April 24, 2012

April 24, 2012

The new Nopalito on 9th; photo by Eva Frye for Eater.

Congrats to the ~NOPALITO~ team (including co-chefs Gonzalo Guzman and Jose Ramos) for opening their second location yesterday in the Inner Sunset. The look is very similar to the original Nopalito on Broderick (they used the same designers, Abeug-Morris)—look for warm wood floors, white-painted exposed brick, lots of the restaurant’s trademark green, and concrete bar tops. You can swing by for lunch and dinner, and you’ll note a few new additions to the menu like albondigas en mole, and tortas for lunch. Eater also mentions: “Sidewalk tables and a large 25-seat back patio will become options once permitting comes through in a few months time.” Cocktails will kick in soon—for now it’s beer and wine. No reservations, but like the Broderick location, you can call ahead to get your name on the list. Open Mon-Fri 11:30am-10pm and Sat-Sun 10:30am-10pm. 1224 9th Ave. at Lincoln, 415-233-9966.


The slip of a space that was Sam Wo. Photo from Sam Wo’s website.

Attention late night diners: ~NOPA~ will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday for maintenance, and according to a tweet, will be returning on Thursday with shiny floors!

The big news last week was about the closure of the over-100-year-old Chinatown icon ~SAM WO~, known as the home of the infamous waiter Edsel Ford Fung. Although the news was grim (owner David Ho said it was so old that it would be too challenging to bring the restaurant up to code), according to this post on SFist, the owner’s daughter, Julie Ho, is rallying to save the place. As reported on SFist: “According to a spokesperson for the Health Department, ‘everything from venting to plumbing to electrical all need to be upgraded’ to pass muster.”

Growing up in San Mateo, Sam Wo’s had a popular rep among my fellow high school buddies for looking the other way when you felt like doing some good ole underage beer drinkin’ (God bless ‘em)—there was a nearby liquor store that would sell to you, and you could BYOB. Yeah, good times. (Scoop has a great slideshow, and the commenters’ memories are a fun read, for a change.) As for the fate of the place, at the Health Department hearing this morning, a number of changes were outlined that need to be made—we’ll see if the restaurant makes them and reopens again. 813 Washington St. at Grant, 415-982-0596.

On Sunday, I ran into Arnold Eric Wong of ~E&O TRADING COMPANY~, who told me the restaurant’s planned renovations have been delayed until just after Memorial Day, when it will close for a month or so. (It ends up a historic façade is making the permitting process go a little slower.) Which means you have another month of corn fritters!


Interior of Lafitte. Photo from Lafitte.

A couple closures this past week: Eater broke the news that Russell Jackson’s ~LAFITTE~ at Pier 5 has closed. Here’s more: “Jackson says he has a buyer for the space, and that he’ll now be heading to New York to launch SubCulture Dining there for a while. (Jackson was an early pioneer of the underground dining scene in S.F., launching in 2006.) Then he promises to be back to do another foie gras dinner or two, before [foie gras’] time is up in July.” Someone who wants to ring up some America’s Cup business, well, here’s your spot.

Over in the Inner Richmond, Scoop reports Luke Sung’s ~PRIME RIB SHABU~ has closed. Reportedly a new restaurant called Cajun House Louisiana Crawfish will be opening in the space. 308 5th Ave. at Clement.


Troya on Fillmore’s new sign. Photo from Troya.

Potentially opening tonight for dinner is ~TROYA FILLMORE~, opening in the former Citizen Cake space. This is the second location for the Turkish-Mediterranean restaurant (the original location opened six years ago). Chef Philip Busacco (previously chef de cuisine at Terzo for the last six years) will be taking a modern approach to Turkish-inspired Mediterranean dishes, and will mostly feature local and organic ingredients. Expect mezes (small plates), kebabs, entrées, and original desserts. Owner and wine director Brigitte Cullen consulted with Mark Bright (Saison) and Mark Thompson (sommelier) to customize a wine list for the Fillmore location, highlighting top Mediterranean wines, as well as local favorites. Troya Fillmore will be open for lunch and dinner daily (Mon-Fri 11am-3pm and 5pm-10pm), with brunch and dinner on the weekends (10am-10pm). They plan to be open for dinner only the first week, and then launch lunch and brunch. 2125 Fillmore St. at California, 415-563-1000.

Over in the Excelsior, a tipster lets me know ~LIVE SUSHI~ is opening a third location in the former DaKine’s Hawaiian BBQ. 4808 Mission St. at Onondaga, 415-585-5055.


Prospect’s main dining room: booths and banquette seating. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Big news over at ~PROSPECT~: Inside Scoop reports Nancy Oakes and Pamela Mazzola have brought on Chris L’Hommedieu from the Michael Mina Group as chef. Mazzola has been leading the helm since the departure of Ravi Kapur last year when Ravi’s son was born. Look for some updates to the menu in coming weeks.


BSK’s impeccable waffles (at its original location). Yelp photo by Pei K.

I know, I know, many of us in the 415 have been waiting for news of Tanya Holland opening her second location of Oakland favorite ~BROWN SUGAR KITCHEN~ at 5800 Third Street. After a number of project delays, the latest word I received from her was this: “Not happening in SF anytime soon.” Ack, what a bummer—no waffles from Ms. Holland in the 415 for now.


The Old Skool Cafe during a Behind the Cart event. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

I was happy to read in Grub Street that ~OLD SKOOL CAFÉ~ in Bayview has made the transition from being an event space to now serving dinner every Thu-Sat. For those not familiar with the project, it’s a “1940s-themed supperclub and non-profit restaurant [that] is the brainchild of Teresa Goines, and it’s the result of several years of fundraising and program-building with a group of at-risk and previously incarcerated young people ages 16 to 22. The kids serve as chefs, waitstaff, and entertainers, and they’re all paid for their work and meanwhile get apprenticeships in restaurant management, performing, and cooking.” It’s an amazing program, and there are many ways you can get involved, from donating time and money, to now swinging by for dinner and a show. Check out the menu here. Thu-Sat 5:30pm-9:30pm. 1429 Mendell St. (3rd St. and Oakdale/Palou), 415-822-8531.


Caffè Pascucci photo by Henrik Kam.

Looks like ~CAFFÈ PASCUCCI~ in SoMa/Mission Bay has changed its name to ~BRAVADO COFFEE BAR AND LOUNGE~ for the SF market. It will continue to feature a variety of Caffè Pascucci proprietary coffee blends and signature coffee drinks, plus sandwiches and more. (Thanks to Jason B. for the tip!) Open Mon-Fri 7am-6pm, Sat-Sun 9am-5pm. 170 King St. at 3rd St., 415-957-1100.


HAPA’s Thai beef salad and potato chips; photo from Hapa Ramen.

Some quick hits for your pop-up radar: tonight is ~HAPA RAMEN~ at Wing Wings in the Lower Haight. Instead of ramen, expect preview menu items for Richie Nakano’s upcoming brick-and-mortar restaurant, HAPA, on Fillmore Street (take a peek at an in-progress menu here). 6pm-10pm, BYOB, cash only.

On Wednesday April 25th, Jake Godby is back at Truck for ~TRUCK STOP CAFE~. The menu includes duck fat Chex mix (made to order, $6); meatball sandwich, broccoli rabe, mozzarella ($10); grilled cheese, brisket, tomato jam ($10); and some other dishes, but if I keep writing them down, I’m going to get really fricking hangry. 6pm-10pm. 1900 Folsom St. at 15th St.

This Wednesday, ~GUIDO~ returns for dinners Wed-Thu 5:30pm- 9:30pm at Just For You Cafe. 732 22nd St. at 3rd St., 415-647-3033.

Vegans: you’ll want to swing by ~THE WINDOW~ May 4th-5th for Wildflower by chef Ayinde Howell, with seitan shwarma, and some Cinco de Mayo treats like beer-battered tempeh tacos. 1599 Howard St. at 12th St.


The bar at District Oakland. Photo from UrbanDaddy by Michael David Rose Photography.

As previously reported in tablehopper, ~DISTRICT OAKLAND~ is opening in the former Levende East space in Old Oakland, and according to East Bay Express, it will be opening this coming Friday April 27th. To recap: there will be plenty of wine, whiskeys (over 40!), and some food to keep you from hurting yourself too badly—have at it. Hours will be Mon-Fri 4pm-close, Sat 5pm onward. 827 Washington St. at 9th St., Oakland, 510-272-9110.

Fans of ~BITTERSWEET~ should know the chocolate-coffee combo have opened a café in Oakland, according to Berkleyside. 1438 Broadway at Telegraph, Oakland.

More café news: East Bay Dish reports ~ROOM 389~ is now opening in the morning, serving coffee from Bicycle and Roast Coffee, Five Mountains Tea, and pastries from Starter Bakery. Open Mon-Fri 7am-3pm, Sat-Sun 10am-5pm. 389 Grand Ave. at Staten, Oakland, 


This is the amazing beef dish you want at Masa’s. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Whoa, this is quite the celebratory deal: ~MASA’S~ is celebrating 30 years, and to show their appreciation, they’re offering 25% off the entire menu and wine list every Thursday in 2012. This is a good chance to indulge in executive chef Gregory Short’s four- and seven-course prix-fixe menus, with wine pairing by Master Sommelier Alan Murray, prepared in the tradition of restaurant founder Masataki Kobayashi. Look for local, seasonal ingredients in their modern-classic menu and in their cocktails, and don’t forget the “candy cart.” Release the mignardises! Seatings from 5:30pm-9:30pm. Call 415-989-7154 or email for reservations.


Make your Cinco de Mayo celebration count by joining Tacolicious at their second annual ~HECHO EN SAN FRANCISCO~ party. From 6pm-9pm in the CUESA Kitchen at the Ferry Building, gulp and guzzle top-shelf tequila, Tacolicious tacos, antojitos from 10 SF Mexican restaurants and purveyors, and more, with all proceeds going to CUESA and La Cocina.

Your tasty Mexican food choices will include La Palma Mexicatessen’s made-to-order tortillas filled with braised meats or market vegetables from Tacolicious, La Torta Gorda’s Puebla-style cooking, artisan jello-shots (hic) from Sweets Collection, Don Bugito’s edible insects, Nopalito’s fresh ceviche, plus offerings from FOOD, Chaac Mool, Hella Vegan Eats, El Buen Comer, Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas, and Rancho Gordo.

Drink choices include handcrafted cocktails using Don Julio, Cuervo Tradicional, and Mi Casa tequila, including Mi Casa’s Tequila Daisy with homemade grenadine; two beers, Victoria and Corona Familiar; and seasonal agua fresca from El Buen Comer. Tickets are $55, available online. CUESA Kitchen, 1 Ferry Plz. at Embarcadero and Market.

And not very Cinco de Mayo-related, but it is Saturday May 5th: take the Fermented Favorites tour with the good folks of ~DISCOVERY STREET TOURS~ from 1:30pm-4pm, and you’ll spend the afternoon exploring wine and cheese. Perfect if you’re more of a wino than a tequil-ino. Although, given the timing of these events, you can be both.

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