The Chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)
October 28, 2014
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Time to acquaint yourself with the meat and three. Photo via Brenda’s Meat & Three Facebook page.

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Mural by Mural Arts at Brenda’s Meat and Three. Photo courtesy Jennifer Larzul.

And look at that, miracles do happen! A project is actually opening ahead of its initially projected date. Hold. The. Phone! Originally slated to open in mid-November, ~BRENDA’S MEAT & THREE~ is potentially opening on Thursday October 30th (if the construction gods cooperate)! Friday may be more likely. Let’s just say by the weekend, shall we?

To recap our original story, Brenda Buenviaje and her partner Libby Truesdell (Brenda’s French Soul Food, Libby Jane Café) are opening this project in the former Blue Jay Cafe (they didn’t buy the business from the current owners, André and Jennifer Larzul, but they are now majority/part-owners of the business).

It’s going to be a classic Southern diner, with stuffed johnnycakes, calas fritters, and a one-eyed jack (i.e., toad in the hole), with an egg inside of one of Brenda’s famed cream biscuits (with creamed gravy) for breakfast (check out the brunch menu here).

Lunch brings low-country gumbo, a Bibb lettuce and fried oyster salad (with buttermilk dressing, bacon, and cherry tomatoes), and a great lineup of sandwiches, including pulled pork, a seafood po’boy, spicy fried chicken, and fried bologna with pimento cheese (I am excited for that sandwich, I am the first to admit it). Check out the lunchtime menu glory here.

Supper is all about the meat and three action, which will be listed on a board. You can choose from five or six proteins, like fried chicken, oxtail, fried catfish, and country ribs, and then you will pick your three sides, with up to 15 in all, like bacon fat fries, smothered green beans, mac and cheese, creamed biscuits, and some seasonal sides, too, with plenty of vegetables (vegetarians will be able to make a meal of sides). The meat and three combos will range from $18-$22. Other items on the supper menu include the picnic board (bread and butter pickles, pimento cheese, ham jam, tiny biscuits, crackers) and rock shrimp hush puppies.

The place got really cleaned up in the remodel—there’s a new paint job, new counters, and check out that fun mural of a pig (by Mural Arts). The horseshoe counter is still with us (yay) but it got trimmed a little bit in the back to make more room for seating, so now it’s more of a “J” shape. There are some antique/distressed mirrors on a wall, and you’ll find new yellow chairs on the back patio. It’s looking cute.

Hours are Wed-Mon 8am-10pm. During weekdays, breakfast will be served 8am-3pm, lunch 11am-5pm, and dinner 5pm-10pm. On the weekend, brunch will be 8am-4pm and dinner 4pm-10pm. 919 Divisadero St. at McAllister, 415-926-8657.

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Window seating at Huxley. Photo courtesy Huxley.

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Seating in the back corner at Huxley. Photo courtesy Huxley.

A cozy and casual new joint is opening in the TL called ~HUXLEY~, and it has quite the pedigree of talented folks behind it. Kris Esqueda (Saison, Sons & Daughters) brought on Brett Cooper (Outerlands, Coi, and the upcoming Aster) to consult on the opening menu, which will be casual and rustic, with bistro-style dishes designed to be shared. He collaborated with exec chef Sara Hauman (formerly a sous at Bar Agricole), who will be running the kitchen. Take a look at the menu for dishes that include butter beans and leeks with fried egg and bottarga ($14) and larger dishes like a beef short rib “potpie” ($23) should hit the spot as our fall weather starts to roll in.

One more thing to note: the bread is custom-made/baked by nearby Jane on Larkin for the restaurant. Oh, and the wine list has some choice selections from Burgundy, Austria, and small, boutique domestic producers; look for some quality craft beers in the bottle too.

The Bon Vivants’ Design+Build (Nick Roberto and Colby Thompson) are behind the vintage-inspired interior, which has lots of wood used in a playful style (like planks in a vertical pattern on the walls), hand-etched mirrors that help the space seem bigger than it is (the floor-to-ceiling windows also help), and there are some touches of bright cobalt blue on the tables. There’s also a bar and counter area by the windows, with 10 seats on olive-colored stools and a spiral staircase up to the mezzanine. There are just 25 seats in all, so don’t expect to dine here with a big group of people. (Managing expectations!)

They hope to open tonight (Tuesday October 28th), but it might not be for a couple of days due to some issues with the hood. Call before heading over. Hours are Tue-Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm. No reservations. 846 Geary St. at Larkin, 415-800-8223.

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Cafe du Nord. Photo from Facebook.

By Dana Eastland. As previously reported on tablehopper, the Café du Nord and Swedish American Hall space on Market has a serious new lineup of partners getting ready to reopen it this winter. Dylan MacNiven and Enrique Landa have paired up with the Ne Timeas Restaurant Group and the Bon Vivants, and they’ve released some details on the new restaurant moving in. It will be headed up by newly minted Ne Timeas partner Ryan Pollnow and called ~AATXE~. It’s inspired by the Basque region of Spain (and pronounced aah-CHAY), with a menu of plates ranging in size from pintxo-small to large and hearty.

To be clear, this is a restaurant component of the project, which will be upstairs on the right when entering the larger, 1907-built building. The downstairs entertainment venue is also coming from Ne Timeas and the Bon Vivants, but isn’t the same restaurant project as Aatxe, which will be more intimate and focused on functioning as a restaurant. Everybody got that? Okay, let’s proceed.

Spanish drinking culture will be celebrated here, with the bar at the center of the restaurant. The Bon Vivants are in charge of the cocktail menu, and you’ll find fun, sophisticated drinks with an eye toward sharing. An aperitivo section of the menu will include a cappelletti aperitivo with dry vermouth, red pepper, and almond bitters, and another section will offer beverages by the carafe, like a gin and tonic on tap. Since Spanish bars have been largely responsible for the resurgence of that particular bevvie, it’s rather fitting. The wine list will be exclusively Spanish, with mostly whites (and a few reds) from small producers.

Stellah De Ville is designing the new space, and will of course take lots of inspiration from Spanish architecture, including Moroccan and Moorish influences. The unique space already has an old-world sensibility to it, which will be respected and enhanced with some modern touches, like a white oak chevron-patterned floor. The dining room will seat 50, with an open kitchen with counter seating for 8. Right now, the plan is to open in late 2014; we’ll keep you updated on their progress. Hours will be Sun-Thu 5:30pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 5:30pm-12am. 2170 Market St. at Sanchez.

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A bowl of ramen from Orenchi. Yelp photo by Food E.

~ORENCHI BEYOND~, the San Francisco outpost of famed Santa Clara ramen shop Orenchi is now open on Valencia, Eater notes. As we reported last year, the new location is serving the same ramen soups found in Santa Clara, including tonkotsu, shoyu, and shio ramen. For now, their famed tsukemon is not available but may turn up on the menu next year, and they’ve added lots of new starters and side dishes to check out. The fryer is definitely cranking, with lots of deep-fried appetizers like shishito age (deep-fried shishito peppers), age takoyaki (fried octopus fritters), and spicy chicken karaage. They’ve got a beer and wine license and are serving beer, wine, and sake, as well as some soju-based cocktails. For now, hours are Tue-Thu 6pm-9:30pm, Fri-Sat 6pm-11:30pm, Sun 5pm-8:30pm, though later hours may be added. 174 Valencia St. at Duboce.

I was running an errand in the FiDi over the weekend and noticed there was a much larger and brand-new ~RAMEN UNDERGROUND~ that has opened on the opposite side of Kearny (RU moved out of their original hole-in-the-wall). The additional seating is a bonus, but Yelpers report prices have gone up, and it’s still cash only. 356 Kearny St. at Pine, 415-999-2503.

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The front entrance of Great Hunan. Yelp photo by Ed U.

ABC license activity points to something brewing from Stones Throw’s Ryan Cole and Jason Kirmse (also of Fat Angel). The project is listed as Trestle on the license (name TBD, obviously) and is going into the Great Hunan space in the FiDi. The team isn’t ready to talk about anything at the moment, so we’ll let you know when some details emerge. 531 Jackson St. at Columbus.

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Luna Park on Valencia. Yelp photo by Andrew K.

~LUNA PARK~ is closing by the end of the year and turning into a bar, according to Uptown Almanac. The new buyer is none other than Gaslight Café Partners, the LLC that owns PlumpJack Wines and was founded by Gavin Newsom. There isn’t yet any word on what might be moving in, exactly, but Luna Park’s owner AJ Gilbert says it will be bar and that the current staff will be invited to remain.

We checked in with PlumpJack’s PR team and got this quality piece of spin: “While it is premature to discuss the future of Luna Park in detail, PlumpJack Group is always looking for opportunities to maximize their investments and add to their dynamic collection of hospitality and lifestyle businesses in Northern California. Luna Park is one of the properties they have looked at; however, it would be premature to discuss plans at this point. We look forward to discussing further as appropriate.” So, that’s one big stand by for now. 694 Valencia St. at 18th St., 415-553-8584.

On Union Street, ~LA CUCINA~ has closed after 46 years. Owner Bebe Stavrinides is retiring after opening the café in 1968 (we’d say she’s earned some time off) and has sold the restaurant to Mick Suverkrubbe (Circa, Cosmopolitan), John Jasso (Gary Danko, Fifth Floor), and chef Claudio Marchesan (E’Angelo). The new team plans to open a pizzeria in the space, along with salumi and a wine bar. 2136 Union St. at Webster.

Hoodline reports that the Castro location of ~BRANDY HO’S~ is closing. Today, Tuesday October 28th, is their last day in business. Reportedly, the building sold, but there isn’t any word yet on what’s moving in. The location in North Beach is still open. 4068 18th St. at Hartford.

This isn’t quite a closure, but is worth noting: Off the Grid Fort Mason will be closing for the winter after their market on Friday October 31st. Don’t worry, they’ll be back in March and will be throwing an end-of-season and Halloween party this Friday, with a costume contest, special decorations, and a special menu. Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Blvd. at Laguna.

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Lina Toracca juggling platters at the Original U.S. Restaurant. Photo courtesy Peter Mrabe.

By Dana Eastland. North Beach lost an icon last week, when Lina Toracca passed away on Wednesday October 22nd. Toracca was an iconic waitress at the Original U.S. Restaurant for more than 35 years. She was born in 1926 in Genoa, Italy, and began working at the Original U.S. in the early 1960s, where she had a reputation for being tough and stern with her customers, but loving too. If you couldn’t decide what to order, she’d go ahead and choose for you. Or maybe you were fooling around—she’d grab you by the ear and put you in your place. She worked the morning shift, from 5am until 1pm, and served many of the neighborhood residents their very first restaurant breakfast.

Because of her tough but loving demeanor and no-nonsense attitude, Lina was a maternal figure for many in the neighborhood. Her son, Giovanni Toracca (a name many will recognize), says that people would sometimes tell him that she reminded them of a different era; she “reminded them of the way the world used to be.” As for her own breakfast order, she enjoyed artichoke frittata or a bowl of oatmeal with lots of chocolate.

Lina Toracca passed away surrounded by family. Our thoughts are with them, and the many North Beach locals who knew and loved her.

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Sugar skulls at Copita for Dia de los Muertos. Photo from Facebook.

Dia de los Muertos is here, and ~COPITA~ in Sausalito has a special menu to celebrate. Dia de los Muertos is all about remembering the dead, but it’s also about celebrating life—part of why it’s such a poignant festival at this time of year. From Friday October 31st until Sunday November 2nd, Copita will have a special menu of orange dishes symbolizing life and black dishes symbolizing death. Orange dishes include a pan-roasted lamb with mole amarillito, fire-roasted root vegetables, smoked onion, and fried chochoyotes; or cochinita pibil with sour orange and achiote adobo with pickled onion and habanero xnipek. Black dishes include a ceviche negro with calamari, scallops, lingcod, lime, prickly pear, and cilantro; or chile relleno with mole prieto, huitlacoche and shredded beef, pickled onion, fried plantains, and queso añejo. You can also try the Smoking Gun cocktail, with mezcal, lime juice, agave, grapefruit juice, and St. Germain. The restaurant will be specially decorated, as well, and a chalk artist will be drawing on the sidewalk. 739 Bridgeway at Anchor, 415-331-7400.

I also have a personal affinity for the holiday because I was born on November 1st, “Il Giorno di Tutti i Santi” (or Ognissanti), and I learned there were even special treats on my birthday when I was living in Venezia. Cool! Gary Rulli at ~EMPORIO RULLI~ is keeping the tradition alive by offering “pan dei morti,” a special spice bread with raisins, almonds, orange peel, and pine nuts. You can pick them up for $3, and enjoy them on November 1st and 2nd, All Souls’ Day (Il Giorno dei Morti). Various locations.

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The colorful interior at Juhu Beach Club. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

~JUHU BEACH CLUB~ will be serving brunch on Sundays from 11am-3pm, starting November 9th. The menu includes a version of croque-madame called croque memsahib with two eggs, chai-spiced bacon, spicy jack cheese, and tamarind ketchup, along with a new special item called the “Doswaffle.” It’s a cross between a Belgian waffle and Indian dosa (and it’s gluten-free), and will be served in several varieties. There’s a sweet version with Nutella, sautéed bananas, and cardamom cream, or a classic version with sambar, coconut chutney, and masala potatoes. It can also be ordered in a chicken and waffles version with green chile chicken. Um, hello, get in my belly right now. There will also be mango mimosas and other brunch beverages, plus we heard rumors that they won the liquor license lottery and will have cocktails coming in 2015, sweeeeeet.

Berkeley’s ~TOWNIE~ is now serving brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 2:30pm. Menu options include eggs with polenta and bacon and brioche French toast. You can also partake of their full bar’s cocktail list or try one of the 16 beers on tap. 1779 University Ave. at Grant, Berkeley, 510-356-4903.

Beginning Saturday November 15th, ~HOG’S APOTHECARY~ will be open for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-3pm. They’ll be serving chicken and waffles, a beef and pork burger, and lots of housemade bacon, along with their choice selection of beer. Oh, and starting Tuesday November 18th, they’ll be open for dinner seven nights a week. 375 40th St. at Opal, 510-338-3847.

October 21, 2014
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Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz. Photo courtesy of The Perennial.

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The greenhouse at The Perennial’s aquaponics partners, Viridis. Photo courtesy of The Perennial.

The altruistic and visionary duo of Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz (Mission Chinese Food, Mission Street Food, Commonwealth, Lt. Waffle) are working on a new restaurant and bar in SoMa: ~THE PERENNIAL~. There’s a lot of ground to cover with this concept, so let’s dive in.

The restaurant will have a strong eco and environmental perspective, unlike anything in the city, with an aquaponic greenhouse in Oakland (scraps from the restaurant kitchen will be used to feed fish, whose waste will then provide nutrients for the plants) and a focus on perennial agriculture and a farm-to-table and “table-to-farm” cycle (read: how to deal with waste). You should take a look at the Kickstarter video for more from Anthony Myint on aquaponics—it’s definitely the direction things need to be going in. (And maybe kick down a few bucks while you’re at it.)

The dining room will have a display of live plants that will be used on the menu à la minute (how’s that for fresh ingredients?), plus there will be large planters on the roof of 55 Ninth Street. The kitchen will be energy efficient (through consultation with the Food Service Technology Center), and the team will also be working closely with and donating a portion of proceeds to nonprofit Zero Food Print, a foundation that promotes restaurants (and diners) minimizing their environmental impact, and educates and enables restaurants to reduce their carbon footprints.

Pretty exciting stuff. This is the next wave, people.

The chef is Chris Kiyuna, currently chef de cuisine at Mission Chinese Food SF. He recently trained at Noma and has also cooked at Coi, but keeps things real, too (he was at Front Porch as well). This is a first time for me to see this on a press release: “the chef will serve accessible yet refined climate-conscious California cuisine.” Read on.

There will be “climate beneficial meat,” from cattle that graze “on compost-treated rangeland [which] encourage[s] the growth of perennial grasses whose longer roots sequester carbon beneath the soil, keeping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere” (the team is working with the Carbon Cycle Institute). And another cool thing: the restaurant “will work with Chad Robertson (Tartine) and Wes Jackson (The Land Institute) to offer bread and baked goods using perennial alternatives to traditional wheat, such as Kernza, a naturally bred intermediate wheatgrass, which boasts high-yield, root-based carbon sequestration, and pest resistance.”

Cocktails will be from Tin Roof Drink Community: Chad Arnholt (Trick Dog) and Claire Sprouse (ABV). And since everything will be eco-minded, you sure as hell won’t be seeing any plastic straws here. Not only will Paramo Coffee be served (you can read the original post on tablehopper here about them), but there will also be a daytime kiosk.

The 65-seat restaurant is being designed by Paul Discoe (Ippuku, Greens). The Perennial is going into a new apartment building called AVA 55 Ninth (the restaurant and café will be on the ground floor). Lunch and dinner will be served six days a week (à la carte dinner entrées will run $18-25). They are hoping to open in February 2015. I look forward to this one taking shape in the new year. 59 9th St. at Market.

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Noodles at Crystal Jade Jiang Nan. Photo from Crystal Jade website.

Four Embarcadero Center’s newest tenant ~CRYSTAL JADE JIANG NAN~ (music warning on that link) is opening Tuesday November 18th after a $14 million renovation. As we reported last year, this is the first outpost of the Singapore-based chain outside of Asia. Local restaurateur Gus Murad, previously of Medjool, is also involved in bringing the project to San Francisco.

The food is from the Jiang Nan region of China, which is south of the Yangtze River and includes Szechuan, Hunan, and Zhejiang cuisine. They will also offer some roasted Cantonese items, and dim sum brunch on weekends. There is even a full bar, the Liu Ling bar and lounge area, and a takeout counter called Singapore To-Go.

It’s a huge space, clocking in at 16,000 square feet, with an additional 4,000-square-foot terrace. Local designer Ken Fulk (Jane, The Cavalier) did the space, with an eye toward the landscape of the Jiang Nan region. The view of the bay is the focus both in the restaurant and on the terrace, along with British-Chinese imports and chinoiserie touches intended to evoke a British gentlemen’s club. Hours in the dining room will be Mon-Fri 11am-3pm and 5pm-11pm, Sat-Sun brunch 10am-3pm, Sat dinner 5pm-11pm, Sun dinner 5pm-10pm. Bar hours will be daily 11am-11pm, and Singapore To-Go hours daily 11am-8pm. Four Embarcadero Center, Drumm St. at Sacramento, 415-399-1200.

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The exterior of 20 Spot. Photo: Dana Eastland. © tablehopper.com.

There have been some changes at Ne Timeas Restaurant Group, the company behind Flour + Water, Central Kitchen, and Salumeria. Chef Ryan Pollnow, who has previously worked as the chef de cuisine at Central Kitchen, has been promoted to partner of the group. That means he’ll now be overseeing various culinary teams and working closely with executive chef Thomas McNaughton. Pollnow’s previous experience includes sous chef at Mecca and sous chef at Il Cane Rosso; he joined Central Kitchen in 2013. Chef Mark Bolton, who began at Central Kitchen in 2013 after working at Chicago’s Tru, will be taking his place as chef de cuisine.

After chef Caleb Jones left ~20 SPOT~, Todd Corboy has signed on in the kitchen. Corboy’s experience includes time in the kitchen at Delfina, as well as a stint in Vienna and as the private chef on a yacht. His small and medium plates have a seafood focus, with choices like ahi tuna poke with avocado, inamona, and seaweed, or steamed savory clams with chorizo, grapes, and toast; you can check out his menu here. 3565 20th St. at Lexington, 415-624-3140.

Not too long ago, some hawk-eyed folks on Twitter noticed that one of the chefs at ~MARUYA~ had left, and now Scoop reports both Masaki Sasaki and Hide Sueyoshi have departed. The new chef is Shinichi Kawaguchi. 2931 16th St. at S. Van Ness, 415-378-6667.

~MKT RESTAURANT-BAR~ in the Four Seasons has a new executive chef, Alexander La Motte. La Motte’s previous experience includes db Brasserie in Las Vegas, Café Boulud, and the French Laundry; most recently, he was at the Four Seasons Westlake Village. 757 Market St. at 3rd St., 415-633-3838.

Joyce Conway has taken the helm as executive chef at ~ZERO ZERO~, replacing Colin Dewey, who left in mid-August. Reportedly, Conway has been running the kitchen since Dewey’s departure and has been at Zero Zero since it opened. Before that, she was at Bruce Hill’s Bix. She’ll be working on cycling in some new dishes for fall.

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The beginnings of a feast at Sam’s Grill. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

~SAM’S GRILL AND SEAFOOD RESTAURANT~ has reopened after a hiatus and refresh, according to Scoop. To recap, the old-school spot (and hopper fave) was saved from an uncertain future by a group of regulars, while owner Phil Lyons transitions toward retirement. Its building was recently sold, and only three years remain on their current lease (let’s hope they get a good renewal worked out). In the meantime, though, they’ve got new paint, curtains, and some other polish. The menu is mostly the same, too, though it’s been a bit edited to make sure offerings are sustainable and high quality. Hours are still Mon-Fri 11am-9pm.

The beautiful Garden Court at ~THE PALACE HOTEL~ is now open again at night, after a decade of closing in the evenings. The hotel, which opened in 1909, will be serving bites, desserts, cocktails, and wine under the historical glass domed ceiling every evening from 5pm-10pm. Cocktails include the 1909, with bourbon, lemon, housemade ginger syrup, and Lagavulin, or the Landmark 18 with Spirit Works sloe gin, Bummer & Lazarus gin, orange juice, and housemade almond bitters. 2 New Montgomery St. at Market, 415-512-1111.

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The gorgeous pastry case at Sixth Course. Photo from Facebook.

~SIXTH COURSE~, a truffle and dessert shop from owners Bridget Labus and Gianina Serrano that has been in the works since 2011, is now open in the Mission. The ladies are famous for their truffles, including a boozy line with offerings like one infused with St. George single-malt whiskey, though the shop has branched out and you can also find items like modern cakes and pastries. Yelpers mention a lemon thyme tart (yes please) and fruit verrines. Plus, they’ve got late-night hours for dessert after dinner. Sweet! Hours are Wed-Thu 2pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 3pm-11pm, Sun 12pm-6pm. 1544 15th St. at Capp, no phone.

As previously reported on tablehopper, popular macaron maker ~CHANTAL GUILLON~ has moved to a larger kitchen location in SoMa and has officially added a storefront and opened for business. The new location joins one in Hayes Valley and another in Palo Alto, and offers a changing roster of seasonal and classic flavors. Hours are daily 11am-7pm. 1309 Howard St. at 9th St., 415-864-2400.

The Marina has a new spot for Mexican vittles: ~BONITA TAQUERIA Y ROTISSERIE~. The menu includes tacos, fajitas, and burritos with various protein choices like carnitas, rotisserie chicken, and vegetarian. Initial Yelp reviews are generally positive, with mentions of fresh flavors and quality ingredients. 2257 Chestnut St. at Scott, 415-801-5599.

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The Italians salumi platter at La Nebbia. Photo: desogos.com.

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The semolina gnocchi at La Nebbia. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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The new pulled pork sandwich at Lookout. Photo: Wes Rowe.

Last week I got the chance to preview the updated menu at the nine-month-old ~LA NEBBIA~, and I’m here to report there are some smart new additions on there, 15 in all. First, owners Massimiliano Conti and Lorella Degan have rounded out their already amazing list of salumi with new salumi flights, giving you a chance to try a selection of three or more at once, paired with some tasty antipasti and pickled items. Take your pick from the Italians spread—pictured, with four kinds of glorious pig: prosciutto di Parma (18 months), San Daniele (18 months), speck, and coppa—or try the Spaniards (with 18-month Iberico that looks like A5 wagyu, and feels like it on your tongue).

I particularly enjoyed new starters like artichokes with shavings of Moliterno cheese ($9), and the napoleon of baked eggplant ($10) with scamorza, tomato, and the punch of pecorino. There are some new pizzas to try (if you read Friday’s tablehopper, you know one of them), and another one that is Lorella’s favorite: a pizza bianca with mozzarella, soppressata, radicchio, and pecorino (I especially loved it with a little of the spicy peperoncino-infused balsamic they let me taste). There are some new hearty dishes like semolina gnocchi ($11), bubbling with butter from its time in the oven, with chard underneath. Oh yeah.

Since the menu is full of owner Massimo’s interesting and unique wine selections, why not be able to take them home? Starting Friday October 24th, La Nebbia will launch a new wine to go program, with all the wines on the list available to take home. That “Derthona” timorasso from La Colombera, I will be back for you! One more thing: newly extended hours are now Tue-Sat 5pm-10pm and Sun 4pm-9pm. You can also make reservations on OpenTable. 1781 Church St. at Day, 415-874-9924.

Meanwhile, over in the Castro, ~LOOKOUT~ is celebrating its seventh anniversary by bringing on Wes Rowe (yes, that Wes, of the famed Wes Burger) to update and consult on the menu. As of tonight, it now features elevated bar snacks and drink-friendly bites, all made with some really delicious ingredients and a sense of humor (see: dirty balls, the nutsack). There’s Tex-Mex style queso, buffalo wings, and sandwiches like fried chicken, pulled pork, a burger (Wes knows a thing or two about them), and grilled cheese, all on a Pinkie’s challah bun with sides included, like tots or fries. You can still get a pizza, and there are now tacos too. Check out the menu, you may want to save room for the deep-fried bourbon shots, which entail pound cake that is soaked in bourbon and you guessed it, takes a ride in the fryer.

Bartender Michael Breshears, who has poured me too many shots to count over the years, has updated the cocktails, and has added fresher ingredients, housemade syrups, and other touches. 3600 16th St. at Market, 415-431-0306.

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The exterior of Woodward’s Garden. Yelp photo by Ann L.

Based on some ABC license activity, it looks like Jason Perkins—managing partner of Parish Entertainment Group, which operates Place Pigalle in Hayes Valley and Brick & Mortar Music Hall in the Mission, plus a couple of Oakland spots—is planning something for the former Woodward’s Garden space. A call into Parish Entertainment Group didn’t yield any details just yet about what Perkins is planning for the space, but we were promised an update soon. 1700 Mission St. at Division.

Since we’re noting license activity, ~BOXING ROOM~ has a full liquor permit lined up, which would be so great for that space. Hopefully it happens soon. Bring on the Sazeracs!

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The new coffee and tea kiosk at Rainbow Grocery. Photo via Twitter.

The city continues to keep on cranking in the café department. This Friday October 25th, ~RAINBOW GROCERY~ will be opening its coffee and tea shop in the area in front of the store, serving Stumptown Coffee Roasters and a variety of teas. Come by this Friday for snacks and samples. Hours are Mon-Sat 8am-6pm and Sun 9am-3pm. 1745 Folsom St. at 13th St., 415-863-0620.

Hayes Valley has a new project brewing (sorry, har): ~ARTÍS COFFEE~ in Berkeley is going to be opening a second location on Octavia Street. Artís Coffee is known for live-roasting coffee on the spot (and to your taste). Or you can just grab an espresso or coffee and be on your way. Hoodline reports Artís will be opening in the former Reliquary space in 2015. 537 Octavia St. at Ivy.

Eileen Hassi Rinaldi just finished revamping ~RITUAL COFFEE ROASTERS~ on Valencia, and next she’s going to be opening a new location at Haight and Central in the Upper Haight (in a former cleaners). This one is a long way out—Hoodline reports we’re looking at July 2015 or thereabouts (permits and renovations take time). There will be outdoor seating too. Looking forward to it. 1300 Haight St. at Central.

A reader wrote in to tell me that ~TULLY’S COFFEE~ on Fillmore is reportedly closing on Sunday October 26th due to a severe rent increase. 2455 Fillmore St. at Jackson, 415-929-8808.

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Celebrating Diwali at Dosa in 2012. Photo from Facebook.

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Devoto cider, ready for pairing. Photo by Bry Photography via Facebook.

Celebrate the Hindu festival of Diwali at ~DOSA ON FILLMORE~ on Thursday October 23rd. There are two seatings, one from 5:30pm-8pm and the second from 8:15pm until closing. Reservations include a three-course, family-style South Indian feast complete with dosas, uttapam, and curries, plus live music, henna tattoos, and traditional Diwali sweets. The second seating also includes a Bollywood and bhangra dance party after dinner. The first seating is $45 per person, and the later seating is $65 per person. Call 415-441-3672 for reservations and more information.

Catch the latest in the Eat Like a Chef, Drink Like a Somm dinner series at ~STONES THROW~ on Monday October 27th. The husband-and-wife team of chef Maria Sinskey and winemaker Robert Sinskey will be at the restaurant, preparing a special, autumnal five-course dinner with wine pairings—check out the menu here. Tickets are $75 per person including tax and tip, with wine pairings for an additional $50 per person, and reservations can be made from 6pm-8:45pm. All proceeds benefit the SF-Marin Food Bank, and if you can’t make it this time, next month the series will feature a savory menu from pastry chefs William Werner (Craftsman & Wolves), Matt Tinder (Meadowood), and Bill Corbett (Absinthe Group) on Monday November 17th.

~MILLENNIUM~ is hosting a five-course dinner with Devoto Orchards Cider and Wait Cellars on Wednesday October 29th from 7pm-10pm. The dinner, which is vegetarian- and vegan-friendly, will be paired with pinot noir from Wait Cellars and Devoto’s excellent dry and semi-dry ciders. (Seriously, have you tried them? Do yourself a favor and grab a bottle of their Cidre Noire to toast the last sunny days of October.) Dessert even includes a cider-based cocktail pairing—how very fall is that? The dinner costs $80 per person and includes all food and drink pairings, but not tax and tip. For reservations, call 415-345-3900, ext. 13.

On Tuesday November 4th, enjoy a special farm dinner at ~SEVEN HILLS~ with David Little of Little Organic Farm in Petaluma. The five-course menu includes produce sourced almost exclusively from Little’s farm, along with other ingredients from Marin and Sonoma counties. The dinner is $90 per person, including a box of produce from the farm, but not including drinks, tax, or tip. Reservations can be made by calling the restaurant. (Psssst, there will be a sunchoke cappuccino with white truffle from Alba.) 1550 Hyde St. at Pacific, 415-775-1550.

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Gabrielle Hamilton. Photo courtesy Random House.

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New York’s amazing chef and author Gabrielle Hamilton will be in the bay next month, promoting her new cookbook, Prune. There are a few ways to catch her; don’t miss one of these delicious events. First, she’ll be at March on Sunday November 9th from 12pm-2pm, signing books and talking about her recipes. Email for more information. 3075 Sacramento St. at Baker, 415-931-7433.

That evening, catch her at a dinner at Left Bank in Larkspur with Book Passage at 6:30pm. Tickets are $125 for one or $185 for a pair, and include food, wine, tax, tip, and a signed copy of the book (just one book for the pair of tickets). 507 Magnolia Ave. at Ward, Larkspur, 415-927-3331.

On Monday November 10th, she’ll be at Shed in Healdsburg, doing a special lunch with recipes from the cookbook and, of course, sharing stories from Prune. Tickets are $95 per person or $145 for a pair, and include lunch, wine, dessert, tax, tip, and one copy of the book. 25 North St. at Foss, Healdsburg, 707-431-7433.

Then, at 6pm on Monday November 10th, she’ll be at Camino sharing even more recipes and dishes. A reception with drinks, a book signing, and snacks starts the evening, followed by dinner at 7pm. Tickets are $136 and include food, wine, tax, and tip. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event. 3917 Grand Ave. at Sunnyslope, Oakland, 510-547-5035.

Marcus Samuelsson will also be in town with a new book, Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home. On Sunday November 2nd, he’ll be doing a two-part event with Green Apple Books on the Park. First, from 6pm-8pm, catch him at Nopalito on 9th Avenue, where he’ll be at an intimate reception talking about the book with drinks and food from Nopalito. Tickets to the reception are $100 per person and include a copy of the book, two drinks, and all the carnitas, tacos, and pollo al pibil you can manage. From 8pm-9pm, he’ll be at the Green Apple store across the street, signing books and answering questions. The book signing is free and open to the public. Nopalito: 1224 9th Ave. at Lincoln, 415-233-9966. Green Apple Books on the Park: 1231 9th Ave. at Lincoln, 415-742-5833.

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The interior of Kushido. Photo from Facebook.

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The JJ burger. Photo from Yelp.

~KUSHIDO~, a new yakitori-style Japanese restaurant, is now open in Temescal. Owner Jonathan Moon’s project is inspired by the izakayas of Japan, where yakitori skewers are served alongside beer and other beverages. Think of it as a drinking place with good food, not the other way around. They’ve got a real binchotan grill that’s visible to diners, where more than 20 types of yakitori are grilled, including bacon-wrapped mochi and different cuts of chicken. They’ve also got several Japanese beers on tap, as well as sake and shochu. There are also some non-yakitori items on the menu, like sashimi and ramen. Hours are Tue-Sat 5pm-11pm. 4828 Telegraph Ave. at 48th St., Oakland, no phone.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that cats are the new black and soon you’ll be able to hang out with friendly felines at every café and restaurant in the Bay Area. Opening on Saturday (excuse me, Caturday) October 25th is Oakland’s ~CAT TOWN CAFE~, a space where you can get coffee from Bicycle Coffee Co., bagels from Authentic Bagel Co., and sweet pastries from Kitchener Collective. Within the café is the fully contained Cat Zone, where you can take your food and drink and hang out with cats of all sorts. This is not all just for fun, though: the cats at Cat Town are available for adoption through the Cat Town nonprofit, an organization that has been rescuing cats from the East Bay’s overcrowded shelters since 2011. You can even reserve a spot in the Cat Zone for a donation of $10 to the organization. Meow! Café hours are 8am-7pm and Cat Zone hours are 10am-7pm. 2869 Broadway at 29th St., Oakland, 510-915-1454.

Liquor license activity tipped us off to a cool new project opening this winter, called ~THE OCTOPUS LITERARY SALON~. Details are still a bit spare, but the space is inspired by salons and pubs in Europe, where people of all ages gather to eat, drink, discuss literary happenings, and listen to live music. Construction has started and they are targeting a January opening—of course we’ll keep you updated. In the meantime, catch one of their pop-up salons; follow along on Twitter for updates. 2101 Webster St. at 22nd St., Oakland.

Some more liquor license activity: last month we mentioned the upcoming project from Alexeis Filipello (Stag’s Lunchette, Bar Dogwood) and Matt EIseman called ~THE LODGE~, but we couldn’t quite reveal the location just yet. Since license activity has hit the wires, we can now reveal it’s going to be opening in the former Egbert Souse’s in North Oakland. It’s looking like 90 days to build out, so expect a spring opening. To recap: The Lodge will mostly be a bar with classic cocktails and some top-notch bar food/small plates (think Bay Area classics, like oysters on the half shell, plus fish fries, crudo, chowder, and salads). There’s a nice lodge setting and a patio, with about 60 seats in all. We’ll keep you updated! 3758 Piedmont Ave. at MacArthur, Oakland.

It looks like there is a new spot in Grand Lake, called ~JJ BURGER~. East Bay Express reports that the new spot has moved into the former Kung Pao Kitchen and is serving slightly elevated burger, with fresh toppings, brioche buns, and quality meat. There are also lots of patty choices, including chicken, turkey, and an ahi tuna poke burger. Hours are Tue-Sun 11am-9pm. 3415 Grand Ave. at Elwood, Oakland, 510-451-0633.

October 14, 2014
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Exterior photo by Craig Lee.

Exciting (potential) news here: if the ABC license transfer and escrow gods cooperate, it looks like Melissa Perello of ~FRANCES~ will be taking over the recently closed ~BAKER & BANKER~ space in Pacific Heights. Perello was not able to confirm or deny that she is in contract to purchase the space at this time, but based on what I was able to dig up online, it looks like that’s the plan.

Perello has been looking for a second space for some time. In an interview with Haighteration more than a year ago, she said, “I’m thinking about starting to think about Frances #2” and “I’m looking to replicate [Frances] on a larger scale. I’m just contemplating it.” Once Perello can talk about the location, we’ll have to see what her plans entail for her second project. And all of SF (and beyond) will be eagerly listening. 1701 Octavia St. at Bush.

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Some news at the upcoming ~THE PROGRESS~, the second project from State Bird Provisions’ Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski that they’re opening next door: they have hired Jason Alexander as the general manager and wine director. He was most recently the GM for Meteor Vineyard and was the wine director for both Gary Danko and Cyrus (yeah, he’s no slouch in the wine department). In a conversation with Brioza, he says they have known each other for a long time, working on events together, and they were happy to herald Alexander’s return to the restaurant world.

One more tidbit: The Progress will be opening in 2014. Yay. While details aren’t really ready to be released yet, The Progress is going to be living up to its name (it’s in homage to The Progress Theatre that was on the site from 1911-1925). Brioza says the name stands for a firm foundation and can also be used in reference to what they’re going to be doing: progressing their dining style (without being pretentious). He says they aren’t reinventing the wheel, they already did that with State Bird—this will be a tribute to the past as they pave their way and look to the future. The food, wine, service style will all reflect progress; he added that they are very excited about their kitchen and front-of-house team. One big motif is the artisan role in what they do and create, so look for a continuation of many handmade elements in this next space. I’ll keep you posted in the coming months! 1525 Fillmore St. at Geary.

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The new entrance. Photo by Patrik Argast.

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A look into the Champagne bar and lounge. Photo by Patrik Argast.

~QUINCE~ reopened September 20th after closing for renovations in July, and here are some updates on how it looks (yes, it’s swanky!). Local designer Douglas Durkin designed the new space, which includes a private entryway, a new bar and lounge area, two new private dining rooms, a refreshed kitchen with a chef’s counter, and some new art and furniture. The focus of the renovation was on making the dining room feel more comfortable and inviting, with an eye toward both the restaurant’s former home on Octavia and the current space’s architectural past (it was built in 1907).

Metalworker Michael Bondi created the new entrance, a glass and metal structure that carries guests from the street to the dining area. In the dining room, more brick walls have been exposed and offer warmth, and the entryways have been rounded to soften the hard edges. New banquettes keep the seating luxurious. One of the most exciting additions, if you are a lover of bubbles, is the Champagne bar and lounge at the entrance. Wine director Jai Wilson is offering a selection of wines from small producers in Champagne, including many farmer-owner wineries and others that are being imported to the United States for the first time. In addition to the bottles, you can also order à la carte from the tasting menu while seated in the lounge, and an hors d’oeuvres menu will be available, along with caviar service.

They’ve added two more private dining rooms, each with seating for as many as 12 people. There are also two seats at a chef’s counter, for those looking to experience the kitchen firsthand. The renovation has allowed for a private dining room at next-door’s Cotogna, called the Octavia Room. It is situated in the kitchen, if you’re really into seeing the action up close. Quince and the new lounge are open Mon-Sat 5:30pm-10pm.

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One of the dining areas at Mochica. Photo by Aubrie Pick, courtesy Mochica.

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Another dining area at Mochica. Photo by Aubrie Pick, courtesy Mochica.

As previously reported on tablehopper, Peruvian restaurant ~MOCHICA~ is reopening on Potrero Hill, and it’s happening this Thursday October 16th. Chef and owner Carlos Altamirano has expanded the menu to reflect the additional seating afforded by the new location, and there is also a full bar. Look for small dishes like ceviches and the anticuchos de corazón (that would be beef heart skewers served with crispy potatoes and spicy salsa panchita). As for entrées, there’s a chicken stew in aji amarillo sauce with potato, botija olives, and a hard-boiled egg, or a Peruvian-style paella with seafood and a squid ink base.

As for that full bar, of course you’ll find pisco sours, along with traditional chilcanos, also made with pisco, plus ginger and lime. The space was designed by Keith Morris of Abueg Morris Architects, and it has an industrial feel, with warm wooden panels and hand-painted murals on the walls. There are two dining rooms and a bar area, with seating for groups of different sizes. Dinner Sun-Thu 4pm-11pm and Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm, weekend brunch Sat-Sun 10am-2:30pm, and happy hour Mon-Fri 4pm-6pm. 1469 18th St. at Connecticut, 415-278-0480.

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The exterior of 1000 Guerrero. Yelp photo.

After changing from Tao Café two years ago, ~COMPANY~ is now becoming ~HOFFMANN’S GRILL AND ROTISSERIE~. Chef Karen Hoffmann, one of the partners from Company, is now the sole owner. The menu will be focused on simple, comforting food that reflects the seasons, with many items made in-house, including bread, pasta, and sausage. Each day will feature a rotating meat special, as well as roast chicken available by the half or whole, and a burger with smoked cheddar and grilled onions. The wine list will include four choices on tap and a selection of bottles from small producers. Hoffman’s will open on Tuesday November 4th, and hours will be Sun, Tue-Thu 5:30pm-9:30pm, Fri-Sat 5:30pm-10pm, closed Mondays. 1000 Guerrero St. at 22nd St., 415-374-7479.

A couple of readers were asking me what was going on at the 24th Street location of ~SUSHI BISTRO~—which has been closed since August—and the owners have confirmed that they sold the location. Things continue as is at their Balboa Street location, where they have absorbed some of the 24th Street staff. A reader tells me the new business moving into the 24th Street space is ~KAZAN~, which will “serve sushi and Japanese tapas,” and should be opening this week. 2809 24th St. at York.

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A rendering of Klyde. Courtesy Klyde.

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Cuco’s, you’ll be missed. Photo from Facebook.

An all-day café has opened in Union Square, called ~KLYDE CAFÉ & WINE BAR~. It’s inside the Hotel G, though the projects are unaffiliated. The kitchen is run by local Sam Fechheimer, the project’s executive chef, whose previous experience includes Michael Mina, Locanda, and Il Cane Rosso. The menu offers American classics, such as egg dishes like poached eggs with merguez sausage at breakfast, along with pastas, salads, and sandwiches at lunch and dinner. The wine list offers more than 60 bottles from the United States and France, many of them priced around $30. The selection of wines by the glass will rotate regularly. Hours are daily, with breakfast 6:30am-12am (that’s right, breakfast all day), lunch 11:45am-2:30pm, happy hour 3pm-7pm, and dinner 3pm-12am. 386 Geary St. at Mason, 415-654 5061.

As previously reported, San Francisco now has a second location of Los Angeles-based salad chain ~TENDER GREENS~. It opened Wednesday October 8th, according to Facebook, serving meal-sized salads, platters, and soups. Hours are daily 11am-9pm. 266 King St. at 4th St., 415-230-3141.

As we reported back in July, Haight Street burrito joint ~CUCO’S~ was in danger of eviction and closure. After weighing their options and considering legal action, the Campos family, who owns the restaurant, decided to close on Monday October 13th, according to Hoodline. Despite the closure, they may reappear as a pop-up or maybe even a restaurant in the future. Best of luck to them. 488 Haight St. at Fillmore.

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Exquisite halibut with fava beans, corn, and little gems, a springtime dish at Nico. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

After almost a year in business, Pacific Heights restaurant ~NICO~ will be changing menu formats at the end of this month. Each evening, a three-course menu will be available for $45 and a five-course one for $55 per person. Wine pairings will be available for $30 for the three-course option and $45 for the five-course one. The intention behind the change is to offer a more European-style experience, where guests can relax and let the kitchen take care of them, while continuing to be approachable. Snacks and the à la carte menu will be available at the bar. 3228 Sacramento St. at Lyon, 415-359-1000.

~PLIN~ will be offering weekend brunch as of Saturday October 18th, Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30am-2:30pm. In addition to an à la carte menu, you can also try a family-style prix-fixe option for $30 per person. Menu items include baked eggs with polenta; French toast with mascarpone and pecans; and eggs Benedict with a choice of sausage and bone marrow, shrimp and basil, ham, or sous vide salmon. Bottomless brunch beverages are also available, and you can catch aperitivo hour from 3pm-5pm on Saturdays and Sundays after brunch. 280 Valencia St. at 14th St., 415-644-8425.

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The menu at Tiny Warrior. Photo from Facebook.

There’s a new spot in the Mission for delicious iced coffee, called ~TINY WARRIOR~. It’s a little coffee spot, with a bit of a bar bent: five different flavors of signature iced coffee are blended and shaken to order, with flavors like Moroccan (cardamom, cinnamon, and clove syrup) and Mission mocha (Tcho chocolate and smoked chile). You can add freshly muddled mint or chocolate ice cubes to your coffee too. House coffee, pour-over, and plain iced coffee are also available. Hours are Tue-Sun 7am-5pm, closed Mon. 3376 18th St. at Capp, 510-847-4754.

Observant Yelpers caught the opening of ~SNOWBIRD COFFEE~ in the former Drip’d Coffee Lab in the Inner Sunset. They offer coffee from different roasters on a rotating basis (right now it’s Wisconsin’s Ruby Roasters), including some of their own roasts. Plus, they’ve got a little bit of counter seating and free Wi-Fi. We weren’t able to find their hours, but their Instagram tells us they are closed Tuesdays. 1352 9th Ave. at Irving.

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The patio at the Cheese School of San Francisco. Photo from Facebook.

~THE CHEESE SCHOOL OF SAN FRANCISCO~ is hosting the annual cheesy fest for the California Artisan Cheese Guild on Thursday October 16th at 7pm, Meet the Cheesemaker. There will be 24 cheesemakers there, with tastes and stories to share, including the fine folks from Achadinha, Nicasio Valley Cheese Company, and Cowgirl Creamery. In addition, catch wine from Herb Lamb Vineyards and beer from Headlands Brewing Co. The event is a fundraiser to help educate and support California cheesemakers, so don’t miss the silent auction. Tickets are $25 for cheese guild members and $35 for the general public. 2124 Folsom St. at 17th St., 415-346-7530.

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The next generation of chefs at Bay Leaf Kitchen Summer Camp. Photo from Facebook.

Spark, a national organization that helps middle school students from underserved communities stay engaged in school, is having their annual Sugar Rush on Thursday October 16th at 7pm at the Sir Francis Drake hotel. The event is full of sweet treats and savory bites from local restaurants including Akiko’s, Nona Lim, and Scala’s Bistro, along with wine and beer. Tickets are $85 per person, or $150 for VIP, which includes cocktails, exclusive small plates, 6pm entry, and cooking demonstrations. 450 Powell St. at Sutter.

Support the Bay Leaf Kitchen on Sunday October 26th at ~RED DOG~ for their first annual Kitchen Harvest Dinner. The four-course dinner comes from chef Lauren Kiino along with guest chefs Laurence Jossel (Nopa), Luke Chappell (Luke’s Local), and Kate and Mac Magruder (Magruder Ranch). In addition to the four courses, there will be cocktails from Trick Dog’s Tommy Quimby, wine, and beer, along with live music and seating alongside chefs, farmers, and other producers. The evening begins with a cocktail reception at 5:30pm and runs until 9:30pm; tickets are $125 per person, or $1,000 for a table of six or $2,000 for a table of ten. 303 2nd St. at Harrison, 415-692-0211.

Help a new generation of chefs at San Francisco State University’s Hospitality and Tourism Department’s Taste of the Bay event on Wednesday November 12th. The evening, which is put on by students, takes place at the City View at Metreon and includes food from local restaurants like Café Claude, Hog Island Oyster Bar, and M.Y. China. There will also be lots of local wines and both live and silent auctions. It all raises money for scholarships and activities at the school. Tickets are $100 in advance or $150 at the door, and the party goes from 6:30pm-9:30pm. 135 4th St. at Mission, 415-405-3966.

On Tuesday October 28th, head to ~18 REASONS~ for their Teach a Community to Fish dinner from Bar Tartine’s Nick Balla and Cortney Burns. The menu is heavy on seafood (and looks delicious), and proceeds benefit 18 Reasons’ Cooking Matters program. The evening goes from 7pm-10pm, and tickets begin at $250 per person and include all food and wine pairings from Bi-Rite Market.

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Don’t miss the world’s best party mash-up: a book and pizza party at ~TONY’S PIZZA NAPOLETANA~ on Tuesday October 21st from 5:30pm-9:30pm. The evening is a celebration of Tony Gemignani’s latest book, The Pizza Bible, which covers how to make pizzas from regions all over the world, including Naples, Chicago, California, and Rome. Entry to the party is free with the purchase of a book ($29.99) and includes pizza made with recipes from the book, as well as cocktails, beer, and wine. There will also be a photo booth and accordionist (we said it was a party!). Yeah, this is how you do a book party!

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Bread fresh out of the wood-fired oven. Photo courtesy of The Growlers’ Arms.

An exciting update for you on ~THE GROWLERS’ ARMS~, the upscale gastropub (yet cozy tavern) from Seamus and Shelley Mulhall that’s opening on Wednesday October 22nd in the former Marzano in Oakland’s Glenview district. The duo will be offering an English-style experience with California sensibility (across the board, from the cuisine to the decor). There will be a 10-seat bar, banquette seating in a deep port color, plus some church pews, with 65 seats, and 15 outdoor seats with heat lamps.

Look for experienced service with those small touches that really make things shine—the team comes from places like Boulevard and Farallon (the Mulhalls are some serious restaurant industry vets, with Danko, Boulevard, La Folie, and Chez Panisse in their collective backgrounds). There will be old silverware (Seamus says they have been polishing it like crazy), and the room has old portraits of California icons like John Muir.

The chef is Brian Ventura, previously A16, who toured 15 Michelin-starred gastropubs in May with the Mulhalls in England and Ireland. Seamus said they were really struck with how strong a role English farming played in the cuisine: “It was just really good country food.” Look for English dishes that will be fun, and reflect and rotate with the seasons. Here’s the first look at a draft of the opening menu, which includes starters like snails on Growler toast with a fennel-parsley salad, scarlet turnips, and herb dressing, and favorites like bubble and squeak. The team is working with whole animals (pig, goat), so they will be making haggis (“not your grandfather’s!”), some terrines, and pâté—plus more goodies in their charcuterie refrigerator. They also got in the last-of-the-season local salmon and made gravlax with St. George Terroir gin. Mains include oven-roasted sole with Brussels sprout champ and Lancashire hot pot with a goat chop bonus. There are a lot of sides, salads, and more to round out the meal.

Miranda, their sous chef, has been practicing baking bread in the wood-fired oven—which is not the easiest thing. She has also been working on traditional English desserts, like spotted dick, but they’re going to opt to call it by its other name, spotted dog, just to nip all those jokes in the bud, okay? Plus there will be seasonal pies (up now: apple pie with English cheddar).

The bar manager is Linda Hare-Touye, who has most recently been at Quince, but many will recognize from her years at Aqua. In addition to classic cocktails, there will be artisan beers, with four beers on tap and ten beers and cider by the bottle. Mostly small, local craft brews with some English ones, and, of course Guinness.

The bar will open at 4pm (with snacks), and the kitchen opens at 5pm. The space will be open nightly until 10pm, closing at 9pm on Sunday. Look for weekend brunch to launch in a month or so (with some blood pudding!). 4214 Park Blvd. at Glenfield, Oakland.

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Ordinaire Wine Bar. Yelp photo by Nique F.

As reported in August, you can order pizza from Boot and Shoe Service while enjoying wine at ~ORDINAIRE~ on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 5:30pm-10pm. Well, turns out you can order dinner from Ordinaire itself Thursday through Saturday from 5:30pm-10pm; Chris Kronner is no longer popping up there (he has a restaurant to open!). The menu is concise and changes regularly; this week, there’s escarole salad, country pâté, and lamb breast. 3354 Grand Ave. at Elwood, Oakland, 510-629-3944.

We tried to get some details on the opening of ~LONGBRANCH~—which is opening in the former Sea Salt—but unfortunately were told to just “follow along on Facebook and Twitter.” The background noise suggested it was open (maybe it was a test dinner), and they are currently holding some special events, but nothing could be confirmed. So call ahead before you go, but even then it might be a gamble. Our original post with a few details is here, and you can take a peek at the space here. 2512 San Pablo Ave. at Dwight, 510-984-0518.

We had a chance to catch up with Matt Burger, who we reported not too long ago is opening ~GRANGE HALL~ in the Barlata space in Temescal. Their timeline has been pushed a little due to patio and liquor licensing concerns. Barlata is still open at the moment, and now Grange Hall is aiming for an early 2015 opening. 4901 Telegraph Ave. at 49th St., Oakland.

One of the owners of ~MOCKINGBIRD~ let us know that there’s been an issue with their liquor license (sounds like their landlord may have misinformed them in some way). While they work on sorting that out, they’ve voluntarily stopped serving alcohol. That’s bad news, but the good news is that you are now able to BYO with no corkage or other service fee. 1745 San Pablo Ave. at 18th St., 510-290-0331.

October 7, 2014
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The exterior of Mason Pacific. Photo: Nick Vasilopoulos.

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The buttermilk fried chicken at Mason Pacific. Photo: Nick Vasilopoulos.

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The bar at Stones Throw. Yelp photo by Michael U.

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The grilled octopus okonomiyaki at Stones Throw. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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The interior at Verbena. Photo by Carmen Troesser.

THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT, THANK YOU! WE HOPE TO HOST YOU ANOTHER TIME.

IN THE MEANTIME, ENJOY $25 CREDIT FOR YOUR FIRST MEAL WITH COVER (WITH CODE: TABLEHOPPER)! SEE BELOW FOR MORE…

I am very excited to announce a fun tablehopping night on the town in conjunction with Cover, the clever app that allows you to pay and split your bill at participating restaurants without waiting for your server to bring it to you. (More on that in a moment.)

But first, the event’s details! On Wednesday October 29th, we’re going to explore three hot SF restaurants that all use Cover in one night, a total tablehopping feast! We are going to start the night at 6pm at ~MASON PACIFIC~ in their charming bar area, where we’ll begin the evening with some appetizers (trust me, chef Sean McTiernan’s fabulous buttermilk fried chicken will be on the table) and a glass of wine (either a sparkling rosé, or you can choose from the Copain chardonnay or mourvedre/syrah). We’ll leave at 6:45pm and walk about six blocks to our second destination (ladies, be sure to leave the monster heels at home!).

Next stop: 7pm at ~STONES THROW~, where we’ll get chef Jason Halverson’s fantastic grilled octopus okonomiyaki (have you had this dish yet?!) and a couple of other bites and beverages. Delicious. Look at that, it’s 7:45pm! Time to boogie.

Last stop: a short jaunt to ~VERBENA~, where we’ll go upstairs at 8pm to their private mezzanine for chef Sean Baker’s fabulous dessert course (currently being discussed: the Heretic porter cake with candy cap ice cream, pumpkin juice caramel, and Cascade hops), and a paired nightcap from the bar. Cheers!

It’s going to be a very intimate evening, with room for only 16 diners in all. And here’s the best part: since Cover has you covered, the entire night is only $65, all-inclusive (they’re picking up the rest of the bill). I know, sweet!

So, how do you get to go? First, you need to send an email to me, and please say “Cover Dinner” in the subject line. You can only reserve for two people total—please include one or both names you’d like to put down. We’ll need you to download the app, and once we confirm that we have room for you, we’ll email you and let you know you’re in! Your credit card on file with Cover will be charged $65. The event fee is nonrefundable, so don’t flake! (There is the possibility we can find someone else to go in your stead and buy your ticket if you can’t make it after all, but no guarantees. We can discuss.)

If you think you’d like more than one beverage per place, you’ll have the option to purchase additional glasses of wine or cocktails throughout the evening and pay with Cover. Cheers, you partier.

If you’re vegan, have food allergies, or don’t drink, this may not be the best event for you since we will be dining family style—please consider checking out another tablehopper event in the future that will be able to accommodate you better. Thanks!

Here’s one more bonus: have you been curious about Cover but haven’t tried it yet? Well, Cover is offering tablehopper readers a special code for $25 off their first meal with Cover! (Except for this event, which is a separate thing, you sly fox!) Just download the app and use code “tablehopper” for $25 credit at Cover—participating restaurants like the three at our event, and many others (here’s the Bay Area list of restaurants and here’s the New York list). Dine with a friend and you can experience how easy it is to split the bill and tip your server.

Let me know if you have any questions, and I look forward to dining with you on the 29th! Cheers!

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The dining room at Marlowe. Photo by Eric Wolfinger.

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Pea pancakes at Marlowe. Photo by Eric Wolfinger.

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Marlowe’s new bar. Photo by Eric Wolfinger.

Just last week, Anna Weinberg, James Nicholas, and chef-partner Jennifer Puccio got to welcome ~MARLOWE~ into its new home in Loretta Keller’s former Coco500 space (it just moved up 4th Street from Townsend). The space has doubled in size to 80 seats, gained a cute enclosed patio, and now has a full bar.

Another big addition is pastry chef Emily Luchetti, who is now chief pastry officer for the Big Night restaurant group, which includes Marlowe, Park Tavern, and the Cavalier. The COCOcup may be gone, but just wait until you try Luchetti’s chocolate-dipped peanut butter nuggets, rolled in Guittard sprinkles. (Paying homage to Coco500, Marlowe will keep the almond coffee vacherin on the menu.)

You can take a look at chef Jennifer Puccio’s savory lunch and dinner menus, which includes more bar bites than the original location (perfect to go with that cocktail you’re sippin’), like English pea pancakes with smoked salmon and chive crème fraîche, or grilled calamari and chorizo. Classics like the warm deviled egg (with aged provolone, pickled jalapeño, and bacon) fortunately remain. Mains range from pan-seared scallops with bacon-wrapped asparagus, English peas, and wild mushrooms in a white wine cream sauce to that fab burger of theirs (of course).

Designer Ken Fulk has continued with the restaurant’s original “butcher shop” inspiration (the restaurant was named after Weinberg’s great-grandfather’s butcher shop in Boston). There are a variety of seating areas, from the tables with bistro chairs and a tobacco leather banquette to marble tables with brushed industrial-looking chairs (and vintage cookware hanging from an overhead rack). It’s full of tiled surfaces, with a bright and crisp look during the day. At night, the marble bar shimmers, and the clean look reminded me a bit of Schiller’s in New York. The patio is damn cute; try to snag a spot during this warm weather we’re having.

Lunch is served Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, dinner Sun-Wed 5:30pm-10pm and Thu-Sat 5:30pm-11pm. The bar is open with a limited menu Mon-Fri 2:30pm-5:30pm. Coming soon: weekend brunch, and a late-night burger window!

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Arguello’s dining room. Photo: ©Henrik Kam 2014.

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The bar at Arguello. Photo: ©Henrik Kam 2014.

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The patio. Photo: ©Henrik Kam 2014.

Local talent Traci Des Jardins has been busy with the opening of her new restaurant—with the Presidio Trust and with support from Bon Appétit Management Company—in the Presidio, The Commissary, and now there’s her second project opening Wednesday October 8th: ~ARGUELLO~. While Commissary is more Cal-Spanish, Arguello is all about home-style and authentic Mexican cooking, featuring many recipes from Des Jardins’ abuelita (it will be different than Mijita’s menu). You can take a look at the menu here. They’ll even be making tortillas on an outdoor comal.

Like at Commissary, she is joined by Culinary Director Robbie Lewis. There’s also a full bar with craft cocktails from Enrique Sanchez (La Mar, Tres Agaves), with 50 tequilas.

It’s opening in the landmark Presidio Officers’ Club, with 118 seats, plus a heated patio with a fire pit and sheltering wall, so don’t let a windy day intimidate you. You can come by for a sunny lunch (the menu is casual and easy) and things ramp up a bit more for dinner.

Interior designer Laura Cook designed a space that feels modern, but still has many original fixtures, and Studio Terpeluk milled the 125-year-old Douglas fir used for the bar—it was salvaged from a historic Presidio building. And in case you want to brush up on your SF history, the restaurant is named after Luis Antonio Arguello, who served as commander in the Presidio from 1806 until 1822, when he became the first Mexican governor of Alta California. 50 Moraga Ave. at Arguello, 415-561-3650.

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The exterior of Tao Yin. Photo: Dana Eastland. © tablehopper.com.

Fans of chef Jesse Koide (well known at Mission Chinese Food for his ever-present pink zebra headband) will be happy to know they can find him at his new venture, ~PINK ZEBRA~, a restaurant within Tao Yin in the Mission (sound like a familiar setup?). The opening is officially on Friday October 10th, serving dinner from 5:30pm-11pm (Pink Zebra’s hours will be Thu-Mon 5:30pm-10:30pm, and they’ll stay open until 11pm on Fri and Sat nights—look for potential later hours in time). Tao Yin will have five of their own tables and still offer delivery; Pink Zebra diners will have about 40 seats, and there’s a sushi counter inside too (currently with room for five, but it will get new seats with room for eight soon).

They started with a mini service last week, serving yakitori cooked on binchotan, pickles, Mt. Lassen ocean trout oshizushi (pressed sushi), and menchi katsu donburi. While it sounds pretty Japanese, look for some of Koide’s Italian-Mediterranean cooking skills, techniques, and flavors to appear on his menus too (he has also cooked at Bar Tartine, Slow Club, Farina, and the Alembic). He doesn’t want to be constrained to one cuisine—look for some creative and flavorful additions.

The omakase experience at the counter will range from $65-$85, and will be casual but still featuring quality ingredients. There will be nigiri sushi courses balanced with mid-courses, tsunemono, and the like.

The dining room menu will start with eight or so dishes. A couple larger entrées Koide mentioned include a riff on the dish he served at the Pink Zebra pop-up in Copenhagen: thin layers of pork katsu, with Gruyère in between (yes!), and then it’s fried in panko, and served with his spin on a smoky tonkotsu sauce (which has ramps he cured in brown miso and cold smoked). Another entrée is white sea bass with a Sicilian bread salsa, and look for some vegetables on the side, and maybe some ikura on top (again, yes!). Dishes will be less than $20—more in the $14-$16 range, and they are designed for sharing.

These first few weeks are definitely a soft opening—it’s not like a normal restaurant when you have your own kitchen, crew, and storage. They’ll make adjustments as things progress. Koide just wants to cook good food and make people happy, and is excited for this new venture! 3515 20th St. at Mission.

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The exterior of Specchio (then Piattini, now Buffalo Club). Yelp photo by Thomas R.

We got a call just in time for today’s column from Scott McDonald, one of the partners of the upcoming ~MISSION BRASSERIE~, which is moving into a former corner store on Mission. The partners on the project are McDonald and Alex Kamprasert (the two own Noeteca together), along with Yulianto Liu. Turns out, they’ve actually had the space for almost a year, but this is a slow process and they’ve only recently been able to apply for their liquor license.

Craige Walters is behind the design (he also did Romper Room, Fable, and Golden Gate Tap Room), and the 2,800-square-foot space will include both bar and table seating. McDonald also mentions plans for small-production on-site brewing, so the bar will definitely have a beer focus. As for the food, they want to keep the feeling like a very authentic, classic brasserie, with most inspiration coming from France and the Alsace region. They hope to open in 2015, though an exact timeline is hard to gauge at this point. We’ll let you know when there are updates! 2146 Mission St. at Sycamore.

Was happy to hear that Irfan Yalcin of ~PERA~ in Potrero Hill is going to be opening his own wine bar and eatery in the Mission, ~L’EMIGRANTE~ (it takes its name from the Italian film). Yalcin has had the idea of opening the city’s most affordable wine bar for some time, so now he gets to do it. He plans to offer 85 percent of the wines on the list at just less than $35, with bottle prices starting at $20 and ranging up to $50. He also mentioned all of their wines will be well rated. There will be 36 in all, including bubbles, whites, rosés, and reds. There will additionally be eight beers on tap. Some food will be served as well, including an array of appetizers, bruschette, salads, sandwiches, and four main dishes.

Renovations are under way (the space was formerly the Corner), and Yalcin hopes to open by the last week of October. The bar will have a rustic look, and there is also a mezzanine and outdoor seating (heated) for 24 guests. Live music will be five or six nights a week, but nothing too loud—think flamenco, violin, and musicians from the Mission. Hours will be Sun-Thu 12pm-12am and Fri-Sat 12pm-1am. 2199 Mission St. at 18th St.

Liquor license activity reveals that the former Specchio/Piattini space on Mission has been taken over by the team behind Tonic and Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. Reportedly it will be called ~BUFFALO CLUB~, and will offer something different than Dr. Teeth. 2331 Mission St. at 19th St.

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Sui jao at Slurp. Photo from Facebook.

The New Fillmore reports that Hayes Valley ice cream shop ~SMITTEN~ is opening a second location on California at Fillmore, next to Pizzeria Delfina. Smitten is known for its nitrogen-frozen ice cream, with seasonal flavors and toppings. 2404 California St. at Fillmore.

~SLURP NOODLE BAR~ is now softly open in the Castro, according to Castro Bubble. The new spot, in the former Fork Cafe space, is serving noodles and dumplings from all over Asia, including laksa, sui jao, pho, and ramen, along with some bites like steamed buns and spring rolls. Hours are Mon-Thu 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm. 469 Castro St. at 18th St., 415-553-6633.

It looks like French Baguette in the Financial District has morphed into ~CHEZ JULIEN~, a healthy French café, according to Yelpers. The menu includes grab-and-go essentials for breakfast and lunch, including salads, soup, and sandwiches. 100 Bush St. at Battery, 415-399-1816.

As reported last week, there are changes afoot at Second Act Marketplace with the departure of High Cotton Kitchen and Spice Hound. We mentioned that Crêpe La Vie is moving in, and now word comes that the second vacancy will be filled by ~BURMA BEAR~, a Burmese barbecue restaurant from Hubert Lim. Both new spots are aiming to open this month. Congrats, all! 1727 Haight St. at Cole, 415-668-3994.

After Ngoc Mai in the Tenderloin closed, many on Chowhound were saddened by the end of their delicious bun bo hue and banh xeo. But no more tears! Now Yelpers are reporting that it has reopened under the name ~TUYET MAI~, with the same staff, cooks, and owners. Yay. 547 Hyde St. at Geary, 415-931-4899.

Speaking of Vietnamese food, ~URBAN PICNIC~ is getting ready to open their third location this Friday October 10th in SoMa. The new location will have the same menu as previous locations, with fresh, health-concious fare including banh mi, noodle and rice bowls, and big salads. Catering will also be available, and hours are Mon-Fri 7:30am-4pm. 303 2nd St. at Harrison, 415-433-1233.

East Bay gelato company ~LUSH GELATO~ has opened a location on Polk, as we reported back in June. Owner Federico Murtagh makes his gelato completely from scratch, in house (meaning he doesn’t use a Straus base, like many other producers). This gives him more flexibility in creating his flavors and gives customers a chance to watch the process from start to finish. The spot is now open, and you can scope some of the possible flavor choices here. 1817 Polk St. at Washington, 415-444-9750.

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The bagel platter at Marla. Photo courtesy Marla Bakery.

Beginning Sunday October 12th, ~MARLA BAKERY~ will be serving brunch on Sundays from 10:30am-2:30pm. Not only can you enjoy their spiced doughnuts and challah French toast on the beautiful patio (could the weather be any more perfect?), but you can also make reservations right here. Take a look at the menu and start planning your trip to the Richmond now. 3619 Balboa St. at 37th Ave., 415-742-4379.

Michelle Polzine’s ~20TH CENTURY CAFE~ is now open for happy hour Wed-Fri from 6pm-9pm. In addition to a few items from their lunch menu, they’ll be serving snacks like deviled eggs and pickles, along with wines from Hungary, Austria, Croatia, Istria, and Slovenia (starting at the very reasonable $22 a bottle). Yep, we’ll see you there.

Adam Mesnick’s newest foray into the deli scene, ~RYE PROJECT~, is now going to be open on Saturdays, starting this Saturday October 11th. They’re open 11am-3pm, slinging meats on rye and bagel platters to make your weekend fabulous. 180 7th St. at Natoma, 415-552-8984.

Speaking of sandwiches, ~THE COACHMAN~ is now serving a daytime sandwich menu Wed-Fri 11am-2pm with choices like fried chicken or smoked brisket. 1148 Mission St. at 8th St., 415-813-1701.

It sounds like another late-night dining destination has bit the dust in this early-to-bed town. ~KIN KHAO~ has ended late-night service as of Monday October 6th and will now be closing at 11pm every night. Citing concerns about staffing, public transportation, and long shifts, they’ve had to start closing earlier, despite being busy at night. For more on the challenges of San Francisco’s late-night dining scene, read this story I wrote for 7x7 in 2012. Sigh.

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Red Door Coffee at 111 Minna. Yelp photo by Cath M.

Founder Eiming Jung of 111 Minna is planning a new location for ~RED DOOR COFFEE~, which he is launching with David Mabry and Michelle Delaney. It’s opening in a new space at 1st Street and Howard, which will include a lounge area and small kitchen. Lunch will be provided by 1601 Bar & Kitchen (tablehopper readers know we’re a fan of chef Brian Fernando).

Visitors to the café will find a designated public space in the building and an open-air plaza where they can sit and enjoy their Four Barrel coffee. There will also be Wi-Fi (and outlets). The Red Door Coffee service at 111 Minna will continue, but when the space is closed for private events, people now have the option to head to this new location. Hours will be Mon-Fri 7am-5pm and Sat 8am-1pm; once their application for a beer and wine license goes through, there will be happy hour from Mon-Fri from 5pm-8pm or so. Look for an opening in mid-October. 505 Howard St. at 1st St.

~NANO CAFÉ~ is now open in the Mission, according to Yelpers. They’ve got espresso, coffee, tea, and pastries, with the possibility of sandwiches coming soon. 564 South Van Ness Ave. at 17th St., 415-203-0362.

Berkeleyside Nosh reports that the sadly closed Sketch Ice Cream space on Fourth Street has become the ~CATAHOULA KAFFEEGARTEN~. It’s the second outpost of Timber Manhart’s Catahoula Coffee Company, a Richmond-based roasting operation. He aims for balance in his roasting and offers both signature blends and single-origin beans. They’re pulling espresso along with coffee, though there isn’t a pour-over option. Right now, there are just pastries and coffee, but the space’s large kitchen may be put to work as a sort of community space for pop-ups and other local business looking for cooking space. 2080 4th St. at Addison, Berkeley, 510-235-0525.

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A course from the recent Fortress summer fig dinner. Fig, goat curd, vanilla vin chicories, quail egg, lard croutons. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Don’t miss chefs Eddie Lau and Luis Villavelazquez of Dux at their next Fortress: Solitude pop-up. The next one is on Saturday October 18th, with a dinner celebrating all the bounty of autumn. You can check out the menu here; it looks like a winner. There are seatings at 6pm (only two tickets left) or 9pm, and tickets are $55 per person, with wine pairings for an additional $20. It’s all happening at Naked Kitchen. 945 Valencia St. at 20th St.

Every Saturday morning in October, you can truly rise and shine because you will be able to find Sugarfoot Grits at ~WING WINGS~ from 8am-11am. They’ll be serving Southern breakfast classics, including their delicious grits, with eggs and bacon. And of course there will be coffee! Don’t miss it.

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Exterior photo by Craig Lee.

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The magical view from the Empress of China (never mind what else may be happening in the bar…). Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Last week, I was sorry to learn that ~WOODWARD’S GARDEN~ has closed its sweet doors for good, after more than 20 years of soulful cooking for us. In our previous piece announcing the closure, we mentioned chefs and co-owners Margie Conard and Dana Tommasino will be doing some pop-ups, salons, and more while they search for a new location. We’ll keep you posted. Enjoy the break, ladies, and thank you for all the memories and great dates there!

Lori Baker and Jeff Banker have decided to close their five-year-old restaurant, ~BAKER & BANKER~, reports Scoop. The Pacific Heights restaurant will close on Sunday October 19th. The couple cites multiple reasons for the closure, including a desire to spend more time with their two young children and the challenges of finding enough staff. They’ll be back though: after some time off and a chance to ponder their next move, they hope to be back on the food scene, though it is not clear yet in what capacity. As for what will move into the space, negotiations are under way with a new tenant but no word on who that might be.

Chinatown icon ~EMPRESS OF CHINA~ is closing at the end of this year, according to a report from SF Gate. The five-story behemoth, which opened in 1966 and is most famous for hosting weddings, is being sold, perhaps to make room for office space. Damn, one of my favorite “secret” places for a cocktail with a stunning view is leaving us. 838 Grant St. at Clay, 415-434-1345.

This is a sad story. After an ongoing battle with the National Park Service, it appears that Drakes Bay Oyster Company has reached a settlement and will cease operations at the end of this year. The federal government will then be responsible for removing all on- and offshore equipment from the site. Though the farm is no more, the owners plan to open Drakes Oyster House restaurant in the Tomales Bay Resort in Inverness.

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Chefs hard at work at Actions Speak Louder Than Pink 2012. Photo by Zoe Christopher via Facebook.

Breast Cancer Action is an organization that advocates for action against breast cancer (not merely awareness) and demands more transparency and accountability in breast cancer fundraising. Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it’s a great time to have a thoughtful discussion on the topic. On Tuesday October 21st, they’ll be throwing their fourth annual ~ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN PINK: FOOD FOR THOUGHT~ event at Terra Gallery in SoMa. The four-course dinner comes from chefs like Eric Tucker from Millennium Restaurant, Sascha Weiss and Susanne Stampke from The Plant Café Organic, Jonathan Sutton and Tony Ferrari from Hillside Supper Club, and Katherine Toy from Flora. The events goes from 6pm-9pm and tickets are $125 for individuals, or $1,000 for a table of eight.

The National Kidney Foundation is hosting its Annual Authors Luncheon on Saturday October 25th at the Hilton Union Square. Authors include chef Christopher Kostow of Meadowood and non-food authors like Susan Vreeland and Kelly Corrigan, along with Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington. It is all emceed by KQED’s own Michael Krasny. The luncheon is from 10am-3pm; tickets are $135 per person, $1,300 for a table, and table sponsorships begin at $2,500. Proceeds benefit the National Kidney Foundation. 333 O’Farrell St. at Taylor, 415-543-3303 for tickets and information.

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Pasta for days at the North Beach Bazaar 2013. Photo from Facebook.

This year is the 95th annual ~NORTH BEACH BAZAAR~, a Columbus Day celebration of Italian culture and heritage. It takes place in the churchyard of Saints Peter and Paul, just across the way from Washington Square Park, on Saturday and Sunday October 11th-12th from 11am-7pm. In addition to lots of fun activities like bocce, batting cages, a salami toss (!!), and Halloween crafts stations, A16 will be there (Shelley Lindgren is a co-chair of the event), serving pizzas out of their wood-fired pizza truck, along with beverages from Rye on the Road and Campari. On Sunday evening from 5pm-7pm, you can get a cioppino dinner from A16 for only $20, including salad and tiramisu. 666 Filbert St. between Stockton and Powell.

On Sunday October 12th, catch the annual ~ROCKRIDGE OUT & ABOUT FESTIVAL~ from 12pm-6pm. The festival includes food and drink from Rockridge Market Hall merchants like the Pasta Shop, the Cheese Counter, and Marin Sun Farms. On the Chef Stage, check out demonstrations like a Parmesan wheel cutting or a dessert demo from A16 Rockridge. There will also be live music, dancing, and autumnal activities for kids like pumpkin pairing and a prize wheel. College Ave. between Claremont and Manila, Oakland.

On Thursday October 16th, enjoy the heat at the ~RED HOT ROUNDUP~ from 5pm-8:30pm. The celebration of spice and fire is happening at Bay Meadows, the former racetrack, and is a fundraiser for the San Mateo Fire Department’s Burn Foundation fund. October is fire prevention awareness month, so go get yourself schooled! You can nab a spot in the Beat the Heat Hellfire Challenge, where you’ll compete against firefighters eating spicy foods. Lots of food trucks will be in attendance, as well, if you prefer to eat like a semi-civilized person. Check out vittles from Red Sauce Meatballs, Little Green Cyclo, and Naked Chorizo, plus beer from Grape and Grain. Tickets are $5 for adults, free for kids, and $20 to participate in the Hellfire Challenge. Paddock Park, Derby Ave. at Baze, San Mateo.

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The exterior of the new Woods in Uptown Oakland. Photo courtesy Woods.

La Cocina alum Dionne Knox has opened her first brick-and-mortar location of ~ZELLA’S SOULFUL KITCHEN~ in the Mandela Foods Cooperative, Scoop reports. Knox has been serving her California-style soul food through her catering business and with prepared items at Whole Foods, but now you can find her dishes at breakfast and lunch, with dinner service coming soon. There’s a Beauty’s bagel with cream cheese and biscuit breakfast sandwich at breakfast, and a selection of salads and sandwiches at lunch. Soon, dinner will be added, with a rotating selection of comfort food plates; take a look at the menus here. Current hours are Mon-Fri 7am-4pm, Sat 10am-4pm, evening hours coming later. Inside Mandela Foods, 1430 7th St. at Mandela, Oakland, 510-452-1151.

~WOODS BAR & BREWERY~ is getting ready to officially open its doors on Saturday October 11th. The project, from Jim Woods of Woods Polk Station and Cervezeria in San Francisco, moved into the former home of Rocsil’s Shoes in Uptown Oakland and will offer 12 beers on tap, most of them brewed in small batches on-site plus a few local guests. In addition, they’ve got an enclosed patio with a fireplace and a newly-restored mahogany bar. Hours are Sun-Wed 5pm-11pm, Thu 5pm-12am, Fri-Sat 5pm-1am. 1701 Telegraph Ave. at 17th St., Oakland, no phone.

~PLANK~, the dining space and event venue in Jack London Square we told you about in August is planning a grand opening for Friday October 10th. The large space offers lots of activities (and room for up to 1,000 people), including bowling, bocce, video games, and an outdoor beer garden, along with a menu of plates designed to share like pizzas, chorizo fundido, and crab cakes. 98 Broadway at Embarcadero West, Oakland, 510-817-0980.

East Bay Express reports that Japanese restaurant ~B-DAMA~ has reopened in the Swan’s Marketplace building. They’re serving lunch and dinner, with items like rice bowls, grilled meats, and uncut sushi rolls called gaburi. Hours are Mon-Sat 11:30pm-2pm and 5:30pm-10pm, closed Sun. 907 Washington St. at 9th St., Oakland, 510-251-1113.

There is also news from East Bay Express that ~AUNT MARY’S CAFE~ has reopened after moving across the street from their old location. They’re now in the former Clausen House Thrift Shop location, next to Hooper’s Chocolates. They’re still transitioning a bit (no liquor license quite yet, and espresso is on hold due to a machine issue), but you can still pop in for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Hours are Tue-Sun 8am-3pm, Thu-Sat 5:30pm-9pm. 4640 Telegraph Ave. at 47th St., Oakland, 510-601-9227.

September 30, 2014
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At a test dinner. Photo: Luke Andrews.

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Chilled lettuce soup. Photo: Charlotte Cleary.

While State Bird Provisions is certainly one of the city’s more challenging restaurants to get a table at, the newly opened ~LAZY BEAR~ was so flooded with reservation requests for its first two weeks of seatings that the reservation ticketing system they’re using (from Chicago’s Alinea and Next) choked. All systems are go again, but scoring tickets—which are first come, first served—is up to luck (until someone figures out a bot to game the system).

Chef-owner David Barzelay has moved from underground suppers at his home into the former Hi Lo in the Mission, which now features two 22-foot elm communal tables, with room for 20 diners at each. Every Thu-Mon, there are two seatings, at 6:15pm and 8:15pm. The prix-fixe menu is around 11 courses for $120, with optional beverage pairings for $50. The Modern American menu is constantly changing, but recent dishes included chilled lettuce soup with Little Gems, summer squash, fried anchovy, parsley; Delta crawfish (cucumber, Delta rice grits, celery); and seared Sun Golds (smoked beef strip loin, basil, amaranth, tomato raisins). Desserts by Maya Erickson (previously at AQ) included ginger milk curd (pluot consommé gelée, pluot, shiso, mint) and a wooden slab of “treats” like frozen s’mores and a mini PB&J meringue.

The evening starts with snacks and optional drinks upstairs on the retro/postmodern mezzanine, and at the end, coffee service is a custom program with Ritual Coffee Roasters. Sommelier Marie-Louise Friedland (previously at Quince) and bar manager Brandon Presbury (Bartlett Hall, Locanda) are in charge of the beverage pairing menus.

Sign up for the Lazy Bear mailing list to receive information about when each month’s tickets will be released (it never hurts to follow along on Twitter and Instagram, too, @lazybearsf). 3416 19th St. at Valencia, 415-874-9921.

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Melissa Gugni and Jay Esopenko at Union Larder. Photo Courtesy Union Larder.

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Meat slicing at Union Larder. Photo courtesy Union Larder.

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The interior at The Hall. Photo by Patricia Change courtesy The Hall.

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Cassia at The Hall. Photo by Patricia Change courtesy The Hall.

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The spacious patio at Aracely. Photo courtesy of Aracely.

As reported earlier this month, ~UNION LARDER~ was opening in Russian Hill from the team behind Little Vine. Well, they officially opened their doors on September 16th, and now you can get their house charcuterie, glasses of wine, and cheeses. The retail side is also open, offering pantry items, Straus dairy products, and Marin Sun Farms meat. Hours this week are Mon-Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat 11am-11pm, but they should be opening Mon-Sat 11am-11pm in the next couple of weeks. 1945 Hyde St. at Union, 415-272-7567.

~THE HALL~, the Mid-Market gourmet marketplace we told you about in August, is now open in the former Hollywood Billiards building. The building is actually still a work in progress and will eventually be a residential building with retail on the ground floor. While the developer works that out, though, The Hall will be open in the interim, offering food from a variety of vendors including Little Green Cyclo, The Whole Beast, and Fine & Rare. It will also serve as a multiuse events space. 1028 Market St. at 6th St, 415-558-8293.

It looks like there is a new spot for handmade udon in town, in the Kinokuniya Building in Japantown. It’s called ~UDON MUGIZO~. There’s only one Yelp review, and it’s positive; sadly, Gary Soup discovered that they are closed on Mondays, so we don’t have the benefit of his always-thorough feedback. 1581 Webster St. at Post, no phone.

The Outer Sunset has a new spot for sweets—ice cream sandwiches, specifically. ~SWICH~ is now open on Irving, with customized sandwiches made with a variety of cookie and ice cream flavors, along with “toppings” for the sides of the sandwich. 2045 Irving St. at 22nd Ave, 415-592-8091.

Speaking of sweets in the Sunset, Eater caught the news of ~TWISTED DONUTS~. Husband-and-wife team Paul and Joyce Lim offers classics like old-fashioneds and glazed, along with hipper flavor combinations like mango, lemon and blueberry, and maple bacon available as daily specials. They’ve got coffee and housemade croissants too. 1243 Noriega St. at 20th Ave., 415-463-5437.

~CALIBUR~, the burger joint that moved into the former Market & Rye in West Portal, is now open, slinging organic burgers, fries, and shakes made with Three Twins ice cream. 68 West Portal Ave. at Vicente, no phone.

The ~BOBA GUYS~ have opened their second location, according to Chowhound. The new location is in Union Square, near the Stockton Street Tunnel, and to make things even easier for the downtown crowd, you can now order online for pickup. 429 Stockton St. at Bush, 415-967-2622.

And over on Treasure Island, ~ARACELY CAFE~ has now opened there after their move (you may remember them from Potrero Hill, in the Axis Cafe space). Their new island digs include a sweet patio space with bridge views, indoor/outdoor fireplaces, a chef’s garden, and a semi-enclosed courtyard. While they are serving brunch and lunch, it’s also a great event space: they host a bunch of private events (weddings, baby showers, and more), and some public events are coming up, including jazz, blues, music concerts, and wine tasting parties. Hours are Tue-Fri 11am-2pm, and Sat-Sun 10:30am-2:30pm. 401 13th St., Treasure Island, 415-694-0363.

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Adam Fleischman (Umami Burger) and Joshua Skenes (Saison) are getting ready to open a new fast-casual Chinese restaurant, ~FAT NOODLE~, this winter. It will be on Second Street at Mission in SoMa, and will offer hand-pulled noodles inspired by Szechuan and Shaanxi cuisine, along with other classic Chinese dishes. The casual service will also be speedy, with a choice of noodles, proteins, and vegetables, all served within three minutes and for less than $10. In addition to serving the lunchtime crowd, they will also offer late-night hours, until 2am. Look for an opening later this year or in early 2015. 92 2nd St. at Mission.

We’ve been tracking this space for a while now, and Eater caught the details on ~BUTTERMILK SOUTHERN KITCHEN~, opening in late October in the Mission. The space, which used to house a laundromat, comes from Miguel De Ocampo and partners, and will offer neighborhood-friendly Southern fare, including lunch, dinner, and brunch all day on Sundays. They’ll have beer and wine, along with some outdoor seating. 2848 23rd St. at Bryant.

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Matthew Bousqet at Per Diem. Photo courtesy Per Diem.

~PER DIEM~ has a new chef, Matthew Bousquet, previously of Michelin-starred Mirepoix in Windsor. He’s focused on keeping the food “simple and pure,” with almost everything made from scratch. The menu offers some decadent touches, including a bone marrow dish with escargot in Pernod butter ($12), crispy pork belly with roasted grapes, kale, quinoa, sage-pecan crumble, and Banyuls sauce ($12), and lamb sugo with tagliatelle, braised vegetables, and rosemary butter ($19). The classic bucatini bolognese all’arrabbiata remains on the menu, as well—take a peek at the dinner menu here. 43 Sutter St. at Sansome, 415-989-0300.

Back in July, I heard some rumblings that chef Bill Niles was leaving ~ST. VINCENT~, but when I reached out to confirm, I was told that the rumor was false. Wellllll, it wasn’t: Niles has left the restaurant (for now, he’s going to be working with Chris Kronner at his upcoming KronnerBurger, but that won’t be permanent). Scoop reports owner David Lynch has brought on John Thurmond, Nathan Holden, and Stephen Thorlton, a talented trio known collectively as The Other Guys (they have a pop-up), who will be acting like a kitchen team. This week, the restaurant is running more as a wine bar (read: limited food selections) while the kitchen ramps up, and look for a return to dinner service with their new menu on October 6th.

At Oakland’s ~PICÁN~, chef Robert Sapirman is now running the kitchen after Sophina Uong’s departure, East Bay Express reports. Sapirman, who previously worked at Hotel Valencia in San Jose and Vesu in Walnut Creek, hails from Florida and will continue to offer Southern food with an international bent. 2295 Broadway at 23rd St., Oakland, 510-834-1000.

Speaking of Sophina Uong, one of her post-Picán projects was consulting on the menu at ~CAPTAIN & CORSET~ in Oakland. However, East Bay Express reports that not only did Uong leave the project in July, but also that the wine bar and restaurant has closed. Apparently, there were some issues with the team and financial arrangements. No word on what may be moving into the space. 2212 Broadway at Grand, Oakland.

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The exterior of Tante Marie’s, future home of Parties That Cook. Photo from Facebook.

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Nachos from Green Chile Kitchen. Photo from Facebook.

Local businesses are branching out: first up, ~THE AMERICAN GRILLED CHEESE KITCHEN~ will be opening a third location in North Beach. Scoop reports they have a letter of intent for a new space at the corner of Broadway and Battery, expect an opening in mid-2015 or thereabouts.

Another ~SUPER DUPER~ will be coming to the El Faro on Kearny, look for an opening in spring 2015. 346 Kearny St. at Pine.

Adriano Paganini will also be busy opening a second location of the Marina’s ~DELAROSA~ in Yerba Buena Lane. The 100-seat space is aiming for spring 2015. 37 Yerba Buena Lane at Market.

Tipster Jason B. let us know there’s a second location of ~DRAGON EATS~ now in SoMa. The menu is similar to the Hayes Valley location, with banh mi, rolls, salads, and bowls. 555 Folsom St. at 2nd St., 415-795-1169.

Big congrats to Bibby Gignilliat and ~PARTIES THAT COOK~, who will be taking over the storied Tante Marie space on October 1st. It ends up Gignilliat is an alum of Tante Marie and is thrilled to have a permanent location for her corporate team-building events, parties, and cooking classes. She says of the move, “When Mary [Risley] called and offered me the keys to her space I was thrilled with the chance to take over the venue. The romantic look and feel of the building is filled with great karma from the culinary legends that have walked through her door. I’m very excited for our new permanent location and for the next chapter of Parties That Cook.” 

Look for an opening later this fall; Tante Marie’s last day in the space is October 1st.

Up in San Rafael, ~GREEN CHILE KITCHEN~ is opening a location in the former Odalisque Café & Grille, and aiming for October. The restaurant will be full service and everything will be made to order. There is a rotisserie, grill, and full kitchen, so GCK Marin will be adding some new dishes to the menu once they open—there won’t be traditional taqueria fare, but they’ll still offer some of the classics. There will also be cocktails! GCK owner Trevor Logan is partnering with Santa Fe native Ted Razatos on the project (Razatos’ family opened the highly acclaimed Plaza Cafe in downtown Santa Fe in 1947, the oldest restaurant in town). Follow along on Facebook for updates. 1335 Fourth St., San Rafael.

Now this expansion is pretty far afield: Chad Robertson will be opening a ~TARTINE BAKERY~ in Tokyo, how cool is that? Scoop reports it’s due to open in April and will feature Japanese grains, plus there will be sandwiches too. There’s also a brewery next door, so there will be some collaboration there as well.

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The pastrami sandwich from Wise Sons, now available for dinner. Yelp photo by J G.

It’s officially a (Jewish) new year, and ~WISE SONS DELI~ is celebrating by adding dinner service at their Mission location three nights a week, according to a tweet we spotted on Saturday. Scoop fills in that they’ll be open Thursdays through Saturdays from 5:30pm-10pm, serving sandwiches like their Reuben, all-day breakfast plates, and blue plates like braised brisket or latkes. They’re also offering full table service during dinner for the first time (this is an excellent development), but still no reservations. You can also order delivery via Caviar.

~GASPAR BRASSERIE~ is now offering Saturday lunch from 12pm-3pm. If you need a shopping pick-me-up, perhaps their Champagne julep and a cheese plate is just the thing to keep you going. Take a peek at the lunch menu here. They also have a new Sunday supper menu, served family style every Sunday from 5pm-10:30pm for $40 per person. Each week, a different dish is the centerpiece of the three-course meal, with roasted lamb leg this Sunday October 5th.

If you’re looking to, ahem, jazz up your Sunday brunch, check out the new live music from Gaucho at ~BOXING ROOM~ every Sunday from 11:30am-2:30pm. The brunch menu is served 11am-3pm, and reservations are available.

Looking for a new happy hour? ~FERRY PLAZA SEAFOOD~, which recently reopened in North Beach, is now offering happy hour specials Monday through Friday from 3:30pm-6pm (with last call at 5:30pm). The menu choices will change regularly, but you’ll find options like oysters ($7 for a half dozen and $12 for a dozen), cups of clam chowder ($4), salmon rillettes ($10), and grilled half artichoke ($4). Selected glasses of wine are $5, beer $4. 653 Union St. at Columbus, 415-274-2561.

Sadly, with their new locations coming to Tokyo and the Heath Ceramics building, ~BAR TARTINE~ will have to stop offering lunch. Chad Robertson will be using the space during the day for menu and recipe development, according to Eater. Weekend brunch will remain, though. Whew.

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The iconic sign at All Star Donuts. Yelp photo by Kevin Y.

We were very sad to learn that 24-hour mainstay ~ALL STAR DONUTS~ in the Marina closed on September 22nd after 28 years of business, according to Scoop. A note in the window states that they’ve lost their lease, though reportedly they may reopen in a new location. As for what will be moving into the corner space, Scoop reports that chain ~GLAZE TERIYAKI~ will be opening their second San Francisco location there in 2015. From glazed doughnuts to Glazed. 2095 Chestnut St. at Steiner.

Last month, Hoodline reported that ~HAYES & KEBAB~ would close at the end of September to make room for a large mixed-use construction project that includes residential units, a parking garage, and retail space. They served their last kebab on September 28th. The good news, though, is that they’ll be moving into the ground-floor space in 2016 when the building is completed. In the meantime, they’re planning a food truck at Proxy and even eyeing a space on Valencia at 20th Street. 580 Hayes St. at Laguna.

Speaking of late-night bites, it looks like ~ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK~ has closed their Castro location. Their other five locations remain open, and Marcello’s is still slinging slices up the street. H/t Scoop. 508 Castro St. at 18th St.

Hoodline notes that there are some changes afoot at Second Act Marketplace on Haight. ~HIGH COTTON KITCHEN~ has moved to a space in Oakland, and ~SPICE HOUND~ has closed because the owner, Tammy Tan, is expecting a child and will now be focusing on online and wholesale sales. Of the two spots left vacant, one is being filled by Hayes Valley-based catering operation ~CRÊPE LA VIE~ from Emilie Le Pessot, Hoodline reports. The menu will offer eight to ten options, half of them savory crêpes made with buckwheat flour (galettes in the maison!), and the other half sweet ones made with unbleached pastry flour. Toppings will change with the seasons, but look for ham and cheese, smoked salmon, salted caramel, and chocolate with orange; you can see Le Pessot’s current menu here. The plan is to open in October. 1727 Haight St. at Cole.

Over in Oakland, East Bay Express reports that ~UME~ is no more, after taking over the Plum space only four months ago. The Daniel Patterson Group has, well, regrouped yet again, and the space will essentially become an extension of next door’s ~PLUM BAR~. The sense seems to be that a casual, less expensive option will be a better fit for the neighborhood, despite Ume’s good reviews. 2214 Broadway at Franklin, Oakland, 510-444-7586.

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The bar at Hecho. Photo via Facebook.

Just a couple of things to note in your brain files: first, after a public outcry and offense over the name “Bandidos,” the newly opened Mexican restaurant on Market Street has now changed its name to ~HECHO~. (Yes, there used to be an Hecho downtown, where Gaspar is now, but this new one is not related.) You can read a statement from the owners about the name change on their Facebook page. Now, let’s eat some short rib quesadillas. 2200 Market St. at Sanchez, 415-926-5630.

Next, the upcoming project from Brett Cooper and Daniel Patterson Group in the former Beast and the Hare location in the Mission will be called ~ASTER~. Scoop reports they are aiming to open at the end of the year. 1001 Guerrero St. at 22nd St.

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The Gaggia at Iron & Steam. Photo from Facebook.

Some coffee news for you around town because, hey, caffeination is important. We have mentioned ~PINHOLE COFFEE~ before, and they are now open in Bernal. The owner is JoEllen Depakakibo, previously of Blue Bottle, and Bernalwood reports she is using Linea Caffe beans. You can read more on Sprudge here. Rainbow stripes! Hours are Mon-Fri 6:30am-5pm and Sat-Sun 7:30am-5pm. 231 Cortland Ave. at Bonview.

Over in Dogpatch is the new ~DIGNITÀ~, which opened in the Invention Hub coworking space—people seem fired up on the seating options. There are also a variety of goodies available, from cookies to quick breads. In case the name seems familiar, this is the same café that is opening in The Hall as well. 2225 3rd St. at 19th St.

Was sorry to read on Chowhound ~IRON & STEAM ESPRESSO BAR~ and their gorgeous Gaggia machine have packed up and are no longer operating out of the Hi Lo Club’s window on Polk. 1423 Polk St. at Pine.

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Massimo Battura. Photo from Facebook.

The crush of fall book releases is upon us, with all kinds of cookbooks and restaurant vanity books to keep us well fed, inspired, and informed in the coming months. ~OMNIVORE BOOKS~ just released their list of upcoming fall events, packed with visits from locals like Thomas McNaughton (Flour + Water has their new book out) and Alder Yarrow talking wine, and Tony Gemignani talking pizza. There will also be some great visitors, from Renee Erickson (from Seattle restaurants like The Whale Wins) to Alexander Lobrano, whose second edition of Hungry for Paris was a great resource on my recent trip. Oh yeah, and there’s a party for Yotam Ottolenghi!

One more Omnivore event to note: next Thursday October 9th, ~TOSCA CAFE~ is hosting a party for Italian chef Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana to celebrate his new cookbook, Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef. The party is 5pm-8pm; a $55 ticket includes wine, cocktails, and passed canapés inspired by recipes in the book (but please note it doesn’t include the book, you gotta get that separately).

There’s also quite a lineup of chefs coming to speak at INFORUM, including Flour + Water’s Thomas McNaughton with MythBusters host Adam Savage on October 6th, Mario Batali with Tyler Florence on November 1st, and Marcus Samuelsson with Nikki Silvestri on November 3rd.  

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The front window of the upcoming La Snackeria. Photo from Facebook.

East Bay Dish has the story on the new project from Tina Tamale, who has been running Tina Tamale Catering. It’s called ~LA SNACKERIA~ and will offer “Chino Latino” food, like quesadillas with Oaxacan cheese and char siu-style pork, and boba frescas, or aguas frescas with tapioca. There will also be a large selection of salads made with local produce, and desserts and snacks from other local spots like Tart! Bakery. The project was partially funded by a Kiva loan, and after she opens the shop, Tina hopes to become a loan trustee and endorse loans for other small local businesses. Rock on, Tina! 815 Washington St. at 8th St., Oakland.

~A16 ROCKRIDGE~ is now offering an early morning and afternoon café service, with coffee from partner roaster Scarlet City Coffee Roasting. During breakfast and lunch, you can get Italian-style coffee and espresso, along with savory and sweet pastries like sfogliatelle, zeppole, and pizzas for takeout or dine-in. Free Wi-Fi will be available, as well. The café set-up will be offered Mon-Fri 7am-3pm and Sat-Sun 9am-3pm.

We’ve been tracking this one on Facebook for a while now, and it looks like it’s going to open this Friday October 3rd. ~DIVING DOG BREWHOUSE~ from owner Rob Bailard is a microbrewery opening in Oakland. With 30 taps, they will be serving their own beers plus many from other breweries. In addition, they’ve got a cool workshop element: groups will be able to come in and brew beer on-site using a variety of customizable recipes. After fermenting for a couple of weeks, you come back, bottle your beer, label it, and take it home. There isn’t a kitchen, just snacks, plus all that beer. 1802 Telegraph Ave. at 18th St., Oakland, 510-457-1148.