January 31, 2017

January 31, 2017
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Caviar and blini, a classic. Photo via The Caviar Company’s Facebook page.

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Golden osetra. Photo via The Caviar Co.’s Facebook page.

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Osetra from The Caviar Co. Photo via The Caviar Co.’s Facebook page.

If you’re lucky, you may have already met the charming sisters behind ~THE CAVIAR CO.~, Petra and Saskia Bergstein, at some swish culinary events around town. (I attended a Ketel One vodka and caviar tasting during the holidays and enjoyed their fun yet informative attitude about caviar.) They supply national customers and a number of chefs and restaurants with their caviar and care deeply about sourcing sustainable and quality caviar, but they also like to offer affordable options so everyone can enjoy it.

The sisters are opening their first brick-and-mortar shop on Union Street, by Perry’s and right in the thick of things (they have just been online up to now). Visitors to the store will be able to ask questions and buy caviar and caviar-related items, like potato chips and mother-of-pearl spoons. The shop will stock their best sellers, like white sturgeon, local hackleback, spendier golden osetra, and smoked trout roe—perfect for your weekend brunch at home. And since they pack to order, their product is always fresh. Guests will also be able to pick up special orders at the shop, and their caviar club members will be greeted with a glass of Champagne (it will be their Caviar Clubhouse).

The room is going to be very Hollywood glam, with velvet, and there is also going to be a large marble table (with brass legs!) with room for 10, which is where they are going to hold special caviar tastings. When you book the experience, guests will have their own small jars to taste from and explore. Don’t have 10 friends to do it with? No problem, just talk to the sisters about what you want to do, and they’ll work with you. They also offer caviar catering for events and private parties and have a custom trike for events that you will see in the shop as well.

They will be doing a soft opening for Valentine’s Day needs, and the grand opening will be in March. Follow along on Instagram to keep up with the news (and here, of course). Hours are TBD, but are looking like 10am-6pm for now. 1954 Union St. at Laguna.

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You can’t miss the colorful entrance to Garden Creamery. Photo via Facebook.

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The Strawberry Pretzel pop at Garden Creamery. Yelp photo by Rodney H.

Back in 2015, we mentioned the closure of ~JOCELYN’S BAKERY~ in the Mission, and we have been tracking the progress of ~GARDEN CREAMERY~, which is taking its place (some of you may know their bright watermelon-colored truck). Thanks to some longtime tablehopper readers, I learned Hawaiian-born owner Erin Lang and her boyfriend Donny Capozzi softly opened their first brick-and-mortar location over the weekend. And like the truck, you can’t miss it.

You will find flavors made with Straus organic dairy, as well as vegan ice cream (it’s coconut-based and sweetened with agave nectar) and sorbets. Some flavors include chocolate made with Guittard, Thai tea, mango chile lime, guabanero (guava and habanero), and rocky road sorbet. There are semifreddo pops and sandwiches that you can have dipped into all kinds of toppings, like a Strawberry Pretzel pop, with strawberry mousse dipped in white chocolate and salty pretzels, or a Crunch Daddy sandwich, with your choice of peanut butter or chocolate mousse sandwiched between cocoa or classic Rice Krispies treats. And there are brownie sundaes too.

Once their mixer starts behaving, they’ll also be offering chimney cones on the weekend, which are like Hungarian doughnut cones. Imagine a crisp and flaky cinnamon sugar-dusted cone with a soft interior holding a scoop of ice cream. Yeah, you want that. Hours are Tue-Sun 12pm-10pm. 3566 20th St. at Lexington.

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A selection of Japanese hot dogs, now available for lunch at ICHI Sushi. Photo: Darren Samuelson.

A couple of Korean openings for you, starting with ~THE KOREAN KITCHEN~, now open in the Inner Sunset and serving a menu of classics like bibimbap, tofu soup, jap chae noodles, and more. Open Mon and Wed-Fri 11am-3pm and 5pm-10pm, Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11am-9pm, closed Tue. 1220 9th Ave. at Lincoln, 415-566-5777.

There’s a new all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue place in the former Juban Yakiniku House in Japantown called ~BEQUE~ (it also has locations in Santa Clara and Newark). You can look at the menu and pricing here. Lunch is $15.99 and dinner is $21.99. Beer towers in effect. 1581 Webster St. Suite 145 at Post, 415-872-9868. Open Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm and 4:30pm-12am, Sat-Sun 11:30am-12am.

Let’s move away from meats for a moment, because you also need some vegetables. Opening Wednesday February 1st in ~THE HALL~ is the second location of Oakland’s ~CORE KITCHEN~, which claims to be the world’s first produce-only restaurant, making meals only from fruits and vegetables, without salt or oil. The location will be open Mon-Fri 11am-8pm. Although it seems it will be short-lived since it looks like The Hall’s temporary existence is truly limited—Hoodline reports it will be closing at some point since plans for the building taking its place have just been approved, so demolition should be soon. 1028 Market St. at 6th St.

Great news for the ~ICHI SUSHI~ crew, who keep on trucking. They are now serving lunch during the week, including sushi rolls and a selection of Japanese hot dogs (like a kimchi dog, curry dog, and mapo tofu dog), plus seasonal side dishes. Grab a seat at the counter, crack open a beer, and congratulate yourself on knowing how to do lunch right. Open Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm. 3369 Mission St. at 30th St.

Night owls and partiers: ~MEZCALITO~ on Polk Street is now open late, until 2am, with food available until 11pm. 2323 Polk St. at Green.

Just before Valentine’s Day, ~TOUT SWEET PÂTISSERIE~ is moving from the third floor to the ground floor at Macy’s Union Square, right at the Geary Street entrance. And to celebrate, the first 100 customers each day from February 1st-5th will receive a free Valentine’s Day Hot Lips, from chef Yigit Pura.

Was sorry to read that Emily Day is closing her Lower Nob Hill bake shop, ~FLOUR & CO.~, after almost four years. The Hoodline piece mentions she will continue to sell some items online, like her granola. 1030 Hyde St. at California.

It seems things were slipping for a while at ~KIJI JAPANESE~ on Guerrero with the new owners that came on last fall, and now it has closed. 1009 Guerrero St. at 22nd St.

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The distinctive custom leather banquettes at Belcampo. Photo via Belcampo’s Facebook page.

Affordable and awesome meals are always appreciated, so here are a few to have on your radar. At ~BELCAMPO~ on Polk, they are starting a weekly Home-Cooked Sunday Supper series, a comforting three-course dinner for $35 per person. Each week, the menu will feature a recipe from Belcampo founder and CEO Anya Fernald’s cookbook, Home Cooked (and with the purchase of the Home-Cooked Sunday Supper, diners will receive 50 percent off the cookbook). Sample dishes include beef tartare or market salad; steak frites, spaghetti bolognese, the Belcampo Burger, or wild-caught fish; and dessert like warm seasonal crisp or flourless chocolate cake. 1998 Polk St. at Pacific, 415-660-5573.

And then on Mondays, ~JARDINIÈRE~’s Monday Night Supper Club is back, a three-course menu that changes every week for $55 per person WITH beverage pairings. Sweet! Check their site for updates.

First Fridays is when ~1300 ON FILLMORE~ hosts Fried Chicken Friday. You get a three-course prix-fixe menu for $29: mixed green salad, David’s fried chicken with mashed potatoes, and chef’s selection of dessert. And look at that, this Friday February 3rd is a first Friday. Bwok!

Hard-core brunch partiers, one more to add to your repertoire is ~CHAMBERS EAT + DRINK~, which has added bottomless mimosas every Saturday to go with your Eggs Royale (sous vide eggs, crispy hash browns, cold smoked trout, mandarin hollandaise, caviar, chive, dill, crème fraîche) and other tasty-sounding brunch dishes on chef Yosuke Machida’s menu. Just $18 to add bottomless mimosas with the purchase on an entrée. Sat only, 10:30am-2:30pm. 601 Eddy St at Larkin, 415-496-5178.  

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A look at the new Curry Up Now in Oakland. Photo courtesy of CUN.

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The communal table at the new Curry Up Now in Oakland. Photo courtesy of CUN.

Now open in Oakland is ~CURRY UP NOW~’s first East Bay location, adjacent to The New Parish, with 50 seats inside and 16 outside. Come by for their playful spins on Indian street food, like a tikka masala burrito and deconstructed samosa. They also serve classic street food dishes like bhel puri (puffed rice, potato garbanzo mash, cucumber) and two of my favorites, vada pav (mashed potato fritter sandwiched between an Amul buttered bun) and pav bhaji (a Mumbai slider with a mash of cauliflower, beans, carrots, potatoes, and peas).

New to the menu are kofta fauja singh (chicken or lamb kofta meatballs), Indian railway cutlet (schnitzel-like cutlet of crumb fried Maggi masala noodle and vegetables with sriracha aioli), and kababpav (chicken or lamb kofta meatballs on a Amul buttered bun with onions, chutney, hot sauce, and chips). Dine in or do takeout (off-premise catering is also available). Dishes range from $5.50 to $15. Beer, wine, and sangria are also served. Open daily 11am-9pm, with possible late night hours after New Parish events. 1745 San Pablo Ave. at 18th St., Oakland.