September 11, 2012

September 11, 2012

The Nombe interior. Yelp photo by Claudine C.

Some chef changes at ~NOMBE~ in the Mission: chef Noriyuki-san (of Ramen Bull fame) went to Japan for a month this summer and did not return to Nombe (I will let you know if I hear where he is now). Taking his place is Brandon Armstrong (Clift Hotel chef, opening sous chef for Michael Mina and Bourbon Steak). While with the Michael Mina Group, Armstrong was no stranger to blending Japanese and French techniques and concepts. Look for more of a focus on small izakaya-style plates and sake/wine pairings and less on ramen, although Nombe will continue to offer tonkotsu and tantanmen as well as one specialty ramen daily.

This week, to welcome Armstrong, there will be a special four-course tasting menu (just $40), paired with two summer namazakes and two beers (the Nautilus hibiscus saison from Pacific Brewing Laboratories and the honey saison from Almanac Beer Company). There is also the kaiseki menu (seven courses, $39.95) and sake and drink pairings at an additional $25 (with all courses except the salad course).


The interior of the new 1058 Hoagie. Photo from 1058 Hoagie.


A hoagie from 1058 Hoagie. Photo by Rose Garrett via Facebook.

I know I’m not the only one excited that I’ll be able to sink my choppers into a honking hoagie from ~1058 HOAGIE~ very soon, maybe even this Friday (or Monday at the latest)—owner Adam Mesnick (Deli Board) is just waiting on inspections.

As previously mentioned on tablehopper, the brick-and-mortar location will also serve prepared salads, antipasti-type salads, soup, and, of course, hoagies. For more on these sandwiches of your dreams, take a peek at the piece I wrote for 7x7 here.

Since the shop is right by the Federal Building, Mesnick will be focusing on lunch service to start; hours will be Mon-Fri 11am-3pm. 180 7th St. at Howard, 415-552-8984.


Photo: © 2010.

This week is ~JARDINIÈRE~’s 15-year anniversary, a commendable feat, so it’s time for a fête! In honor of the occasion, the team has put together an updated and redesigned menu, which you can check out right here. Basically, diners will have more choice in how they order, with a variety of sides, more first courses, and deconstructed entrées. The Chef’s Tasting Menu and popular Monday night prix-fixe menu will continue. Congrats to Traci Des Jardins and her team on 15 fantastic years.


Brunch at Canteen. Photo: ©

This remains unconfirmed at this time, but according to this post on Chowhound, ~HAMA-KO~, the traditional sushi place in Cole Valley, will be closing at the end of September after 28 years in business. The owners are reportedly taking a much-needed retirement—and just like that, the city’s count of sushi Nazis takes a hit. 108 Carl St. at Cole, 415-753-6808.

Also on Chowhound, ~CANTEEN~ is no longer serving weekend brunch at all. Crap, it was my favorite eggs Benedict in the city. Farewell, chupacabra and amazing house-baked brioche for brunch. Sob.

In the unexpected (potential) comeback category, Scoop reports ~TU LAN~ is making the requested changes by the health department (stainless steel shelves, a new co-manager, and more) and will be allowed to apply for a new permit instead of going to a hearing; if all goes well, the plan is to reopen in October. 8 6th St. at Market.


Four Barrel cappuccino; Yelp photo from Jamie R.

Some news about expansions around town: First, before I went on vacation I announced Oakland’s ~CAÑA CUBAN RESTAURANT~ was moving into the Circolo space. Grub Street did some further sleuthing, revealing the menu will be “similar to the Oakland location, though with the wood-burning oven at the new kitchen, there may be pizzas and some additional dishes as well.” Stand by for news on timing and more. 500 Florida St. at Mariposa.

Looks like the Tenderloin is going to get a location of ~ACME BURGERHAUS~ (the original is on Divisadero). Eater shares that owner Joe Dabit will be expanding the offerings, with more salads, 49 seats, 10 to 15 beers on tap, and two big-screen TVs. The opening is planned within the next two months. 620 O’Farrell St. at Leavenworth.

Scoop reports Ryan Scott is expanding his ~MARKET & RYE~ location in the Design District and will be taking over the space next door—there will be up to 50 new seats, beer and wine, and expanded hours. He has also reportedly sold his 3-Sum Eats trucks. 300 De Haro St. at 16th St., 415-252-7455.

Also in the Scoop, ~FOUR BARREL COFFEE~ is expanding to the Portola neighborhood, opening a coffee bar on San Bruno Avenue at Burrows. Look for a November opening.


The Pig & Pie interior. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. ©

Another brunch spot to add to your list: ~PIG & PIE~ on 24th Street in the Mission has added weekend brunch, served Sat-Sun 10:30am-2pm. You can take a peek at the menu here, which includes green eggs and ham (Gruyère cheese and toast, $9) and biscuits and gravy (marjoram-cheddar biscuit and sausage gravy, $4 for 1 biscuit or $7 for 2). 2962 24th St. at Harrison, 415-401-8770.

It can sometimes be a little tricky finding a place to eat on Monday nights, which is why it’s great news that ~PARK TAVERN~ in North Beach is now open nightly!


Lumpia Shanghai from Hapa SF at Off the Grid.

Chef William Pilz of the ~HAPA SF~ food truck and pop-up will be at ~TRACE~ in the W Hotel this Thursday September 13th. He and TRACE’s executive chef Paul Piscopo will be cooking a four-course California-Filipino feast together, as a “Guest Wheels” collaboration project. The supper will begin streetside at 7pm, on Hunt Lane, where you can try some appetizers like lumpia and lamb meatballs, straight from the Hapa SF food truck, along with drinks. Then head inside for a seated dinner with goodies like salted duck eggs with tomato, greens, and calamansi vinaigrette, or marinated short ribs with garlic fried rice.

Tickets are a reasonable $40, plus tip and tax, and beverage pairings are available for an additional $35. Reservations can be made by calling TRACE at 415-817-7836, or via OpenTable.


Canadian cookbook author extraordinaire Naomi Duguid has written several beautiful books about her travels and eating adventures in Asia. Her most recent is called Burma: Rivers of Flavor, and as the name suggests, it focuses entirely on Burmese cooking. On Tuesday September 25th she’ll be at ~BETELNUT~, talking about the book, her many enviable travel adventures, and her perspective on the pretty serious changes taking place in Burma right now. Betelnut’s chef, Alex Ong, will prepare dishes from the book and take part in the discussion with Duguid. The event takes place 6pm-8pm, and the cost is $75 for Asia Society members or $90 for the general public. The cost includes tax, gratuity, food, wine, and beer. More information and tickets can be found here.


Some of the tomatoes the chefs at Oliveto sampled. Photo via website.

The 23rd annual tomato dinners at ~OLIVETO~ have been pushed back a little later than usual, owing to a tardy (but awesome) tomato season this year. From Tuesday September 18th until Friday September 21st, Oliveto will be serving a variety of à la carte dishes that will showcase tomatoes in all their amazing forms. After sampling tons of local tomatoes, chef Jonah Rhodehamel and his team have selected the best, and will be presenting them on their special menu.

Some possible options include shaved green tomatoes with abalone, crème fraîche, and smoked sea salt; stuffed sardine with spicy tomato sauce and farro; and some really interesting desserts like tomato, cornmeal, and rosemary upside-down cake with lemon mascarpone cream. Remember, tomatoes are technically a fruit! Here is a preview of the menu, but it’s still in the planning stages, so be prepared for changes! Reservations can be made online or by calling the restaurant.


The supper table at SMIP Ranch’s 2011 farm dinner. Photo from Facebook.


The SMIP Ranch CSA box. Photo: ©

In the mood for some serious farm dinner action? The SMIP Ranch is a beautiful farm in Woodside, operated in collaboration with the Bacchus Management Group, which runs Spruce, Café des Amis, and Woodside’s The Village Pub.

On Saturday October 6th, they’ll be celebrating this collaboration in the tastiest way possible: with a farm dinner! Chef Mark Sullivan of Spruce will be in charge of the kitchen, which will be staffed by other chefs from the group’s restaurants. The whole thing begins at The Village Pub at 2:45pm, with snacks. Then it’s up to the ranch! Diners will be transported via bus and will have a chance to sip on some wine and nosh on appetizers while learning about the ranch’s operation.

Dinner will be served family style at a long table in the middle of the fields, with an emphasis on items produced on-site. Oh, and there will be wine too. Brian and Mary Shipman, the farmers themselves, will be in attendance to answer any questions and talk to curious guests about the farm. Tickets are $195 per person, and include the multicourse dinner, wine, tip, and tax. For reservations, email The event begins at 2:45pm at The Village Pub, and should go until about 10pm. Transportation to and from the ranch from the Village Pub is provided. The Village Pub is located at 2967 Woodside Road at Whiskey Hill, Woodside, 650-851-9888.

If you can’t make it to the dinner or just want to use SMIP Ranch’s produce at home, you can sign up for their incredible CSA box. The boxes are $28 and can be picked up at four locations: in San Francisco at Spruce and Café des Amis on Tuesdays from 11:30am to 6pm, and on the Peninsula at Mayfield Bakery & Cafe or The Village Pub on Wednesdays from 4pm to 7pm. The just-picked produce will include lettuces, squash, herbs, beans, and fruit, to name just a few possibilities. Mark Sullivan will also provide recipes and advice, so no need to worry about getting something unfamiliar to you. They’ll teach you! To sign up for the CSA, email and they’ll get you all set up.