February 8, 2011

February 8, 2011
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Photos by Daniel Azarkman.

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The La Marzocco FB/80 espresso machine at Jane on Fillmore. Photo by Daniel Azarkman.

Now open on Fillmore Street is ~JANE~, a café bringing a taste of Mission coffee to the neighborhood. You’ll be able to get a variety of Four Barrel Coffee drinks off the La Marzocco FB/80, along with tea from Five Mountains, and house-baked goods that are made daily. I spoke with owner Amanda Michael, who said her baking style is American and homey, and will offer cookies, brownies, and other treats as well (plus Straus soft-serve ice cream in chocolate and vanilla). In about a week, the lunch menu will launch, with simple soup, salads, and sandwiches made with quality ingredients (local and organic when possible).

There are 32 seats, including a mezzanine with room for 12, and bar seating for 10. The cheerful café look was designed by Ken Fulk, and includes tufted black banquette seating, aluminum Navy chairs with salmon-pink cushions, and the unexpected addition of some taxidermy: a yak’s head, to be exact (I kind of love it). There’s also Wi-Fi available—they are going to see how it goes, and hopefully won’t have to enforce time limits. There’s also the discussion of eventually adding evening hours (with the same all-day menu), but for now, hours are Mon-Fri 7am-6pm, and Sat-Sun 8am-6pm. 2123 Fillmore St. at California, 415-931-JANE (5263).

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Yelp photo from Kevin Y.

After a tip-off from a tablehopper reader, I learned that Duncan Ley and Ben Bleiman (Tonic, Bullitt, and the upcoming Rebel) are taking over ~BISSAP BAOBAB~, and will be opening a version of Bullitt for the Mission, namely, affordable comfort food and cocktails. A third partner, Mark DeVito, will also be involved in the currently unnamed project. A source close to the owners said they will be taking the space over when the liquor license transfers, which could be anywhere from 90 to 120 days. They will be revamping the space quickly, maybe closing for a couple weeks max, and will be paying a lot of attention to sprucing up the outdoor patio as well. More details in coming weeks. 2323 Mission St. at 19th St.

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Citizen’s Band “Shake and Bake” (pork shoulder, sausage).

Sundays are about to get better in SoMa: ~CITIZEN’S BAND~ is launching Sunday brunch (10am-2pm) and a Sunday supper from 5:30pm-9:30pm. The brunch menu is the same as Saturday’s menu, and the supper menu will feature seven-eight dishes for $16 and under. There will be dishes like a hearty stew, or breakfast for dinner, like chicken-fried steak and eggs, or baked eggs with beans and pork shoulder. There will also be affordable wine and beer pairings available. It all starts this coming Sunday February 13th.

Meanwhile, ~ORSON~ has decided to open up on Sunday nights, and is offering a DIY menu. You can build your own pizza and/or burger from a variety of ingredients on hand. The $10 pizza starts as a sourdough crust with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and Parmesan—you can add bacon, a farm egg, fennel sausage, prosciutto, hazelnuts, potatoes… As for the burger, for $10, you can have the burger with house pickles, romaine, and a condiment trio on their brioche bun. Or, you can get a combo like Gruyère, chanterelles, caramelized shallots, and crispy coppa for $14. And then there’s the sundae bar. You can start with a $5 or $10 bowl of their ice cream (Fernet, cinnamon toast, coffee, deep chocolate, vanilla bean, to start), and then hit up the topping bar at the front of the bar for things like almond crunch, chocolate streusel, bourbon caramel, brandied cherries, and whipped crème anglaise. Dig in.

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The new addition; Yelp photo by Kimo K.

I love hearing about things that are ahead of schedule: looks like ~BRENDA’S FRENCH SOUL FOOD~ has decided to open for dinner before they complete the second part of their expansion. As I mentioned earlier, a preliminary peek at the dinner menu reveals a variety of grilled or broiled oysters, Big Easy spicy wings, roasted quail, and smothered pork with beans and greens. The goal is to be serving dinner by Mardi Gras (Tuesday March 8th).

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As part of Good Food Month’s Immigrant Food Week, La Cocina is throwing their first-ever ~SAN FRANCISCO SALSA SHOWDOWN~ on Saturday February 12th at Cafe Cocomo from 5pm-9pm. It’s a dual-salsa event with a salsa tasting competition and salsa dancing, plus a grand prize worth $500 for the best salsa recipe.

The salsa competition—salsa the food, that is—is open to everyone in the community, so attendees will be tasting epic recipes of all types from home cooks and food pros alike. With or without fancy kitchens, carts, or formal training, anyone can transform raw ingredients into incredible food; just check out the international flair of the list of competitors. What an event, you can support your favorite salsa-maker and shake your money maker!

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I was in the Upper Haight over the weekend, and the new ~WHOLE FOODS MARKET~ on Stanyan Street (formerly a Cala Foods) was looking ready to open. I know, a Whole Foods in the Haight—times, they are a changin’. And it’s quite a green build-out, with locally reclaimed redwood used throughout the store and a reused gym floor reclaimed from De Anza High School in Richmond, plus a glycol refrigeration system, a reflective roof, and glass dairy doors with LED lights.

One very interesting component: the store will carry a wide range of products from more than 250 local Bay Area vendors (within 100 miles or less of San Francisco), including products from San Francisco street food vendors (Magic Curry Kart, The Chai Cart, King of Cürrywurst, Bicycle Coffee Co., Empanadas de mi Pueblo, El Porteño empanadas, and HapaSF), Paulie’s Pickling, Scream Sorbet from Oakland, Rancho Gordo beans, sauces and jams from Azalina, frozen fruit pies from Duarte’s in Pescadero, Papalote salsa, wine and vermouth from Sutton Cellars, coffee and tea from Ritual Roasters, Four Barrel Coffee, Bicycle Coffee, Philz Coffee, Mighty Leaf Tea, and much more.

But before the opening happens on Wednesday February 16th (at 8am), they’re hosting a “Good Food Celebration” on Sunday February 13th from 12pm-4pm in the parking lot. Ethnic foods from La Cocina members and an assortment of specialty beers from Magnolia Brewery will be there, among others. Admission is free and all food items are priced under $5. All profits made from beer sales will go directly back to La Cocina to support its incubator programs for low-income food entrepreneurs. Daily store hours: 8am-10pm. 690 Stanyan St. at Haight, 415-876-6740.

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Conversation heart cakes from Baker & Banker.

I really, truly thought I was done writing about Valentine’s Day, but here are a few more things for your sugar radar: ~BAKER & BANKER~ are up to no good in the bakery, making raspberry Linzer heart sandwich cookies, strawberry Champagne cupcakes, red hot red velvet cupcakes (red hot candies are added into the batter), and conversation heart cakes. And… they’re also introducing chocolate-covered bacon, along with some other treats.

~TELL TALE PRESERVE COMPANY~ has created the Tell Tale Heart, a collection of four signature treats all wrapped in a reusable, custom-made black and white Japanese furoshiki, containing passionfruit-olive oil curd, chocolate brioche, dark chocolate-passionfruit bon bons, and coffee-passion caramels. There is a limited quantity, and you can order them on the Tell Tale website to pick up or ship anywhere in the country ($75 for pick up and $87 to ship).

On Sunday February 13th, SFoodie is hosting the ~ONE LOVE BAKE SALE~ at La Victoria Bakery in the Mission, with local pastry shops donating baked goods to benefit the San Francisco City Clinic (which offers reproductive and sexual health services to everyone and anyone in SF). The lineup includes: Baker & Banker Bakery, Goody Goodie, Knead Patisserie, Mission Minis, Pinkie’s Bakery, Sandbox Bakery, Sweet Adeline Bakeshop, and Tell Tale Preserve Co. Come by from 12pm-4pm to pick up some sweets (cash only!), and 100 percent of sales will go to the City Clinic. (So don’t be surprised if you see a big pile of sample condoms to take home with your cupcakes and cookies.) La Victoria, 2937 24th St. at Alabama.

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Yelp photo from fancypants x.

After one month in 331 Cortland, ~SPECIAL REQUEST~ bakery has given up its spot in the marketplace as of January 31st. Special Request co-owner Freddie Colombani said it was no longer cost-effective to keep the 331 location after Dezy’s Drinks pulled out of their shared kiosk.

Vanessa and Freddie are still offering their fetching gluten-free/vegan desserts out of Lilah Belle’s (3801 18th St. at Church), and according to a letter posted at 331, they’re also taking orders at sr.desserts@yahoo.com, with free delivery on orders over $20 in SF, or you can pick up at 425 Barneveld Ave.

According to another sign posted at 331, parties interested in taking over the now-vacant kiosk can call 415-699-9059.

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Photos from Plate Shop.

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After an opening date that was doubling as a serious moving target for months, executive chef Kim Alter and GM/partner Matt Kahn are opening their neighborhood restaurant, ~PLATE SHOP~, for dinner tonight in Sausalito. The 54-seat restaurant is in a 100-year-old building that opened as the Gold Dust Bar in 1937, and was most recently Rustico. The interior was designed by Martinkovic Milford Architects. The look will reference Sausalito’s coastal and pre-World War II industrial shipbuilding history with some nautical elements and antiques, along with distressed woods and metals. Seating includes a banquette with leather cushions, a communal table suspended from the ceiling by steel rods, and there are five sidewalk tables as well. (You can peek at more details in this slideshow on Grub Street.)

Alter’s background includes AQUA (as executive sous chef), Ubuntu, Acquerello, Gary Danko, and Manresa. She is very passionate about gardening, as evidenced by the 14 vegetable-planter boxes in the back that will supply produce for the restaurant; the use of whole animals and head-to-tail butchery will also be prevalent in her seasonal and handcrafted menu. Dishes on the sample opening menu include “Morsels” like pumpkin seeds roasted with sage salt and belly sliders with celery root slaw, pickled jalapeños and delfino; “Nibbles” like smoked risotto
 with urchin, sea beans, and nasturtium, and spot prawns with 
wheat berry, orach, smoked paprika; “Consume” lists a confit of char with 
crispy skin, fish bacon, kohlrabi choucroute, pancetta, and “The Whole Chicken” with 
liver mousse, Jameson gelée, crépinette, wing, and caramelized onion jus, plus sides of vegetables form the garden, like spicy broccoli and citrus green beans. Desserts may include “carrot cake” with cream cheese ice cream, and tapioca pudding with butterscotch and shortbread. Appetizers range from $11-$13, entrées $20-$25, and desserts $7-$8. There will also be housemade bread and house-churned flavored butters.

There is also a full bar that will highlight small-batch artisanal spirits, which opens earlier in the day at 4pm, and has room for 12. The wine list is geared to be affordable, and will feature small-production wineries. As for GM Matt Kahn, his background includes mc2 and Cigar Bar & Grill, where he continues his role as GM. Open for dinner Tue-Sun 5:30pm-10pm, closed Mon.

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A slow-cooked pizza from Mozza in Los Angeles.

In addition to the opening of ~PLATE SHOP~, there’s a lot more happening in Sausalito. ~BAR BOCCE~, the pizzeria from the Real Restaurants Group, is targeting a March opening. The executive chef (and partner in the venture) is Robert Price (Buckeye Roadhouse, Bungalow 44). I was speaking with Bruce Hill of Bix (also in the Real family) about the pizza style, who said it’s going to be similar to the pizza you get at Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles (where pies are cooked slowly for about eight minutes) vs. Picco in Larkspur (two minutes).1250 Bridgeway, Sausalito.

The Inside Scoop reports that Paradise Bay will become ~SALITO’S~ probably sometime in April, a crab house and prime rib restaurant from the team behind North Beach’s Stinking Rose and Calzone’s. 1200 Bridgeway, Sausalito.

One closure: Eater reports ~PICCOLO TEATRO~ in Sausalito has closed.

Oh, and up in San Anselmo, according to the Scoop, co-owner Bruno Denis of ~L’APPART RESTO~ is reopening the restaurant on February 17th with a new chef (Alexandre de Jesus of Le Garage) and a more casual approach. It will reportedly be open for lunch and dinner Tue-Sat. 636 San Anselmo Ave., San Anselmo, 415-256-9884.

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Exterior photo from Yelp/Carolyn D.

I got a note from Sol Hernandez (of the popular Puerto Rican Sol Food in San Rafael) to let me know that ~SOL FOOD LA BODEGA~ is now open next door. Since it has a big kitchen, she added a rotisserie oven for chicken and ribs—check out the rosticería menu here. (The regular menu, along with breakfast and daily specials, will stay the same). All food to go will now go through La Bodega. Hours are Mon-Thu 7am-12am, Fri 7am-2am, Sat 8am-2am, and Sun 8am-12am. 903 Lincoln Blvd. at 3rd St., San Rafael, 415-451-4765.

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Photo of/from Pop-Up General Store.

The ~POP-UP GENERAL STORE~ is back in 2011 with a special Good Food Month edition. They’ll be selling artisan-crafted foods and more tomorrow, Wednesday February 9th, from 5pm-7pm at the historic Temescal streetcar depot (that’s in Oakland, yo), and they’ve partnered up with the local judges, finalists, and winners from the Good Food Awards to bring you even more goodies.

Expect to see goods like meats, coffee, muffins, pasta, preserves, sweets, and Valentine’s Day treats. See the online store for all that these vendors will be offering: Katz, Viola, ebcb, MR/CW, Plumline, Goulash, Fig & Miel, Peko-Peko, Chris & Samin, Pizza Politana, Starter Bakery, Blue Chair Fruit, Mike [the bejkr], Soul Food Farm, Four Barrel Coffee, Studebaker Pickles, Devil’s Gulch Ranch, Becker Lane Organic Farm, Diana Fayt Ceramics, and Dominica’s Cosecha. You can also get Pop-Up General Store’s t-shirts and tote bags.

Here’s the fine print: you can pop in without pre-ordering, but do bring your reusable shopping bags. Vendors only accept cash or checks for day-of purchases. And about the parking, it’s in a residential neighborhood with limited parking, so they ask that customers be respectful about not disturbing the neighbors.

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Adesso sub; Yelp photo by Stacy D.

With my mention of Southie opening in Oakland last week, a tablehopper reader wanted to let me know that ~ADESSO~ is now serving “butcher shop sandwiches” at the counter. The website mentions a porchetta sandwich and an Adesso sub (and since no one picked up the phone to answer my question, according to someone on Yelp, they’re $9 plus tax). New additional hours are Mon-Sat 11am-3pm. Call for phone orders (maybe they’ll pick up for you). 4395 Piedmont Ave. at Pleasant Valley, Oakland, 510-601-0305.