November 3, 2015

November 3, 2015
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Ayumi and Kiyoshi Hayakawa at the entrance of their new place, Sushi An. Photo via Facebook.

We reported that former Koo owner and sushi chef Kiyoshi Hayakawa appeared to be opening a project in the Ino location in Japantown based on ABC license activity, and now we can confirm that’s the case thanks to this follow-up post on Chowhound. ~SUSHI AN~ is open as of last week, with Kiyoshi’s wife Ayumi running the front of house.

The Edomae-style menu offers omakase for $80, 12 pieces of omakase nigiri for $75, and a menu of 7 courses of nigiri and kanpyo maki (made with a calabash) for $50. There are individual nigiri selections, and obviously whatever is in season (both locally and at Tsukiji) will be featured. There’s also a catch of the day menu, with a mix of cold and hot selections.

According to the website, An means “a modest cottage where in old times monks and artists rest and spend a peaceful time being isolated from the rest of the world.” They want to create a cozy place that will make their guests feel relaxed and like they are hidden away “somewhere in old downtown Tokyo that makes you right at home no matter where you come from.” This is one counter I can’t wait to visit soon. Beer and sake are available, plus a few wines. Open Tue-Thu 5:30pm-10pm and Fri-Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm. Japan Center East Mall, Upper Level, 22 Peace Plaza #510, 415-292-4886.

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Uni spaghetti. Photo courtesy of Spaghetti Bros.

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The interior of Spaghetti Bros. Photo by Michael David Rose Photography, courtesy of UrbanDaddy.

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Negroni. Photo courtesy of Spaghetti Bros.

Opening tonight is ~SPAGHETTI BROS.~, the new project we mentioned was coming to the Marina from former Bix and Fog City chefs Erik Lowe and Aaron Toensing.

Their menu is playful and innovative, adding seasonal NorCal ingredients, technique, and refinement to many classic American dishes. You can start with Aaron’s garlic bread, or toasted ravioli and marinara, moving on to a chopped salad, clam linguine with Jimmy Nardello peppers, and spaghetti with uni butter. (But then there’s the orecchiette mac and cheese, with New York cheddar Mornay, and green chile salsa.) You can ramp up with a half chicken, duck breast scallopini, and Swedish meatballs, plus there’s are a couple of large-format table options, too, like a 16-oz. Flannery dry-aged prime New York steak with creamed spinach-delicata squash gratin, l’entrecôte sauce, and rosemary frites.

They’re making all the pasta in-house, and their Josper Grill (a charcoal-fueled oven and grill that can sustain temperatures above 650°F) will be getting a workout. Toensing will be rocking the desserts with housemade gelato, spumoni, and a Hatch green chile-apple pie with a cheddar cheese-flecked crust; here’s the dessert menu.

The bar features some cocktail classics (Boulevardier, La Floridita daiquiri), with Negroni variations as a highlight (courtesy of GM and bar director William Sanders, also a Bix alum). The wine list strikes a good balance between quality and value with both old- and new-world selections, but if you want to bust out with some Bollinger, you can do that too.

The former Republic bar has been given quite the overhaul by designer Michael Guthrie and architect Mark Topetcher. There are four areas: a bar, lounge, main dining room, and private dining room, with seats for 120 in all. There’s a 20-seat, copper-topped bar, red leather banquettes with plaid upholstered backs, an elevated lounge with mocha leather banquettes, and the 50-seat dining room has classic white tablecloths and Thonet bentwood chairs with beige leather seats and tartan upholstered backs.

Hours for the bar are 4:30pm-11pm, with the restaurant open 5:30pm-11pm. Look for some additions to come, like a daytime sandwich shop. 3213 Scott St. at Lombard, 415-400-8500.

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The dining room at Barcha. Photo courtesy of Barcha.

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Chopped salad. Photo courtesy of Barcha.

We’ve been tracking this project since the beginning of the year, and now ~BARCHA~ has opened at 425 Market Street. This casual, 90-seat Mediterranean bistro comes from the nearby Sens team: owner Kais Bouzidi, executive chef Michel Adams, and beverage director Peter Steiner.

Lunchtime is all about salads, sandwiches, shawarma on housemade Turkish bread, and sides, and starting at 3pm, you can come by for tapas (and tartines), wine, and beer. Dinner begins at 5:30pm, and there’s the option to have a family-style meal—dishes include oven-roasted Australian sea bass ($28) with braised leeks, preserved lemon, and chanterelles; or eggplant and potato brik ($20) with goat cheese, farm egg, chermoula. Dishes feature Turkish, Tunisian, and Spanish influences.

There is a spacious 30-seat patio, as well as a takeout window during lunchtime for simple boxed lunches. The pendant lamps are from Morocco, and hand-painted North African tiles line the bar and surrounding walls. Hours are Mon-Fri 11am-close, and Sat 3:30pm-close. 28 Fremont St. (inside the 425 Market Street Building), 415-957-5463.  

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The Original U.S. Restaurant. Yelp photo by Christian B.

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The exterior of the former Olive on Larkin. Yelp photo by Kathy V.

We saw the application of ~ESAN CLASSIC~ hit the ABC wires with Tom Narupon Silargorn’s name on it (the owner and chef of Lers Ros) for the former Olive space on Larkin. After numerous calls to each Lers Ros, no one could share any details about the new project, but Eater ended up getting a translator to speak with Silargorn, who confirmed this new location will focus on Northeastern Thai (Issan/Esan) cuisine. Look for a late December opening if everything goes well with the remodel and permits. 739-743 Larkin St. at O’Farrell.

Fans of local seafood will be happy to hear Andi and Joe Conte of Water2Table Fish Co. (the amazing sustainable seafood suppliers) are going to be opening a restaurant and fish market in North Beach. And not just any location, but the Original U.S. Restaurant location—and Hoodline mentions that they are North Beach residents, so it’s extra perfect. Scoop reports they are thinking of calling it ~SEVEN FISHES~ (Joe is Italian-American and is obviously well aware of the Feast of the Seven Fishes).

They’ll be hiring a chef to prepare primarily coastal Italian dishes and look forward to being able to try some limited/rare kinds of seafood. There will also be a retail counter with seafood and prepared items like pickled herring, smoked fish, and some take-home items so you can put together a meal quickly. They plan to serve lunch and dinner, and there will be around 50 seats. Spring is the target for the opening. 515 Columbus Ave. at Green.

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The bar at Pesce. Photo: Dana Eastland. © tablehopper.com.

Back in September, we ran the rumor that Yoshi Tome of Sausalito’s ~SUSHI RAN~ was opening a casual concept in the former Pesce in the Castro. While they couldn’t confirm it at the time, we heard from the team that the project is happening and will be “fun, sophisticated, casual Japanese, with a full bar.” They hope to open in early spring of 2016. And while the Sushi Ran team didn’t share a name with us, one of our sources said it will be Nomica, which means “drinks house.” We’ll see how that maps out and will keep you posted. 2223 Market St. at Sanchez.

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Roast pork for Sunday supper at Myriad Gastro Pub. Photo courtesy of Myriad Gastro Pub.

By Dana Eastland. Bernalwood reports that the former home of Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack has a new tenant, after the apparently short-lived Aktun. It’s called ~CHICÁNO NUEVO~ and comes from Bernal local Abraham Nunez (formerly of the Emmy’s bar and St. Mary’s Pub). The food is inspired by Southern California, with a particular focus on Nunez’s Chula Vista roots. That means Baja-style fish tacos, three-cheese tamales with chile masa, and queso fundido. Plus, Nunez plans to stay open until 3am on weekends. 18 Virginia Ave. at Mission, 415-583-7641.

It looks like there is a new gyro spot in Noe Valley, called ~LAZEEZ~. According to Yelpers, there are Mediterranean staples, like hummus, shawarma, kefta, and falafel in a casual, clean space. There are a few seats, but it’s mostly a takeout scene. 3915 24th St. at Sanchez, 415-923-8545.

~MYRIAD GASTRO PUB~ is now offering Sunday Supper on Sunday evenings beginning at 5pm. The three-course, prix-fixe menu will change weekly and will feature seasonal, home-style dishes like bacon and cheddar gougères, roast pork with butternut squash purée and huckleberry demi-glace, and vanilla-currant bread pudding with bourbon caramel sauce for dessert. The menu will vary in price from $30-38 per person. 2491 Mission St. at 21st St., 415-525-4335.

As of this Saturday November 7th, ~OFF THE GRID~ is back at Justin Herman Plaza on Saturdays, to celebrate the holidays. From 11am-2pm until January 2nd, a rotating selection of five food trucks will be in the plaza, keeping ice skaters, holiday shoppers, and anyone else well fed. Justin Herman Plaza, Market St. at Embarcadero.

Back in July, we reported that the former Marina location of Udupi Palace had been taken over by a new owner, Emin Tekin, who planned to open ~KOBANI MEDITERRANEAN GRILL~ in its place, along with a location in Berkeley and an unnamed additional San Francisco location. Tekin is also in the family that owns the former Hayes & Kebab, and has been helping his brother relaunch that location when construction on their old location is complete. Now, it appears the additional location mystery is solved: Chowhounds and their Hungry Onion brethren are reporting that Gajalee, the coastal Indian restaurant in the Mission, has closed. Planning documents in Tekin’s name suggest that he is remodeling there and plans to open a third Kobani in the former Gajalee. We reached out to Tekin, but haven’t heard anything back yet. More details when we get them! 525 Valencia St. at 16th St.

Hoodline reports that there’s a new tenant in the former Andy’s Chinese restaurant in the Inner Sunset. It’s called ~KE’S SEAFOOD BBQ~ and comes from owner Randy Quan, a Hong Kong native. The restaurant has grills at each table, but instead of hoods, they use high-tech “smokeless” grills that take the smoke away, below the table. In addition, all of the grill options are seafood, and Quan says he uses many of the same seafood suppliers as high-end sushi restaurants to ensure that everything is fresh. 1358 9th Ave. at Irving, 415-742-4877.

Starting this Sunday November 8th, sister restaurants ~LA CICCIA~ and ~LA NEBBIA~ will be open again on Sundays, making your weekend a whole lot better.

Lunch is now available at ~COCKSCOMB~ Monday through Friday 11:30am to 2pm. The menu includes a bacon-wrapped hot dog and a pork belly and fried clam sandwich, both served with freshly fried potato chips. Plus, their drink menu is available for especially liquid power lunches.

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A Junju-style feast. Photo courtesy of EatWith.

After you’re done voting this evening, hopefully you’re available to attend this special dinner at ~TARTINE BAKERY~ in celebration of the Tulum restaurant Hartwood, and the release of Eric Werner and Mya Henry’s new cookbook. Join Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt of Tartine Bakery and Sam Goinsalvos of the upcoming Tartine Manufactory for a casual evening of passed small plates, and Tartine’s bakers will fill the display case with a selection of desserts inspired by the Yucatan. Come by for a feast of dishes, like pulpo tostadas; lettuce cups, chorizo, mint, cilantro, toasted rice, lime, cotija; roasted chicken with poblano and tomatillo tamale; lime tart with lime caramel; chocolate habanero cake with chocolate avocado buttercream, and horchata cake with cream cheese frosting. Yes, please.

8pm-10pm. Tickets are $80 and include food, beverage, a signed cookbook, gratuity, and tax. 600 Guerrero St. at 18th St.

EatWith is launching a new Chef Series, featuring previews for some of this winter’s hottest restaurant openings at their test kitchen. On Monday November 9th is a Junju Preview Dinner with Robin Song (expect Korean dishes with a Cali ingredient spin); Thursday November 12th is a Glena’s Preview Dinner with Michael Gaines (think tacos and margaritas); and Monday November 16th is a Nightbird Preview Dinner with Kim Alter (expect market-driven dishes). Click through to view the menus, and use my link for $10 off your first EatWith dinner.

This Thursday November 5th, ~DELI BOARD~ is doing their fat boy burrito pop-up again, with queso, and chips and salsa. BYOB is encouraged. 6pm-9pm. 1058 Folsom St.
 at Russ.

~MARLA BAKERY~ is hosting a dinner club every other Monday night with their line cook, Gabe Sanders, called Hearth and Cellar. On Monday November 9th, he’ll be doing a Fiesta de Pavo​​, with tacos de pavo (showcasing BN Ranch’s heritage breed turkey), black bean soup, tamales with mole, and more. 7pm. $40 for tickets. 3619 Balboa St. at 37th Ave., 415-742-4379.

On Wednesday November 11th, ~DOSA ON FILLMORE~ is throwing their annual Diwali “festival of lights” celebration. There will be a special three-course Diwali menu with multiple options per course, complimentary Diwali sweets for every table, DJ Jimmy Love spinning Bollywood and Non Stop Bhangra music from 7:30pm-12am, and complimentary henna art from Yogita Sheth. $48 per person (does not include tax and gratuity). Reservations available from 5:30pm-11pm. Book online or call 415-441-3672.  

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White truffle + eggs = magic. Photo courtesy of Poggio.

A couple of weeks ago, we mentioned the white truffle dinners coming to Locanda and Delfina, and here are a few more to add to the lineup.

~PERBACCO~ is now shaving Piemontese truffles on a variety of dishes served à la carte—three grams of white truffles are shaved tableside (while they last). Dishes include veal tartare with garlic and Langhe hazelnuts; sformatino di cavolfiore (cauliflower custard with La Tur fonduta); and of course their tajarin (hand-cut tagliatelle) with prosciutto di San Daniele and a 63-degree hen egg.

~POGGIO~’s Festa di Tartufo runs November 11th-22nd. You’ll find classic dishes like raviolo con uovo (ravioli with spinach, ricotta, and soft egg yolk), tajarin, sunny-side up eggs, and other dishes that are all topped with fresh truffles.

~SPRUCE~ is hosting a special multicourse truffle dinner with fantastic wine pairings (you’ll start the night with a glass of Billecart-Salmon, Cuvée Nicolas Francois Billecart 1999) on Monday November 9th. Tickets are $300.

~OLIVETO~’s truffle dinners run November 17th-21st, featuring dishes like creamy fontina sformatino and a house-aged Magruder steak grilled over almondwood embers. Look for some special (and old) house-aged Piemontese wines on the list too.

And in Redwood City, ~DONATO ENOTECA~ is offering a $140 two-course and $200 three-course “Il Tartufo” tasting menu that will be available while supplies last (approximately two or three weeks). (Tasting menu prices could subsequently vary due to market fluctuations.) Dishes include thinly sliced and roasted white veal loin with “Cavour” sauce and tartufo bianco, or large raviolo with egg yolk, ricotta, and tartufo bianco. All items on the tasting menus are also offered on an à la carte basis—guests can have truffle shaved onto any dish of their choice for $50. 1041 Middlefield Rd., Redwood City, 650-701-1000.

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Don’t miss the La Cocina Food & Entrepreneurship Conference this weekend. Photo from Facebook.

On Sunday November 8th, ~LA COCINA~ is hosting its fifth annual Food & Entrepreneurship Conference from 9am-6pm. The day of workshops, conversations, and panels on food entrepreneurship includes some of San Francisco’s finest small food business owners, including Robyn Sue Fisher (Smitten Ice Cream), Catherine Trujillo (Rubicon Bakery), and Amy Brown (Marla Bakery). Topics include conversations on making fair labor practices work, sustainability, and how small brands can grow while keeping their soul—peek at the whole schedule here.

Tickets to the conference are $150 per person and include breakfast, lunch, and admission to all panels and discussions. Small business owners are eligible for a 50 percent discount on the cost of admission; apply via email. It’s all happening at The Village. 969 Market St. at 6th St.

In addition to the conference, La Cocina is hosting a bus tour of the city on Saturday November 7th from 8am-3:30pm. Riders will visit various businesses in San Francisco with La Cocina director Caleb Zigas and learn about the many steps in growing a food business, beyond the facade. Of course, each stop includes plenty to eat, and you’ll get the chance to taste delicious food at all stages of business development. Tickets are $100 per person and include the tour and food at each stop. You can also get tickets to both the conference and the bus tour for $235 per person.

Saturday and Sunday November 7th and 8th, get crafty and started on your holiday shopping with a visit to the ~URBAN EPICUREAN FESTIVAL~ at Fort Mason. The festival runs from 11:30am-6:30pm and includes all kinds of locally crafted food items, as well as great workshops on creating your very own DIY items. You’ll find goods from Three Babes Bakeshop, Kika’s Treats, Sonoma Spice Queen, and Sonoma County Distilling Company, along with fun workshops including one on kimchi making, cheesemaking, and crafting cocktails at home; check out the list of workshops here. The Urban Epicurean Festival is free to attend, with items available for purchase. Fort Mason Center, Marina Blvd. at Laguna.

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Freshly shucked oysters from Sam’s. Photo from Facebook.

By Dana Eastland. Fabulous San Francisco classic ~SAM’S GRILL AND SEAFOOD RESTAURANT~ is celebrating 148 years in business this month. The week of November 9th (through the 13th), they’ll be adding an outdoor raw bar to the restaurant, where raw bar specials will be available all week long. You’ll be able to get a dozen freshly shucked oysters for $14.80, for starters, as well as other specials. The counter is designed as an homage to the open-air market where Sam’s founder Michael Molan Moraghan used to sell his shellfish (he was even dubbed the Oyster King of California).

In addition to their anniversary celebrations, Sam’s is launching a happy hour Mon-Fri from 4pm-7pm outside of their seafood alley. They’ll have drink specials for $7 and shared platters for $11. The dishes will vary daily, but will always include some of their classic seafood choices.

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The interior of La Marcha in Berkeley. Photo by Kristen Loken.

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The communal tasting table at Oakland Crush. Photo via Instagram.

By Dana Eastland. In September, we reported on ~LA MARCHA~, the upcoming Spanish restaurant from Sergio Emilio Monleón and Emily Sarlatte. It’s now open and serving Spanish-inspired tapas and paella, as well as Spanish wine and sherry, Spanish-style cider, and local beer. Here is the menu, which includes a wide selection of tapas and several paellas. Hours are dinner Tue-Sun 5pm-10pm, with two happy hours, one from 4pm-6pm and another from 10pm-12am. The happy hours include complimentary tapas with drinks. 2026 San Pablo Ave. at University, Berkeley, 510- 269-7374.

There will be an evening of Beer and Soul at ~MISS OLLIE’S~ that you won’t want to miss. On Tuesday November 17th, join chef and owner Sarah Kirnon and cicerone Sayre Piotrkowski for a tasting menu of soulful food and beer pairings. Kirnon has written two menus, one inspired by Miss Ollie, her grandmother, and the other inspired by the great Edna Lewis, who was recently the subject of a wonderful article in The New York Times Magazine. Diners will get to pick which menu they want to try (obviously come in pairs and try both!) and will also sample beers selected by Piotrkowski. Check out both menus here, as well as the beer pairings.

The dinner costs $55 per person, including food, drink, and gratuity, with an early seating at 5:30pm-6pm and a late seating at 8:30pm-8:45pm. Tickets here. 901 Washington St. at 9th St., Oakland, 510-285-6188.

Oakland has a new wine shop in Jack London Square, called ~OAKLAND CRUSH~. The new shop, from owner Erin Coburn, is now open and selling retail bottles of wine from small-production wineries, with a focus on sustainability. In addition to offering a unique selection of wines, the shop will also host community events and tastings, beginning with their Wednesday evening and Saturday afternoon tastings. Each Wednesday, they will offer themed tastings in a casual, social environment, like pinot noirs from around the world, or three different wines from a region like the Loire Valley in France. On Saturdays, the tastings will be more educational, with guest winemakers or importers on hand to talk about their wines. Any wine purchased at Oakland Crush can be opened and enjoyed at the large tables in the tasting area too. Hours are Tue-Sat 11am-8pm and Sun 11am-7pm. 420 3rd St. at Franklin, Oakland, 510-891-1024.

~URBANO LATINO~ is now open in Oakland, serving pan-Latin-inspired dishes from chef Munther Massarweh. Menu items mini carne asada tacos and brick-pressed chicken in mole, while the beverage list includes beer, wine, sangria, and cocktails. There is also a happy hour offered Monday through Friday 4pm-6:30pm and then again after 9:30pm. There is weekend brunch with bottomless mimosas, make-your-own margaritas, and egg dishes. Take a look at all the menus here. 4307 Telegraph Ave. at 43rd St., Oakland, 510-922-1726.