August 1, 2006

August 1, 2006

Just after ~ROOSEVELT'S TAMALE PARLOR~ was lovingly restored and reopened, there are some changes to report. One of our local tamale queens, Karen Taylor, is no longer consulting with Roosevelt's—the commute from Sonoma was a long one, and she is going to keep her attention on her tamale business, Primavera. (So that accounts for the menu change that has happened over there the past couple weeks.) It also ends up the owner is selling the business due to a potential personal move to Los Angeles—so hello any up-and-coming chefs out there looking for a place to hang their tongs and call their own: this is a pretty sweet opportunity. The owner told me business is already going well, and it's a 15-year lease at a really good rate. Drop me a line if you're interested in learning more and I'll get you in touch with the owner.

Thanks to C.S. for the heads up: sadly, Kurt Abney of ~DOTTIE'S TRUE BLUE CAFÉ~ has abandoned his hopes of opening a second Dottie's in Hayes Valley (at 330 Fell St. near Gough) and is selling the location. We all have an extremely difficult neighbor to thank for making the permit process so difficult for this project that Abney realized it was always going to be an issue with this guy, so he decided to sell the space and move on. Here's hoping he finds another space soon, with some neighbors who have half a brain and would appreciate the wonderful baked goods and breakfasts and other edibles Abney is noted for. Abney promised he'd keep me posted—hopefully we'll hear about a new location soon. I'd like to vote for my neighborhood, please.

This is pretty quirky—but considering it's ~WINTERLAND~, I'd believe anything: despite the recent news of its closure, Winterland will remain open for private parties and for regular service one night per week, on Thursdays. The Thursday dinners are scheduled to begin on August 24. Kuh-razy, but just the kind of crazy I like. (Thanks L. for the great news!)

A tablehopper reader (thanks, another C.!) tipped me off to the news that ~NAAN N' CHUTNEY~ in the Haight is opening a second location: in the former Shan space in SoMa. The Baig family (two brothers and a sister) plan to open the first week of August, and will be offering casual lunch, but dinner will get a little more formal than their usual counter service—they'll actually be doing table service. Open nightly for dinner (subject to change—they have to see how it goes in SoMa), plus offering catering and delivery. No beer and wine, for now. 474 Third St. at Bryant St.

I got a call from Timothy Holt (the GM of Boogaloo's for ten-plus years) about ~WEIRD FISH~, the new place I mentioned last week and so I now have an opening date to report: they hope to open in mid to late September, yay. Oh, and about the name—it's not about fish tasting weird, because that would be, uh, weird. It's more about weird fish, like mermaids. Or perhaps Merman. Anyway, these guys are fired up to offer the best fish 'n' chips in town, and I look forward to holding them to it!

Some of you know I also write a monthly Tablehopper column for the Northside paper—in the May issue I mentioned a Japanese place opening in the old Market Place Cafe space on Lombard. I thought I should let you know that last week it opened as ~HIME RESTAURANT~, a word that means Japanese princess. The owner is Eiichi Mochizuki, who also owns SHABUWAY in San Mateo and in Mountain View. While there won't be shabu shabu, there will be a number of Japanese appetizers, both hot and cold, plus top-notch sushi, all prepared by his three Japanese chefs. The space is pretty sexy and slick, and is designed to look like a geisha's house—think traditional Japanese wood elements and bamboo, plus a large Buddha presiding over the full bar. Open Tue-Sun 5:30pm-10pm, until midnight Fri-Sat, closed Monday. 2353 Lombard St. at Scott St., 415-931-7900.

I was reading some food blogs this weekend and Becks & Posh drank some organic, biodynamic, and sustainable wine on the opening night of a new wine bar in the Dogpatch neighborhood called ~YIELD WINE BAR~, on Third Street. Sounds cool! Wine bars, everywhere, I swear!

I mentioned a couple months back that Straits Restaurant on Geary was turning into a Spanish tapas restaurant—looks like they decided on the name ~SPANISH FLY~, and it should be open by August 21 or so! 3300 Geary Blvd. at Parker St.

Here's a place that really pulled on my heartstrings, and it's not just because it's a deli. (I love me some cold cuts.) Opening VERY soon in the heart of the TL, and close to the Civic Center, will be ~MORTY'S DELICATESSEN~, a project from Tim Brown and Doug Sonn. Brown was formerly a Sous Chef at Andalu and the Executive Chef at The Last Supper Club, while Sonn has prior management experience at Hyatt and Four Seasons hotels. They both have met through working at St. Anthony's dining room—Sonn has been involved at the St. Anthony's Foundation for over four years, acting as the job training coordinator, and Brown has been in the kitchen. At Morty's, they plan on offering some employment opportunities to those who have completed the six-month work program at St. Anthony's, helping to build confidence and a positive attitude amongst some folks who haven't received a paycheck, or a chance, in some time. Sonn expressed this is different from the work at Delancey Street Foundation—opening Morty's is a chance to meld the work they have been doing at St. Anthony's, but they’re also doing it because these two former New Yorkers wanted to create a good spot for sandwiches in a neighborhood where there is literally a dearth of places to have lunch. The space was formerly Amy's Café, and will have 35 seats and an original mural from local artist Frieda Maletsky.

Now, to the menu! My personal favorite, the "Stu Gotz," (LOL!) comes with hand-sliced liverwurst, Muenster cheese, roasted onions, and whole-grain mustard, while the "Golden Gate Club" will come with roast turkey, prosciutto, provolone, avocado, and sun-dried tomatoes. There will also be salads and soups too—they are really passionate about using quality ingredients. I commend these guys for working with the community instead of just complaining about it—looking forward to supporting them in their venture. They will also have catering, and will potentially serve beer and wine down the road. Open Mon-Sat 8am-7pm. 280 Golden Gate Ave. at Hyde St., 415-567-3354.

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