January 23, 2018

January 23, 2018

Akamaru tamago ramen at Ippudo. Photo: Barron Lee.


The dining room at the new Ippudo location in SF. Photo: Barron Lee.

Well, SF, Berkeley may have got their Ippudo ramen house first, but you finally get your very own. ~IPPUDO~, the famed ramen restaurant most of us West Coasters could previously only indulge in while in New York, is coming to SF. (The chain was started by Ramen King Shigemi Kawahara in 1985, with just a 10-seat ramen house—it now has more than 160 restaurants worldwide.) The official opening is Sunday January 28th, but in the meantime, they are hosting soft opening hours and a limited menu. They just finished the lunch soft opening, and now you can come by Jan. 25th-27th (dinner only, 5pm-10pm).

The 86-seat location is on Yerba Buena Lane and is considered their “first full ramen fine dining experience on the West Coast,” which means it features an expanded menu of Hakata tonkotsu (pork) ramen with an 18-hour broth and handmade noodles (there are also non-pork, gluten-free, and vegetarian and vegan ramen options, and you can choose classic to spicy, plus toppings, and desired noodle texture too). There will be izakaya-style dishes—including steamed buns (pork, chicken, vegetable) and Goma Q (cucumbers seasoned with their house original sesame oil sauce)—as well as wine, beer, Japanese cocktails, aperitifs, and premium sake.

It has an eye-catching look, with a sake bar, a Hiragana alphabet wall and a large Chochin lantern. Hours will be Mon-Fri 11am-3pm and dinner 5pm-11pm, Sat-Sun 10am-10pm. 18 Yerba Buena Lane at Market.


Shake Shack classics. Photo via Shack’s Facebook page.


Liz Prueitt and Chad Robertson of Tartine Bakery and Manufactory. Photo by Eric Wolfinger.

If you follow @tablehopper on Twitter, you may have already read the news that Union Square Hospitality Group’s ~SHAKE SHACK~ is opening their first SF Bay Area location in Palo Alto at Stanford Shopping Center, due fall 2018. Also teased in the press release will be potential locations in the Marina District of San Francisco and Marin County. On the menu: their 100 percent all-natural Angus beef burgers, chicken sandwiches, and griddled flat-top dogs (no hormones or antibiotics), plus fresh-made frozen custard, crinkle-cut fries, craft beer, wine, and more.

Also in massive expansion mode is ~TARTINE BAKERY~, which is not only expanding with a Tartine Manufactory in LA and more locations in Seoul, plus the Manufactory Food Hall in SFO, but they also have plans for the former 398 Brasserie location downtown here in SF (in the Hotel G). Eater caught the ABC license transfer and revealed Tartine was originally partnering with chef April Bloomfield (which would include business partner Ken Friedman), but with the fallout from allegations of Friedman’s sexual harassment of employees, Tartine has ended the partnership. We’ll have to wait and see what Tartine’s Chad Robertson and Liz Prueitt come up with next for the location. 398 Geary St. at Mason.


Behold, the “breakwich” from The Board! Photo: Grace Sager Photography.


One of The Board’s “breakwich” combos, with a sausage patty and American cheese on a poppy seed roll. Photo: © tablehopper.com.


Take a look at these everything bagels, flown in from NYC! They taste as good as they look. Photo: Grace Sager Photography


The Board hot dog (grilled, with “habakraut,” onion, brown mustard, poppy seed bun). Photo: Grace Sager Photography.

Do you follow @tablehopper on Instagram? If so, I was probably torturing you yesterday with a pic of my breakfast sandwich from the soon-to-open ~THE BOARD~, another daytime sandwich spot from Adam Mesnick of Deli Board (he also was behind 1058 Hoagie and Rye Project). He’s opening The Board on Thursday February 1st in the former Fenix/TBD space in SoMa and will be offering breakfast and lunchy sandwich options, with some new combos and an eye on affordability.

Let’s talk breakfast first. Mesnick has the egg on a roll down pat, complete with runny egg, American cheese, and your choice of a poppy or sesame roll from Panorama. Or maybe you want a sausage patty instead of crisp and smoky bacon, or avocado…or Muenster cheese or… There are so many possible combos. Take your pick from the different sections, and luckily all the breakfast sandwiches come with his house Board sauce (all $9—which I find about a buck or two too high, but that’s SF).

And then there’s the everything bagel he’s flying in from New York (it’s a secret—trust, I tried to find out where), and then baking them off in the morning. I just want to say it’s one of the better bagel egg sandwiches I’ve had in town—it had so much flavor! That bagel will hit the spot, I’m telling you. Great texture. It made me happy. It tasted like New York! So yeah, I’ll pay $9 for a BEC with that bagel and a sausage patty.

He’s also going to be working out that griddle with grilled cheese sandwiches, plus a Board cheesesteak ($12) with a little onion, white American cheese, cherry peppers, Board sauce, on an Amoroso roll; his East Coast Italian style-hoagie (which I love), the #1, with Genoa salami, capicola, mortadella, provolone, cherry peppers, shredduce, salt and pepper, onion, and house dressing. There will also be falafel ($11), a hot dog ($6-$7), salads ($9-$12), soups ($4), and sides, including Board rolls (2 for $7). And don’t tell your cardiologist about the pepperoni, provolone, and marinara—all fried in an egg roll wrap. You’ll always want to check the board for specials. A cheeseburger is also in the works.

There are a lot of seats available, 48 total, and outdoor seating will be coming too. He designed the space to look like a classic diner/luncheonette, with subway tile, Deco pendant lights, and other vintage touches. Hours will be Mon-Fri 9:30am-2:30pm. 1077 Mission St. at 7th St.


Four Barrel cappuccino; Yelp photo from Jamie R.

I have a few updates for you on the local sexual harrassment stories that need to be followed. First, it looks like ~FOUR BARREL COFFEE~ settled the sexual harassment lawsuit out of court for an undisclosed amount (via SFGate), and it also ends up remaining partners Tal Mor and Jodi Geren have decided they will not be changing their name to The Tide after all (a response to employee feedback). And according to this tweet from @sassy__barista, it looks like they have had to lay some employees off (in wholesale) as they attempt to stabilize the business, and are moving the roastery back to Valencia Street. Next: watching their path to divest and becoming 100 percent employee-owned.

Meanwhile, the managers at ~BOOT AND SHOE SERVICE~ in Oakland picketed and protested on Saturday that owner Charlie Hallowell—accused of sexual harassment by numerous employees—needed to divest from the company or they would resign. Since he didn’t respond, numerous employees have since quit (The Chronicle reports three managers and chefs quit on Sunday, with others planning to quit in coming days, including male employees).


Contrada’s buckwheat rigatoni with duck sugo and chanterelles. Photo: Kristen Loken.

A couple of quick notes: over at ~CONTRADA~ in Cow Hollow, opening chef Jason Tuley has moved on after one year, and Denise St. Onge is the new executive chef, making it an all-female management team. Go ladies. St. Onge’s background includes Michael Mina, Gary Danko, and most recently at SPQR as pasta cook, butcher, and eventually sous chef. Look for some vegan and gluten-free offerings (including pizza) and handmade pastas. 2136 Union St. at Webster, 415-926-8916.

Over in Hayes Valley, Steven Izzo, Waterbar’s former wine director, and his wife, Lee Ann Frahm, also a Waterbar alum, have taken over ~DOBBS FERRY~ and will be overseeing the daily operations. This is their first restaurant venture. Changes are coming to the menu, plus the wine, beer, and cocktail programs. Executive chef Mike Yakura will remain in place, along with the restaurant staff. You can keep track of recent updates on their Instagram feed. Congrats Steve and Lee Ann—I know the wine list will rock. 409 Gough St. at Hayes, 415-551-7700.


A killer spread at Prubechu. Instagram photo via @restaurantprubechu.

Looking for some new lunch options? The fine folks at ~PRUBECHU~ in the Mission have put together a lunch menu, featuring some dishes from their à la carte menu. You can order their Chamorro empanada, or caramelized potato soup, or tinaktak (coconut-braised beef and noodles). And the red rice bowl with smoked pork sounds like a winner. And there are so many beers. Open Tue-Sat 11:30am-2pm. 2847 Mission St. at 415-952-3654.

Starting Monday February 5th, Ayesha Curry and Michael Mina’s hyped American barbecue restaurant, ~INTERNATIONAL SMOKE~, will start serving lunch Monday-Friday 11:30am-2pm. If you have been trying to get a reservation, there’s one way to get in and check it out—there are some tables open in mid-February. 301 Mission St. at Fremont.


Inner Sunset fixture Park Chow has closed after 20 years. Photo via Facebook.

Some closures around town, including old-timer ~PARK CHOW~, which closed on Sunday January 19th after 20 years of business. A neighbor gave me a heads-up that owner Tony Gulisano decided to move on and focus his energy on the upcoming opening of Chow Oakland Cafe, Bakery & Market. You can read more in his letter on their site, and they are hosting a little reception for regulars this coming Sunday January 28th. 1240 9th Ave. at Lincoln.

After almost two years on Valencia, the restaurant and brewery ~BRASSERIE SAINT JAMES~ decided to close over the holidays. Eater reports they were planning a renovation (the space was previously Abbot’s Cellar), but after reviewing the numbers, they decided to close. Some larger restaurant groups are reportedly interested in the space. 742 Valencia St. at 18th St.

Just across the street, the live music venue The Chapel has closed their 85-seat restaurant, ~THE VESTRY~. The Eater post mentions they will be launching a new restaurant concept in the space, so stand by.

Up on Nob Hill, the Champagne and fries bar ~THE FINE MOUSSE~ is closing this Saturday January 27th (UPDATE: they are now open through Saturday February 3rd!), after more than two years in business. If you come by this week, you’ll get free fries with every bottle purchased. A press release mentions coffee roaster Megafauna will be popping up in mid-February, a project from Avery Burke of The Temporarium (he’s building out a shop in Upper Market and this will be an interim sneak peek until it’s ready to open!). 1098 Jackson St. at Taylor.

Since we’re talking about Upper Market, ~THE MYRIAD FOOD HALL~ is closing February 28th. If you had a favorite vendor, check in and see if they will be landing elsewhere; Hoodline reports Bunn Mike will be moving to North Beach (752 Columbus Ave.). 2175 Market St. at 15th St.


Don’t miss the California premiere of Ramen Heads at SF IndieFest! Photo courtesy of SF IndieFest.

This week marks the kickoff for SF Restaurant Week (maybe you noticed their ad in tablehopper—we appreciate their support!) and it’s your chance to experience a variety of restaurants through the special menus they’re offering for lunch ($25) and dinner ($40 or $65)! You can peek at the menus here, and maybe now is the time to cross that place you’ve been eyeing off your list. Follow @sfrestaurantweek on Instagram and tag your pics with #SFRW to be featured!

And even Caviar is getting in on the promotion, so you can enjoy SFRW at home. (Use my code for $20 off your first delivery!) Or use code SFRW2018 at participating restaurants for $0 delivery fees on orders that are $30-plus, through January 31st.

This Sunday January 28th, Indian ~ROOH~ and Peruvian ~LA MAR~ are partnering on another chef collaboration dinner, and it’s abundant (seven courses). 6pm. Tickets: $129 per person, or $169 with beverage pairings. 333 Brannan St. at 2nd St.

~HAKKASAN~ is kicking off their signature Chinese New Year menu, running January 29th to February 24th (the Lunar New Year is on Friday February 16th—there will be lion dancers at 7pm). You’ll find oysters (which symbolize good fortune), braised beef tongue and caramelized walnuts, and abalone fried rice in bean curd wrap with Chinese sausage…and more. Priced at $118 per person. Be sure to write a wish for their wishing tree.

Ramen fanatics, you won’t want to miss the screening of Ramen Heads on Saturday February 10th (2pm) and Tuesday February 13th (7pm) at the Roxie Theatre during the SF IndieFest (February 1st-15th). The film features “Japan’s reigning king of ramen, Osamu Tomita.” More information and tickets here.