New Concepts, Service, and Specials: Mina Test Kitchen, Stem, The Den, Brenda's, More

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The cozy dining room at MINA Test Kitchen. Photo via Facebook.

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The bacon and egg pizza at Stem. Photo courtesy of Stem.

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The exterior of The Den in Bayview. Photo: William Werner.

While I’m sad to say farewell to ~POSTCARDS FROM LA COSTIERA~ (it just ended this past weekend), the latest concept at ~THE MINA TEST KITCHEN~ will be Mi Almita, lauching August 23rd. Michael Mina is partnering with Houston’s James Beard Award-winning chef Hugo Ortega (Xochi, Hugo’s, Caracol, Backstreet Cafe) on this seventh pop-up. The collaborative menu will take a journey throughout Mexico with dishes like huitlasquites corn soup, with fragrant chicken broth, huitlacoche, and housemade queso fresco; a ceviche trio sourced from the tidal pools of Fort Bragg; pozole verde with littleneck clams, hominy, and pumpkin seeds; pulpo al carbón, or grilled octopus with sweet peppers and caramelized onions, served with chipotle tomatillo salsa and housemade tortillas; and for dessert, a tasting of housemade Mexican chocolate.

The beverage program will complement the menu with several varieties of agave spirits (mezcal, tequila, bacanora, and raicilla), with some flights, cocktails, and more. Wines will be from Mexico or from California made by Mexican winemakers or vineyard managers.

Dinner is $39 for the five-course menu, with supplemental courses available. Dinner is served Wed-Sat, starting Wednesday August 23rd. Reservations. 2120 Greenwich St. at Fillmore.

Looking for a fun spot to enjoy your Saturday afternoon? ~STEM KITCHEN & GARDEN~ has launched a new Saturday lunch service (11:30am-3pm), so you can take advantage of their outdoor bar, patio with bay views, and bocce ball court! You can take a look at the menu, which includes oysters, short rib hash, pizzas, and shakshuka with baked eggs, stewed tomatoes, and peppers, black kale, and garden herbs served with baguette. 499 Illinois St. at 16th St., 415-915-1000.

Not too far away in Dogpatch, ~GLENA’S~ has made another adjustment by adding table service, and they are now open for Tuesday lunch too. Closed Mondays. Now go get some of their awesome al pastor tacos. 632 20th St. at 3rd St., 415-800-7415.

Over in Bayview, ~THE DEN~ from Craftsman and Wolves is launching a new Sunday menu on Sunday August 13th to coincide with the Bayview Farmers Market pilot, which is right in front of their shop on Yosemite (the test market will run for the next five weeks from 10am-2pm). Come by for Sunday-only menu items like short and tall stacks of classic, strawberry, and Valrhona chocolate chip hot cakes, along with side options including “CAWnadian” bacon (black coffee-brined smoked pork loin), a hash brown waffle with brown butter mayo, soft-boiled egg, and fruit from the market. You can also get the Rebel Within, an insanely good frittata breakfast sandwich, and more. Bonus: free drip coffee for motorcyclists, and market-goers who purchase produce will receive a Friend of the Farmers 10 percent discount on all purchases at The Den, which will be open from 8am-2pm. 1598 Yosemite Ave. at Keith, 415-423-3337.

Happy 10th birthday to ~BRENDA’S FRENCH SOUL FOOD~, which is celebrating the entire month of August by giving back to the Tenderloin community. Come by for a special edition strawberry shortcake beignet, with 100 percent of the proceeds to be donated to Saint Anthony’s and Glide Church. Nice work, Brenda’s!