April 18, 2017

April 18, 2017
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The spacious and updated dining room at Pompette. Photo courtesy of Pompette.

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Mussels escabeche at Pompette. Photo courtesy of Pompette.

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Baked ricotta at Pompette. Photo courtesy of Pompette.

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Waffles from the new Neptune’s in Alameda. Photo via Neptune’s on Facebook.

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The spacious patio at Arthur Mac’s Tap & Snack in Oakland. Photo courtesy of Arthur Mac’s.

Back in February, I broke the news about the new taker for the former Café Rouge space: ~POMPETTE~ (the name means “a little tipsy”). It’s from chef David Visick, an alum of Chez Panisse and SF’s Cafe Kati, and his wife, Caramia Visick, who worked at Bay Wolf (as well as Oliveto, Zuni, and Stars) before launching her jewelry line (Hotcakes Design) and shop (Favor)—she is running front of house.

As I mentioned, they want to maintain Café Rouge’s rep as an easy place to swing by, no matter the time of day or the extent of your appetite, from a bite and a cocktail to a full-on spit-roasted chicken dinner for two. Take a look at the initial (and highly appetizing) menu here, with French-Cali bistro bar snacks and charcuterie, numerous spring vegetable dishes, and of course a burger.

The space was updated a bit, with even more seating. The restaurant is softly open for dinner starting at 5:30pm Mon-Sat and will be adding lunch in a week or so. As Caramia Visick said, “Customers are happy to get back into their bar seats and try out the new cocktails, wines, and snacks!” Indeed. 1782 4th St. at Delaware, Berkeley, 510-356-4737.

Another icon is getting an update: the former Fosters Freeze in Alameda has been transformed into the charming ~NEPTUNE’S~, which opened today. I had the serendipitous fortune of dining next to chef Naomi Elze-Harris at an event last night and got to hear about it straight from the horse’s mouth. The daytime menu is Southern through a California lens, with some Filipino and Hawaiian references popping up too; ingredients will be sustainably sourced. The menu includes chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, housemade brioche buns, “Not Zippy’s” chili and rice (a reference to a popular Hawaiian dish), Hawaiian breakfast, a burger, and eventually soft-serve ice cream with special flavors of waffle cones designed to go with it.

There are 80 seats, both indoors and on a back patio they installed surrounded with redwood slats. They will also be launching a walk-up window in a couple of weeks, where you can get your lumpia to go. Peek at their Instagram to get a look at their clean, bright, and natural aesthetic, with colorful tiles, glass globe pendant lights, and it’s sweet how the blue throughout references the former Fosters blue. Open Tue-Sun 8:30am-2:30pm (which means you can start your day and come by for some proprietary Lincoln Rosewood coffee and espresso!). 630 Central Ave. at McKay, Alameda.

More outdoor patio action can be found at ~ARTHUR’S MAC’S TAP & SNACK~ in the Longfellow neighborhood in Oakland from Farm League Design & Management Group (Drake’s Dealership, Westbrae Biergarten, East Bay Spice Company, Tigerlily). It’s right across from the MacArthur BART Station and is part of the MacArthur Annex shipping container complex that houses a variety of artist workspaces and start-ups. It’s a pizza-by-the-slice beer garden designed to be a family-friendly and affordable place. The menu also includes wings and salads; chef consultant Michael Williams (Rivoli and Corso in Berkeley) is behind the menu. There are a number of booths, two fire pits, and a kids’ play area so mommy and daddy can enjoy their beers. Speaking of, there are 16 craft beers, 2 ciders, and 5 wines on tap, plus a house-kegged vermouth spritzer. Open Sun-Thu 11am-10pm and Fri-Sat 11am-11pm. 4006 Martin Luther King Jr. Way at 40th St., Oakland.

James Syhabout (Commis, Old Kan Beer & Co.) just keeps on pushing and is opening a full bar and lounge next door to Commis called ~C.D.P.~ (short for chef de partie). It will served cocktails, snacks, and small plates. Syhabout designed it himself and will have 10 seats at the bar, 24 overall, and is due to open in the fall. [Via Scoop.] 3861 Piedmont Ave. at Montell, Oakland.

Folks in Elmwood are lucky to be gaining a location of SF’s ~ITALIAN HOMEMADE COMPANY~, which will be opening in the former AG Ferrari. They will be serving their piadine sandwiches, housemade pastas, and more. 2905 College Ave. at Russell, Berkeley. [Via Nosh.]

In case you missed this fascinating New York Times article on ~LOCOL~’s mission to offer a quality $1 cup of coffee, check it out.

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The classic counter at The Castro Fountain. Yelp photo by Steven B.

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Let them eat cake! Get a slice (of classic yellow cake, that is) at The Castro Fountain. Yelp photo by Simi J.

The long-awaited ~CASTRO FOUNTAIN~ is now softly open—it’s from Juliet Pries of the retro-vintage Ice Cream Bar in Cole Valley. She has much bigger plans for this ice cream parlor and soda fountain, but thought she may as well soft open for now after countless delays. For now, you can come by for their housemade and organic ice cream (check out the flavors here), plus ice cream bars, sandwiches, and some house-baked desserts (Hoodline reports they are serving cakes, pies, brownies, and cookies). Sundaes, milk shakes, and sodas will be added soon.

Down the road, they hope to get a liquor license to serve their “remedies” and more, but that’s another mountain of bureaucracy, so let’s just swing by, order a cone, and welcome The Castro Fountain to the neighborhood! Limited hours for now (today is 2pm-6pm, and they are running some Tax Day specials), and then Thu 6pm-10pm, Fri 7pm-11pm, and weekend hours are TBD. Again, it’s a soft opening! Follow along on Facebook for updates! 554 Castro St. at 18th St.

There is yet another location of ~MIXT~ opening, its ninth location, at 51 Yerba Buena Lane on Wednesday April 19th. In addition to their trademark fresh and choose-your-own-adventure salads, they are introducing a new menu option called Mixt Market Plates, exclusively at this location. Diners can choose from herb-roasted, free-range chicken, or grilled grass-fed steak or steelhead, with sauces and sides ($10.95-$13.95). Here’s the menu. Open Mon-Fri 10:30am-8:30pm and Sat-Sun 11:30am-8:30pm. 51 Yerba Buena Lane at 4th St.

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Malasa’s combo silog with tapa, longanisa, and tocino. Photo by Malasa via Yelp.

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The tortilla bocadillo at Champaneria Kharma. Photo courtesy of Champaneria Kharma.

I’ve got a random little mix of openings for you, starting with a new modern Filipino brunch that is popping up at Crawstation in the Sunset: ~MALASA~. The name, which means “tasty” in Tagalog, translates into dishes like silogs (garlic rice plates), including tocilog (cured pork served with a fried egg on top of garlic fried rice and pickled vegetables), kare-kare (oxtail in a rich peanut sauce), and more. They are using quality ingredients, including organic, cage-free, pasture-raised eggs and locally sourced ingredients. Sat-Sun 11:30am-2:30pm. 1336 9th Ave. at Irving, 415-682-9980.

Another pop-up that caught my eye is Champaneria Kharma, featuring Spanish-inspired bites at ~BLOODHOUND~, on Wednesday April 26th. Founder Samantha Kharma went to Barcelona last October and visited a place called La Champaneria (a standing-room only, counter-only restaurant with cava and tapas). She was so inspired by it that she decided San Francisco needs one, too, and is currently hoping to open a brick and mortar in a year and half—she’s targeting the Mission. In the meantime, you can get your bocadillos on at this pop-up (she is getting her bolillo-style roll from a local bakery in South San Francisco she grew up with called Panadería Hernandez).

The featured sandwich will be jamón con pepinillos y queso (ham with pickles and cheese), and take a look at the tortilla española con queso y pimento. There will also be lomo con queso y pimento, and cordero con menta y tamarindo. With every sandwich you purchase, you will get a ticket that is good for a glass of prosecco for $5 instead of $8, and there are plenty of cocktails and local beers on draft as well. 6pm-10pm. 1145 Folsom St. at 7th St.

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The stylish and sunny Streamline. Photo courtesy of Streamline.

Now open in the Outer Parkside/Sunset, practically at the beach, is a new and sunny corner café, ~STREAMLINE~. The trio of partners (Brent Willson, Dion Garcia, and David Quinby) have turned a former restaurant and office space into a spacious café with plenty of seating and a gallery (Willson is also a painter, so he wanted to be able to have an art component to the business). They have been ramping up with staffing, always the issue these days—today is just day six for them.

The menu features house-baked scones, muffins, cookies, and a gluten-free oat bar, plus a frittata is available. There are also tartines: a mushroom and herb tartine with Comté, and a ham and Comté version. Expect more salads, sandwiches, and more as they hire additional food prep and bakers, and they also have beer and wine. Hours for now are Mon-Fri 7am-1pm, with plans to expand to weekends ASAP. They are also hosting a show opening this Sat from 6pm-10pm with Gallery 66. (Follow on Facebook for updates.)

They are using Nomadic Ground for their coffee; they have their own blend for their espresso and house drip, plus a single-origin and organic pour-over, and cold brew. They should have approval for outdoor seating any minute, so the next time you’re at the beach, here’s a new place to enjoy a brew. 3560 Taraval St. at 46th St., 415-504-7000.

You can wake up and smell the coffee at the new ~FLIGHTLESS COFFEE AT JAXSON~ coffee window. The owner, Kevin Lopata, is from Houston, and Flightless features Houston’s Boomtown Coffee. You can find a variety of espresso drinks and pour-over, plus cold brew, and he’s working on a specialty drink for the summer. He also stocks some baked goods from Mr. Holmes, including their croissant and a sweet pastry, but those go fast. Open Mon-Thu 7:30am-4pm, Fri 7:30am-2pm, and Sat 8:30am-2pm. 3231 Fillmore St. at Greenwich, 713-584-5119.

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The bar at Hecho Cantina. Photo via Facebook.

A couple of upcoming closures to note include the beleaguered ~HECHO CANTINA~ in the Castro, which will be closing in a few months after two and a half years of business (and a couple of iterations). They have an offer on the space, and Hoodline has noticed that Andale Management Group (behind the popular Mezcalito on Polk) has filed for a liquor license transfer at the address. Owners Jesse Woodward and Dana Gleim will continue to focus on their sports bar, Hi Tops. 2200 Market St. at 15th St.

This fall, the temporary food hall ~THE HALL~ is closing, as it was intended to—although it’s a year past when it was expected to close. It ends up they are timing it with The Hall’s three-year anniversary, during the last week of September. The space will then begin its next stage of development, and we’ll have to see where some of the vendors will land. [Via Scoop.] 1028 Market St. at Taylor.

One more item to note: AG Ferrari is refocusing their business on their national CPG product line and is closing their four retail store locations in Montclair Village, Piedmont Avenue, Laurel Village, and SoMa on May 1st. Their growing product line will remain available online and in grocery stores nationwide, and they’ll be offering discounts on their inventory until closing (excluding fresh foods, grab and go, and refrigerated beverages). The brand plans to release more products later this year.