April 19, 2011

April 19, 2011

Hmmm, are these nigiri now retired? Photo by Blair Sneddon Photography.

~SEBO~ in Hayes Valley has made some big changes to their menu: there will now be 7-10 small cooked dishes, but not as casual as the Sunday izakaya dishes. New items include chawan mushi ($8), a savory steamed custard with scallop, fluke, and sea urchin; aji ichiyaboshi ($12), cured and grilled horse mackerel fillet; and nishin soba ($12), house-cured herring over soba soup noodles. Look for dishes to rotate every two weeks. With the addition of these dishes, there will be a 30% reduction of sushi on the menu.

The other piece of big news: after five years, Sebo is now going to take reservations through Urbanspoon’s Rezbook. A portion of the dining room will be reserved for walk-ins, and the sushi counter will always be for walk-ins only. Look for the reservations system to launch very soon; I’ll keep ya posted on Twitter.


SoMa’s “Zen Compound” (which houses Prana Restaurant and Temple nightclub) is going to be hosting a third business, ~KI~. This eco-sensitive izakaya will feature dishes made with local ingredients and sustainable seafood. Owner Paul Hemming recruited environmentalist and author Casson Trenor to help concept and open Ki (Trenor’s name may be familiar to you through his other local and sustainable sushi project, Tataki).

Chef Brian Beach (AQUA, Waterfront, Infusion Lounge) is assembling a menu of kushiyaki and yakitori (pork belly, organic chicken, housemade tofu, and rabbit), and classic izakaya dishes, highlighting sustainable choices like sardines, local albacore tuna, and arctic char. Menu highlights ($6-$17) include kasuzuke, seasonal fish cured in sake lees and cooked on a cedar plank with pickled shimeji mushrooms; Kurobuta gyoza; and eryngii, mushroom tempura with fennel and Meyer lemon.

Beach will be working with sushi chef Isamu Kanai (Deep Sushi). Highlights on the sushi menu ($6-$18) include small plates like scallop carpaccio served on a chilled Himalayan salt plate with grilled cherry tomatoes, red shiso pesto, and baby mizuna; sustainable nigiri options; vegetable rolls; and house specialty rolls like Ki’s Real California Roll, which will change with the seasons. There will be 10 seats at the sushi bar.

Bevvie options include sake, Japanese craft beers (including Echigo Koshihikari malt rice beer, Orion Draft, and Coedo ‘Kyara’), and specialty cocktails. Hemming designed the 30-seat restaurant to be an “izakaya of the future,” with LED-lit shoji screens, and geisha and samurai art work from UK-based graffiti artist Hush and local San Francisco artist Micha LeBrun. Due to open Friday May 6th; hours will be lunch Mon-Fri 11am-3pm, dinner Tue-Sat 5pm-10pm. 540 Howard St. at 2nd St. 415-278-0495.


Chicken potpie with green chile sauce; Yelp photo from Keilin H.

There have been rumblings about what is going into the former No Name Sushi/Nippon Sushi spot in the Castro, and it’s going to be ~CHILEPIES (SWEET & SAVORY)~. The original chilepies is a sister business to Green Chile Kitchen, known for its pies (savory and sweet), and hello, pie milkshakes. This location will be selling savory items like the green chile chicken pot pie, vegetable pot pie, and the new carne asada red chile pot pie. The hoped-for opening date is mid-June. In the meantime, you can watch chilepies on the Cooking Channel show Unique Sweets on Sunday April 24th. 314 Church St. at 15th St.

The good news and the good news. First, an Asian specialty grocer is expected to move into the space across from Delfina Pizza on California Street that is currently occupied by George, the much adored local pet store. Designed by Jim Maxwell of Architects II (Dosa on Fillmore, Bin 38, Pisco Latin Lounge), ~DUMPLINGS & BUNS~ will not only sell all-natural, creative versions of its namesake items, but will feature Asian comfort fare provisions like dipping sauces, teas, dressings, condiments, snacks, mochi, etc. The owner behind the project is May Lee Iorfido; Dumplings & Buns is slated to open in mid- to late July. Second—in the good news department for Fillmore denizens—your pooch need not despair: George is moving just one block away to 2512 Sacramento, and will be open for business April 30th. 2411 California St. at Fillmore.


Photo of the sunny interior by Blair Sneddon Photography.

After resolving some permit issues, it looks like ~RADISH~ should be opening this Thursday April 21st. As previously mentioned in tablehopper, the project is from owner Emily Summers and chef Adam Horndeck. Breakfast will feature dishes like eggs Benedict, a vegetable omelet, French toast, and donuts, while lunch brings nine different sandwich options, including a steak sandwich and numerous vegetarian options. Many items will be made in-house (breads, dressing), and they’re even roasting their own coffee; sourcing will be local and organic when possible. Hours will be 8am-10pm daily, and until 11pm on the weekend.

Looks like Scott Youkilis (Maverick, Hog & Rocks), Eric Rubin (Tres Agaves Liquor), and Dave Esler (Hog & Rocks) are going to be busy with a ~NEW (AND UNNAMED) BARBECUE RESTAURANT~ opening on 19th Street. Scoop reports it’s going into a former senior citizen center, and is going to have 100 seats, with a dining hall feeling. You’ll be able to order meat by the pound, but don’t look for just one regional style (meats and vegetables will be either grilled or smoked). There will also be a full bar. Look for a late winter opening. You can read more details in a Q&A with Scott Youkilis on Eater here. 3416 19th St. at Mission.

A North Beach tablehopper reader let me know ~NICO’S TACOS~ appeared to be open in the former North Beach Pizza space on Grant. This is not a classic taqueria—the offering is more international, taking inspiration from street food around the world, and the website mentions organic and homemade ingredients. A lone Yelp review mentions: “Not quite setup but they are selling three types of tacos—chicken, pork or steak. They have a table setup next to the window so you can order from the street—kind of cool…We ordered a steak to go—soft small flour tortilla slightly grilled. We asked for little slaw and lots of salsa and some hot sauce. It was rolled up w/ a bit of cilantro in foil like a large hand roll. Not bad but definitely fusion with an American twist.” Hours seem to be Tue-Sun 11:30am-10pm. 1310 Grant Ave. at Vallejo.


New Super Duper rendering courtesy of Zack | de Vito design firm.

Adriano Paganini (Beretta, Starbelly, Delarosa) and Edmondo Sarti (Starbelly) are preparing to open the doors to the second outpost of ~SUPER DUPER~ at 721 Market Street in a 3,000 square-foot space that was formerly home to Seller’s Market (current ETA is late May/early June). A third location of the fast food burger concept is also in the works in Mill Valley at 430 Miller Avenue, which is slated to open later this year.

To celebrate the one year anniversary of the original in the Castro, Mayor Ed Lee’s office will officially proclaim April 28th as Super Duper Day in the City of San Francisco. Super Duper will celebrate one year of success by giving away free burgers on Thursday April 28th from 2pm-3pm.

Starting next Tuesday April 26th, ~MAVERICK~ continues on its quest to give you a heart attack with the release of the Juicy Lucy. This terrifying creation involves two of their butter burger patties stuffed with smoked Gouda, topped with gribiche, watercress, and an egg on an Acme Bread bun. You can get it with fries and a glass of wine for $20. This is a continuation of Maverick’s special Tuesday-only engagement, 17 on 17th, which is first come, first served.

Oh, and an update on ~UMAMI BURGER~: the current target date is late summer. Sadly, they still can’t reveal the exact Union Street location to me.


At Locavore’s friends and family party. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

~LOCAVORE~ is starting brunch this Saturday April 23rd, and will launch Sunday brunch three weeks later. Some items to look for are homemade duck and rabbit sausages, local oysters, and more. Hours will be 10am-2:30pm.

Starting Tuesday April 26th, ~JUHU BEACH CLUB~ will be open into the evenings, serving Tue-Fri 11:30am-8:30pm. Look for added menu items and more.

~WAYFARE TAVERN~ is going to be open for Saturday lunch, starting on Saturday April 30th, at 11am.


Photo by Daniel Azarkman.

Looks like a few things are percolating in Polk Gulch, according to tablehopper intern Daniel Azarkman. He noted some activity on Bush Street: an awning with ~FINA ESTAMPA~ on it. Some of you will remember the Peruvian restaurant that used to be on Van Ness by that name. Well, it seems that it will be reopening (same name, same concept) in June. Will let you know when I hear back from the owner. 1407 Bush St. at Polk.

Over on Van Ness, ~PHILZ COFFEE~ acquired the adjacent space and turned it into a “Philz Lounge,” which is basically a bunch of tables, chairs, and power outlets. Now they have about three times the seating capacity, and enough room in the original space for a new build-your-own-bagel and oatmeal bar. Mon-Fri 6am-8:30pm, Sat-Sun 6:30am-8pm. 748 Van Ness Ave. at Turk, 415-292-7660.


Pal’s banh mi; photo by Blair Sneddon Photography.

Happy Birthday to ~PAL’S TAKEAWAY~, which is turning two this Wednesday April 20th. Of course they are celebrating in style, with Guest Chef Sandwichpalooza! Here’s what the guest chefs have cooked up for you: Carlo Espinas from Comstock with his roasted pork belly and oyster sauce on Acme green onion slab; Sharon Ardiana from Ragazza and Gialina with her secret “crack” spice-rub chicken breast with Calabrian chile spread and sugar snap pea slaw; Ryan Ostler’s slow-smoked brisket on a Wise Sons Deli bialy with horseradish sour cream and pickled spring shallot; and for dessert, Kat Zacher’s peanut butter-strawberry jelly chocolate bars! Collect all four!


Photo from Kimpton.

This Thursday April 21st, Kimpton Hotels is kicking off its week-long ~EARTHCARE~ campaign. Get a ticket to attend the event at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, featuring tastes from Fifth Floor, Grand Café, Puccini & Pinetti, and Scala’s Bistro, plus participating partners Heirloom Organics, Riverdog Farm, Alba Organics, and more. Proceeds will go to the The Nature Conservancy, and The Trust for Public Land. Purchase tickets in advance for $20 by calling 415-395-8524; $25 at the door. 5:30pm-7:30pm. Sir Francis Drake Hotel, 450 Powell St. at Sutter.


Well that was fast: out this month from Ten Speed Press is Food Trucks: Dispatches and Recipes from the Best Kitchens on Wheels by Heather Shouse. Local trucks and vendors featured in the book include Curry Up Now, PizzaHacker, Tanguito, and Sexy Soup Cart.

This Saturday April 23rd, Shouse will be at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market selling her book at Book Passage from 11am-1pm, with food for sale from Roli Roti. Sunday April 24th is an informal book party in honor of the “underground” food trucks with food for sale from Crème Brûlée Cart, PizzaHacker, and Magic Curry Kart at the fabric8 gallery (3318 22nd St. at Valencia). 5pm-8pm.


Want to tap into your Irish roots? Maybe you just want to know how to bake kick-ass scones. On Tuesday April 26th, La Cocina will be hosting a spring cooking class with Claire Keane of Clairesquares and Gemma Stafford of Rise and Dine Corporate Catering. These skilled Irish bakers will teach a hands-on class where you will learn how to make Irish soda bread, shortbread, brandy butter, and scones. Class will open with samples of fresh-baked soda bread, Kerrygold cheese and butter, and a complimentary Irish coffee. ‘Cause it wouldn’t be an Irish baking class without some booze. 6:30pm. $65; sign up here. Kerrygold of Ireland and La Cocina are generously co-sponsoring this event. 100% of the proceeds from this class will go to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation in keeping with Clairesquares’ philanthropic company mission. 2948 Folsom St. at 25th St.


Uncured Ibérico de Bellota pork from Ibérico Fresco. Photo by Daniel Azarkman.

A report by Daniel Azarkman, tablehopper intern: Soon enough there will be consolation for the fact that we don’t live in Spain, and most of it will come in cans, jars, or bottles. Last Thursday, San Francisco’s Bently Reserve hosted the ~SPANISH WINE CELLAR & PANTRY~, a tradeshow for all things edible, importable, and Spanish. Most of the purveyors were there to find a retail distributor, which brings hope for their goods appearing on American shelves sometime soon. While it would have been impossible to try all the wines offered and still leave on two feet, I found the smaller food section a lot more navigable. Knee-weakening highlights included seared pieces of uncured Ibérico de Bellota pork, top-shelf canned seafood from the frigid waters of Galicia, and bread baked from a uniquely flavorful wheat grown around Seville. You can view photos of the event, along with many more details, here.


The friends and family meal at Berlyn’s; photo by The Feast/Tamara Palmer.

According to a pre-opening event invite I received, ~BERLYN’S GOURMET EATERY~ will be opening on April 23rd in Oakland from owner Larry McClendon and chef Dontaye Ball (Good Foods Catering). Their goal is to “bring healthy, nutritious, fast food to Oakland … [with] this upscale delicatessen specializing in a combination of hot and cold sandwiches, salads, and soups. Plus specific recipes focusing on the Bay Area soul food cuisine.” Looks like The Feast headed over for the friends and family dinner, check out a slideshow of the vittles here. 132 International Blvd. at 1st Ave., Oakland, 510-798-7900.

Local food blogs were all popping with the news that ~XOLO~, the new Oakland taqueria from Dona Savitsky and Thomas Schnetz (Doña Tomás, Flora) is now open, just across from the Fox Theater. Grub Street already checked it out, mentioning the Vampiro taco (al pastor, salsa ranchera, red onions, serrano chiles, and cilantro on a fried-cheese tortilla) and bacon-wrapped Danger Dogs with the works, plus birria on the weekends. There are also some burritos, averaging $8.75, ay, dios mío. Opening hours are Mon-Thu 11am-11pm, Fri-Sat 11am-12am. (Hmmm, and am wondering what the status is on the bar they were supposedly opening next door…) 1916 Telegraph Ave. at 19th St., 510-986-0151.

Another piece of Oakland news that got a lot of pickup: the retro ~KWIK WAY DRIVE-IN~ in Oakland has returned, Scoop reports. On the menu: usual suspects like burgers, fries, and milkshakes, plus a few pizzas, fried chicken, salads, and other sandwiches. 500 Lake Park Ave. at Rand, Oakland, 510-832-1300.