October 4, 2011

October 4, 2011
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Photo from Chez Panisse on Facebook.

I heard through the grapevine (hey, it is harvest!) that Jerome Waag, currently a sous chef at ~CHEZ PANISSE~, has been named restaurant chef; he would be taking over the position David Tanis vacated a few months ago. Unfortunately I heard the rumor too late for me to be able to confirm with the fine folks at Chez Panisse, and was unable to reach Waag before post time for my column (I have a plane to catch!). But I have a couple sources who were rather confident about the news.

So if the rumor proves to be true, big congratulations to Jerome, who has been a part of the Chez family for a very long time. He is also a founder of OPENrestaurant, and later this month is off to Japan for their latest project. Exciting times. I look forward to catching up with him soon—and hearing confirmed details about his new position (it was previously structured as a six-month schedule each year).

UPDATE: Now that I have returned from my travels, I was able to reach Waag, who confirmed he is the new co-chef, and will be taking over David Tanis’s six-month schedule starting in May 2012.

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Umami burger; Flickr photo by Yogma.

Yup, it’s true: slated to open this Friday October 7th is San Francisco’s very first ~UMAMI BURGER~, an import from Los Angeles. I can’t wait to finally sink my teeth into one of those bad boys. The former Jovino space on Union Street will be open Sun-Thu 11am-11pm and Fri-Sat 11am-12am. There will also be local wines and craft beers available. Meanwhile, I’m standing by for the news about the next location due to open in the Mission (and another reportedly in Oakland). UPDATE: Here is a PDF copy of the menu.

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Interior photo by Rebecca Kinney. © tablehopper.com.

Will it happen? Maybe? ~LERS ROS HAYES~ is verrrrry close to opening its Hayes Valley location this week, but I wasn’t able to get a definitive answer before posting my column. Nor a phone number for said location. But we do know this: chef Tom Silargorn will be offering a very similar menu to the Larkin Street location, and delivery and lunch will also be available. My intern managed to snap a couple pics of the interior—it looks contemporary and sleek (here’s one that shows some shelving with some slick lighting and tile work). Standing by…! 307 Hayes St. at Franklin.

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Interior under construction. Photo by Rebecca Kinney.

A report by Rebecca Kinney, tablehopper intern: ~FOURTH WAVE COFFEE~ will be opening in about two weeks in the old Polk Street Station Diner space. Owner Brian Kramer says that the name Fourth Wave Coffee references his interest in surfing (there are already surfboards on the wall), but that the name is also a play on the term “third wave coffee.” Kramer says Fourth Wave Coffee will be different from other third wave coffee shops because they will emphasize speedy service. Kramer added that, “You can spend 15 minutes [at] some place[s] just trying to get a cup of coffee.” At Fourth Wave, they plan to have “brewed coffee ready for you” as well as “the best possible coffee in each individual cup.” They have a Marzocco Linea machine, and they will work with an Oakland roaster. Fans of the old Polk Street Station will be glad to know that the tabletops are made of wood that was reclaimed from the former restaurant. Kramer, a San Francisco native, has had other coffee shops including Claddagh Coffee in San Francisco. Fourth Wave Coffee will bring in food for now, but they have plans to install an oven later on. Hours will be Mon-Sun 5am-10pm. 1356 Polk St. at Pine, 415-440-4360.

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Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas (photo by © John Ater via Facebook).

Two quickies for you: Eater reports our dear ~LA OAXAQUEÑA~ might not be closing for good after all. There is reportedly a sign in the window that says: “Dear Customers, please have patience. We will re-open very soon. We have been busy restructuring and revamping our space and our New & Exciting menu!!! [sic].” Yeah, that’s good news. 2128 Mission St. at 17th St.

Workers around Justin Herman Plaza should keep their eyes peeled this week for a new food cart from La Cocina’s ~ALICIA’S TAMALES LOS MAYAS~. Chef Alicia Villanueva will serve tamales made with organic dough and a variety of fillings five days a week from 10am-4pm.

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Campton Place dining room. Photo courtesy of Campton Place.

Looking for a spiffy (and civilized) spot to close some deals over lunch while you’re downtown? ~CAMPTON PLACE RESTAURANT~ has launched a 60-minute, three-course business lunch for $34 during the work week (Mon-Fri). Chef Srijith Gopinathan is also keeping it healthy: the summer menu included choices like organic baby beets, goat cheese mousse, and fennel ice; slow-cooked king salmon, smoked potatoes, summer squash, and horseradish; and fig leaf panna cotta with strawberry soda and brûléed black mission figs for dessert. 340 Stockton St. at Post, 415-781-5555.

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Photo from Facebook.

Had a chance to catch up with the ever-busy Charlie Hallowell, owner of Pizzaiolo, Boot and Shoe Service, and now the ~BOOT AND SHOE SERVICE CAFÉ~ next door (in the former DiBartolo Cafe space). Things have been ramping up the past couple months at the café, and now you can start your day with breakfast items like galettes, baked eggs in ratatouille from the wood oven, a frittata, and they are continuing to offer their housemade granola with yogurt, all kinds of baked goods, and Sightglass Coffee. There are some sandwiches for lunch as well, like meatball subs ($7) and a smoked pork belly-lettuce-tomato number—and they’re baking all their bread, so you know those sandwiches rock. Starting this week, the café will also be launching Wi-Fi for you mobile office types. Open Tue-Sun 7am-3pm. 3310 Grand Ave. at Lake Park, Oakland.

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Photo from Haighteration.

Tonight’s your chance to help the displaced residents from last Tuesday’s fire in the Lower Haight: head over to the Peacock Lounge between 7pm-10pm for the ~HAIGHT + FILLMORE FIRE RELIEF~ fundraiser with the Lower Haight Merchants and Neighbors Association. A $10 donation is all it takes for fun, food, raffle prizes, and the good feeling that comes from helping neighbors in need.

Memphis Minnie’s, Rosamunde, Rotee, Chilli Cha Cha, and Wing Wings will provide food while Three Twins Ice Cream scoops live, and beer is being donated by Mad Dog in the Fog, plus music from Top Cat Jazz Trio. If you can’t make it, you can still help by making a donation online here. Thanks for rallying together, SF, you always do. 552 Haight St. at Steiner.

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Photo by Mike Hofmann via Wikipedia.

Ahoy! It’s Fleet Week, and Stag Dining Group is putting on a one-of-a-kind dinner this Thursday October 6th: Mission: Battleship. And check out the location: the SS Jeremiah O’Brien in Fisherman’s Wharf, our city’s WWII liberty ship that is one of only two fully operational liberty ships still in existence today!

For $30, you’ll be able to eat your way around a variety of battle stations set up for the event serving “gourmet mess-hall inspired cuisine.” Manning the stations will be Stag Dining Group, Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese Food, Chad Newton and Gracie Nguyen of American Box and Asian Box, with desserts by Mandy Harper of Wholesome Bakery, and 15 Romolo will be serving maritime-inspired cocktails. Cheers!

Entertainment includes dancing to the Bayonics and comedian Reggie Watts, plus buzz cuts or sailor tattoos by Everlasting Tattoo for those who have been at the 15 Romolo table all night (hic). 21 and over, and be sure to bring a jacket and comfortable shoes. (You’re on a ship, yo. Docked, but still.) 5pm-10pm. Tickets are almost gone, so tally ho!

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Pictured: Wendy Rein, co-artistic director, RAWdance.

And now for some very unique dinnertime entertainment: on Wednesday October 12th, Tuesday October 18th, and Wednesday October 19th, ~ORSON~ will be hosting members of RAWdance for a special performance. Artistic directors Ryan T. Smith and Wendy Rein will perform a duet set during dinner service—called A Public Affair—to a track by Tangled Duo (husband-and-wife team Sarn Oliver and Mariko Smiley of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra). Think violins, dance, and a delicious dinner. The 10-minute dance will be performed twice nightly at approximately 7pm and 8:30pm. The performance can be viewed by both diners and patrons of the bar and lounge, so even if you can’t make it for a meal, swing by for a cocktail and some contemporary dance!

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This coming Sunday October 9th, ~ROCKRIDGE MARKET HALL~ merchants will be hosting their annual Picnic in the Street to coincide with the Rockridge Out & About Street Festival. From 12pm-6pm, you can swing by for a variety of food and wine tastings, talks, demonstrations (from oyster shucking to local chefs and bartenders showing their magic moves), cookbook signings (including Novella Carpenter and Rosetta Costantino), and more.

Of course there will be plenty of eats to purchase, like Hapuku Fish Shop’s shrimp Louie sandwiches; Market Hall Produce grilled portobello sandwiches; Highwire Coffee Roasters (FKA Peaberry’s) gelato; Marin Sun Farms hamburgers and cheeseburgers; Oliveto spit-roasted porchetta sandwiches; The Pasta Shop Cheese Counter grilled cheese sandwiches; Market Hall Bakery cake pops; and Paul Marcus Wines with picks by the glass—plus many more things to try!

There’s also The Cookbook Exchange: bring a used cookbook and exchange it or buy used ones. Proceeds and remaining books from The Cookbook Exchange benefit the Rockridge Public Library. There will even be entertainment for the kiddies, like a prize wheel, pumpkin painting, and a goat petting zoo. 5655 College Ave. at Shafter, Oakland.

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Photo from Viognier’s Facebook page.

I know, I know, another week, another pig party. First up, ~VIOGNIER~ in San Mateo is hosting a whole hog demonstration dinner, featuring Long & Bailey Family Farms on Saturday October 8th. Executive chef Preston Dishman has put together a five-course menu highlighting loin, belly, shoulder, ribs, and sausage as well as surprise bites as the demonstration progresses. Every course will be paired with wine pairings by Viognier’s sommelier, Nichole Dishman. 6:30pm reception, 7pm dinner and demonstration. $85 per person, exclusive of wine pairing, tax, and gratuity. Wine pairing is an additional $40. Reserve at 650-685-3727. 222 E. 4th Ave. at South B, San Mateo.

~ADESSO~ will be hosting their third and final pig party for 2011 on Sunday October 16th. You can indulge in all-you-can-eat spit-roasted pig and sides for $30 (beverages sold for extra/à la carte). 2pm-6pm. Tickets are limited and are being sold ahead of time at adesso and dopo (FYI, the last two events sold out, so act quickly!). 4395 Piedmont Ave. at Pleasant Valley, Oakland, 510-601-0305.