January 22, 2013

January 22, 2013

The dining room at Caña. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.


Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.


The bar, which will undoubtedly be sexier once there are bottles on those shelves. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

A report by Dana Massey-Todd. As previously reported on tablehopper, Oakland’s ~CAÑA CUBAN RESTAURANT~ (musica alert!) was opening in the former Circolo location in the Mission. Well, it is now open softly for lunch. The new outpost features many of the same Cuban dishes as the Oakland one, though they’ve also added a wood-fired oven to the kitchen for cocas, or flatbreads, and other fire-roasted choices.

For now, Caña is only serving lunch until its liquor license comes through, at which point there will be a full bar with a list of rum-focused specialty cocktails and dinner service. The lunch menu features sandwiches, including a Cubano, of course, plus empanadas, salads, and a nice coffee selection with Roast Co. beans. While Caña isn’t open for dinner yet, there is a sample sneak peek menu with entrée platters and plenty of small dishes for sharing.

The space is lovely, with a tropical/industrial elegance thing going on. The open kitchen has a counter if you like to watch the action, and the ceilings are tall, with exposed and painted ducts plus crystal chandeliers for a fun contrast. There’s a glassed-in water fountain at the entryway, and elegant tile along the walls and floor, plus hardwood in the dining area. While the preservation of the hard industrial surfaces looks great, they might run into a bit of a noise control problem once things pick up and they add the planned live music and dancing. But then again, maybe after a few mojitos and a turn on the dance floor, no one will mind.

There’s an upstairs mezzanine that large groups can reserve, plus plans for booths and humidors for cigars. There are reportedly ideas about some sort of cigar salon situation, though whether that will be inside, outside, or even legal is still unclear. There will also be weekend brunch, in addition to the coming dinner service. For now, though, it’s open Mon-Fri 11am-3pm, and do note that they are cash only. 500 Florida St. at Mariposa, 415-580-7888.


The live crawfish plate at Broken Record; photo provided by Broken Record.

After chefs Shane LaValley and James Moisey left ~BROKEN RECORD~ to open up their own place, Rickybobby in the Lower Haight, BR owner Jason King has now brought in a new chef, Mark Furr. Furr was previously making some of the tastiest chicken in the city I have ever had with his Smoke barbecue truck (he made the move to catering after he got tired of dealing with the city), but now he’s brought his smoker over to the Broken Record.

He has completely overhauled the dinner menu, adding dishes like pork “wings” (small pork shanks cooked sous vide, tossed with rice flour, and then fried and topped with a spicy Thai chile sauce), pappardelle with oxtail, a house-ground burger made with Angus brisket (and a touch of bacon fat), housemade pastrami, lamb shoulder, jambalaya fritters, and even the fries are made in house. A brand-new addition is live crawfish that Furr has flown in from Louisiana every Friday and are on the menu until they’re gone (they’re served in a signature boil, with potatoes and corn).

Broken Record is also launching a weekly Sunday brunch, kicking off this Sunday January 27th from 11am-3pm (they will be opening Saturdays for brunch in the early spring). Here are some brunch menu items: ham and red-eye (house-cured and smoked Berkshire pork and coffee-based “red-eye” gravy), soft-shell crab Benedict (crispy soft-shell crab, Berkshire ham, and poached egg on top of grit cakes, topped with housemade hollandaise), house-smoked pastrami hash (served with basted eggs), and most items come with a biscuit on the side. There will also be some more savory items, like live crawfish served by the pound, a Hangtown Caesar salad (with fried oysters and bacon), and a cheeseburger. Come hungry.


The not-quite-done interior at Hillside Supper Club. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.


The arched windows and a view of Precita Park. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.


The specials chalkboard and bar. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

A report by Dana Massey-Todd. As reported on tablehopper in December, Tony Ferrari and Jonathan Sutton of the pop-up ~HILLSIDE SUPPER CLUB~ are opening a brick-and-mortar location, right in the same space where they’ve been popping up. The former Caffe Cozzolino was taken over by the pair after a successful Kickstarter campaign, and it’s slated to open this week. On Wednesday January 23rd (that’s tomorrow!) they’ll be throwing an opening party, then fully open on Thursday January 24th.

They’ll be serving Italian-Californian food, with about six appetizers and four mains. They’ll also do a daily prix-fixe chalkboard menu, which will vary in price depending on the items. Here’s the opening menu for you to check out. Lamb sugo? Check. The wine list, which was put together by general manager Gregory van Hoesen, is focused on sustainable and biodynamic wines from all over the world. There are around 12 wines on the regular menu, and as many as 15 more on an “adventurers” list that you can ask for, with more eclectic and unusual choices. There will also be two beers on tap: the Almanac Honey Saison (delish) and Sculpin IPA. You can take a look at the wine list here.

These guys lucked out with their space too. The building has fantastic Victorian bones, and they’ve kept things simple, if a bit expected. There are repurposed Mason jar light fixtures from Omega Lighting Design in Berkeley, wooden chairs, and a nice metal-topped bar. The ceilings are wonderfully high, with great arched windows and stained glass on one side. In the back is a great lofted area that they’ve converted into a more intimate and personal area with a big communal table. Eventually, there will be bookcases with the pair’s favorite cookbooks, as well as the names of their most generous Kickstarter contributors and some other more personal mementos. This spot will be available for groups of up to 10 to do a chef’s tasting menu, family style.

The spot has been warmly embraced by the neighborhood, from the designer upstairs who offered to make their signage to a women down the street who will be doing their flowers (adorable). They are just across the street from Precita Park, and hope to add picnic lunches to their arsenal soon, along with weekend brunch. For now, they’re only open for dinner and are closed Tuesdays. Hours are Sun-Mon, Wed-Thu 5pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm. Reservations are available on UrbanSpoon now, for as soon as Thursday January 24th. 300 Precita Ave. at Folsom, 415-285-6005.


Dining room and bar area. Photo by Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

Last week a reader sent in a good-bye note from ~SHANGHAI RESTAURANT~ on Market Street, which closed January 15th. Who will step up to the plate next? 2029 Market St. at 14th St.


A honkin’ pastrami sandwich from Deli Board. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Craving a beefy, salty ~KRONNERBURGER~? You can now indulge in your burger urge from Sun-Thu 6pm-late. Friday hours are potentially launching next week (February 1st), and Kronnerburger will also be open for Super Bowl Sunday (on the 3rd), serving burgers, wings, and carbonated margaritas (keep an eye on those, they are far too tasty). There is also takeout available; call the burgerphone at 415-656-9871. 2379 Mission St. at 20th St.

~PRESS CLUB~ is now open on Sundays from 4pm-11pm. Feel like watching some sports over a glass or two of wine? There are flat-screen TVs that can be tuned into a game of your choice.

Starting Saturday February 2nd, fresh-pressed juice purveyor ~SŌW~ will be moving to Yield Wine Bar in the Dogpatch. It will also be extending its weekday service to Mon-Wed and Fri 8am-2pm and Sat 9am-2pm, but closed on Thursdays and Sundays. Its last pop-up at Pause is this Saturday January 26th from 9am-2pm. Yield Wine Bar, 2490 3rd St. at 22nd St.

Coming soon: starting Sunday February 17th, ~DELI BOARD~ will be open on Sundays from 11am-3pm, serving breakfast sandwiches and the same type of brunch items they serve on Saturdays, like smoked salmon, whitefish salad, bagels, and meats by the pound.

And over in Oakland, starting on Saturday February 16th, ~STAG’S LUNCHETTE~ is going to be open on Saturdays for brunch and lunch, 8am-3pm.


Image from DRIP’D via Facebook.

Some new coffee spots continue to dot the local landscape. Coming in mid-February to the Inner Sunset will be ~DRIP’D~ from Chris Morell and Tae Kim. They are opening in a shared space with Green 11 on 9th Avenue across from Arizmendi and will be serving Sightglass Coffee (although they plan to roast their own coffee in the back later on). They have been busy doing the construction themselves (pouring concrete for the counter and installing chalkboard walls). They are installing a long table with room for six to eight, plus some bar stools and outdoor seating will also be available.

Initial hours will be Fri-Sun from 8am-2pm (possibly Sat 9am-2pm or 3pm) while they get things ramped up. They also hope to integrate their original plan to be the first coffee shop to serve California-certified raw milk, maybe in April or May. Follow updates on Facebook. 1352A 9th Ave. at Irving.

Mission Mission mentions ~111 MINNA GALLERY~ has launched Red Door Coffee, offering Four Barrel Coffee from 7:30am-3pm, with lots of seating available. 111 Minna St. at 2nd St.

And a tablehopper pal let me know John Quintos of SoMa coffee kiosks Cento, Special Xtra, and Vega just opened a kiosk inside the Chrome store, serving Four Barrel Coffee (his first foray with them). You can follow the ~CHROME COFFEE BAR~ on Twitter here. Mon-Fri 8am-5pm, Sat-Sun 9am-4pm. 580 4th St. at Brannan.

Over in Uptown Oakland, the East Bay Express has the story behind ~ANFILO COFFEE~, a café that specializes in Ethiopian coffee service. 35 Grand Ave. at Broadway, Oakland.


Uncle’s Cafe. Yelp photo by Kevin Y.

According to a post on Chowhound, it sounds like the folks behind the Szechuan The Pot Sticker have taken over Uncle’s Cafe, just a little bit farther down Waverly in Chinatown (they certainly seem to use the same sign maker). The new name is ~MA LA XIAO GUAN~; there’s paper on the windows for now. 65 Waverly Pl. at Clay.

Tipster Jason B. also let me know about the upcoming ~BAMBŪ~, which will be opening Saturday January 26th. It will be the first San Francisco location for the chain known for serving Vietnamese drinks featuring tropical fruits, coconut, jellies, beans, hot and cold coffee drinks, and milk teas. Hours will be Mon-Thu 7am-10pm, Fri 7am-11pm, Sat-Sun 9am-11pm. 6050 Geary Blvd. at 25th Ave., 415-379-4683.


Catch some of these cool book events at ~OMNIVORE BOOKS~ in the coming week. First, on Friday January 25th, Seamus Mullen will be talking about his book, Hero Food: How Cooking with Delicious Things Can Make Us Feel Better, and his experience with changing his diet to fight his diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. 6pm-7pm, free.

On Saturday February 2nd, Clark Wolf and Marvin Taylor will be signing copies of 101 Classic Cookbooks: 501 Classic Recipes, a collection of 501 recipes from the 101 best cookbooks of the 20th century. The two editors were selected for the project by an advisory committee of luminaries, like Ruth Reichl, Jonathan Gold, and Michael Pollan, so they’ve got to have some good stories. 3pm-4pm, free.

Catch New York’s controversial shining star Eddie Huang of BaoHaus on Monday February 4th. His new book, Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir, shares his tales of opening the restaurant and his adventures traveling around the United States before BaoHaus opened. 6pm-7pm, free.

Got a picky eater in your life? If you’re still trying to understand where he or she is coming from, check out local author Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic’s book Suffering Succotash: A Picky Eater’s Quest to Understand Why We Hate the Foods We Hate. On Friday February 8th she’ll be at ~WOODWARD’S GARDEN~, serving a Picky Eater’s Dinner with some of the most hated foods in the picky lexicon (think Brussels sprouts, beets, and parsnip), but made into some very delicious dishes. Tickets are $40-50, and reservations can be made via OpenTable. Just be sure to note you are attending the Picky Eater’s dinner.


Oyster Day at Piccino; photo via Facebook.

Swing by ~CATHEAD’S BBQ~ on Saturday January 26th for its one-year anniversary/customer appreciation party from 12pm-5pm. It will be giving away sliders and prizes throughout the day, and at 3pm is the CatHead’s BBQ Biscuit Challenge (that sounds like a tough eating contest!). 1665 Folsom St. at 12th St., 415-599-6298.

On Sunday January 27th, ~PICCINO~ in Dogpatch is hosting its annual Oyster Day, with shucked Tomales Bay oysters by the Oyster Girls, starting at 12pm until they’re all gone. Weather pending, there will be plenty of tables on the sidewalk, and of course plenty of delicious wines to enjoy.


Known for his Dux dinners, chef Eddie Lau is starting 2013 with some new projects, ranging from events to workshops but first, an art show at ~18 REASONS~. “Beneath the Sheaths” was concepted by Lau, featuring images of chef’s tools (from Melissa Perello’s knives to Bill Corbett’s whisk to Ryan Farr’s cleaver) photographed by Meigan Canfield and Ellis Au. The reception is Friday February 1st, from 5pm-8pm. The show will be up through March 30th, be sure to check it out.


On Sunday March 10th, catch a very special talk and brunch at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco with Mark Russ Federman of New York’s fish temple, Russ & Daughters. He’ll be there discussing his new book, Russ & Daughters: Reflections & Recipes from the House that Herring Built, which celebrates his family’s store and history (it’s been around since 1907!). The event begins at 12pm and includes a classic Jewish fish brunch with some of the store’s excellent smoked and cured products. Tickets (just search “Russ” in the search box) are $45 for the general public, or $40 for JCCSF members. 3200 California St. at Presidio.


Chef Ian Mullen in the kitchen. Photo courtesy Naked Kitchen.


The Heath Ceramics Shop. Photo by Alana Hale.

Here are a few dinners to consider if you’re looking for a special night out. First up, underground dinner locale ~NAKED KITCHEN ~ will be doing a winter tasting menu from chef Ian Mullen on Saturday January 26th. There will be seatings at 6pm and 9pm. The dinner costs $100 per person and is BYOB. You can find tickets and the menu here. The location will be revealed after tickets are purchased.

Next, the ~STAG DINING GROUP~ will be teaming up with The Bold Italic and Heath Ceramics for A Heath Warming Dinner on Saturday February 9th. The multicourse dinner will be prepared by Stag chefs Jordan Grosser and Ted Fleury, with wines from Swanson Vineyards, and will be held at Heath’s Mission location. You can check out the menu and get details here. The dinner begins at 6pm with a cocktail and shopping hour, and then guests will sit down to dinner at 7pm. Tickets are $140 and include wine, tax, and gratuity. 2900 18th St. at Florida.

Celebrate the ongoing Dungeness crab season with ~AMERICANO~ in the Hotel Vitale. Its fourth-annual Crab and Champagne Dinner is taking place on Thursday January 31st. The dinner includes three courses, including an entrée of the delicious crustacean with butter and salsa verde and a dessert of pear and huckleberry pie. Each course comes paired with Schramsberg sparkling wines too. The event is at 6:30pm and costs $59 per person, including the beverage pairings (but not tax and gratuity). Reservations should be made on OpenTable.

As previously reported on tablehopper, chef and author Romney Steele is opening ~THE COOK AND HER FARMER~ this spring. In the meantime, she’ll be doing some pop-up dinners at ~GUERILLA CAFÉ~. The first one is this Friday January 25th, followed by another on February 8th and 22nd. They’ll feature oysters and crab gumbo, plus a rotating roster of specials. The dinners run from 6pm-10pm and are cash only. 1620 Shattuck Ave. at Cedar, Berkeley, 510-798-1895.


Taps at Trappist Provisions; photo via Facebook.

Last year, tablehopper mentioned that the folks behind The Trappist were opening a bottle shop called ~TRAPPIST PROVISIONS~ in Rockridge. Berkeleyside mentioned it’s now open, with 9 taps (there’s a beer bar and some tables) and 99 bottles. Open daily 10am-12am. 6309 College Ave. at 63rd St., Oakland.

Liquor license activity reveals Jon Guhl, who was an original partner in deep-dish favorite Little Star Pizza, is opening ~THE STAR~ on Grand Avenue in Oakland. Scoop explains Guhl split from business partner Brian Sadigursky (who still owns the original Divisadero location), while Guhl now owns the Mission location and the one in Albany. Grub Street notes it’s where the now-closed Milano Ristorante was located. 3425 Grand Ave. at Mandana, Oakland.


The last community dinner at Nick’s. Photo by Courtney Griffin courtesy Nick’s Pizza.

As previously reported on tablehopper, ~NICK’S PIZZA~ in Oakland occasionally throws a Community Meal to thank its neighborhood for supporting the business. On Monday January 28th, Nick Yapor-Cox, the owner and chef at Nick’s Pizza, and his staff will welcome anyone who stops by with free slices, salad, and beverages from 5pm-7pm. The Caamaño Bros. Soda Pop Co. will also be in attendance, serving free samples of its root beer. There will be live music, and attendees are encouraged to bring their own plate and cup to reduce waste. 6211 Shattuck Ave. at 62nd St., Oakland, 510-658-3903.


The interior at Oggi. Photo from Facebook.

Coming soon to Berkeley is the freshly named and revamped ~OGGI~ in the former ~CIOCCOLATA DI VINO~ space. Chef-owner Rebecca Bernstein Redwine is still on board, but will be featuring more savory dishes and a seasonally changing menu. There will be lots of small plates to enjoy with more than 25 wines available by the glass, plus some great lunch and dinner prix-fixe deals. Take a look at the lunch and dinner menu here and the dessert list here. There’s also a happy hour Tue-Fri from 5pm-6pm, with $3 beers and a $2 discount on all glasses of wine. 1801 Shattuck Ave. at Delaware, Suite C, Berkeley, 510-898-1392.

Now open in the former Sea Salt is ~EAT + LOUNGE~. Scoop reveals the chef is Kwin Vu; you can peek at his Cal-Med menu on the website. Open Sun-Thu 5:30pm-9:30pm, Fri-Sat 5:30pm-10pm; lunch coming soon. 2512 San Pablo Ave. at Dwight, Berkeley, 510-883-1720.

Thanks to Chowhound for the tip-off about ~PIZZA MODA~, which is now open in the former Divino. There are also some salads and pastas on the menu, plus a kids’ menu. Open Wed-Sun 5:30pm-10pm. 1401 University Ave. at Sacramento, Berkeley, 510-841-5200.

More pizza! As previously mentioned on tablehopper, ~SLIVER PIZZERIA~ was opening in the former Sportivo space; it’s now open. A recent special included roasted marble potatoes, pasilla chiles, yellow onions, mozzarella, Bulgarian feta, cilantro, Mexican key limes, and garlic olive oil. 2132 Center St. at Shattuck, Berkeley, 510-301-6280.