July 17, 2012

July 17, 2012

Seating at Rich Table. Photo by Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.


Bar seating. Photo by Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.


Communal table at Rich Table. Photo by Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

Due to open in Hayes Valley on Thursday July 26th is ~RICH TABLE~, from first-time chef-owners Sarah and Evan Rich. It’s an exciting opening for the neighborhood, and the city, for that matter. The couple has some definite chops, working in both East and West Coast restaurants like Bouley, Mas (farmhouse), Quince, Michael Mina, and Coi. The menu will be constantly changing, driven by discoveries at the market. And even though the duo has quite the pedigree, the food is designed to be shared and inspire a convivial vibe at the table. Look for Japanese, Italian, and French techniques; take a look at the really appetizing menu here. There will also be an ever-changing “Chefs’ Choice” six-course tasting menu ($70) and oysters on the half shell. And it’s all served on Heath Ceramics, natch.

The wine program by Maz Naba (most recently wine director at Coi and previously assistant general manager at RN74; he also consulted on the wine list at Contigo) includes both European and domestic bottles (from the press release: “esoteric wines that reflect a sense of place, made with a light hand and less manipulation in the cellar, with the vibrant acidity and more restrained qualities inherent in wines from cooler regions”). There will be 20 wines available by the glass and a few Californian wines on tap. You can look at the list here, which includes the cocktails as well.

Working with designer Said-Jon Eghbal, the former Paul K. space now has a spare and rustic-chic look. The 60-seater has neutral color tones, with mostly redwood paneling salvaged from an old sawmill in Petaluma (the tabletops were also salvaged barn wood), and the light fixtures are made from black steel gas pipes. The floor is all original, as are some of the cooler details, like a big red steel beam across the back wall and the rough-hewn beams in the middle of the space. There is an open kitchen, a big farm table server station, and 10 seats at the bar. There’s a booth for large groups, as well as two tables that could be either for communal dining or large groups, depending on the seating needs.

Hours will be Mon, Wed-Thu, and Sun 5:30pm-10pm; Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm; closed Tue. While the opening is targeting July 26th (and maybe a couple of days sooner), you can make reservations now via SeatMe.


A shot from the upper level. Photo courtesy of E&O.


The revamped bar area. Photo courtesy of E&O.

Now open after its seven-week renovation (by designer Tonya Beluschi), ~E&O TRADING COMPANY~ is now ~E&O ASIAN KITCHEN~, plus a new look and refreshed menu for diners (chef Sharon Nahm collaborated with chef Arnold Eric Wong on the dishes). New menu items include Asian “gnocchi” with beef filet, cabbage, and rice sticks topped with spicy soybean sauce; dan dan noodles; crudo on a Himalayan salt block (currently wild salmon); and lapsang souchong deviled tea eggs with Chinese bacon. Lead bartender Carlos Yturria has revamped the menu, with Asian-inspired cocktails like the Sutter Punch with pisco, pineapple, sherry, mezcal, and lemon. Take a look at the new menu here (food, drinks, and wine are included).

Guests will notice the larger lounge area; a new color palette of earth, gray, and golden tones; and a new live music program. Extended business hours are also part of the changes: dinner service is Sunday 5pm-10pm, Mon-Wed 4pm-10pm, and Thu-Sat 4pm-11pm, with a late-night bar menu Thu-Sat until midnight or close.

Eater breaks the news about the new brick-and-mortar location for the ~JAPACURRY~ food truck. Owner Jay Hamada is taking over the Hunan Garden space on Market Street. It will be an izakaya-like dinner spot called Roku (serving curry, yakitori, tonkotsu ramen with housemade noodles, and chicken nanban, a fried chicken dish from Hamada’s native Kyushu), as well as functioning as a commissary for the truck. Hamada is currently targeting mid-September/early October for the opening. 1819 Market St. at Octavia.

Liquor license changes point to the closure of ~MASALA INDIAN~ in the Inner Sunset, with ~FULL MOON THAI BISTRO~ taking its place. 1220 9th Ave. at Lincoln.

Maven | New Lower Haight Restaurant Brunch Cocktail

Goooood morning. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Starting Sunday July 29th, ~MAVEN~ in the Lower Haight is going to be launching weekend brunch. Yes, and with Kate Bolton’s fab cocktails, you are gonna be set. A peek at the menu reveals eggs Benedict, a vegetarian omelet with housemade ricotta, duck hash with a duck egg, souffléd German pancake, and cherry bread pudding-French toast. You can also choose from a bunch of sides, from breakfast links to mezcal-infused chorizo (goodness). Oh yes, and their delicious burger will be on the menu too.

Morning cocktails include the Summer’s Kiss (gin, strawberry, tomato water, basil, balsamic) and Death in the Afternoon (bubbles, absinthe sorbet). You can look at the most recent version of the menu here. Hours will then be Sat-Sun 11am-4pm, with cocktails in the afternoon until dinner service kicks in at 5:30pm.


The xiao long bao at Old Shanghai. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

There’s some sad news over the wire today: it appears that ~OLD SHANGHAI~ on Geary has closed. The lights are out, the door is locked, and the phone number is disconnected. Those of you craving Shanghai soup dumplings (xiao long bao) may have to head somewhere new. Does anyone have any news on where the owners have gone? 5145 Geary Blvd. at 15th Ave.


The Del Popolo truck. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

On Thursday July 19th, Jon Darsky’s ~DEL POPOLO~ pizza truck will be popping up at ~THE AMERICAN GRILLED CHEESE KITCHEN~ from 5pm-9pm. Del Popolo will be serving three pizzas: the margherita, bianco, and one with mozzarella, rapini, spicy salami, red onion, and chile oil. There will also be beers from Pacific Brewing Laboratory, Linden Street Brewery, and Firestone Walker Brewing Co.. You’ll be able to enjoy your beer and pizza outside on the patio or, if it gets chilly, head inside the restaurant. Please note that there won’t be any grilled cheese sandwiches coming out of the kitchen, but you should be able to satisfy your bread-and-cheese craving with Del Popolo’s delicious pies.


Paragon interior photo by Paige Green.

Some chef news around town: first, chef Spencer O’Meara has left ~PARAGON~ after 12 years in the kitchen; he is taking a break and enjoying some time off—we’ll see what he decides is his next move. The new chef is Kevin Scott, and is coming over from Scala’s Bistro.

Golden Bear Restaurant Group (MoMo’s, Pedro’s Cantina, and Pete’s Tavern) has appointed Tony Flier as the executive chef for the company. He will be working closely with the chefs at all three restaurants and will oversee menu development for the group. Flier, a 35-year vet in the kitchen, has launched Nola, Kingfish, and Fish Market in the Bay Area.

And according to Eater, Roland Passot of ~LA FOLIE~ has brought on Michael Hung (previously Bushi-Tei) as chef de cuisine.


The outdoor stage at Long Meadow Ranch. Photo courtesy Outside Lands.


Chicken and waffles at Outside Lands 2010. Photo via Yelp by Yee-Shing Y.


A stage and the crowd at Outside Lands 2011. Photo via Facebook.

Outside Lands returns to San Francisco this August 10th-12th, with the same exciting musical lineup and delicious festival food we’ve grown to expect from this event. If you just can’t wait, or just can’t make it this year, never fear! Outside Lands will be doing a few smaller events as part of its Summer Pairings Series around the Bay Area to whet your appetite for the grand shindig later in the summer.

The first will be in the Alexander Valley at Medlock Ames tasting room and bar, on Sunday July 22nd. There will be snacks from Le Truc and music by the Easy Leaves. Tickets are $30 and include food and wine. The event will be 5:30pm-8:30pm, at Medlock Ames, 3487 Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg. Tickets can be purchased here.

Then, over in Berkeley, there will be a food and wine block party at the Vintage Berkeley Wine Shop on Sunday July 29th, with wines from Kermit Lynch and Paul Grieco’s Summer of Riesling. ~THE AMERICAN GRILLED CHEESE KITCHEN~ will be serving sandwiches and soup to go along with the wines. The event will be from 4pm-7pm and tickets are $30. 2113 Vine St. at Walnut, Berkeley, 510-665-8600.

Last but not least will be a concert on Sunday August 5th, when Sean Hayes will head up to the Napa Valley to play at the Long Meadow Ranch Winery & Farmstead. The concert will be at 3pm, with doors at 1:30pm, and tickets are $30 until July 25th, $40 after. A wine tasting is included in admission. 738 Main St. at Charter Oak, St. Helena, 707-963-4555.

And while we’re on the topic of Outside Lands, let’s a take a look-see at the food lineup this year, shall we? Not only will there be more than 40 restaurants represented at the festival, but there will also be Wine Lands, a gussied-up tent that will house a variety of wines for all you music-loving lushes. More than 30 wineries will be represented, including Copain, Orin Swift Cellars, and Robert Sinskey. The focus will be on Northern California pours, but there will be more international options too. And in the food department we can look forward to a ton of good local chow, including 4505 Meats with its classic cheeseburger, chicharrones, and sausages; Azalina’s Malaysian nachos; a variety of Mexican street food from El Huarache Loco; and the fried plantain and black bean burrito from The Little Chihuahua. In short, it should be a pretty delicious way to enjoy some outdoor live music. The festival proper begins August 10th and runs until the 12th. Tickets begin at $225 for a three-day pass. For more information on the festival and to purchase tickets, head over to the Outside Lands website.


Photo courtesy of Grand Café.


The dining room at Fifth Floor; photo courtesy of Fifth Floor.

Love meat but looking for something a little unusual? Try the July Misfit dinner at ~GRAND CAFÉ~ from Thursday July 19 through Sunday July 22, featuring guinea hen from Biagio Artisan Meats in Sonoma. Look for guinea hen terrine with local fruit mostarda ($14); grilled guinea hen heart and crispy gizzards with pickled plum, tea-soaked prune, frisée, and almond milk gelée ($14); ravioli with guinea hen liver, duck egg, savoy cabbage, truffle, and chive ($16); and a guinea hen tagine with summer peppers, saffron, fennel, olive, nectarine, and yogurt ($32). The tasting menu will be available à la carte, in addition to the regular dinner menu, and wine pairings from Bonny Doon will be offered as well.

From now through August, you can swing by the ~FIFTH FLOOR~ lounge for a special entrée each night (Tue-Fri). For $20, on Tuesday you can have lasagne made with nettles, bolognese, and béchamel; Wednesday is duck pot pie; Thursday brings short rib bourguignon; and Friday’s feature is Fifth Floor cioppino. There is also an early-bird dinner on offer in the dining room through August, which is handy if you’re going to the theater or you’re a cheap date. It’s a three-course menu for $45, with an optional $20 wine pairing (available Tue-Sat for reservations before 6:30pm; the dining room opens at 5:30pm).

Lastly, ~JASPER’S CORNER TAP & KITCHEN~ is celebrating its first birthday with a special menu this week. From Thursday July 19th-Saturday July 21st, you can come into the dining room for the three-course menu for $44, which includes three cocktail pairings. Here’s the menu: “brochette duo” with the Negroni on tap; duck leg confit with the Weissen Sour; and brown butter almond cake served with the Bay Bridge Buck. (And yes, dear publicist Jamie Law, that was a triple play of your clients.)


Deborah Lozier’s piece, Hand-Me-Down. Currently on view as part of “Do Not Destroy: Trees, Art, and Jewish Thought.” Photo courtesy Contemporary Jewish Museum.

Well, it’s not exactly 7x7’s Big Eat, but it should be fun anyway: on Thursday August 9th, the Contemporary Jewish Museum will be hosting The Big Eat: A CJM Mixtape, a collection of presentations and talks exploring the connections between art and food in Jewish culture. Participating chefs include Leo Beckerman and Evan Bloom of Wise Sons Deli, Leah Rosenberg of Blue Bottle’s Rooftop Café, and distiller Arne Hillesland from Distillery 209. The program will be from 6:30pm-8:30pm, and tickets are $10, including general admission to the museum. 736 Mission St. at 3rd St., 415-655-7800.


Ramen at the OPENharvest event. Photo: © tablehopper.com.


The onsen eggs Benedict at Hopscotch; photo courtesy of Hopscotch.

A bunch of news to report in the 510, starting with an upcoming ramen shop from Sam White, whom many know from OPENrestaurant events and as the former maître d’ at Chez Panisse. Grub Street reports the shop will open on College Avenue in Rockridge, in the location previously occupied by Tachibana. While the ramen will have a Northern California slant, the chef (Jun Furukawa) is coming over from Hokkaido, Japan, to consult and train. Timing is TBD, stand by for updates.

A fire last weekend shut down ~COMMONWEALTH CAFE~, hopefully it can reopen soon. 2882 Telegraph Ave. at 28th St., Oakland, 510-663-3001.

Diablo Dish (vis-à-vis a tip) reports Temescal’s ~REMEDY COFFEE~ has sadly closed after two years. 4316 Telegraph Ave. at 43rd St, Oakland.

In the good news department, ~HOPSCOTCH~ restaurant in Oakland debuted brunch service over the weekend. The menu includes a smoked trout scramble and an insanely delicious-sounding onsen eggs Benedict with shichimi togarashi hollandaise sauce (yeah, excuse me while I head over RIGHT NOW), with braised beef tongue and pickled shallots, or ham hock-braised kale, or roasted maitake mushrooms and sage. Boozy eye-openers, as well. Sat-Sun 10:30am-3pm. 1915 San Pablo Ave. at 19th St., Oakland, 510-788-6217.

According to a post on Chowhound, the Pakistani ~KABANA~ in Berkeley has expanded into two locations. You can visit the new Kabana II location (1025 University Ave.) and score your tikka masala while the original location (1106 University Ave., 510-845-3355) is being remodeled.

Berkeleyside reports the “farm-to-fork” restaurant ~ORIGEN~ has closed on Telegraph. Can that phrase plllllllease end? Farm to grave. Seriously. 2826 Telegraph Ave. at Stuart, Berkeley.


Some of Blue Chair’s jams. Photo from website.

If you are interested in learning how to preserve your own fruit, this is definitely the class for you. Rachel Saunders, of Blue Chair Fruit Company, will be sharing her trade secrets in a series of classes on jam-making techniques at ~STATE BIRD PROVISIONS~. After each class, students will take home two jars of jam. Snacks will also be provided, as well as coffee and tea. The first class will be on Sunday August 5th, followed by classes on August 12th, 26th, and September 2nd, and will be from 10am-12pm. Cost per class is $105, or $385 for the four-week series. Details and reservations can be found here.

Want to take a gamble on escaping the city’s foggy summer? The Seventh Annual Far West Fest (say that three times fast!) will be held Saturday July 21st from 11am-7pm in Point Reyes Station, featuring live music and local treats from the western edge of Marin and Sonoma counties. There will, of course, be oysters, as well as sandwiches from The Farmer’s Wife and Nana Mae’s Organics, street tacos from The Lunch Box, and a slow-roasted whole pig from Symphony of Swine. Wine and beer will also be served. Tickets start at $28 for adults and $15 for kids, and all proceeds will benefit KWMR Community Radio, Home Base, and multiple youth programs.

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