August 30, 2016

August 30, 2016
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Nomica’s beef tartare with cornichon purée, hon-wasabi, and green plantains. Photo via @nomicasf on Instagram.

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Hitachino waffle with matcha butter and truffled maple. Photo via @nomicasf on Instagram.

It looks like ~NOMICA~ in the Castro should be opening this week, hopefully, if the permit sign-off gods behave. (This is the project from the Sushi Ran team: Yoshi Tome, Paul Quinn, and Mynor Morales.) In the meantime, I’m happy to show you the latest menu (with pricing) of this exciting addition to the neighborhood.

In a previous report, I mentioned chef Hiroo Nagahara, a Tokyo native, will be offering a fresh take on Japanese cuisine and ingredients (no sushi here). There will be small and large plates, both hot and cold, all designed to share. While the food will be technique-driven (he worked for Charlie Trotter), it will still be comfortable. Think rustic but focused, like Dungeness crab donabe rice served tableside—an homage to his time at the Michelin three-star Kagurazaka Ishikawa in Tokyo—served with crab miso, marinated salmon roe, and mitsuba.

Before you head on over (or make your reservation), you may want to call ahead at least 24 hours for the whole chicken in brioche with miso butter, shiso chimichurri, and chicken essence (serves four). Right? Granted, it’s $100 (making it one of the most expensive chickens in SF), but it serves four, and will sing your favorite song to you, so there’s that. And I can’t wait to try the gyoza-farce (filling) stuffed chicken wings, with yuzu kosho and chile oil. And “cubed” karaage chicken. And Hitachino waffle with matcha butter and truffled maple.

You can look at the cocktails here, with awamori (a spirit from Yoshi’s native Okinawa) playing a part on the menu, plus the sake list and wine list.

We’ll update you on social media (Twitter) once it’s officially open, which could be any minute. Dinner nightly 5pm-11pm. 2223 Market St. at Sanchez, 415-655-3280.

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Chef Anthony Strong; photo by Eric Wolfinger.

After 11 years with Delfina Restaurant Group, group executive chef Anthony Strong is leaving at the end of September. He has been busy over the years, first at Delfina, then opening Locanda, as well as expanding Pizzeria Delfina to its four current locations.

What’s next? Scoop reports he is working on opening his own Bay Area restaurant, but there aren’t any details to share at the moment. Delfina’s Craig and Annie Stoll have been aware of his impending departure since the beginning of the year, so it’s not a surprise, although it’s a big change—and now they need to hire a replacement. Stand by for details on all of this as things take shape, and best to you, Anthony! Looking forward to seeing what’s next.

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The Pine Street location of La Boulangerie de San Francisco. Yelp photo by J W.

After we ran the initial story that ~PIZZETTA 211~ was opening a new Mediterranean-focused project on the corner, a follow-up to our piece adds that owner Jack Murphy, working with chef Mel Lopez, probably won’t be opening the project until summer 2017. The menu, which we mentioned will highlight pasta and seafood, will feature family-style options, with dishes from a wood-fired oven, and they are also aiming for it to be affordable.

Hoodline brings news that Osha Thai’s chef-owner Lalita Souksamlane is going to be adding a new concept to the Osha empire, opening ~LAO TABLE~, focusing on the Laotian cuisine that is actually her heritage (she reportedly grew up in northeastern Thailand, bordering Laos). She will be converting a SoMa Osha Thai into the new concept. Look for an opening in mid-September. 149 2nd St. at Natoma.

Fans of Pascal Rigo’s former La Boulange will be happy with the news that he’s opening a ~LA BOULANGERIE DE SAN FRANCISCO~ in October in the Financial District at 222 Sutter Street at Kearny. He is reportedly going to have seven total open by next summer. [Via Scoop.]

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Dishes at Old Bus Tavern’s new Saturday brunch. Photo: Zejian Shen.

Some new service for you around town, starting with Saturday brunch at Bernal’s year-old ~OLD BUS TAVERN~. Think oatmeal-maple pancakes with brown butter syrup, seasonal berries, praline, and oatmeal crunch, and a pulled pork eggs Benedict (menu here). Don’t forget they have full liquor, so you can get things started with their Bloody Maria (with okra-infused tequila) or one of their house brews. Plus: patio. Saturdays 11am-2:30pm. 3193 Mission St. at Valencia, 415-843-1938.

~AATXE~ wants you to get happy with their $1 pintxos and other happy hour prices, like $4 cañas (small beers), $8 for their special gin & tonic, and $8 for certain wine offerings. Available daily 5:30pm-6:30pm in the dining room or bar. 2174 Market St. at Sanchez, 415-471-2977.

~DELAROSA~ is launching happy hour for the first time at both their locations (2175 Chestnut Street and 37 Yerba Buena Lane). You’ll find $6 (and under!) cocktails (including an Aperol spritz) and wines by the glass, beer, pizzette, and antipasti (including fried artichoke hearts and arancini). And at Yerba Buena Lane, they now have a patio, just in time for Indian summer (but there are heaters, windscreens, and blankets for our typical blustery evenings). Mon-Fri 4pm-6pm.

In a refreshing move that is quite the opposite of most SF restaurants right now, ~BAR TARTINE~ has actually lowered their prices: the fantastic prix-fixe/friends-and-family menu is no longer $78, and is now $58 (it’s three courses, and as abundant as ever), while the wine pairing has dropped to $32 from $46. Now, that’s what you call a neighborhood restaurant! [Instagram via Eater.]

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A cheese plate at Cheese Fest. Photo from Facebook.

Here’s a quick roundup of special dinners, events, and more happening this September:

If you’re around Labor Day weekend, ~HOMESTEAD~ in Oakland is hosting a Sunday Supper BBQ on September 4th from 4:30pm-8:30pm. Think chopped salad, baby back ribs, smoked brisket, corn on the cob, baked beans, Texas toast, traditional fixings, and strawberry shortcake. The three-course prix-fixe is $55 (there’s a children’s portion at half price). 4029 Piedmont Ave. at 40th St., Oakland, 510-420-6962.

Saturday September 17th is the second annual SF Cheese Fest, featuring 24 California Artisan Cheese Guild member cheese companies, plus cured meats, pickles, jams, sauces, craft beer (Magnolia Brewing, Fort Point Beer), and wine from CACG member Herb Lamb Vineyards. I went last year and tasted some great cheeses and really enjoyed speaking with many cheesemakers. Expect to see Cowgirl Creamery, Marin French Cheese, and Point Reyes Farmstead joined by artisan makers such as Bleating Heart, Nicasio Valley Cheese, and newcomers such as Chevoo and Pazzo Marco, among others. Tickets: $84 and include unlimited food and drinks. Limited “Bring a Friend” tickets are $149 for two, available through Wednesday August 31st. Get your ticket soon! Social Hall SF, 1270 Sutter St. at Van Ness, 6pm-9pm.

The fifth annual Wing Wings Chicken Wing Eating Contest is coming up on Saturday September 17th during the Eat Trill Fest, a daylong music and food event at the brand-new Spark Social Food Park in Mission Bay (the contest will run from 2pm-5pm).

Wing Wings needs some donations of raffle prizes since this is a big fundraiser! Donations of any kind are welcome and appreciated, from items to gift bags, services, gift certificates, or otherwise. Homeless Youth Alliance is the recipient of this year’s fundraising efforts. Please email Lisa or Christian if you are able to donate a raffle prize. They are also looking for contestants! The entire fest runs 11am-10pm. 601 Mission Bay Blvd N. at 3rd St.

Sunday September 18th is an Autumn Belgian Beer Dinner (more like a supper, really) at ~BEL~, with quite the lineup of dishes and beers (check it out here). $160 per person, tax and gratuity included. 2pm-6pm. Call to reserve a spot: 415-206-1000. 3215 Mission St. at Fair.

On Wednesday September 21st, ~PRUBECHU~ is doing another one of their whole roasted pig parties, with live music and a release of their craft beer collaboration with Good Beer Company (including one made with soursop!). It’s all you can eat, and a 4-ounce taste of each beer will be included with the roast pig dinner. $120, all-inclusive of tax, tip, music, beer, and food. Only 34 tickets, hop to it! Doors 6:30pm, dinner 7pm. 2847 Mission St. at 24th St., 415-952-3654.