January 16, 2007

January 16, 2007

Yay, at long last, ~MISSION BEACH CAFÉ~ will be opening January 24, from style-maker extraordinaire Bill Clarke and baker badass Alan Carter, formerly of Chow. The bakery component will be up and running (can you say pie, popovers, and pastry?), plus Blue Bottle coffee will be offered, and gourmet sandwiches will be available for lunch. In three weeks after opening, expect to see appetizers, desserts, beer and wine in the evening, a more extensive lunch, Saturday and Sunday brunch, and they will also be ringing the dinner bell. But for now, release the pie! 198 Guerrero St. at 14th St., 415-861-0198.

The ever-charming and talented Mohamed Ghaleb has found new (and bigger) digs for his restaurant, ~TAJINE~. He's moving into the Sunny Café space (1338 Polk St. at Pine St., 415-921-1338), which will be closing at the end of the month. After a couple weeks of renovation, he hopes to reopen around the last week of February, and will serve lunch and dinner daily. You can then call me Merguez mama.

Just up the street on Polk, ~LA PARRILLA GRILL~ has reopened as of today! They are moving away from the full-service format, and are actually now a bit more casual--you'll just place your order at the counter instead (although a runner will still bring your food to your table). The prices have dropped, and the presentation of the food is also less "composed." The owner, Fernando, assured me that the tastiness, however, has not changed. (Hello gorditas. Oh, and birria made with lamb!) 10am-10pm Sun-Thu, until 12am Fri-Sat.1760 Polk St. at Washington St., 415-359-1212.

Okay gourmet salad munchers: a second ~MIXT GREENS~ location will be opening downtown by this May! They are really focused on making this new location extra efficient to help cut down on wait times (hey, that lunch break is precious). To that end, the new location will have a larger salad station, with six chefs instead of the four chefs they currently have in the original location, plus three cashiers for faster checkout. They are also getting a "green" delivery truck (it's electric) to increase their catering and delivery operation. Groovy. 475 Sansome St. at Commercial St.

So here's an update on ~NUA~, the Mediterranean restaurant and wine bar opening in North Beach--looks like they are about a month out from opening… the executive chef is Anna Bautista, a CCA grad who formerly cooked at Fifth Floor, Jardinière, and was the executive chef at The Public. 550 Green St. at Jasper Place (near Columbus), 415-433-4000.

Just next door will be ~SOTO MARE~, an oyster bar from Gigi Fiorucci and Giovanni Toracca. (Long story on why the name isn't "sotto" for you fellow Italian speakers out there.) There will also be other kinds of cold seafood available, like shrimp, salads, clams, plus clam chowder. (I'm also trying to convince them to serve Gigi's mother's recipe of pasta fagioli--a girl can dream.) There will be a long marble counter with room for 22 where you can slurp some bivalves while enjoying a beer or glass of wine. Fish will also be sold retail and wholesale. Opening is looking like February or March, and the hours will be something like 6am-6pm. 552 Green St. near Columbus.

~MIETTE CONFISERIE~, the modern candy store from the ladies at Miette at the FB is opening soon in Hayes Valley, like, Saturday the 27! Hours will be Tue-Sun, 11am-7pm. 449 Octavia St. at Linden, 415-626-6221.

Okay, I love this story--this is what happens when cool chefs get married! ~DANIEL PATTERSON~ of Coi just married his sweetheart, Alexandra Foote, an environmental lawyer, on January 6. The event was held at the Headlands Center for the Arts, which sounded like a unique and dreamy site for the event (yo brides-to-be out there, check it out!). Patterson cooked the rehearsal dinner for 35 the night before at COI, and did a lot of prep and planning for the reception dinner for 130. There were fab dishes like truffled Dungeness crab remoulade with chives, La Tercera heirloom chicory salad with shaved fennel and radish, and Grimaud guinea fowl breast lined with crepinette (and yes, there was one dish with foam: scallop tartare with caviar and avocado foam). Cheeses from Soyoung Scanlan at Andante, Hervé Mons, and Rolf Beeler followed the gourmet feast. Rose Levy Beranbaum came from NYC to make the "Dark Chocolate Passion" cake, which was as Daniel said, "the best wedding cake ever!" (Served with Blue Bottle coffee, natch.) Mandy Aftel made a custom-blended perfume of black pepper, pink grapefruit, cocoa, coffee, agarwood, cedar, nutmeg, and Peru balsam as a gift for guests, and everyone rocked out to the live tunes by Scissors for Lefty. The couple then enjoyed a honeymoon kicking back and keeping toasty at Jackson Hole, where they even went dog sledding, so cool. What a blast. Congrats to you both!

Okay, or a darker note, will the awful accidents with our city's dear restaurant staff please stop!? I can't believe I have two to write about, so please be sure to read about the benefits for both… I am sorry to report that Town Hall's bartender, ~HECTOR SAHAGUN~, was in a horrible taxi accident a little over a week ago. Below is the letter from a friend of his, Tom Finan, who is spearheading a "Pay It Forward" support drive for Hector. Please read below for how you can help--I also hear Town Hall will be doing a benefit for Hector at their big annual Mardi Gras event on February 20--stand by for more details on that next week.

According to his friend Tom, Hector is home convalescing and "Hector's face still has many apparent cuts, bumps and bruises. My friend Nick sums it up best when he says, 'I hear Hector's voice coming out of his body but I still do not see Hector.'" He also has braces for his legs, and is trying to rest and recover from all the terrible trauma he has sustained. Our thoughts are with you, Hector.

*Pay it Forward with a Random act of Kindness for Hector
*Definition: the act of voluntarily helping another without expectation of payback

Dear Friends,

Our friend Hector Sahagun is in the hospital following a horrific traffic accident. The accident occurred in San Francisco in the early morning hours of Thursday, January 04, 2007. Hector, a bartender, had just gotten off work and hailed a cab to head home. On 6th and Mission an SUV made an illegal maneuver thus creating a head on collision. Hector was pushed though the Plexiglas window in the cab and ended up in the passenger seat. The police were called and ambulances arrived on the scene.

When Nick and I visited Hector he was still in E.R and still covered in blood. His face was severely affected. The Doctors had already applied multiple stitches. Unfortunately, due to the amount of blood I could not make out where the stitches started and stopped, but all in all, it looked very severe. I believe his nose was also broken. He was also complaining of pain in his knees.

I am emailing you to ask for your help with resources, specifically financially. Hector has no medical insurance and from the looks of his condition will not be returning to work anytime soon. With that said I am requesting you to "pay it forward" and contribute financially to Hectors care.

If you have never been involved in a pay it forward it is very simple. Any amount is an important amount and deeply appreciated. If you can afford a larger donation, his rent will need to be paid. One of my goals from this email is to help raise enough financially that Hector will not have to worry about rent for 6 months. Hector also has a dog, Suzy, so we need to find a dog walker. Your funds will also help make this goal happen. Or if you yourself happen to have or know a dog walker, that information could also be helpful. There of course are also additional expenses not foreseen that your contributions will help defer.

Your help in giving towards Hector's recovery efforts has already started by you reading this email. Your next choice is to dig deep and see if you can contribute.

If you cannot contribute financially please contribute by forwarding this email to your own friends on your own email distribution list to give them the opportunity to pay it forward with this random act of kindness.

Pay It Forward is about Trevor McKinney, a twelve-year-old boy in a small California town who accepts the challenge that his teacher gives his class, a chance to earn extra credit by coming up with a plan to change the world for the better--and to put that plan into action. What is his idea? Trevor chooses three people for whom he will do a favor, and then when those people thank him and ask how they might pay him back, he will tell them that instead of paying him back, they should each "pay it forward" by choosing three people for whom they can do favors, and in turn telling those people to pay it forward. It's nothing less than a human chain letter of kindness and good will.

The second tragic accident is in regards to ~LANCE BELL~--please see this week's charity event in the socialite below to see how you can help.