mushrooms, and other seasonal ingredients you’d find in Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and British Columbia.

There will be a 12-course tasting menu, or the option to order à la carte and share large-format dishes with the table, like a whole trout or lamb shoulder. Wine pairings will include European and Pacific Northwest selections, plus plenty of Pacific Northwest craft beers too.

The space is being resdesigned by SAINT, and there will be 10 seats at a chef counter, a main dining room, plus two private dining rooms downstairs. Look for custom ceramic plateware designed by Bleidorn as well—robin’s-egg blue, of course. Dinner will be served Tue-Sat. 1085 Mission St. at 7th St.

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Chopped salads at Duna. Photo: Eric Wolfinger.

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Winner winner chicken dinner. The spread at RT Rotisserie. Photo: Kassie Borreson.

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A look inside the new RT Rotisserie. Photo: Kassie Borreson.

I have been sharing details about these two projects, but since they both officially opened while I was traveling, I wanted to be sure you had them on your radar. First, the latest project from Nick Balla and Cortney Burns, ~DUNA~, is now open in their former ~MOTZE~ space. Take a look at the Central European menu here, with a fast-casual format that makes it an easy one to swing by for. I’m so ready for chopped salads and flatbreads! Liptauer paprika cheese dip is also going to be a friend, I can just tell.

Open Wed-Fri from 5:30pm-9pm and Sat-Sun 5:30pm-10pm. Lunch service will launch later in the summer. Also, check out their Father’s Day menu (scroll down), it looks great. 983 Valencia St. at 21st St., 415-484-1206.

Now open in Hayes Valley is ~RT ROTISSERIE~ from Rich Table’s Sarah and Evan Rich. They’re slinging rotisserie chicken, pork, and cauliflower, with a bunch of sides, all sourced with care and featuring their trademark layering of flavors. It’s perfect to dine in (there are 46 seats) or take out (or delivery—nab it on Caviar, and use my code in that link for $20 off!). I ordered a half chicken and their kickass salad for deadline delivery, and it hit the spot.

Check the menu here, and you can catch up on more details here. They are now open for lunch, so you can easily nab a sandwich (on housemade Dutch crunch!) or salad. Open 11am-9pm daily. 101 Oak St. at Franklin, 415-829-7086.

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

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The new Hook Fish Co. at Ocean Beach. Photo via Facebook.

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Saucy Asian bowl with bulgogi. Instagram photo via @saucy.asian.

There are a bunch of new openings for your consideration, starting with a second location of the completely awesome ~SABABA~, which is softly opening today (Tuesday June 13th). Downtown workers get to enjoy their fresh-baked pita, fresh falafel, chicken shawarma, and one of my faves, their sabik. Enjoy half off the food until the end of the week. Score! There is a larger dining area, and look for a new seasonal salad coming to the menu as well, plus an expanded catering operation. Lunch will be served Mon-Fri 11am-3pm. 554 Commercial St. at Leidesdorff, between Montgomery and Sansome.

Another Med spot to open is ~TAHINI~ in the Mission, as noted by Hoodline. I mentioned last year that this spot from first-time owner Monti Majthoub was inspired because he was disappointed with all the mediocre shawarma around town, so he decided to tap into his family roots, which includes a bunch of Jordanian restaurateurs. Perfect. His menu includes some fluffy and fresh pita sandwiches, stuffed with kebabs or kufta or falafel ($8-$11), plus kebab and falafel plates, and kanafeh for dessert. There are some Mission touches to the menu as well, including some aguas frescas. Open 11am-7pm daily. 2859 Mission St. at 25th St., 415-800-8681.

Now open in the former Cajun Pacific out at Ocean Beach is ~HOOK FISH CO.~. Hoodline notes it’s both a restaurant and a sustainable fish market. Owners Beau Caillouette and Christian Morabito have worked hard to eliminate middlemen and try to buy directly from local fishmongers and fishermen, with many transparent notes about the sourcing too. The menu is inspired by SoCal seafood shacks and includes poke, crab cakes, ceviche, fish and chips, and fish tacos and burritos, plus beer and wine.

It has a surfer/coastal vibe, with reclaimed Douglas fir throughout, and many friends and neighbors helped out on the remodel. There’s a kitchen counter and communal table, and sidewalk seating is coming soon. Hours are daily 11:30am-9pm. Looking forward to checking this place out after a summer beach walk! 2542 Irving St. at 47th Ave.

Last year, I mentioned the former Fly Bar was getting new owners and was going to become ~MILLER’S REST~, and Hoodline now has the details on the opening. Mark and Terry Miller have given the space some cabin design touches (it was inspired by Mark Miller’s childhood lake cabin, called Miller’s Rest). The bar menu has five specialty cocktails ($10), and bites include smoked trout brandade, a trio of flatbreads, lake house chili, and fried chicken. There’s also a parlor room you can reserve for private parties. Hours: open daily at 11am onward. 1085 Sutter St. at Larkin, 415-441-4232.

Back in January, I broke the news about ~SAUCY ASIAN~, a fast-casual place in the former H Cafe in the Castro, serving Korean-inspired “super fusion” street food, and it’s now holding its soft opening.

You can check the menu here, which includes burritos, tacos, sandwiches (banh mi, cheesesteaks), bibimbap, and poke bowls. You’ll choose from meats like bulgogi, garlic shrimp, spicy pork, soy-garlic chicken, plus tofu and shiitake mushrooms. And a bunch of sauces, oh you know it. Owner Andrew Shinn has designed it to be takeout-friendly (delivery service to Dolores Park will be coming soon), but there are indoor and outdoor seats as well. Hours are 10:30am-3pm and 5pm-9pm daily, which will expand once things ramp up. Beer and wine are also coming. 3801 17th St. at Sanchez.

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Duck soup at The Morris’s new lunch service. Photo courtesy of The Morris.

There are plenty of new service updates for you around town, starting with the debut of lunch service at ~THE MORRIS~ in Potrero Flats. Yup, you can get that insane off-menu hamburger, and there’s also a Muscovy duck noodle soup with burnt orange and habanero broth ($16). Lunch is served Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm. And no one will raise an eyebrow if you order the Chartreuse slushy.

More lunch service can be found at ~THE DOUGLAS ROOM~, actually all-day service! It’s a bar with food from Benjamin Cooper’s Mo Hodges and Brian Felley in The Tilden Hotel, remember when I told you about it? Chef Glen Schwartz has put together quite the menu: here’s lunch (I really have to check out that Italian hoagie) and here’s dinner. Open 11am-2am, with food served until 1am. 345 Taylor St. at O’Farrell.

Sadly, ~ASTER~ is no longer serving their awesome brunch. Wah. One other tweak: chef Brett Cooper’s dinner menu is now a set four-course menu, with choices for each course, for $75. [Via Scoop.]

There’s a new happy hour at ~TAWLA~ called loukmat, which is Arabic for “bites.” Come by daily from 5:30pm-6:30pm and you can enjoy a selection of bites like their fab housemade bread, muhammara, baharat-spiced chicharrones, butter bean salad, meatballs, sujuk, marinated kalamata olives, and candied wild pecans, served on their Turkish coffee trays. It’s $13 per person, and you’ll find some $10 wines too. Snag a seat on their sweet back patio and you’re set.

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The new Ritual Coffee Castro. Photo via Facebook.

~RITUAL COFFEE~ is taking over the former and tiny Wildcraft Espresso Bar space at Market and Noe in the Castro, just by the vintage streetcar turnaround. It will be Ritual’s sixth café, and co-founder Eileen Hassi Rinaldi is well aware of the density of cafés in the area, but tells Hoodline that Ritual has its own personality. Indeed. (And she lives in the neighborhood, so is excited to be there.) Hours will be 7am-2pm to start, and in order to offer swift morning service, they will only offer batch-brew coffee, not pour-over (for now). Look for pastries, baked goods, and some of their fun coffee drinks (iced horchata latte for the win). 2299 Market St. at Noe.

Over in Pacific Heights, ~BLUE BOTTLE~ has opened its latest location in the former Tully’s and Juicy News spaces on Fillmore, previously Shumate’s Pharmacy, and you’ll see the original tiles spelling Shumate. The airy location was designed by Wade Design Architects and Blue Bottle’s Store Design Manager Dana Nishimura Bryan. The space features ’70s modernism design references, with vintage Pioneer speakers, cork wood floors, and a textured onyx stone counter. Open daily 7am-7pm. 2455 Fillmore St. at Jackson.

I have been trying to figure out what was going into a former music studio on Potrero Hill, and Eater reveals it’s ~PARKER CAFÉ~, an all-day café and restaurant from owner Fredic Fuchet (previously at Chez Papa and Papito). You’ll find Sightglass Coffee drinks, and the menu features French-style tartines, hearty salads, and wine and beer. Open Mon-Fri 7:30am-9pm (breakfast is served until 11am), Sat-Sun 8am-9pm. 1399 18th St. at Missouri.

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The welcoming and colorful entrance at Fénix. Photo via Fénix’s website.

And just like that, whoosh, Matt Semmelhack’s last remaining SF restaurant in the Mercer Restaurant Group, ~FÉNIX~, has closed. (AQ and Bon Marché closed previously.) Hard times out there. Enjoy some quality time with your daughter, chef Mark Liberman (and we’ll see where he lands next). 1077 Mission St. at 7th St. [Via Scoop.]

Another closure is the inscrutable ~JAI YUN~, known for chef Chia Ji Nei’s spendy preorder tasting menu, which has left its Clay Street location; he is reportedly operating out of New Sun Hong Kong. You can still preorder a multicourse meal for $98 or $168 a person—just call the restaurant to make a reservation a few days ahead. New Sun Hong Kong: 606 Broadway at Columbus, 415-981-7438. [Via Hungry Onion and Scoop.]

I’ve heard some buzz about a potential taker for the 680 Clay Street space, stand by for now.

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Wake up and smell the Coffee Manufactory. Instagram image via @coffeemanufactory.

Some big news coming out of Jack London Square: ~COFFEE MANUFACTORY~ (as in Tartine’s coffee roasting arm) will be locating their 5,000-square-foot headquarters there, and in the fall, ~BELCAMPO MEAT COMPANY~ will be opening one of their sustainable butcher shops and restaurants there too. Coffee Manufactory will also be opening a pop-up coffee bar, serving coffee and espresso drinks, plus some pastries and baked goods.

And, as mentioned previously in tablehopper, Burmese ~GROCERY CAFÉ~ will be opening mid-June in Jack London Square. 63 Jack London Square (Franklin and Embarcadero West), Oakland.

Some big news out of the kitchen at ~CHEZ PANISSE~: chef Cal Peternell is leaving the restaurant on July 5th, after 22 years there. While his next steps are TBD, Scoop reports he has a third cookbook coming out, plus his new Cooking by Ear podcast. He’s also considering starting a cooking school to address the current cook shortage “that could offer scholarships that could help the applicants live in the Bay Area while learning from industry veterans.” Love that kind of thinking.

A couple of closures/moves to report: Uptown’s ~PICÁN~ has closed, but it sounds like they are remodeling their current hefty space to be a more manageable size, with plans to reopen in the fall. Or it may move elsewhere, it’s a bit unclear at the moment. The San Francisco Business Times (which I learned via Nosh) reported Picán’s space and the vacant Ozumo are being rejiggered into four smaller spaces, with ~BROWN SUGAR KITCHEN~ and Jack London Square’s ~BOCANOVA~ moving into two of the spots (Bocanova will be closing in its current space in the transition). 2251 Broadway at 23rd St., Oakland.

Japanese fried chicken fans will want to head over to the former Stag’s Lunchette (now Ironwolff), where they’ll find pop-up ~ABURA-YA~ Tue-Sat 5pm-10pm. You can sit down and enjoy fried chicken and seasonal izakaya sides. 362 17th St. at Webster, Oakland.

Fans of herring should know this weekend is maatjesharing (aka New Dutch Herring or New Catch Holland Herring) at ~SAUL’S RESTAURANT & DELI~. You’ll be able to taste buttery maatjes New Holland Herring with onion and pickle, St. George’s gin or vodka straight, or Trumer Pils. Sat-Sun June 17th-18th, 11am-2pm. 1475 Shattuck Ave. at Vine, Berkeley, 510-848-DELI.