October 30, 2007

October 30, 2007

While Michelle Mah’s new project can’t be talked about yet (stand by!), taking her place at ~PONZU~ is Bob Petzold, 32, the former chef de cuisine of Gerald Hirigoyen’s Bocadillos for the past four years. He also worked at Piperade and La Folie. Petzold spent seven years in Asia as a young’un, and recently returned from a two-month Southeast Asia trip. He’s excited to launch a new menu at the beginning of the year, showcasing Asian flavors, discoveries, and dishes he’s passionate about. 401 Taylor St. at Geary, 415-775-7979.

After 27 years in business, ~BRANDY HO’S~ of North Beach is opening a new location in the Castro, in the former Khun Phoa space. The restaurant space has been totally gutted, and will have 50 seats, with take-out and delivery too. The North Beach location’s tradition of home-style and fresh Hunan made with little oil and no MSG will continue, with the new, and interesting, addition of Blue Bottle Coffee on the premises. In case you were wondering about the name (I always have), one of the Ho brothers was named Brandy—there you have it. Look for an opening around November 18 or so. Open 11:30am–11pm Sun–Wed, 11:30am–midnight Thu–Sat. 4068 18th St. at Castro, 415-252-8000.

Remember the brazen ~PURSE-SNATCHER~ who was hitting a bunch of SF restaurants earlier this year, and was finally nabbed? Well, she just got sentenced to four years in the clink—here’s more on her sentencing from ABC.

Does anyone have any idea about this place across from the Thirsty Bear and a few doors down from the Gold Club? (No, I was not there “catching a show.”) The applicant is ~“Fang”~ and the small space has an open kitchen and simple décor. 660 Howard St. at 2nd.

Also in SOMA is a new place to taste and purchase wine called ~TERROIR NATURAL WINE MERCHANT~, featuring organic and biodynamic wines made with non-interventional winemaking techniques—you won’t find any over-extracted or over-oaked vinos here. This is the first wine shop of its kind on the West Coast, with 120 bottles of natural wines from France, Slovenia, Greece, Italy, and Argentina (well, by the time Friday’s shipment comes in). There’s a bar with room for 15, plus a larger table on the mezzanine. You can taste from a changing selection of a sparkling wine and four whites or reds (there are wine flights available as well), or choose a bottle and just pay the $12 corkage and enjoy that retail pricing. There is only one display bottle for each wine, and the rest are kept at 57 degrees. There are bites as well, like salumi from Fra’ Mani, and foie gras and rillettes from Chez Spencer. Look for some other nibbles coming soon from Gerald Hirigoyen of Piperade and Bocadillos. Partners are Luc Ertoran (a server from Fringale, Piperade, Oola, and COCO500, and his uncle is incidentally chef Hirigoyen, lucky dog), Dagan Ministero (he’s worked at EOS, Foreign Cinema, and Chez Spencer), and Guilhaume Gerard (he’s also worked at Chez Spencer). The late hours make this an ideal spot to pick up a bottle or two when Safeway on Friday night at 11pm is just not gonna cut it. Open 10am–12am Sun–Thu, and 10am–2am Fri–Sat. 1116 Folsom St. at 7th, 415-558-9946.

Missionites, you now have a new brunch spot to add to your roster: ~ANDALU~ is serving a “large plate” weekend brunch from 10:30am–2:30pm on Sat–Sun. To let the healing begin, everyone starts with free donut holes (gotta love that), and you can share pitchers of Old Bay Bloody Marys or the Andalu Charger, a spiked citrus punch with fresh mint. The menu includes a variety of scrambles, including an all-you-can-eat version with Cambozola fondue (take that, arteries!), plus some Benedicts, corned beef hash, and the Butcher’s Shop, which has all kinds of meaty sides, including three kinds bacon (regular, spiced, or sweet). 3198 16th St. at Albion, 415-621-2211.

Some openings (and false starts) to report:

No burgers for you yet! ~HORIZON~ hit a snag with their liquor license, so the opening date got pushed. Everyone involved in the project is hoping for an opening sometime soon in November, but no new date has been set yet. 498 Broadway St. at Kearny, 415-576-1118.

~1300 ON FILLMORE~ did in fact open according to plan (and neighboring Yoshi’s has its grand opening coming up on November 28). Dinner nightly 5pm–11pm, with brunch and lunch later on. 1300 Fillmore St. at Eddy, 415-771-7100.

I checked it out, and ~ROOSEVELT’S TAMALE PARLOR~ is slated to reopen today with the new owners who are formerly of Don Pico’s and Pancho Villa. 2817 24th St. at York, 415-824-2600.

And now, for some events!

The annual ~WILD GAME WEEK~ at the Big 4 at the Huntington Hotel is back November 6–10. It’s your chance to eat meaty items like wild boar “carnitas” enchiladas, pancetta-crusted tenderloin of Himalayan yak, plus elk, caribou, and perhaps some other obscure meats that will allow you to say “yeah, I tried that, it tastes like chicken!” The Huntington Hotel, 1075 California St., 415-345-2826.

~A. SABELLA’S~ closes its doors on Sunday, November 4, and will be hosting an auction on Tuesday, November 13. On the block will be its equipment, furniture, and fine wines, including some back vintages of great California reds, like Shafer Hillside Select, Chateau Montelena, and Opus One, plus a case of 1990 Château Latour. The sale of the fine wines begins at 10am, and the restaurant and bar equipment will be auctioned off at 1pm. 2766 Taylor St. at Jefferson on the 3rd floor, 415-771-4413.

Boozehounds, it’s time for you to get schooled! Bourbon & Branch has launched ~THE BEVERAGE ACADEMY~, offering classes on gin (“From bathtubs and back alleys to the upper class”), tequila (“The spirit of Mexico”), Scotch whiskey (Whisky Confidential—learn about the good times and bad times of “the water of life”), and my personal fave, whiskey (“American Whiskey and the Art of the Manhattan”). Beverage Academy Classes take place in the Library at Bourbon & Branch, and are limited to 16 participants. All cocktail-making tools and ingredients are provided, and will usually last for two hours with a 15-minute break in the middle. But alas, it seems most of the 16-person classes are already sold out? I think a December 3 gin class has been added, check out the site. Sorry, no idea how much the classes are, I couldn’t quite figure that detail out.

Last Monday I took a break from my usual writing exile, and trucked on over to Citizen Cake for an industry daytime party featuring drinks from local bartenders and bites from local chefs all made with ~AMBER LIQUEUR~—the whole place smelled like a lovely pancake drenched in maple syrup. I gotta hand it to Jackie Patterson of Le Colonial, her AmberJack totally kicked me into fall, with its notes of apple vodka and Calvados. You will find some of the drinks highlighted at the party on cocktail lists at Le Colonial, Perbacco, Chaya, Citizen Cake, and Jack Falstaff—there’s also the aptly named Relapse at Cantina, but I’m not sure it’s on the menu.

There’s the monthly cocktail competition next Monday, November 5, at ~RYE~, featuring local mixologists competing with their best concoctions made with Gosling’s Rum. No cover, and there will be Gosling’s drink specials—not sure about any bites, those sometimes appear too. Starts at 7pm. 688 Geary St. at Leavenworth, 415-786-7803.

In other bar news, I’ve been tracking this for a month and never get a call back, so let’s just say I’ve heard the folks behind Harry’s Bar on Fillmore and Bruno’s in the Mission are reportedly the ones who bought the legendary ~C. BOBBY’S OWL TREE~. One source told me the place is going to be totally gutted and revamped—not sure what’s in store, but it doesn’t sound like much owl-y kitsch will be remaining. Sigh—the end of an era. 601 Post St. at Taylor.

And for the winos, ~BACAR~, is holding their third “Sommelier Supper” on Sunday, November 11, in the jazz lounge, bacar below, at 7pm. $55 sans tax and tip. 448 Brannan St., between 3rd and 4th, 415-904-4100.