September 30, 2014

September 30, 2014
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At a test dinner. Photo: Luke Andrews.

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Chilled lettuce soup. Photo: Charlotte Cleary.

While State Bird Provisions is certainly one of the city’s more challenging restaurants to get a table at, the newly opened ~LAZY BEAR~ was so flooded with reservation requests for its first two weeks of seatings that the reservation ticketing system they’re using (from Chicago’s Alinea and Next) choked. All systems are go again, but scoring tickets—which are first come, first served—is up to luck (until someone figures out a bot to game the system).

Chef-owner David Barzelay has moved from underground suppers at his home into the former Hi Lo in the Mission, which now features two 22-foot elm communal tables, with room for 20 diners at each. Every Thu-Mon, there are two seatings, at 6:15pm and 8:15pm. The prix-fixe menu is around 11 courses for $120, with optional beverage pairings for $50. The Modern American menu is constantly changing, but recent dishes included chilled lettuce soup with Little Gems, summer squash, fried anchovy, parsley; Delta crawfish (cucumber, Delta rice grits, celery); and seared Sun Golds (smoked beef strip loin, basil, amaranth, tomato raisins). Desserts by Maya Erickson (previously at AQ) included ginger milk curd (pluot consommé gelée, pluot, shiso, mint) and a wooden slab of “treats” like frozen s’mores and a mini PB&J meringue.

The evening starts with snacks and optional drinks upstairs on the retro/postmodern mezzanine, and at the end, coffee service is a custom program with Ritual Coffee Roasters. Sommelier Marie-Louise Friedland (previously at Quince) and bar manager Brandon Presbury (Bartlett Hall, Locanda) are in charge of the beverage pairing menus.

Sign up for the Lazy Bear mailing list to receive information about when each month’s tickets will be released (it never hurts to follow along on Twitter and Instagram, too, @lazybearsf). 3416 19th St. at Valencia, 415-874-9921.

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Melissa Gugni and Jay Esopenko at Union Larder. Photo Courtesy Union Larder.

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Meat slicing at Union Larder. Photo courtesy Union Larder.

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The interior at The Hall. Photo by Patricia Change courtesy The Hall.

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Cassia at The Hall. Photo by Patricia Change courtesy The Hall.

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The spacious patio at Aracely. Photo courtesy of Aracely.

As reported earlier this month, ~UNION LARDER~ was opening in Russian Hill from the team behind Little Vine. Well, they officially opened their doors on September 16th, and now you can get their house charcuterie, glasses of wine, and cheeses. The retail side is also open, offering pantry items, Straus dairy products, and Marin Sun Farms meat. Hours this week are Mon-Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat 11am-11pm, but they should be opening Mon-Sat 11am-11pm in the next couple of weeks. 1945 Hyde St. at Union, 415-272-7567.

~THE HALL~, the Mid-Market gourmet marketplace we told you about in August, is now open in the former Hollywood Billiards building. The building is actually still a work in progress and will eventually be a residential building with retail on the ground floor. While the developer works that out, though, The Hall will be open in the interim, offering food from a variety of vendors including Little Green Cyclo, The Whole Beast, and Fine & Rare. It will also serve as a multiuse events space. 1028 Market St. at 6th St, 415-558-8293.

It looks like there is a new spot for handmade udon in town, in the Kinokuniya Building in Japantown. It’s called ~UDON MUGIZO~. There’s only one Yelp review, and it’s positive; sadly, Gary Soup discovered that they are closed on Mondays, so we don’t have the benefit of his always-thorough feedback. 1581 Webster St. at Post, no phone.

The Outer Sunset has a new spot for sweets—ice cream sandwiches, specifically. ~SWICH~ is now open on Irving, with customized sandwiches made with a variety of cookie and ice cream flavors, along with “toppings” for the sides of the sandwich. 2045 Irving St. at 22nd Ave, 415-592-8091.

Speaking of sweets in the Sunset, Eater caught the news of ~TWISTED DONUTS~. Husband-and-wife team Paul and Joyce Lim offers classics like old-fashioneds and glazed, along with hipper flavor combinations like mango, lemon and blueberry, and maple bacon available as daily specials. They’ve got coffee and housemade croissants too. 1243 Noriega St. at 20th Ave., 415-463-5437.

~CALIBUR~, the burger joint that moved into the former Market & Rye in West Portal, is now open, slinging organic burgers, fries, and shakes made with Three Twins ice cream. 68 West Portal Ave. at Vicente, no phone.

The ~BOBA GUYS~ have opened their second location, according to Chowhound. The new location is in Union Square, near the Stockton Street Tunnel, and to make things even easier for the downtown crowd, you can now order online for pickup. 429 Stockton St. at Bush, 415-967-2622.

And over on Treasure Island, ~ARACELY CAFE~ has now opened there after their move (you may remember them from Potrero Hill, in the Axis Cafe space). Their new island digs include a sweet patio space with bridge views, indoor/outdoor fireplaces, a chef’s garden, and a semi-enclosed courtyard. While they are serving brunch and lunch, it’s also a great event space: they host a bunch of private events (weddings, baby showers, and more), and some public events are coming up, including jazz, blues, music concerts, and wine tasting parties. Hours are Tue-Fri 11am-2pm, and Sat-Sun 10:30am-2:30pm. 401 13th St., Treasure Island, 415-694-0363.

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Adam Fleischman (Umami Burger) and Joshua Skenes (Saison) are getting ready to open a new fast-casual Chinese restaurant, ~FAT NOODLE~, this winter. It will be on Second Street at Mission in SoMa, and will offer hand-pulled noodles inspired by Szechuan and Shaanxi cuisine, along with other classic Chinese dishes. The casual service will also be speedy, with a choice of noodles, proteins, and vegetables, all served within three minutes and for less than $10. In addition to serving the lunchtime crowd, they will also offer late-night hours, until 2am. Look for an opening later this year or in early 2015. 92 2nd St. at Mission.

We’ve been tracking this space for a while now, and Eater caught the details on ~BUTTERMILK SOUTHERN KITCHEN~, opening in late October in the Mission. The space, which used to house a laundromat, comes from Miguel De Ocampo and partners, and will offer neighborhood-friendly Southern fare, including lunch, dinner, and brunch all day on Sundays. They’ll have beer and wine, along with some outdoor seating. 2848 23rd St. at Bryant.

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Matthew Bousqet at Per Diem. Photo courtesy Per Diem.

~PER DIEM~ has a new chef, Matthew Bousquet, previously of Michelin-starred Mirepoix in Windsor. He’s focused on keeping the food “simple and pure,” with almost everything made from scratch. The menu offers some decadent touches, including a bone marrow dish with escargot in Pernod butter ($12), crispy pork belly with roasted grapes, kale, quinoa, sage-pecan crumble, and Banyuls sauce ($12), and lamb sugo with tagliatelle, braised vegetables, and rosemary butter ($19). The classic bucatini bolognese all’arrabbiata remains on the menu, as well—take a peek at the dinner menu here. 43 Sutter St. at Sansome, 415-989-0300.

Back in July, I heard some rumblings that chef Bill Niles was leaving ~ST. VINCENT~, but when I reached out to confirm, I was told that the rumor was false. Wellllll, it wasn’t: Niles has left the restaurant (for now, he’s going to be working with Chris Kronner at his upcoming KronnerBurger, but that won’t be permanent). Scoop reports owner David Lynch has brought on John Thurmond, Nathan Holden, and Stephen Thorlton, a talented trio known collectively as The Other Guys (they have a pop-up), who will be acting like a kitchen team. This week, the restaurant is running more as a wine bar (read: limited food selections) while the kitchen ramps up, and look for a return to dinner service with their new menu on October 6th.

At Oakland’s ~PICÁN~, chef Robert Sapirman is now running the kitchen after Sophina Uong’s departure, East Bay Express reports. Sapirman, who previously worked at Hotel Valencia in San Jose and Vesu in Walnut Creek, hails from Florida and will continue to offer Southern food with an international bent. 2295 Broadway at 23rd St., Oakland, 510-834-1000.

Speaking of Sophina Uong, one of her post-Picán projects was consulting on the menu at ~CAPTAIN & CORSET~ in Oakland. However, East Bay Express reports that not only did Uong leave the project in July, but also that the wine bar and restaurant has closed. Apparently, there were some issues with the team and financial arrangements. No word on what may be moving into the space. 2212 Broadway at Grand, Oakland.

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The exterior of Tante Marie’s, future home of Parties That Cook. Photo from Facebook.

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Nachos from Green Chile Kitchen. Photo from Facebook.

Local businesses are branching out: first up, ~THE AMERICAN GRILLED CHEESE KITCHEN~ will be opening a third location in North Beach. Scoop reports they have a letter of intent for a new space at the corner of Broadway and Battery, expect an opening in mid-2015 or thereabouts.

Another ~SUPER DUPER~ will be coming to the El Faro on Kearny, look for an opening in spring 2015. 346 Kearny St. at Pine.

Adriano Paganini will also be busy opening a second location of the Marina’s ~DELAROSA~ in Yerba Buena Lane. The 100-seat space is aiming for spring 2015. 37 Yerba Buena Lane at Market.

Tipster Jason B. let us know there’s a second location of ~DRAGON EATS~ now in SoMa. The menu is similar to the Hayes Valley location, with banh mi, rolls, salads, and bowls. 555 Folsom St. at 2nd St., 415-795-1169.

Big congrats to Bibby Gignilliat and ~PARTIES THAT COOK~, who will be taking over the storied Tante Marie space on October 1st. It ends up Gignilliat is an alum of Tante Marie and is thrilled to have a permanent location for her corporate team-building events, parties, and cooking classes. She says of the move, “When Mary [Risley] called and offered me the keys to her space I was thrilled with the chance to take over the venue. The romantic look and feel of the building is filled with great karma from the culinary legends that have walked through her door. I’m very excited for our new permanent location and for the next chapter of Parties That Cook.” 

Look for an opening later this fall; Tante Marie’s last day in the space is October 1st.

Up in San Rafael, ~GREEN CHILE KITCHEN~ is opening a location in the former Odalisque Café & Grille, and aiming for October. The restaurant will be full service and everything will be made to order. There is a rotisserie, grill, and full kitchen, so GCK Marin will be adding some new dishes to the menu once they open—there won’t be traditional taqueria fare, but they’ll still offer some of the classics. There will also be cocktails! GCK owner Trevor Logan is partnering with Santa Fe native Ted Razatos on the project (Razatos’ family opened the highly acclaimed Plaza Cafe in downtown Santa Fe in 1947, the oldest restaurant in town). Follow along on Facebook for updates. 1335 Fourth St., San Rafael.

Now this expansion is pretty far afield: Chad Robertson will be opening a ~TARTINE BAKERY~ in Tokyo, how cool is that? Scoop reports it’s due to open in April and will feature Japanese grains, plus there will be sandwiches too. There’s also a brewery next door, so there will be some collaboration there as well.

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The pastrami sandwich from Wise Sons, now available for dinner. Yelp photo by J G.

It’s officially a (Jewish) new year, and ~WISE SONS DELI~ is celebrating by adding dinner service at their Mission location three nights a week, according to a tweet we spotted on Saturday. Scoop fills in that they’ll be open Thursdays through Saturdays from 5:30pm-10pm, serving sandwiches like their Reuben, all-day breakfast plates, and blue plates like braised brisket or latkes. They’re also offering full table service during dinner for the first time (this is an excellent development), but still no reservations. You can also order delivery via Caviar.

~GASPAR BRASSERIE~ is now offering Saturday lunch from 12pm-3pm. If you need a shopping pick-me-up, perhaps their Champagne julep and a cheese plate is just the thing to keep you going. Take a peek at the lunch menu here. They also have a new Sunday supper menu, served family style every Sunday from 5pm-10:30pm for $40 per person. Each week, a different dish is the centerpiece of the three-course meal, with roasted lamb leg this Sunday October 5th.

If you’re looking to, ahem, jazz up your Sunday brunch, check out the new live music from Gaucho at ~BOXING ROOM~ every Sunday from 11:30am-2:30pm. The brunch menu is served 11am-3pm, and reservations are available.

Looking for a new happy hour? ~FERRY PLAZA SEAFOOD~, which recently reopened in North Beach, is now offering happy hour specials Monday through Friday from 3:30pm-6pm (with last call at 5:30pm). The menu choices will change regularly, but you’ll find options like oysters ($7 for a half dozen and $12 for a dozen), cups of clam chowder ($4), salmon rillettes ($10), and grilled half artichoke ($4). Selected glasses of wine are $5, beer $4. 653 Union St. at Columbus, 415-274-2561.

Sadly, with their new locations coming to Tokyo and the Heath Ceramics building, ~BAR TARTINE~ will have to stop offering lunch. Chad Robertson will be using the space during the day for menu and recipe development, according to Eater. Weekend brunch will remain, though. Whew.

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The iconic sign at All Star Donuts. Yelp photo by Kevin Y.

We were very sad to learn that 24-hour mainstay ~ALL STAR DONUTS~ in the Marina closed on September 22nd after 28 years of business, according to Scoop. A note in the window states that they’ve lost their lease, though reportedly they may reopen in a new location. As for what will be moving into the corner space, Scoop reports that chain ~GLAZE TERIYAKI~ will be opening their second San Francisco location there in 2015. From glazed doughnuts to Glazed. 2095 Chestnut St. at Steiner.

Last month, Hoodline reported that ~HAYES & KEBAB~ would close at the end of September to make room for a large mixed-use construction project that includes residential units, a parking garage, and retail space. They served their last kebab on September 28th. The good news, though, is that they’ll be moving into the ground-floor space in 2016 when the building is completed. In the meantime, they’re planning a food truck at Proxy and even eyeing a space on Valencia at 20th Street. 580 Hayes St. at Laguna.

Speaking of late-night bites, it looks like ~ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK~ has closed their Castro location. Their other five locations remain open, and Marcello’s is still slinging slices up the street. H/t Scoop. 508 Castro St. at 18th St.

Hoodline notes that there are some changes afoot at Second Act Marketplace on Haight. ~HIGH COTTON KITCHEN~ has moved to a space in Oakland, and ~SPICE HOUND~ has closed because the owner, Tammy Tan, is expecting a child and will now be focusing on online and wholesale sales. Of the two spots left vacant, one is being filled by Hayes Valley-based catering operation ~CRÊPE LA VIE~ from Emilie Le Pessot, Hoodline reports. The menu will offer eight to ten options, half of them savory crêpes made with buckwheat flour (galettes in the maison!), and the other half sweet ones made with unbleached pastry flour. Toppings will change with the seasons, but look for ham and cheese, smoked salmon, salted caramel, and chocolate with orange; you can see Le Pessot’s current menu here. The plan is to open in October. 1727 Haight St. at Cole.

Over in Oakland, East Bay Express reports that ~UME~ is no more, after taking over the Plum space only four months ago. The Daniel Patterson Group has, well, regrouped yet again, and the space will essentially become an extension of next door’s ~PLUM BAR~. The sense seems to be that a casual, less expensive option will be a better fit for the neighborhood, despite Ume’s good reviews. 2214 Broadway at Franklin, Oakland, 510-444-7586.

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The bar at Hecho. Photo via Facebook.

Just a couple of things to note in your brain files: first, after a public outcry and offense over the name “Bandidos,” the newly opened Mexican restaurant on Market Street has now changed its name to ~HECHO~. (Yes, there used to be an Hecho downtown, where Gaspar is now, but this new one is not related.) You can read a statement from the owners about the name change on their Facebook page. Now, let’s eat some short rib quesadillas. 2200 Market St. at Sanchez, 415-926-5630.

Next, the upcoming project from Brett Cooper and Daniel Patterson Group in the former Beast and the Hare location in the Mission will be called ~ASTER~. Scoop reports they are aiming to open at the end of the year. 1001 Guerrero St. at 22nd St.

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The Gaggia at Iron & Steam. Photo from Facebook.

Some coffee news for you around town because, hey, caffeination is important. We have mentioned ~PINHOLE COFFEE~ before, and they are now open in Bernal. The owner is JoEllen Depakakibo, previously of Blue Bottle, and Bernalwood reports she is using Linea Caffe beans. You can read more on Sprudge here. Rainbow stripes! Hours are Mon-Fri 6:30am-5pm and Sat-Sun 7:30am-5pm. 231 Cortland Ave. at Bonview.

Over in Dogpatch is the new ~DIGNITÀ~, which opened in the Invention Hub coworking space—people seem fired up on the seating options. There are also a variety of goodies available, from cookies to quick breads. In case the name seems familiar, this is the same café that is opening in The Hall as well. 2225 3rd St. at 19th St.

Was sorry to read on Chowhound ~IRON & STEAM ESPRESSO BAR~ and their gorgeous Gaggia machine have packed up and are no longer operating out of the Hi Lo Club’s window on Polk. 1423 Polk St. at Pine.

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Massimo Battura. Photo from Facebook.

The crush of fall book releases is upon us, with all kinds of cookbooks and restaurant vanity books to keep us well fed, inspired, and informed in the coming months. ~OMNIVORE BOOKS~ just released their list of upcoming fall events, packed with visits from locals like Thomas McNaughton (Flour + Water has their new book out) and Alder Yarrow talking wine, and Tony Gemignani talking pizza. There will also be some great visitors, from Renee Erickson (from Seattle restaurants like The Whale Wins) to Alexander Lobrano, whose second edition of Hungry for Paris was a great resource on my recent trip. Oh yeah, and there’s a party for Yotam Ottolenghi!

One more Omnivore event to note: next Thursday October 9th, ~TOSCA CAFE~ is hosting a party for Italian chef Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana to celebrate his new cookbook, Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef. The party is 5pm-8pm; a $55 ticket includes wine, cocktails, and passed canapés inspired by recipes in the book (but please note it doesn’t include the book, you gotta get that separately).

There’s also quite a lineup of chefs coming to speak at INFORUM, including Flour + Water’s Thomas McNaughton with MythBusters host Adam Savage on October 6th, Mario Batali with Tyler Florence on November 1st, and Marcus Samuelsson with Nikki Silvestri on November 3rd.  

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The front window of the upcoming La Snackeria. Photo from Facebook.

East Bay Dish has the story on the new project from Tina Tamale, who has been running Tina Tamale Catering. It’s called ~LA SNACKERIA~ and will offer “Chino Latino” food, like quesadillas with Oaxacan cheese and char siu-style pork, and boba frescas, or aguas frescas with tapioca. There will also be a large selection of salads made with local produce, and desserts and snacks from other local spots like Tart! Bakery. The project was partially funded by a Kiva loan, and after she opens the shop, Tina hopes to become a loan trustee and endorse loans for other small local businesses. Rock on, Tina! 815 Washington St. at 8th St., Oakland.

~A16 ROCKRIDGE~ is now offering an early morning and afternoon café service, with coffee from partner roaster Scarlet City Coffee Roasting. During breakfast and lunch, you can get Italian-style coffee and espresso, along with savory and sweet pastries like sfogliatelle, zeppole, and pizzas for takeout or dine-in. Free Wi-Fi will be available, as well. The café set-up will be offered Mon-Fri 7am-3pm and Sat-Sun 9am-3pm.

We’ve been tracking this one on Facebook for a while now, and it looks like it’s going to open this Friday October 3rd. ~DIVING DOG BREWHOUSE~ from owner Rob Bailard is a microbrewery opening in Oakland. With 30 taps, they will be serving their own beers plus many from other breweries. In addition, they’ve got a cool workshop element: groups will be able to come in and brew beer on-site using a variety of customizable recipes. After fermenting for a couple of weeks, you come back, bottle your beer, label it, and take it home. There isn’t a kitchen, just snacks, plus all that beer. 1802 Telegraph Ave. at 18th St., Oakland, 510-457-1148.