November 26, 2013

November 26, 2013
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Frankie’s, in brighter days. Yelp photo by Kent W.

We now have official word and details on what is opening in the former Frankie’s Bohemian Café space on Divis: It will be ~PRESIDIO PIZZA COMPANY~, opening in early December. I caught up with chef-partner Frank Bumbalo, who is opening the place with the neighboring Fishbowl owners, Kevin Kynoch and John Miles.

Bumbalo, a Brooklyn native, says there will be three kinds of pizza: thin-crust New York (Neapolitan round) style, Sicilian style, and grandma pizza, which is like a hybrid of a thin-crust pizza but square like a Sicilian (and not as thick), with origins in Long Island. Funny, my Italian cousin Anna made some pizza at home that was very similar to what the article describes a few months ago. Anyway, I’m excited to try it. Working with Bumbalo is Chris Norton, who was previously a line cook at A16—the owners are also talking to some other folks for the kitchen crew.

The new look is actually about returning the restaurant space to its origin decades ago: After taking off some Sheetrock, they exposed a couple of layers of wood, one of which was composed of beautiful redwood planks. Designer Dante Diego (who also did Blue Barn Gourmet) is adding in some dark colors, and concrete too, creating a modern and clean look. There will be two entrances: the one off Divis is if you want to sit at a table and enjoy some table service, while an entrance on Pine will be for the slice side, where you can sit on some bar stools or stand at a ledge while you hork your slice. (Or slices. I’m not here to judge.)

I will update you with a look at the space (and the pies!) in coming weeks. Hours will be Sun-Wed 11am-11pm, Thu 11am-12am, and Fri-Sat 11am-2:30am. Yes! 1862 Divisadero St. at Pine.

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Seating in the dining room at Iyasare. Photo: Dana Eastland. © tablehopper.com.

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The divider between rooms at Iyasare. Photo: Dana Eastland. © tablehopper.com.

As previously mentioned on tablehopper, chef Shotaro Kamio is getting ready to open his new project, ~IYASARE~, on Fourth Street in Berkeley. We have word that the new spot is softly opening tonight, November 26th.

The space, which was designed by Sean Gaston, is spare and modern, with a gorgeous skylight in the front room, gently rounded walls, and dark wood booth seating along the walls. There is seating in the dining room for 35, at the bar for 12, and on the heated patio for 25. The bar is sleek polished wood, with pendant lights and a mirrored back bar. There are two seating areas along the wall opposite the bar, which are separated by a wall with a large circle cut into it. On the walls are framed pieces of cut paper artwork, hammered metal light fixtures, and “sculptures” of fabric that are beautiful, simple, and will probably help with noise control too.

As for the food, Kamio is looking to his native Tōhoku, in northeastern Japan, for inspiration. He describes the food as rustic and simple, with a focus on seasonal produce, seafood, and grains. Along with this style come distinct preservation techniques, like fermented foods in the form of miso and koji, sun-dried items like seaweed and seafood, and cured items. At dinner, Japanese charcuterie will be on offer, as well as dishes like whole-roasted fish like a branzino topped with ikura, nabemono, and Japanese-influenced pasta dishes with toasted spicy cod roe, ikura, uni, shaved bonito, and other ingredients. When lunch begins, look for set meals with miso soup, salads, and daily specials like soba and onigiri rice balls. Take a look at the current dinner menu right here.

At the bar, a variety of sakes are being poured, along with some artisanal Japanese beers. There’s also a selection of local beers, plus wine on tap. It’s all about sake-based cocktails at the moment, but a full liquor license is in the works. Right now, the space is softly open, with an official opening date of Sunday December 1st. It’s only open for dinner for now, with lunch coming two weeks after that, in mid-December. Congrats, Sho! 1830 4th St. at Hearst, Berkeley, 510-845-8100.

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Bartender extraordinaire at Joe’s of Westlake. Photo by Mathew Sumner.

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Cafe du Nord. Photo from Facebook.

Over in North Beach, Scoop reports that ~BOTTLE CAP~ is closing on December 22nd. The former home of the Washington Square Bar & Grill will become the new home to Matt McNamara and Teague Moriarty, of Sons & Daughters and Sweet Woodruff. The new crew gets the keys around the New Year, and then they plan to do a quick remodel and reopen the space in March 2014. In the meantime, Bottle Cap will be open and taking reservations until December 22nd. 1707 Powell St. at Union, 415-529-2237.

In Daly City, fabulous 57-year-old institution ~JOE’S OF WESTLAKE~ is in the process of being sold to new owners, according to Scoop. It sounds like the new takers are none other than John Duggan and his family, of Original Joe’s. Turns out, the two Joes have a history: Joe’s of Westlake founder Bruno Scatena opened Joe’s no. 2 in the Marina in 1939 with Tony Rodin, Duggan’s grandfather. Anyway, Joe’s of Westlake will be closing at the end of January 2014, and the new owners plan to remodel it and reopen in early 2015. Hopefully, even with all that remodeling, the new team keeps the spirit of the original intact. 11 Glenwood Ave. at Lake Merced, Daly City, 650-755-7400.

File this in the “coming soon” department: Based on some ABC license transfer activity, it looks like there will be some ownership changes at ~CAFE DU NORD~. One person named on the license is Dylan MacNiven (of Woodhouse Fish Co. and West of Pecos). I reached out to him and he said he’s not at liberty to share details just yet, but did say this: “I can tell you that the story is not ‘Woodhouse Fish guy takes over Du Nord’; there are other people involved.” So it looks like we need to stand by on what the upcoming changes are, but something is brewing. 2170 Market St. at Sanchez, 415-861-5016.

This one is at least a little more sweet than bittersweet: Beloved Outer Richmond deli ~FREDY’S OCEAN BEACH DELI~ is changing ownership. Ocean Beach Bulletin reports that owner Fredy is retiring for health reasons, but the good news is that he has sold the place to longtime employee David Nottage. Nottage plans to change the name to Kawika’s Ocean Beach Deli (Nottage grew up in Hawaii and Kawika is his Hawaiian name) and add some new menu items, but he is committed to keeping the place’s spirit alive by continuing to make fresh bread in-house, and many favorite specials will remain. Look for some new wine selections, some Greek items on the menu, and a parklet out front in the future. 734 La Playa St. at Cabrillo, 415-221-2031.

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The bell at M.Y. China rings in one year next week. Photo courtesy Creative Mint.

Martin Yan’s ~M.Y. CHINA~ is celebrating its one-year anniversary on Wednesday December 4th, and you’re invited to raise a glass to many more. During dinner, all guests will receive a free glass of bubbly, the Chinese Cuvée from Iron Horse Winery, along with a mooncake for dessert (it’s not a birthday without cake!). The offer is active from 5pm-close on Wednesday December 4th.

Bernalwood brings news of a very sad development in the neighborhood: It appears that beloved sandwich shop ~DELI PUB~ has closed. It sounds as though owner Imad Yaish has retired, following a violent robbery in October. Details are still scarce, but for some wonderful memories and comments from loyal neighborhood customers, read Tim Redmond’s piece on Bernalwood. 301 Cortland Ave. at Bocana.

According to Hayeswire, there’s a pizza shake-up in the works in Hayes Valley. It sounds like ~GO GETTERS PIZZA~ is moving from their current location into ~DON AGAPITO’S~ (which used to be Go Getters Deli). It’s not clear at the moment how the two restaurants will share the space or the menu, but a sign on the Go Getters’ door says they closed Thursday November 21st and reopened Monday November 25th in their new digs. 100 Gough St. at Page, 415-863-4149.

Tipster Jason B. wrote in to let us know that a new izakaya took over Sushi Tani on Geary in the Richmond. The new place is called ~JOO MAK~. Early Yelps are mostly positive, and report both Japanese and Korean menu items in a good-looking space. 4828 Geary Blvd. at Funston, 415-379-6250.

Jason B. also reports that a new sushi place called ~YOI~ has moved into the former Drunken Sushi location on Clement in the Outer Richmond. They’re serving sushi and ramen out of the remodeled space, according to initial Yelp reports. 2311 Clement St. at 24th Ave., 415-876-2311.

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Réveille Coffee’s North Beach location. Photo from Facebook.

The Castro has a new coffee spot coming in 2014: brothers Tommy and Christopher Newbury are opening the second brick-and-mortar location of their ~RÉVEILLE COFFEE CO.~ on 18th Street. Much like the current North Beach location, the space will include an open kitchen, a long coffee bar, and lots of blond wood. During the day, look for a similar menu to North Beach, with their braised kale and egg sandwich, and biscuits. But come evening, they’ll be adding dinner service, with seasonal flatbreads and other more substantial fare. Currently, the plan is to open in January 2014—we’ll keep you updated! 4080 18th St. at Hartford.

In Bernal Heights, there are about to be two new places to get a hot beverage and a caffeine boost. Bernalwood reports that a loose-leaf tea shop is coming to Cortland in the next few weeks. 317 Cortland Ave. at Bocana.

There is also a new coffee shop in the works, called ~PINHOLE COFFEE~. The space is still under construction, and the plan is to open in early 2014, according to their Facebook page. 231 Cortland Ave. at Bonview.

In the Outer Richmond, look for new coffee place ~FOG BABY CAFE~. The new spot is in the former Crumbville space and is owned by neighborhood residents Fernando and Shireen Fonseca, according to The Richmond Blog. They’re open for breakfast with bagels, Catahoula Coffee, and pastries from Applebaum Bakery, then at lunch you’ll find sandwiches with neighborhood-themed names, like the Sutro (mozzarella, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes on focaccia). Hours are daily 7am-7pm. 3516 Balboa St. at 37th Ave., 415-221-2466.

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Wine and shopping at the Meet Market. Photo courtesy Bluxome Street Winery.

On Saturday November 30th, be sure to check out the special holiday edition of the Meet Market at ~BLUXOME STREET WINERY~ from 12pm-5pm. More than 30 local purveyors will be in attendance with their wares, including fine culinary folks like McVicker Pickles, Haley’s Sausage Co., and Crescent Farms, plus tablehopper will have a table where we’ll be selling our vintage restaurant t-shirts, books, and of course, saying hello to our fabulous readers! Stop in, say hello, and pick up a shirt for the fashionable food lover in your life. Or yourself, of course. 53 Bluxome St. at 5th St., 415-543-5353.

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A bowl of noodles from Namu Gaji. Photo courtesy Namu Gaji.

If you find you need a warm-up or a pick-me-up during the Black Friday madness downtown (or maybe you’re just sick of cooking and turkey—we feel you), make your way to ~BRASSERIE S&P~ for Black Friday Happy Hour. On Friday November 29th from 11am-11pm they’ll be offering glasses of bubbly and bar snacks for $5 each, along with their usual selection of gin and housemade tonics. Then, starting Sunday December 1st, check out their various afternoon tea options. They’re available every day until December 30th, and include options like a Festive Tea with bubbly, or a Children’s Tea if you’re looking for something to do with little ones.

~BLUESTEM BRASSERIE~ is also offering a break from the Black Friday madness with their own specials. They’ll be serving Aunt Chrystal’s Hot Austrian Punsch (Stroh rum, red wine, orange juice, and spices) for $7 a glass, and a special West Coast Schmitter Sandwich with roast beef, grilled salami and onions, cheddar and provolone cheeses, fresh tomatoes, and brandy-peppercorn sauce on a kaiser roll for $13.50. Whoa, that sandwich sounds like the business. Or go ahead and get both for $15. The specials are available all day from 11am-11pm.

Keep yourself toasty all winter long with Noodle Night at ~NAMU GAJI~. The first and last Mondays of each month (that’s December 2nd and 30th, and January 6th and 27th) they’ll be opening up for a night of noodle soups. Look for options like a Devil’s Gulch pork miso ramen, Liberty Duck shoyu ramen, and Indonesian mie ayam chicken consommé with egg noodles. Reservations are available and can be made here. Dinners are from 5pm-10pm.

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Chef Eddie Blyden. Photo from Facebook.

~THE BLEECKER BISTRO~ is now open in Berkeley, in the former Ann’s Kitchen space. The new spot is from chef Jason Kwan of Joshu-ya Brasserie, and this time around he’s offering American comfort food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Look for large portions and low prices, with menu items like eggs, omelets, and breakfast burritos in the morning, and burgers, sandwiches, and salads at lunch and dinner. For a full look at the menus, head here. All the sandwiches will be served on bread made daily in-house, and there are also plans in the works for wine and beer and live music in the evenings. Hours are 8am-8pm daily. 2498 Telegraph Ave. at Dwight, 510-548-8885.

Congrats to chef Eddie Blyden (Henry’s, Miss Pearl’s, The Alembic), who has a set of keys to his own place and will be opening a burger spot in the Rotunda Building on Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland. The location was formerly a Mediterranean place, Plaza Cafe, and prior to that it was a burger joint. He is going to be doing his own twist on a burger (look for a secret smoky seasoning and a pretty special bun), plus he plans to salute his past years in New York with a Coney Island frankfurter with gravy. Also being discussed: a chicken sandwich, catfish on Fridays, and fries with spicy ketchup and mango ketchup. As he proudly hooted to me on the phone, “We’re going to be doing some throwbacks, Miss Tablehopper!” Looking forward to it, chef Blyden! There will be some outdoor seating on the plaza, bonus. Look for a January opening—and a name soon as well. 300 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland.

Coming to Uptown Oakland in early 2014 is the new ~ALAMAR~ from chef Nelson German (previously of Supperclub). Diablo Dish first caught the story, and a recent press release shared more details. The restaurant is focused on seafood (the name means “to the sea” in Spanish), particularly on shellfish boils, including Dungeness crab and crawfish at dinner. At lunch, look for sandwiches, and a weekend brunch includes the the rather dangerous-sounding grilled cheese Benedict. Construction has just begun on the space, which seats 55 indoors with room for an additional 16 on the heated patio. 100 Grand Ave. at Valdez.

In mid-December, chef Fabio Dalle Vacche will be opening a new Italian restaurant in Jack London Square called ~CENTOUNO~, according to East Bay Express and a press release. You’ll find Italian comfort food, served family style, including fresh pastas, a torta fritta, and a bistecca alla Fiorentina. Dalle Vacche’s mother is helping out with the menu, too, which is pretty freaking cute. The restaurant seats more than 100, and there is also a private dining room for up to 22 people. Look out for happy hour Mon-Fri from 4pm-6pm and Sat-Sun 5pm-7pm, with Italian-style sangria. The restaurant will be open daily 11am-11pm. 101 Broadway at Embarcadero West, 510-433-5030.