November 10, 2021

November 10, 2021
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The dining room at 1760. Photo by Daniel Morris Photography.

Some exciting news from the Acquerello team: they’re transforming the former ~1760~ on Polk into ~SORELLA~, which means “sister” in Italian (it’s like Acquerello’s little sister who is chic and fun). Look for cocktails, cicchetti (Venetian snacks and bar bites), and an Italian menu from Acquerello’s team of chef Suzette Gresham and Giancarlo Paterlini (and chef de cuisine Seth Turiansky), chef Denise St. Onge (formerly Greens), and Sean Talley, with Gianpaolo Paterlini consulting on the wine list. You’ll be able to graze on a variety of Italian snacks, like arancine, polpettine, grilled octopus, spiedini, and other bites at the bar (they’re also working on a fried pizzetta!), or sit down in the dining room for a more substantial meal, with pasta and lots of vegetable dishes.

They have brought on Manhattan Zodiac, a woman-owned and operated cocktail consultancy from Yana Nogid and Katya Skye to develop the cocktail menu, which will feature unique Italian spirits and speciality amari (I look forward to trying a Sorella Sour). The bar was extended three feet and will be easier to hang out at, plus there will be other updates to the room, including a fun neon sign of the charming Sorella logo.

The plan is to open around 5pm during the week (they’re thinking Wed-Fri), and serve a delicious brunch on the weekend (plus offer evening service), with an early Sunday supper. Look for an opening Wednesday December 1st—follow their Instagram for updates and I’ll share more in coming weeks. 1760 Polk St. at Washington.

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Chunjang-glazed pork ribs. Yelp photo by Cathy L..

After avidly following Corey Lee of Benu’s latest project on Instagram for months (and he shared the idea for it years ago), I was so happy to see the email announcement when reservations were finally open for ~SAN HO WON~ (if you follow @tablehopper’s Instagram Stories, you would have gotten the jump on the news—all the reservations are waitlist-only for now, with some seats at the counter available for walk-ins, good luck! I’ll be dining there in a few weeks and can’t wait to post about it.).

This new, minimalist, Korean charcoal barbecue restaurant is in the former Blowfish in the Mission, offering a casual and convivial dining experience, with a menu that “is rooted in home cooking and traditional flavors but embraces local ingredients and modern techniques.” Lee is collaborating with Jeong-In Hwang on the project, who has been working with him since 2016 and is leading the menu development. Throughout the pandemic, they were testing dishes and offering a variety of monthly menus for takeout, pretty much one of the few bright spots during those dark days. And now, guests will be able to enjoy grilled meats fresh off their central BBQ stove—like center cut prime beef tongue, house double-cut galbi (short rib), and chunjang-glazed pork ribs—grilled over solid lychee wood charcoal produced specifically for the restaurant.

You can make your way through a variety of appetizers, specialty banchan, soups and stews (it’s not all traditional—I can’t wait to try the kimchi jjigae pozole with pork belly, hominy, avocado, radish, and cilantro), gamasot rice dishes (cooked in the traditional Korean cast-iron pot), large-format dishes, and there’s also a tasting menu for $88 if you just want to be in their hands. Check out the menu here. Eater took some images of the space here. I’d sign up for San Ho Won’s mailing list for reservation updates and expanded hours (starting November 17th, they’ll be open for dinner Wed-Sun 5pm-9pm and until 10pm Fri-Sat). 2170 Bryant St. at 20th St.

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The retro and vibrant style of Hilda and Jesse. Photo: Timofei Osipenko.

Congrats to chef Kristina Liedags Compton and co-owner Rachel Sillcocks on getting their first brick-and-mortar breakfast restaurant open, ~HILDA AND JESSE~, after popping up for months, fundraising, hand-delivering and selling their trademark Pancakes without Boundaries (a double stack of fluffy pancakes topped with delightfully smoky seasonal fruit) at Bi-Rite Market and Nighthawk…it has been a journey and a hustle. But now, their uniquely styled, retro-inspired diner (designed by Noz Nozawa of Noz Design) is open on the corner of Union and Powell in North Beach with an all-day menu, an international brunch tasting menu (three courses for $45), a list of sparkling wines, and low-ABV cocktails, including a fun spin on an espresso martini.

The menu is much more than what it seems at first glance: the “avocado toast” has a base of a tempura-fried sweet potato topped with sour cream and onion dip, finished with dill and horseradish, while the steak and eggs will feature dry-aged ribeye from Cream Co., served with herbaceous soft-scrambled eggs and finished with a tomatillo-mustard jus. Take a peek at sample menus on their site. There will also be fun vintage plateware, family portraits of Hilda (Compton’s grandmother) and Jesse (Sillcocks’ grandfather) created by artist Daisy Patton, and more unique touches.

The brunch tasting menu is available Saturdays, Sundays, and Monday nights (brunch for dinner!). À la carte is available on Fridays and for walk-ins Saturdays and Sundays. Open Fri-Sun 9am-2pm, Mon dinner 5:30pm-9:30pm. The space will also host future pop-ups and can be rented for community or private events in the evening. 701 Union St. at Powell.

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Radio Africa & Kitchen exterior. Photo: Daisy Chow. © tablehopper.com.

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Son’s Addition interior. Yelp photo by Xteethx B.

After being closed for the duration of the pandemic, chef-owner Eskender Aseged has reopened the dining room of ~RADIO AFRICA KITCHEN~ in Bayview. During the pandemic, Radio Africa cooked meals for the community with Great Plates Delivered and SF New Deal, as well as offering takeout family meals, but now his neighbors and regulars can come in for lunch in person Tue-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm! 4800 3rd St. at Oakdale.

Thanks to a tip from a hawk-eyed tablehopper reader, I learned that Anna Sager Cobarruvias and Nick Cobarruvias have closed their 24th Street location of ~SON’S ADDITION~ after five years in the neighborhood. They’re looking for a new location where they can have full liquor, stand by for updates. In the meantime, they’re busy with their latest venture, Otra, a popular and oh-so-delicious Mexican restaurant and bar in the Lower Haight.

I’m happy to report ~TOMMASO’S~ in North Beach (since 1935, people!) has reopened after a kitchen fire last month. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but they did have to close for a few weeks while waiting for materials. They also had to rebuild their outdoor Shared Space last September after a fire truck hit it, so they’ve had an extra-rough go this pandemic. Come by and show some support for this SF classic—they extended their annual Mushroomfest to run through November, with specials like lasagne with porcini and pizza quattro funghi. Open Tue-Sun 5pm-10pm. 1042 Kearny St. at Broadway.

A longtime tablehopper reader let me know ~KEIKO À NOB HILL~ has closed. The hidden-away, Franco-Japanese restaurant from chef Keiko Takahashi originally opened in 2011, and owner (and husband) Seigo Takei’s extensive wine collection was a favorite of many of the city’s vintage-bottle chasers. 1250 Jones St. at Clay.

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A falafel pita from Hummus Bodega. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Some quick opening updates for you, starting with ~FLORI’S~ in Russian Hill, serving Salvadoran and Mexican dishes, ranging from pupusas to ceviche, mole, tacos, and burritos, plus beer, wine, frosé, and sangria. Open Tue-Thu 12pm-9pm, Fri 12pm-10pm, Sat 2pm-10pm, and Sun 12pm-8pm. 2360 Van Ness Ave. at Green.

The awesome ~HUMMUS BODEGA~ I love their falafel pita sandwiches) has opened a second location in SoMa in the Frena Bakery and Cafe (they are sharing the space), offering indoor dining, takeout, and delivery. Mon-Thu 11am-8pm. 132 6th St. at Minna.

The former Coin-Op space in SoMa is now ~THRILLER SOCIAL CLUB~ from Kingston Wu (Wilder, Westwood), with a variety of vintage midway games, a playful menu from Stag Dining Group (think BBQ pulled pork deviled eggs, a butter and bacon lobster roll, and some creative pies will be coming out of the wood-fired pizza oven, including a CPK-inspired Peking duck pizza!), and cocktails to help get your Skee-Ball swerve on. Open Wed-Sat 4pm-close. 508 4th St. at Bryant.

There are some new Japanese spots opening around the city, including ~SUSHI SATO~ from the Mins Group (Sushi Hon, Tamashisoul, BarnZu, Sushi Hakko) in the former Bitters, Bock, and Rye space in the Tenderloin. The Hoodline piece mentions they’re offering a variety of hot and cold dishes, as well as à la carte sushi or tasting menus, plus there’s going to be an on-site beer brewing program from Dave McLean (the founder of Magnolia Brewing) and a full bar, Bar Kuro. Open Tue-Wed 5pm-11pm and Thu-Sat 5pm-12am. 1122 Post St. at Polk.

Over in Mission Bay, ~MACHIYA~ is serving sushi and skewers grilled on Japanese charcoal, with sake and beer. Open Mon and Wed-Sat 11am-2pm and 5pm-10pm. 570 4th St. at Brannan.

And in the Mission, there’s ~ICHI NI SAN SUSHI~ serving a variety of saucy maki rolls and pretty straightforward nigiri, plus bento boxes and appetizers. Open daily 11am-9pm. 3230 22nd St. at Mission.

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Oliveto’s sign. Photo via Oliveto.

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The bar at The Lodge in Oakland. Photo: The Lodge.

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Fowl + Fare’s fantastic Indian butter fried chicken sandwich. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Fowl + Fare’s chef Will Allen with one of his masterpieces. Photo courtesy of Fowl + Fare.

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Step right up to the new Stinky’s Bar. Photo courtesy of Stinky’s Bar.

Last week, a good friend let me know something was up at ~OLIVETO~ in Rockridge, and a couple days later, Nosh broke the news that co-owners Bob Klein and Maggie Blyth Klein have decided to retire after 35 years (although Bob will continue his Community Grains project). Oliveto has been such a seminal part of our local Cal-Italian culinary scene, with so many notable chefs who have come up and out of that kitchen. The Kleins are reportedly planning to go full-tilt until the end of the year, with truffle dinners, a “destination Oceanic Dinner,” and more—they have a huge community of neighborhood regulars, so it’s going to be quite the ongoing send-off. Best wishes to the Kleins for everything they did to make it through the pandemic. Stand by for more announcements and be sure to book a reservation for a farewell meal.

Any of you who follow @tablehopper on Instagram have heard me crowing about the over-the-top delicious fried chicken sandwiches from Will Allen of Oakland-based pop-up Fowl + Fare. When I interviewed him about his sandwiches and business a month ago, I was dismayed to hear about the many constraints and limitations he was dealing with. He mentioned he was on the hunt for a location that he could turn into more of a home base, and after introducing him to Alexeis “Lexi” Wolff Filipello of ~THE LODGE~ on Piedmont, they found a fit and he’s going to start cooking out of their kitchen December 1st!

Will is going to be open during the day for takeout (he’s thinking 11am-3pm), and then serving food for bar patrons five or six nights a week, something like 5pm to midnight or so. This will be all fine-tuned in coming weeks, but he’s thinking of launching with his classic citric hot chicken and lemon pepper fried chicken sandwiches, Fowl fries, and will be coming up with some bar bites to start. Delivery will also be added, and, of course, he’ll be offering new specials in no time because he can’t stop, won’t stop (he has 57 international fried chicken combinations, and counting). The Lodge is open Sun-Wed 5pm-12am and Thu-Sat 4pm-2am. 3758 Piedmont Ave. at West MacArthur, Oakland.

He’ll be popping up at Deli Board (1058 Folsom St.) this Thursday November 11th from 6pm-9pm or until sold out, which will happen, so preorder your sandwich here! And then he’s back in Oakland serving his birria tacos (yup, he makes those too) and his sandwiches and more for lunch Sat-Sun 11am-2pm. (His last day of service in Jack London Square will be Sunday November 28th, FYI.)

Will has also been popping up at AltoVino in Russian Hill in SF (here’s the birria fried chicken sandwich he made on a recent appearance) and will be there Tuesday November 16th. Follow his Instagram for menu updates and more, he’s good about posting his whereabouts until he lands permanently at The Lodge.

Meanwhile, Filipello has been busy transforming her other beautiful downtown Oakland bar, ~DOGWOOD~ into a new concept and vibe to reflect the changing times. Honk your clown nose, it’s time to meet ~STINKY’S BAR~. Filipello has collected all kinds of clown memorabilia, robots, vintage toys, musical bears, and other quirky and circus-themed items for years, and is excited to trot them out to help create an energetic, engaging, and unique atmosphere at the bar, which we could all use a dose of right now. She wants to foster a “fun queerdo vibe, with no mean people, and no mimes.” Ha!

There will be theme nights with music, variety shows on Sundays, and there’s going to be a 25-seat theater in the back room in early 2022! She and her husband want the Dogwood Theater to be a community space where local filmmakers can screen their work and have viewing parties without having to over-pay a cinema to do so. They will also screen B movies, documentaries, BIPOC- and queer-made films, and more. Guests will be able to enjoy free popcorn while sitting in some amazing vintage green velvet theater chairs with a cocktail, it sounds like a blast.

Stinky’s bar menu will be keeping some Dogwood cocktail classics on there, with seasonal slushies made with fresh fruit and good booze, and tasty grilled cheese and other sandwiches. Stinky’s should be opening around Thanksgiving, follow their Instagram for updates and hours. 1644 Telegraph Ave. at 17th St., Oakland.