December 20, 2016

December 20, 2016
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The Archuletas, Tim and Erin, of ICHI Sushi. Photo via their GoFundMe page.

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Jiro Lin. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Here’s an update from our dear ~ICHI SUSHI~ friends: it ends up chef-owner Tim Archuleta has been going through some rough health issues the past few months (he just had a major surgery on Sunday and is thankfully on the mend), and so Tim and his wife Erin have made the hard decision to downsize their operation. They are going to sell the current ICHI location and move back to their smaller space at 3369 Mission Street, which they still own; they plan to reopen in January 2017. When Tim is ready to get back behind the sushi counter, it made more sense for him to be able to ease back into a space that is more manageable sizewise (and stresswise).

Here’s where we can all help out: Tim’s lengthy hospital visit has racked up some burdensome bills, and it would be amazing to show some support to the wonderful Archuletas and donate to the GoFundMe page their friends set up for them. There is also going to be a fundraising party on Monday January 16th, so save the date.

The last night of service in their 3282 Mission Street space will be New Year’s Eve, so maybe you can come by for what is going to be quite a party. They’ll be serving a classic omakase-style sushi menu, and you can pony up for some rare and exciting sake pairings and more. Dinner service starts at 5:30pm; reservations here.

While they will keep many of their beloved crew, they are also actively searching to secure placement for the rest of their skilled team. Their swell space at 3282 will go on the market with CGI Retail and they are excited to offer it up to a new generation of small business owners. Here’s wishing the Archuletas all the best for 2017. Heal up, Tim—day by day, you’ll feel better. We love you and can’t wait to see you laughing behind your counter and doing the sushi voodoo that you do.

More news about another one of our city’s skilled sushi chefs: Jiro Lin, who was previously at ~HAMANO~ for 11 years but then partnered for a while with Joshua Skenes at Saison on an exquisite sushi counter experience, Jiro SF. Lin is back at Hamano, but Eater reports he is now the owner. He’s going to be doing some remodeling in the new year (and adding some seats at the sushi bar), and also wants to offer a high-level omakase experience, but not at the mega inflated prices we’re seeing around town. He’s aiming for 12-15 pieces for $90-$150, plus some small plates, or an all-fish menu for $48-$55 for 8 pieces and $75-$90 for 12. While this omakase experience isn’t in place just yet, probably in March or so, you can always get in touch with Jiro and request it ahead of time (text him a week in advance at 650-291-1585 with your party size, date—you’ll need to provide some credit card information too). 1332 Castro St. at Jersey, 415-826-0825.

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The exterior of Chez Marius. Photo courtesy of Chez Marius.

tablehopper was the first to report on the opening of ~CHEZ MARIUS~ in the former Le Zinc in Noe Valley, and as of this week, the bistro is now open. Chef-owner Laurent Legendre of Glen Park’s Le P’tit Laurent is offering a menu that is Provençal-inspired, with classics like bouillabaisse, mussels, and escargots, with bistro favorites like foie gras, onion soup, and of course steak tartare—take a look here.

You’ll find some low-ABV cocktails and aperitifs, and they expanded the back patio seating (which is also dog-friendly, by the way). Chez Marius is open for lunch Wed-Fri (11am-2pm), dinner nightly (5:30pm-9:30pm, until 10pm Fri-Sat), and brunch Sat-Sun (9am-3pm). 4063 24th St. at Noe, 415-757-0947.

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The Roy G. Biv at pop-up Eye of the Avocado. Photo via Instagram.

Some updates around town, starting with the news that ~UNA PIZZA NAPOLETANA~ is now serving lunch Wed-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm. [Via Eater]

Up in Bernal Heights, there’s a new pop-up happening at the former Sandbox/Pinkie’s called ~EYE OF THE AVOCADO~ from Jes Taber. Menu items include some pretty insane-looking breakfast/brunch/lunch sandwiches, like the Roy G. Biv brioche breakfast sandwich, with an egg, picked onions, purple carrots, arugula, herb butter, optional bacon, and you kind of have to get avocado on a sandwich like that. There’s also egg, Cabot cheddar, onion, and herb sauce on brioche, panko mac and cheese, curried egg salad, and more, including coffee and pastries. Wed-Sun 8am-2pm. 833 Cortland St. at Gates, 415-361-8383.

But this pop-up may not be long for this world, since ~BLACK JET BAKING CO.~ is reportedly hoping to be able to purchase and move into the space by February (they are currently holding a Kickstarter to raise funds). It would be a dream for owner Gillian Shaw to take over the space, so here’s wishing them lots of luck on bringing their “pop tarts” to Bernal.

More Bernal news: it ends up ~THE EPICUREAN TRADER~ is one of the first accounts to be selling Tartine bread, like their country loaf, seeded rye, whole wheat sesame, and oat porridge—it’s delivered warm in the morning Fri-Sun. (~THE MARKET~ in the Twitter building is another location—and they’re selling beans from the relatively new Coffee Manufactory too.) So wow, you don’t have to necessarily schlep to the Mission and go stand in line!

And even more good news: ~THE EPICUREAN TRADER~ is expanding to Cow Hollow and opening a second location in late January/early February on Union Street (between the Bus Stop Tavern and La Boulangerie). The store will be slightly larger than their current store, with a much greater focus on gourmet cheese and charcuterie. They will also be working to hold their title of being named the Best Spirits Store in the Bay Area by having the largest range of craft spirits in the city, with a particular focus on allocated and hard-to-find craft whiskeys, Scotch, and mezcal.

Wine lovers will be happy to know they have teamed up with two sommeliers that currently run some of the top wine shops in Berkeley to lead their wine program, which will continue to focus on high-quality, small-production wines. Other items on the shelves include small-batch coffee, hand-blended teas and spices, craft chocolates, oils and vinegars, and other artisanal pantry items. PLUS they will be able to deliver anywhere in the 7x7 area within an hour through Instacart. 1909 Union St. at Laguna.

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The downstairs revue stage. Photo: Kelly Puleio.

After numerous reports on problems with the food and menu at the ~BLACK CAT~, they have finally announced a new chef, Alicia Jenish-McCarron. She was previously at Grand Cafe, the Au Bon Repas group (which includes Gitane), and most recently at Kitchit, and she is excited to return to the restaurant world. She is adding some new menu items, like a kale and Brussels sprouts salad, Moroccan lamb meatballs, and porcini and chicken roulade, and plans to launch her full menu mid-January. [Via Eater.]

Some news in the Presidio: Traci Des Jardins, the Presidio Trust, and Bon Appétit Management Company have announced that Rogelio Garcia is now the executive chef at ~THE COMMISSARY~. His background includes Angéle (executive chef), sous chef at Calistoga Ranch, and chef de partie at The French Laundry—his journey has been an inspiring one, starting as a dishwasher in high school in Yountville and working his way up from there.

He has also launched the Open Kitchen dinner series, when guest chefs prepare a four-course prix-fixe menu ($85) focused on a single ingredient (on first Mondays). January is an exception because of the holiday, so it will be on January 9th, and the ingredient will be truffles, jus’ sayin’. Guest chefs are Val Cantu (Californios), Dave Cruz (Little Gem), and Jamie Simpson (chef liaison of the Culinary Vegetable Institute at The Chef’s Garden in Milan, Ohio). Connie Green will also be in the house.

Over at ~MASON PACIFIC~, the recently hired chef, Max Mackinnon, has left after five months. We’ll just have to see what’s next for the location. [Via Eater.]

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The Bowl at Green Heart Foods. Photo via Facebook.

I know some fans of the organic and well-made smoothies, salads, and other dishes from ~GREEN HEART FOODS~ will be sad to hear CEO Lisa Chatham has decided to close their Mission café this Thursday December 22nd. They will be continuing their catering business, and Hoodline notes that you can still order their food through Uber Eats and Postmates, and the “Brite Bites breakfast parfaits and The Bowl (a quinoa, sweet potato and black bean bowl) will continue to be sold at EHS Pilates on Valencia Street and at the FiDi’s Hermanos food kiosk (650 California St.).” 3321 20th St. at Folsom, 415-800-8910.