April 21, 2015

April 21, 2015

And so it begins… Photo: taken by our charming server!


A view of the dining room facing the kitchen. Photo: Wes Rowe.


The “deviled egg.” Photo: © tablehopper.com.


Chilled squid ink noodles at Octavia. Photo: © tablehopper.com.


Toast with warm ricotta. Photo: © tablehopper.com.


Paccheri with clams. Photo: © tablehopper.com.


Looking toward the front of Octavia. Photo: Wes Rowe.

San Francisco is already so fortunate to have the talented Melissa Perello and her restaurant Frances in our collection of culinary crown jewels, and now there is another ruby to add: ~OCTAVIA~. The corner location dates back to the 19th century, and was home to the Meetinghouse, the first Quince, and later Baker & Banker. Now, with the awnings taken down and the heavy carpeting and dark woods removed, it’s an airy and light-filled space. The dining room is larger than Frances and has a variety of seating options, from the more intimate tables in the corners to tables with a view of the open kitchen in the back. There are tall industrial black shelves used as partial dividers, reminding me a bit of a feature I love at Alta. The flower arrangements and display on the wall (from The Petaler) add to the natural attractiveness of the room.

The feeling is immediately comfortable and welcoming, with beautifully patterned wood tables (the wood was reclaimed from attorney Melvin Belli’s home, I hear), nubby cotton pillows on the banquettes, perfect warm lighting emitting from the droplights…the room hits the right notes of American design: a bit Shaker, rustic-chic, and farmhouse residential. Kudos to Michael Baushke of Apparatus Architecture on this transformation. Oh, and private dining will return to the downstairs soon.

Perello is having fun with this menu, and while it’s still rooted in her own breed of Cali cuisine, she is expanding the flavor profiles and presentation to a style that feels very au courant here. You will find an array of small plates, like chilled squid ink noodles ($6) covered with a flurry of Cortez bottarga. And it wouldn’t be an SF menu without some toast ($5): hers is so pretty, the buttery and golden Josey Baker levain spread with charred spring onion purée and warm housemade ricotta, with sprigs of cress on top.

Egg lovers will gravitate toward the spicy “deviled egg” ($4), the creamy yolk runs into a bed of Fresno chile relish and is covered in a blend of chiles and sesame—it reminded me of Istanbul with its notes of Marash and cumin. Grilled beef tongue ($8) in a bone marrow broth, just yes. You should just cover your table with a bunch of these plates, order one of beverage director Paul Einbund’s vermouth cocktails, and call it a party. Your eyes will be enchanted, your palate abundantly compensated.

True appetizer-sized plates include a vibrant green garlic fumet ($9) made with halibut, and Melissa’s salads are always on point, like one with Bloomsdale spinach ($11), toasted walnut vinaigrette, and Piave Vecchio. Her pasta dish is currently paccheri ($13) loaded with plump clams, shaved garlic, and fennel pollen pangrattato (you want to get this, trust). Larger plates run from stuffed quail to perfectly cooked spring lamb to halibut ($24-$28) and a dry-aged rib-eye (AQ).

Desserts from pastry chef Sarah Bonar are abundant and include a playful creamsicle float with housemade Meiwa kumquat soda ($8) and a toasted fennel pollen genoise ($8) with Albion strawberries and Meyer lemon sherbet, plus three more that will give you pause. Don’t forget the list of Madeiras, either.

We only came in on night three, and were so impressed with the depth of flavors, the balance, and dialed seasoning we found in our feast. Dishes are refined but approachable and rooted—it’s like the elevated home cooking of your dreams, kind of how you’d imagine a French-trained chef would cook at their California cabin on a weekend off. How can something be casual and soigné at the same time? Perello hits it.

Everything is served on gorgeous pottery by Sarah Kersten, who custom made the pieces for the restaurant, joined by well-selected mismatched silver. Service is warm and attentive—regulars will recognize some Frances servers on the floor. The wine list is definitely larger, with plenty of inspired selections for you in all budgets (if you want to go deep and rare, you can here), and is primarily a love letter from Europe. It’s everything you want in a neighborhood restaurant. The experience is so soulful, and leaves you so very content and feeling quite lucky to live in San Francisco. Because we are.

Reservations are recommended, and there will also be seats reserved for walk-ins. Dinner nightly 5pm-10:30pm.


The dining room at Aatxe. Photo: Charlie Villyard.


Pinxtos flight. Photo: Charlie Villyard.


Patatas bravas. You really should order these. Photo: © tablehopper.com.


Your new late-night dish: Spanish fried rice. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

On Friday April 17th, ~AATXE~ (say “aah-CHAY”) opened on the ground floor of the Swedish American Hall and Cafe du Nord, a project in conjunction with the Ne Timeas Restaurant Group and the Bon Vivants. This Spanish- and Basque-inspired restaurant has chef Ryan Pollnow at the helm (he was previously the chef de cuisine at Central Kitchen), and you can expect some Cali flair and ingredients to be integrated in the dishes. Pollnow has traveled and cooked in the Basque Country and is inspired to re-create the region’s convivial feeling around food.

The space is designed to be communal and energetic and is divided into two areas. First there’s the bar, with a marble top and comfortable stools in cordovan with bent cane backs, where you will find some of the Bon Vivants magic, sporting a selection of aperitivos ($10) and cocktails ($12, or $43 in a carafe for your party of four). The Rooster’s Song (Lustau gran reserva brandy, Cappelletti, Byrrh, and tomato tincture) was a deep vermilion, and about as spiritous as a Negroni—a beautiful start. There’s a Big gin and tonic on tap, and wait until you see the back of the menu with the color wheel of gins available. Drink up and make Nick and Nora proud.

There’s a communal table in the back, with tile on the walls that give it the old-world vibe of some of the cool spaces I saw in Lisbon. The second room is where you’ll see the open kitchen, surrounded with eight stools, and then there’s a 50-seat dining room with its classic and handsome look (a white oak herringbone-patterned floor, banquettes, classic bistro chairs, copper-topped tables, and chic trapezoidal light fixtures). Throughout the space you’ll find some ledges where you can stand (and wait). The design is by Claro Design/Stellah De Ville. It took me a little bit to figure out where all this ground-floor space came from: it was formerly the café, and the bar area was where some offices were. Hopefully this helps you feeling less puzzled than I was when you first walk in.

Pollnow’s menu starts with an array of pintxos like borage leaf croquettes and a classic gilda (a spear of anchovy, olive, and a green bean in this case)—you can get all four for $11. (I’d love it if the kitchen sent out platters of them to the bar area for spontaneous snacking.) I’d recommend a sherry for these dishes, and there are also some conservas (mussels escabeche, etc.) that would also play nicely with the aperitivos. There’s housemade charcuterie, like the spicy lomo and a chorizo dark with guajillo chile, and a few Spanish cheeses.

Tapas-sized plates include tender gambas (shrimp) in garlicky oil ($13) and double-fried patatas bravas ($8.50), which turned me around on a dish I have long ago stopped ordering. Pollnow’s version completely rocks. And the Spanish fried rice ($14) shows the kitchen’s playfulness in a dish that is going to become my new late-night craving: diced chorizo, rapini, and salt cod tortilla are mixed into this rice, and it had great texture, almost like a paella’s socarrat. There are some larger cazuelas (lamb albondigas and pork cheek with morcilla chickpeas), $22-$24. There will also be a dessert each night (we had a very pretty crema Catalana) or you can go for their Spanish coffee with rum and cream.

The varied wine selections include a number of smaller Spanish producers, with lots of whites, and range from the delicate to the bold. You’ll be in good hands for pairings.

Dinner Sun-Thu 5:30pm-11pm and Fri-Sat 5:30pm-12am. Reservations and walk-ins welcome. 2170 Market St. at Sanchez, 415-471-2977.

Just a quick note: I hear the downstairs Cafe du Nord space is coming along, and they hope to open the bar in a month or so. There will be a different menu than Aatxe, more American in style—we’ll have details on it all soon.


The new home of Marlowe Burger. Photo by Patricia Chang.


The Marlowe burger, with fries of course. Photo by Eric Wolfinger.

A report by Dana Eastland. ~MARLOWE BURGER~ from the Marlowe team is now open, in the original Marlowe space—just look for the spray-painted “burger” on the sign. As previously reported, Jennifer Puccio, James Nicholas, and Anna Weinberg moved Marlowe from Townsend to the former Coco 500 space, and originally had plans to open a burger window at the new location, serving burgers and fries to go. However, construction on 4th Street has been so intense and demand has been so high that they decided to open Marlowe Burger instead.

It’s styled like a fast-food restaurant, with lots of steel, bright pops of red, and burgers served in fun foil bags with graphic check boxes indicating the contents. They even have chicken nuggets ($10) with the same slightly fluffy textured meat of the Happy Meal childhood fave. You order at the counter and can get your goods to go or dine on a stool at one of the counters or the communal table.

The menu is tightly edited, with their classic burger ($10.50), a kid’s version ($8), a fried chicken sandwich ($10.50), and some non-sandwich items including fries ($4) and deviled eggs ($2 each). The beer and wine license is in full force, with wines available by the glass (one white, one red, one rosé, all $8 a glass) and beers in cans (prices range from $5 to $7), including selections from 21st Amendment and Anchor.

The doors officially opened on Monday April 20th, and hours are Mon 11am-3pm, Tue-Fri 11am-9pm, Sat 5pm-10pm, closed Sun. 330 Townsend St. at 4th St., 415-974-5599.


Upstairs seating at Tony’s Slice House. Photo courtesy of Slice House.


A classic slice from Slice House. Photo courtesy of Slice House.


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

We reported that Tony Gemignani was opening a ~SLICE HOUSE~ on 2nd Street, in the former Ironside, and look at that, it’s now open!

The 49-seat, bi-level loft location really didn’t change much, but the menu is definitely all new. You can come by for slices (New York, Sicilian, and grandma-style), and there is also a whole section of the menu dedicated to artisan ancient-grain pizzas (a blend of Tony’s 00 flour, spelt, semolina, sprouted grain, and whole wheat)—available in a 13-inch size—and there’s an ancient-grain pasta salad, too, made with Khorasan wheat. There are a couple of housemade pasta options (bucatini, gemelli), salads, and some apps like chicken wings and coccoli (fried dough balls with salumi and burrata, oh yeah).

It’s worth noting that during baseball games, Slice House will offer a limited menu of slices and sandwiches, all ready for takeout, returning to a full menu post-game. The restaurant will also stay open late after evening games to accommodate fans. Open for breakfast (with a stuffed breakfast sandwich on the menu, with eggs, cheddar, and mozzarella with choice of prosciutto, bacon, or sausage—or onion and sautéed mushroom), lunch, and dinner 8am-10pm daily; brunch service will begin in early May. Beer and wine are also available, plus you can order delivery through Caviar (that link will hook up first-time users with $15 off your order, FYI!). 680 2nd St. at Townsend, 415-872-9680.

An ABC permit filing hit the wires for ~DEL POPOLO~, and sure enough, Jon Darsky is going to be opening a brick-and-mortar companion to his shipping container pizzeria on wheels. Inside Scoop confirms Darsky plans to open the location later this year, and he’ll be adding some other dishes like antipasti and salads too. With Stookey’s Club Moderne conveniently a half block away, this will be the perfect one-two night! 855 Bush St. at Taylor.


Jars of housemade preserves line the walls at Buttermilk Southern Kitchen. Photo: Dana Eastland. © tablehopper.com.


Taps and the bar menu at Buttermilk. Photo: Dana Eastland. © tablehopper.com.

A report from Dana Eastland. As we noted in September, the corner of 23rd Street and Bryant is about to get a new spot: ~BUTTERMILK SOUTHERN KITCHEN~. It comes from partners Miguel de Ocampo and Jaime Chavez, who met in culinary school. I had a chance to chat with de Ocampo this week and got some updates on their plans.

The space, a former laundromat, will be softly opening today, Tuesday April 21st. De Ocampo is quick to point out that not only is he a San Francisco native, but they also want the restaurant to fit well within the neighborhood. Almost all dishes are less than $18, and many are less than $10, and they’ve made an effort to hire from within the neighborhood, including a former employee of the laundromat. This is understandable, since they’ve already been tagged with anti-gentrification graffiti and want to avoid some of the drama that befell nearby Local’s Corner.

As the name suggests, Buttermilk is all about Southern food, with starters like a chicken liver pâté served with housemade pickles and marmalade ($8); barbecued prawns with seasonal succotash ($10); and potato chips with pimento cheese dip ($6). For entrées, look for an oxtail hash ($15); chicken and waffles ($14); and a smoked and smothered pork chop ($21). They also have a selection of sides, including mac and cheese ($6); biscuits ($5); and whipped sweet potatoes with goat cheese ($5). As for brunch, some of the same dishes make an appearance, along with a breakfast sandwich ($8); several Benedict varieties ($13-$17); and shrimp and grits ($16). Most items are made in-house, including house-cured bacon and the housemade pickles and preserves that line the walls.

They’ll be open for lunch and dinner during the week, and weekend brunch is in the works. There’s ample outdoor seating, as well as a comfortable bar with eight beers on tap (including selections from Abita, Coronado, and North Coast), wine, and sweet tea. For now, hours are Mon-Fri lunch 10am-5pm, dinner 5pm-10pm, Sat-Sun brunch 9am-3pm and dinner 5pm-10pm. They’re currently softly open, though, so those hours may change according to demand. It’s advised to give a call before heading over. The grand opening should come in a few weeks. 2848 23rd St. at Bryant, 415-341-1031.


The sign at Spice Jar. Photo: Dana Eastland. © tablehopper.com.

It looks like there is a taker for the former Local’s Corner space, which closed late last year. It’s called ~THE SPICE JAR~ according to a note in the window of the restaurant, and comes from owner Ryuichi Hamada.

They’ll be serving pan-Asian comfort food, with an emphasis on local ingredients. Think noodles, rice, and spices like garlic, ginger, and chiles, but locally sourced. Details are a bit limited at the moment, but we hear they are planning to open at the end of May. The space is currently papered over, but it sounds like a quick turnaround. They do, however, plan to add a hood to the kitchen so they can have access to a stove, which will be new for the space. We’ll keep you updated. 2500 Bryant St. at 23rd St., 415-829-3668.


Liz Prueitt and Chad Robertson of Tartine Bakery and Manufactory. Photo by Eric Wolfinger.

A report by Dana Eastland. The big news this week is a major merger of two of San Francisco’s biggest players in artisanal products: Blue Bottle and Tartine Bakery. The two businesses both trace their roots to 2002, when Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt opened Tartine and James Freeman started selling his coffee beans. Now, Tartine will become part of Blue Bottle, but will maintain its identity as an independent entity, with Robertson as CEO. Prueitt will remain executive pastry chef. In addition to the upcoming project in the Heath building in the Mission and the new partnership between the two brands in Tokyo, they will also be expanding to Los Angeles and New York (did you just hear the cheers nationwide?). In the coming months, Tartine will begin serving Blue Bottle coffee exclusively, and Blue Bottle will incorporate Tartine breads and pastry into their menus.

As for what this all means, obviously some are already concerned with what this kind of growth can mean for a place as artisanal as Tartine. But it’s also exciting to think about how two such quintessentially Bay Area companies can help each other grow and take our local values global. This also has the potential to be huge for Tartine employees, who will now have different opportunities to grow with the company that wouldn’t have been available before.

The other piece of exciting news here is that ~BAR TARTINE~ is being sold to head chefs Nicolaus Balla and Cortney Burns. Rather than try to keep the restaurant within the larger company, Robertson and Prueitt decided to sell to the pair, according to The New York Times. Congratulations to everyone involved, and we look forward to seeing how these businesses grow.

This being San Francisco, there is plenty more news in coffee land too. Hoodline reports that ~REPOSE COFFEE~ has opened on Divisadero. This is the second location for the café, which has another location in Sebastopol. They are serving Ritual coffee and a small food menu of salads, panini, and gluten-free quesadillas, with pastries coming soon. They also have beer and wine. Hours are Mon-Fri 7am-4pm, Sat 8am-6pm, Sun 9am-4pm. 262 Divisadero St. at Haight, 415-874-9110.

It looks like the ~PHILZ~ empire is growing, with a location in 5 Embarcadero Center. Hoodline reports that permits for construction have been filed for a space in the building, though no one at Philz is talking about the exact location or their plans, so we’ll just have to keep an eye on this one. 5 Embarcadero Center at Market.

Did you know that local chef Dennis Leary started roasting his own coffee beans? He did! His microroasting operation is called Aleph Coffee, and Sprudge has a fun interview with him on learning to roast; he even hints at a possible café someday.


The exterior of the former Dell’Uva. Yelp photo by Jk.

Teague Kernan of Tupelo has a new project in North Beach, called ~BELLE CORA~, opening in the former Dell’Uva space. The name refers to the novel by Phillip Margulies about a notorious madam from the 19th century, and Kernan says the restaurant “will be a comfortable, inviting place to come share drinks and food.” Chef John Kenner’s menu will focus on lighter dishes, with an emphasis on vegetable-driven preparations (he’s vegan). Don’t worry, though, they’ll play nice with meatier items, too, and everything will be designed for sharing. The wine list features about 25 bottles from consultant Paulina Krol, and it’s intended to be approachable and affordable. Craft beers will also figure prominently.

The space has been designed with assistance from Julie Brown of Re:Design and will be warm and inviting, with some nods to the neighborhood’s history and old-world ambience. They will be taking full advantage of the restaurant’s great outdoor seating, too—sidewalk tables will definitely be available. The plan is to open in early June, but they are realistic about how long construction and permits may take. 565 Green St. at Columbus.

Hoodline caught the details on ~ACQUOLINA~, the new project moving into the former Café Divine space. It comes from a trio of Italians from Livorno—Rutilio Duràn (who you may recognize from C’era Una Volta Ristorante Italiano in Alameda), Marco Marianelli, and Dario Nicotra—and will be serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. They’ll have eggs and a breakfast pizza in the mornings, with pizza and pasta at lunch. At dinner, you’ll also find meat and seafood plates. The wine list is mostly Italian, with selections priced for everyday consumption as well as special occasion choices. They’ve got a special stone-lined oven for pizza and an imported Stylema machine for espresso. They want to appeal to a broad range of diners, including families with kids and those looking for a date night. The bar is having some adjustments made to it so it will be easier to dine at. They’re currently planning to open the first week of May. 1600 Stockton St. at Union.


Pupusas from Los Panchos. Yelp photo by Jose U.


The retro fabulous counter at Orphan Andy’s. Photo: © tablehopper.com.


Just try saying no to this pork chop at Vietnam Restaurant after a night on the town. Yelp photo by Debbie L.

Last week, one of my posts for Refinery 29 (The Best Late-Night Spots—Courtesy of Bay Area Night Owls) went live, but unfortunately the editors had to cut some content from my original piece. I am including the people and pieces that got cut here, because there were too many great contributors and fab ideas for late-night eats for me to let them stay on the cutting room floor!

As you (hopefully) know, I have a late-night dining app, with 95 places open past 11pm in SF! While I am trying to get a new app developer so I can update it with all the very latest and greatest spots, there are still a bunch of classic and tasty places on there, so check it out!

Thanks to everyone who took the time to share your favorite spots with me! Thanks for doing your part to support our late-night dining scene. See you on the town!

Name: Sonya Molodetskaya
Profession: Fashion advocate, writer for Haute Living magazine, eats out every night
Late-Night Spot: Gem in the Financial District—Louie’s Bar (55 Stevenson St. at 1st St.)
3-4 sentences on why you like it/what you order:
Hidden in the alley, which makes this place intimate, especially in a late hour. Open till 2am and food is served till 1am. Brick interior with great photographs on the walls make this place charming with a twist. Classic bar food, famous for potato skins, fries, and burgers. Great choice of beers. Superchill bartenders and friendly crowd. Did I mention it’s next door to where I live?!

Name: Jeffrey Paradise
Profession: Record Player, half of daytime disco group Poolside
Late-Night Spot: Los Panchos (3206 Mission St. at Fair)
3-4 sentences on why you like it/what you order:
For me, this is hands down my favorite late-night food spot; as far as I can tell there isn’t any competition (though I wish there was). I order two cheese pupusas with rice and beans. The pupusas are good, the curtido is great, the superspicy watery salsa is somehow perfect when you’re drunk, the ladies who work there are awesome and don’t give a fuck about you unless you speak a little Spanish, the music is typically blasting, the decor is very festive, etc. It seems like a lot of service industry people who work at Latin bars and clubs and mariachi guys come here after work. I’ve been there when the whole restaurant erupts in song to the banda-type music blasting.

Name: Dottie Lux
Profession: Burlesque performer and producer
Late-Night Spot: King of Thai Noodle (multiple locations)
3-4 sentences on why you like it/what you order:
After a night of telling dirty jokes and watching tassels swing I work up quite a hunger. Red Hots Burlesque has four shows a week all over SF and we are always near enough to a King of Thai Noodle. I love that the food here is always fresh and delicious—the hardest part is deciding what to order. I’m a Pisces, so decisions are hard in general, luckily this SF restaurant chain accommodates my ever-changing moods. Noodle, rice, beef, vegetarian; they’ve got it all. The portions are large and sharing dishes is easy. Large and easy; yep, this is the place for me.

Name: Melissa Perfit
Profession: Executive Chef, Bar Crudo
Late-Night Spot: Vietnam Restaurant (620 Broadway at Grant)
3-4 sentences on why you like it/what you order:
I love this spot because it stays open till 3am and serves solid Vietnamese food to ease a drunken hungry stomach. A big bowl of pho and some spring rolls are my favorites. You might have to wait 30 minutes for your food, but there’s no shortage of drunken characters to keep you entertained while you wait. The owners of this hole in the wall take no shit while they dish out food into the wee hours.

Name: Mika Takeuchi
Profession: Creator of Food Fashionista + Digital Media Marketing Consultant
Late-Night Spot: Nopa (560 Divisadero at Hayes) 3-4 sentences on why you like it/what you order:
Nopa is an obvious late-night choice because it’s consistent, solid, and always satisfies. In the wee hours when your dining choices usually consist of greasy mystery meals, I like that Nopa offers high-quality local ingredients and a variety of meat and vegetable dishes. The wood-baked giant white beans dish is a favorite, along with the smoked trout and grass-fed cheeseburger. And I’m guilty of never leaving without ordering a dessert…or two. The chocolate pot de crème with a touch of sea salt and olive oil is always a sweet way to end the evening.

Name: Marke Bieschke Profession: Publisher, 48hills.org
Late-Night Spot: Orphan Andy’s (3991 17th St. at Castro)
3-4 sentences on why you like it/what you order:
Despite an insane party schedule, I hardly ever go out in the Castro. But the cheap diner is a dying breed in SF. And a 24-hour one, staffed by men in kilts, frying up a juicy double cheeseburger with a fried egg on top, served by itself on a little plate? Pretty much extinct. So I’ll make the trek. (Sometimes I even wake up in the middle of the night and go.)

Name: Donovan Unks (or The Dapper Diner)
Profession: Cancer Research or Semi-Professional Eater and Professional Liver Abuser
Late-Night Spot: Vietnam Restaurant (620 Broadway at Grant)
3-4 sentences on why you like it/what you order:
I like drinking in North Beach, and late night usually means 2:30am, so lucky for me, Vietnam is open until 3am. While most people go for a burger at the packed Sam’s next door, I duck into Vietnam to watch the old grandma cooking on the grill, because she has to know what she’s doing, right? It doesn’t matter, because I’m too drunk to care. I’ll go with the grilled pork over rice (com thit nuong), crispy imperial rolls (cha gio), barbecued pork banh mi, or beef ball pho, and pray I have money since it’s cash only.


Tea leaf salad from Rangoon Ruby. Yelp photo by Andrew W.

As we reported back in February, local mini-chain ~RANGOON RUBY~ took over the former Sushi Rock space on Polk Street. According to Chowhounds, the space is now open, serving Burmese staples like tea leaf salad, noodles, and stews. You can peruse the menu right here. 1608 Polk St. at Sacramento, 415-610-4333.

Hayes Valley’s ~OTORO SUSHI~ (noisy link warning) is moving to larger digs, according to Hoodline. It turns out that owner Jimmy Shen has been looking for a larger space for a while now, and when neighbors Bai Thong Thai decided it was time to retire, he nabbed the space on Gough. Sushi chef Fukuji Sugai will stay onboard through the move as well. No word yet on an exact timeline or who might be moving into the original Otoro space. 205 Oak St. at Gough, 415-553-3986.

In February, we reported on the opening of ~TAVARES~ in the Mason space in Potrero. Now, Eater has additional details of the colorful restaurant, including fun photos. This is the San Francisco outpost of the café, which also has a location in São Paolo. 300 De Haro St. at 16th St., 415-558-9461.


Jersey, looking toward the front of the restaurant. © tablehopper.com.

~LOCAL MISSION EATERY~ has made some changes to their menu’s format, Eater reports. Sister bakery Knead Patisserie, which is located in the back of the restaurant, is now running the show during weekday lunch. You’ll find hand pies, savory pastries, salads, and sandwiches at lunch. In the evenings, Local Mission has a newly revamped menu with a new focus on small dishes and snacking, with many items less than $10. They’re also now offering a tasting menu for $58 per person. It starts with a selection of snacks, followed by six courses. A vegetarian option is also available.

According to an announcement on Instagram, pizza shop ~JERSEY~ is now offering breakfast. Monday through Friday from 7am to 10am you can try their breakfast items, including a pizza with eggs and a choice of smoked salmon or prosciutto, a breakfast sandwich, and yogurt with seasonal fruit and granola. 145 2nd St. at Minna, 415-912-1502.


A report by Dana Eastland: Do you like a good road trip? What about one that involves delicious food stops along the way? Yep, me too! Don’t miss Brigit Binns’s latest book, Sunset Eating Up the West Coast. It’s all about great routes to take for those who like to eat while they travel, and includes fun pictures, hot tips, and fun photos of Ms. Binns and her darling pooch, Stella, on their travels.

I actually had a chance to check it out during a recent road trip to Portland (accompanied by my own black and white pup, no less), and it’s a handy, handsome guide. We ended up having an excellent seafood feast based on the book’s recommendations—but more on that later. The book will be released on Tuesday April 28th. Then, on Saturday May 2nd, Ms. Binns and Stella will be at Book Passage in the Ferry Building from 12:30pm to 1:30pm to celebrate California Bookstore Day. Ferry Building Plaza at Embarcadero, 415-835-1020.


The KoJa combo from KoJa Kitchen. Yelp photo by Keerati C.

Changes are afoot at ~PUBLIC MARKET EMERYVILLE~, which is currently undergoing major renovation. Two new food tenants have signed onto the space’s newly revamped food hall, ~KOJA KITCHEN~ and ~SHIBA RAMEN~. (For more information on Shiba, check out this great article from East Bay Express on the owners.) The food hall’s renovation includes new design elements like reclaimed wood, tile, rolled steel panels, and a living wall, in addition to a new children’s play area. The renovations should be completed in late summer. 5959 Shellmound St. at 59th St., Emeryville, 510-652-9300.

Berkeleyside Nosh reports that a new diner is opening in Oakland’s Laurel District, called ~SEQUOIA DINER~. It’s opening in the former Full House Café space and is from partners Andrew Vennari and Sequoia Broderson, who both have restaurant experience at places like Camino and Duende. The restaurant will highlight housemade items, like sausage, bacon, bread, pastries, and jam, and local products will be featured. They’ll be open daily for breakfast and lunch, from 8am to 2pm, and plan to open this spring. 3719 MacArthur Blvd. at Loma Vista, Oakland, 510-482-3719.