June 13, 2017

June 13, 2017

Besharam is opening in the Alta space at the Minnesota Street Project. Photo courtesy of Alta.


The interior of Alta at the Minnesota Street Project. Photo courtesy of Alta.

The second location of Daniel Patterson’s ~ALTA~ has opened inside the Minnesota Street Project art galleries at 1275 Minnesota Street in Dogpatch. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the menu is designed to be welcoming all day—you can even get coffee and more, to stay or to go. Chef Matt Brimer, most recently at Haven in Oakland, is keeping things market-fresh, but don’t look for a menu that’s a facsimile of the Alta Mid-Market location. Breakfast includes sweet and savory rice porridges, toasts on Della Fattoria bread, and braised pork hash with a fried egg, while lunch has snacks and soup, salads (like smoked trout and endive), sandwiches, and the Alta cheeseburger.

Dinnertime brings table service, and a combination of small and large plates (like grilled levain with a spread of fava beans and fromage blanc, green garlic potato soup, and hand-cut pastas), with soft-serve sundaes for dessert and more. Look for low-ABV cocktails too. There is a no-tipping policy, by the way.

The 45-seat space has a natural, modern style, with a walnut bar and tables, ceramic pendant lights, and an open kitchen. It has a minimalist look but also includes murals by Catherine Wagner. Open daily. Mon-Fri 7am-10pm, Sat-Sun 10am-10pm. 1275 Minnesota St. at 24th St.

And that’s not all: a newsletter from the Daniel Patterson Group mentions there is an Alta coming to the YOTEL in Mid-Market (1095 Market St.).


1085 Mission St. exterior photo via LiveSOMA.

There’s a taker for the AQ space on Mission, and it’s chef-owner Chris Bleidorn, who will be opening ~BIRDSONG~ this winter. His experience includes Saison, Atelier Crenn, Benu, and Alinea, and he will be celebrating the Pacific Northwest through a fine dining menu. Think ancient cooking methods (open fire and smoke, dry-aging of meat, and fermentation) and dishes that will highlight cold-water shellfish, wild game (like elk, buffalo, boar), berries, mushrooms, and other seasonal ingredients you’d find in Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and British Columbia.

There will be a 12-course tasting menu, or the option to order à la carte and share large-format dishes with the table, like a whole trout or lamb shoulder. Wine pairings will include European and Pacific Northwest selections, plus plenty of Pacific Northwest craft beers too.

The space is being resdesigned by SAINT, and there will be 10 seats at a chef counter, a main dining room, plus two private dining rooms downstairs. Look for custom ceramic plateware designed by Bleidorn as well—robin’s-egg blue, of course. Dinner will be served Tue-Sat. 1085 Mission St. at 7th St.


Winner winner chicken dinner. A fine spread at RT Rotisserie. Photo: Kassie Borreson.


Chopped salads at Duna. Photo: Eric Wolfinger.


A look inside the new RT Rotisserie. Photo: Kassie Borreson.

I have been sharing details about these two projects, but since they both officially opened while I was traveling, I wanted to be sure you had them on your radar. First, the latest project from Nick Balla and Cortney Burns, ~DUNA~, is now open in their former ~MOTZE~ space. Take a look at the Central European menu here, with a fast-casual format that makes it an easy one to swing by for. I’m so ready for chopped salads and flatbreads! Liptauer paprika cheese dip is also going to be a friend, I can just tell.

Open Wed-Fri from 5:30pm-9pm and Sat-Sun 5:30pm-10pm. Lunch service will launch later in the summer. Also, check out their Father’s Day menu (scroll down), it looks great. 983 Valencia St. at 21st St., 415-484-1206.

Now open in Hayes Valley is ~RT ROTISSERIE~ from Rich Table’s Sarah and Evan Rich. They’re slinging rotisserie chicken, pork, and cauliflower, with a bunch of sides, all sourced with care and featuring their trademark layering of flavors. It’s perfect to dine in (there are 46 seats) or take out (or delivery—nab it on Caviar, and use my code in that link for $20 off!). I ordered a half chicken and their kickass salad for deadline delivery, and it hit the spot.

Check the menu here, and you can catch up on more details here. They are now open for lunch, so you can easily nab a sandwich (on housemade Dutch crunch!) or salad. Open 11am-9pm daily. 101 Oak St. at Franklin, 415-829-7086.


Sababa’s falafel sandwich will be back! Photo: Cameron Neilson.


The new Hook Fish Co. at Ocean Beach. Photo via Facebook.


Saucy Asian bowl with bulgogi. Instagram photo via @saucy.asian.

There are a bunch of new openings for your consideration, starting with a second location of the completely awesome ~SABABA~, which is softly opening today (Tuesday June 13th). Downtown workers get to enjoy their fresh-baked pita, fresh falafel, chicken shawarma, and one of my faves, their sabik. Enjoy half off the food until the end of the week. Score! There is a larger dining area, and look for a new seasonal salad coming to the menu as well, plus an expanded catering operation. Lunch will be served Mon-Fri 11am-3pm. 554 Commercial St. at Leidesdorff, between Montgomery and Sansome.

Another Med spot to open is ~TAHINI~ in the Mission, as noted by Hoodline. I mentioned last year that this spot from first-time owner Monti Majthoub was inspired because he was disappointed with all the mediocre shawarma around town, so he decided to tap into his family roots, which includes a bunch of Jordanian restaurateurs. Perfect. His menu includes some fluffy and fresh pita sandwiches, stuffed with kebabs or kufta or falafel ($8-$11), plus kebab and falafel plates, and kanafeh for dessert. There are some Mission touches to the menu as well, including some aguas frescas. Open 11am-7pm daily. 2859 Mission St. at 25th St., 415-800-8681.

Now open in the former Cajun Pacific out at Ocean Beach is ~HOOK FISH CO.~. Hoodline notes it’s both a restaurant and a sustainable fish market. Owners Beau Caillouette and Christian Morabito have worked hard to eliminate middlemen and try to buy directly from local fishmongers and fishermen, with many transparent notes about the sourcing too. The menu is inspired by SoCal seafood shacks and includes poke, crab cakes, ceviche, fish and chips, and fish tacos and burritos, plus beer and wine.

It has a surfer/coastal vibe, with reclaimed Douglas fir throughout, and many friends and neighbors helped out on the remodel. There’s a kitchen counter and communal table, and sidewalk seating is coming soon. Hours are daily 11:30am-9pm. Looking forward to checking this place out after a summer beach walk! 2542 Irving St. at 47th Ave.

Last year, I mentioned the former Fly Bar was getting new owners and was going to become ~MILLER’S REST~, and Hoodline now has the details on the opening. Mark and Terry Miller have given the space some cabin design touches (it was inspired by Mark Miller’s childhood lake cabin, called Miller’s Rest). The bar menu has five specialty cocktails ($10), and bites include smoked trout brandade, a trio of flatbreads, lake house chili, and fried chicken. There’s also a parlor room you can reserve for private parties. Hours: open daily at 11am onward. 1085 Sutter St. at Larkin, 415-441-4232.

Back in January, I broke the news about ~SAUCY ASIAN~, a fast-casual place in the former H Cafe in the Castro, serving Korean-inspired “super fusion” street food, and it’s now holding its soft opening.

You can check the menu here, which includes burritos, tacos, sandwiches (banh mi, cheesesteaks), bibimbap, and poke bowls. You’ll choose from meats like bulgogi, garlic shrimp, spicy pork, soy-garlic chicken, plus tofu and shiitake mushrooms. And a bunch of sauces, oh you know it. Owner Andrew Shinn has designed it to be takeout-friendly (delivery service to Dolores Park will be coming soon), but there are indoor and outdoor seats as well. Hours are 10:30am-3pm and 5pm-9pm daily, which will expand once things ramp up. Beer and wine are also coming. 3801 17th St. at Sanchez.


Duck soup at The Morris’s new lunch service. Photo courtesy of The Morris.

There are plenty of new service updates for you around town, starting with the debut of lunch service at ~THE MORRIS~ in Potrero Flats. Yup, you can get that insane off-menu hamburger, and there’s also a Muscovy duck noodle soup with burnt orange and habanero broth ($16). Lunch is served Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm. And no one will raise an eyebrow if you order the Chartreuse slushy.

More lunch service can be found at ~THE DOUGLAS ROOM~, actually all-day service! It’s a bar with food from Benjamin Cooper’s Mo Hodges and Brian Felley in The Tilden Hotel, remember when I told you about it? Chef Glen Schwartz has put together quite the menu: here’s lunch (I really have to check out that Italian hoagie) and here’s dinner. Open 11am-2am, with food served until 1am. 345 Taylor St. at O’Farrell.

Sadly, ~ASTER~ is no longer serving their awesome brunch. Wah. One other tweak: chef Brett Cooper’s dinner menu is now a set four-course menu, with choices for each course, for $75. [Via Scoop.]

There’s a new happy hour at ~TAWLA~ called loukmat, which is Arabic for “bites.” Come by daily from 5:30pm-6:30pm and you can enjoy a selection of bites like their fab housemade bread, muhammara, baharat-spiced chicharrones, butter bean salad, meatballs, sujuk, marinated kalamata olives, and candied wild pecans, served on their Turkish coffee trays. It’s $13 per person, and you’ll find some $10 wines too. Snag a seat on their sweet back patio and you’re set.


The new Ritual Coffee Castro. Photo via Facebook.

~RITUAL COFFEE~ is taking over the former and tiny Wildcraft Espresso Bar space at Market and Noe in the Castro, just by the vintage streetcar turnaround. It will be Ritual’s sixth café, and co-founder Eileen Hassi Rinaldi is well aware of the density of cafés in the area, but tells Hoodline that Ritual has its own personality. Indeed. (And she lives in the neighborhood, so is excited to be there.) Hours will be 7am-2pm to start, and in order to offer swift morning service, they will only offer batch-brew coffee, not pour-over (for now). Look for pastries, baked goods, and some of their fun coffee drinks (iced horchata latte for the win). 2299 Market St. at Noe.

Over in Pacific Heights, ~BLUE BOTTLE~ has opened its latest location in the former Tully’s and Juicy News spaces on Fillmore, previously Shumate’s Pharmacy, and you’ll see the original tiles spelling Shumate. The airy location was designed by Wade Design Architects and Blue Bottle’s Store Design Manager Dana Nishimura Bryan. The space features ’70s modernism design references, with vintage Pioneer speakers, cork wood floors, and a textured onyx stone counter. Open daily 7am-7pm. 2455 Fillmore St. at Jackson.

I have been trying to figure out what was going into a former music studio on Potrero Hill, and Eater reveals it’s ~PARKER CAFÉ~, an all-day café and restaurant from owner Fredic Fuchet (previously at Chez Papa and Papito). You’ll find Sightglass Coffee drinks, and the menu features French-style tartines, hearty salads, and wine and beer. Open Mon-Fri 7:30am-9pm (breakfast is served until 11am), Sat-Sun 8am-9pm. 1399 18th St. at Missouri.


The welcoming and colorful entrance at Fénix. Photo via Fénix’s website.

And just like that, whoosh, Matt Semmelhack’s last remaining SF restaurant in the Mercer Restaurant Group, ~FÉNIX~, has closed. (AQ and Bon Marché closed previously.) Hard times out there. Enjoy some quality time with your daughter, chef Mark Liberman (and we’ll see where he lands next). 1077 Mission St. at 7th St. [Via Scoop.]

Another closure is the inscrutable ~JAI YUN~, known for chef Chia Ji Nei’s spendy preorder tasting menu, which has left its Clay Street location; he is reportedly operating out of New Sun Hong Kong. You can still preorder a multicourse meal for $98 or $168 a person—just call the restaurant to make a reservation a few days ahead. New Sun Hong Kong: 606 Broadway at Columbus, 415-981-7438. [Via Hungry Onion and Scoop.]

I’ve heard some buzz about a potential taker for the 680 Clay Street space, stand by for now.


Wake up and smell the Coffee Manufactory. Instagram image via @coffeemanufactory.

Some big news coming out of Jack London Square: ~COFFEE MANUFACTORY~ (as in Tartine’s coffee roasting arm) will be locating their 5,000-square-foot headquarters there, and in the fall, ~BELCAMPO MEAT COMPANY~ will be opening one of their sustainable butcher shops and restaurants there too. Coffee Manufactory will also be opening a pop-up coffee bar, serving coffee and espresso drinks, plus some pastries and baked goods.

And, as mentioned previously in tablehopper, Burmese ~GROCERY CAFÉ~ will be opening mid-June in Jack London Square. 63 Jack London Square (Franklin and Embarcadero West), Oakland.

Some big news out of the kitchen at ~CHEZ PANISSE~: chef Cal Peternell is leaving the restaurant on July 5th, after 22 years there. While his next steps are TBD, Scoop reports he has a third cookbook coming out, plus his new Cooking by Ear podcast. He’s also considering starting a cooking school to address the current cook shortage “that could offer scholarships that could help the applicants live in the Bay Area while learning from industry veterans.” Love that kind of thinking.

A couple of closures/moves to report: Uptown’s ~PICÁN~ has closed, but it sounds like they are remodeling their current hefty space to be a more manageable size, with plans to reopen in the fall. Or it may move elsewhere, it’s a bit unclear at the moment. The San Francisco Business Times (which I learned via Nosh) reported Picán’s space and the vacant Ozumo are being rejiggered into four smaller spaces, with ~BROWN SUGAR KITCHEN~ and Jack London Square’s ~BOCANOVA~ moving into two of the spots (Bocanova will be closing in its current space in the transition). 2251 Broadway at 23rd St., Oakland.

Japanese fried chicken fans will want to head over to the former Stag’s Lunchette (now Ironwolff), where they’ll find pop-up ~ABURA-YA~ Tue-Sat 5pm-10pm. You can sit down and enjoy fried chicken and seasonal izakaya sides. 362 17th St. at Webster, Oakland.

Fans of herring should know this weekend is maatjesharing (aka New Dutch Herring or New Catch Holland Herring) at ~SAUL’S RESTAURANT & DELI~. You’ll be able to taste buttery maatjes New Holland Herring with onion and pickle, St. George’s gin or vodka straight, or Trumer Pils. Sat-Sun June 17th-18th, 11am-2pm. 1475 Shattuck Ave. at Vine, Berkeley, 510-848-DELI.

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