New Openings Around Town, from Vietnamese and Moroccan Restaurants to a Chinese Bakery

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Gao Viet Kitchen in SF. Yelp photo by Trewen W.

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Banh cuon from GAO Viet Kitchen. Instagram photo via @gaovietkitchen.

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The dining room at the new L’mida in the Marina. Photo courtesy of L’mida.

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48-hour beef short rib. Photo courtesy of Sura-Gan.

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The new Beluna Cafe in NoPa. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

I wanted to make sure you knew that ~GAO VIET KITCHEN & BAR~ is now open in SF—they had their soft opening in mid-December. I reported a couple years ago that this popular Vietnamese restaurant in San Mateo from chef-owner Viet Nguyen was coming to the former KFC/Taco Bell at Irving and 20th Avenue.

The menu of starters includes Vietnamese classics like chả giò (crispy imperial rolls) and bò tái chanh (beef carpaccio), plus special dishes like bánh khọt (mini savory pancakes) and bánh cuốn (steamed rice noodle rolls), and street seafood dishes, plus chef’s original creations, like marrow cracker with pork belly. There are multiple bowls of specialty phở (I really want to try the wok phở), including soft-shell crab bun rieu and bun bò hue, and the much-hyped/grammed big Gao phở ($33), with a huge beef short rib that sticks out of the bowl, plus filet mignon, marrow, onion, and 24-hour marrow broth. (There’s also the phozilla, which is ridiculous and $95 and built for social media, but go for it.)

Larger courses include shaking beef, five-spice chicken garlic noodles, pork ribs, bún chả (grilled pork belly and grilled fatty pork over rice vermicelli noodles). Family-style is the way here, so come with some dining partners, but be prepared to wait—chef has a lot of followers on the ‘gram. The space has two levels, a full bar, and is open Wed-Thu 4pm-10:30pm, Fri-Sat 4pm-11pm, Sun 4pm-10:30pm. 1900 Irving St. at 20th St.

Back in March of 2022, I mentioned ~SURAGAN~, a higher-end tasting menu of royal Korean dishes and luxury ingredients from chef Jongmoon Choi that was popping up in Sushi Sato. Eater reports the restaurant has now open in its own location at 250 Hyde Street. The 12-course tasting menu is $135, served Tue-Sat (two seatings nightly). 250 Hyde St. at Eddy.

Over in the Marina, there’s a new Cal-Moroccan spot the just opened, ~L’MIDA~, from the owners of Khamsa in the Mission (WhatNowSF reported last year it was opening in the former Chestnut Bakery). It has a stylish interior, with dishes coming from the pizza oven, like lahm ajin (minced meat with green peppers and tomatoes) and another flatbread with goat cheese, honey, dry figs, and walnuts. There are maakouda (potato fritters), tagines, mixed grill or fish dishes, and baked-to-order baklawa for dessert. Open nightly 5pm-10pm, and open for bar bites Mon-Thu 1pm-5pm and weekend brunch Sat-Sun 11am-2:30pm. 2359 Chestnut St. at Divisadero.

A friend mentioned a new dim sum spot that recently opened in SoMa in the former and longtime B & M Mei Sing Restaurant, ~VILLAGE TEA HOUSE~, with a varied menu of siu mai, sheng jian bao, boiled dumplings, and dishes like dan dan noodles and beef brisket noodle soup. Open Mon-Sat 11am-2pm and 5pm-8pm. 62 2nd St. at Jessie.

I am totally curious about this new TenderNob Venezuelan-Chinese restaurant, ~CANTOO LATIN ASIAN ROTISSERIE~, serving spicy garlic-fried calamari, chili oil pork dumplings, empanadas, and Venezuelan rotisserie chicken with fried rice, coleslaw, and two kinds of sauces (cilantro cream sauce and sweet and sour sauce, both housemade). Open daily 11am-11pm. 572 O’Farrell St. at Leavenworth.

A tablehopper reader let me know they saw a sign for ~PRINCESS BAKERY~ opening right next to Cinderella Bakery on Balboa (you can’t make this shit up). This is a second location of the Excelsior Chinese bakery known for its egg tarts, pork floss rolls and buns, chashu bao, pineapple buns, and more. 448 Balboa St. at 6th Ave.

Over in the Mission is ~GYROS AND TZATZIKI~ in the former Ritu from Turkish refugee Cem Bulutoglu. You should read Mission Local’s piece about this inspiring and hustlin’ entrepreneur, it will make you want to visit. Open daily 10am-9pm. 3111 24th St. at Folsom.

Out on a walk in my neighborhood, I noticed the former Oakside Café is now ~BELUNA CAFE~, with a bright blue sign, door, and walls (there’s also a mezzanine). The menu includes a variety of coffee drinks and some pastries and snacks. Open Mon-Fri 8am-3pm and Sat-Sun until 4pm. 1195 Oak St. at Broderick.