April 10, 2018

April 10, 2018
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Besharam is opening in the Alta space at the Minnesota Street Project. Photo courtesy of Alta.

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Heena Patel. Photo courtesy of Besharam.

The partnership between La Cocina’s Incubator Program graduates and Daniel Patterson’s Alta Group continues with the excellent news that the talented Heena Patel (of Rasoi) is going to be taking over the Alta location at Minnesota Street Project in Dogpatch. She will be opening a restaurant called ~BESHARAM~, which translates to “shameless”! The name is inspired by the fact that at 50, she’s following her own dreams and doing something she has always been too scared to do: open her own restaurant. (“Besharam,” her Indian aunties would whisper.) And on Friday May 11th, that’s when Patel will shamelessly open her first restaurant.

Patel spent her childhood in Gujarat and her teenage years in Mumbai, followed by a life in London when she married, and then, with her own children, in the United States. She has been in La Cocina’s Incubator Program the last five years and has gained a reputation for her incredibly flavorful and innovative food. “When Heena cooks,” chef Traci Des Jardins said after hosting a pop-up at Jardinière featuring her food, “I look up. She takes ingredients that I know well and reintroduces them to me. It’s an excitement that’s rare in our industry.”

At Besharam, look for local grains and seasonal produce in her khichadi, and updated pav bhaji for lunch. Dinner will be family style, bringing Gujarati hospitality and flavors to the forefront, with a focus on vegetables in dishes like malai kofta with cashew pakoras and paneer dust, or her signature gunpowder over uttampam with spring greens. Also on offer: cocktails and wine pairings from Patel’s husband, Paresh, and the Alta bar team.

The Alta Group will provide infrastructure and ROC United systems for staff and management. Another collaboration is the upcoming Dyafa from Reem Assil of Reem’s California, opening in the former Haven in Oakland. 1275 Minnesota St. at 24th St.

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A bowl from a past pop-up with the Yo También ladies. Photo via Instagram.

Thanks to a star tablehopper reader, Paul G., I learned about the new business opening in the former Wooly Pig Cafe space in the Inner Sunset. It’s going to be ~YO TAMBIÉN CANTINA~ from couple Isabella Bertorelli and Kenzie Benesh.

They will be bringing their tropical-local vibes (they have hosted pop-up dinners and been a part of collaborations in the past), offering Venezuelan-Californian tropical food, from sandwiches (think pulled pork, spicy plantains, güasacaca sauce, and salsa picante inside an arepa) to bowls, plus baked goods and breakfast items. They are dedicated to seasonal, organic, and local produce (they are tight with Full Belly Farm) and are extremely excited to open. They are currently targeting late May/early June. Looking forward to meeting these badass mujeres and trying their food. Follow along on Instagram for now. 205 Hugo St. at 3rd Ave.

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The new Frozen Kuhsterd storefront opening in the Lower Haight. Photo via Facebook.

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Get steamy at the new DNM Hot Pot. Yelp photo by Sharon N.

After almost a year of delays (and two years in the making!), the ~FROZEN KUHSTERD~ team got in touch to let me know they are hosting their soft opening for their new Lower Haight shop (opening in the former P-Kok space) this Saturday April 14th. They will be open over the weekend from 12pm-9pm (Sat-Sun), and then the next few weekends as well. They will have eight flavors of their West Coast-style frozen custard, plus two nondairy options daily, and they have a few new items up their sleeve too. Maybe you’ll need to go by and see just what that is! 791 Haight St. at Scott.

It’s definitely still hot pot weather in our city (isn’t it always?), and this new Mongolian hot pot restaurant that just opened in the Inner Richmond looks really tasty: ~DNM HOT POT~ (with a spiffy interior as well). There are a variety of soup bases (like spicy, mushroom, tomato), meats (lamb, beef, meatballs), vegetables and tofu, sauces, and sides. You can also start with some BBQ lamb ribs. Fire it up! There are also some noodle combination lunch specials. Open daily 11:30am-2:30pm and 5:30pm-10:30pm. 1115 Clement St. at 12th Ave., 415-668-8666.

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The new breakfast service at City Counter includes multigrain porridge with Umbrian farro, black barley, and Arborio rice with local asparagus, lavender-fennel goat cheese, and a soft-boiled egg. Photo courtesy of City Counter.

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It’s time to meet My Jewish Husband at City Counter, a stuffed, everything-spiced gougère. Photo courtesy of City Counter.

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Weekend brunch is now happening at barvale. Photo courtesy of barvale.

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Smokebread (by Duna): it’s like your dream flatbread sandwich. Photo courtesy of Nick Balla.

Downtown workers (or at-home workers who order delivery): you have a new option for breakfast and it’s all going down at ~CITY COUNTER~! Chef Sean Thomas has been putting together some menu winners, including a spin on East Coast BEC, The Breakfast Toasty. It comes with egg, potato, and sharp white cheddar on Acme bread. You can also get carnivorous and add ‘nduja, housemade brown sugar merguez sausage (whut), or bacon.

And then there’s My Jewish Husband, an everything-spiced gougère loaded with gravlax, bay leaf cream cheese, and a caper and charred onion relish. Or try a multigrain porridge with Umbrian farro, black barley, and Arborio rice with local asparagus, lavender-fennel goat cheese, and a soft-boiled egg (and you can add on crispy smoked bacon, because why not?).

A lighter option includes The Day Maker (seasonal fruit with orange blossom yogurt and gluten-free black quinoa-cashew granola), or you can succumb to Marla Bakery pastries (croissants, coffee cake). There’s Linea drip coffee or organic teas. Breakfast is available Mon-Fri 7am-10am.

And you can come back for dinner, served until 7pm Mon-Tue and until 9pm Wed-Fri (or you can bring the spiced chicken meatballs with harissa tomato sauce and toasted Acme bread home with you). Also coming soon: outdoor seating! 115 Sansome St. at Bush.

~BAR VALE~ in Nopa just launched brunch, offering dishes like morcilla pudín with sunny eggs, frisée, and manchego ($14) and chorizo hash, two fried eggs, and chorizo vinaigrette ($14). French toast gets a Spanish accent with sherry custard, date syrup, almonds, banana, and cream ($11). Check out the entire menu here. You can also order hot and cold tapas.

And you know bar manager Jessica Everett has some new low-ABV cocktails and eye-openers for you, like the Pasatiempo with cold-brew coffee, Licor 43, Ancho Reyes, and stout. Served Sat-Sun 11am-3pm. 661 Divisadero St. at Grove.

Some updates at ~DUNA~: chef Nick Balla is morphing the concept into Smokebread (by Duna), starting this Wednesday April 11th. The menu will feature their amazing house-smoked potato flatbread (made with sourdough starter and organic wheat flour and cooked on a cast-iron pan, (inspired by Hungarian langos) topped with their mezze and combinations like cumin sausage with yogurt and sprouted mung beans, or their brilliant lentil croquettes with saag and pumpkin seed tahini. (It’s like a flatbread pizza that you roll up into an awesome sandwich.)

There will be four sandwiches, and they will continue to offer two of their popular and juicy spoon salads, and of course, plenty of mezze sides, pickles, and preserved items. Open Wed-Sun at 5:30pm. 983 Valencia St. at 21st St.

Have you always wanted to try a sandwich from Portland’s famed ~LARDO~? (I have.) Well, they are going to be popping up for the first time in SF at ~THE PEARL~ on Friday April 27th from 5pm-9pm. Your $15 ticket gets you a sandwich (they will be serving a half dozen of their signature sandwiches—it’s enough to make me want to collect all six) and hand-cut fries, and Oregon’s Fort George Brewery will be serving beer. A portion of the proceeds will benefit No Kid Hungry/Chefs Cycle, helping to end childhood hunger in America. 601 19th St. at 3rd St.

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The exterior of the Mission’s Hog & Rocks. Photo courtesy of Hog & Rocks.

Well folks, the time has arrived for ~HOG & ROCKS~ to announce their official closing date, which will be this Saturday April 14th, after they serve their last brunch and dinner. Scott Youkilis says their burger and chicken sandwich have experienced record sales the last couple of weeks, as it seems everyone is trying to get one last one. Best wishes to everyone, here’s their farewell note (scroll down). Coming up next in the space will be Anthony Strong’s new project.

Just a block away, a friend let me know ~KEN KEN RAMEN~ has closed—here’s their farewell sign. Eater caught the liquor license transfer, mentioning Ramenwell will be moving in (it’s owned by Harold Jurado, formerly a Chicago chef—at Chizakaya—who is now living in SF and working at Bon Appétit Management Company). Stand by. 3378 18th St. at Mission.

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