News Tidbits Around Town, from Bar Agricole to Nombe

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Nightcap: a glass of Glühwein at Bar Agricole.

Rather than do a series of four different posts, here’s a little grab bag for ya:

Well, my fellow night owls, I am sorry to report the kitchen at ~BAR AGRICOLE~ is now closing at 11pm instead of 1am—it was just proving to be too costly to keep the staff working that late into the evening. Wah. (While it’s still holiday time, I highly recommend swinging by there for a glass of their wonderful Glühwein, a German mulled wine.)

I was happy to try some new items on the ~MISSION CHINESE FOOD~ menu Sunday night, like the amazing Westlake rice porridge ($9), a spin on Westlake beef soup, which is going to be the only thing I’ll want the next time I’m sick, hungover, cold, and/or all three. It’s a zingy, clean, and thinner-style porridge, with oxtail, Dungeness crab, and a soft-cooked egg—so wonderful for breakfast the next day. I also went nuts over the simply perfect Hainan chicken rice ($6)—such flavorful rice, mixed with chicken fat, roasted peanuts, cilantro, and the zing of Shaoxing wine (and you better like ginger). There’s also a decadent-sounding tea-smoked eel dish ($9) with ham hock and Chinese celery in rice noodle (could it be a cousin to the long-gone chinito?).

And for those of you who want to have a last taste of chef Nick Balla’s cooking at ~NOMBE~ before he moves on, he will be in the kitchen this week, through December 31st. Mission motzu, here I come.

And in the “d’oh” department, it looks like ~PLACE PIGALLE~ has had their liquor license suspended indefinitely. According to some folks in the neighborhood, this little movie shoot they hosted may have had something to do with it. 520 Hayes St. at Octavia, 415-552-2671. An update on this from GrubStreet: “A rep from Kink.com contacted us to clarify that Place Pigalle owner Greg Noto hasn’t actually lost his liquor license (it appears good through May), but in fact lost the lease on the place, something that was apparently in the cards for months — and long before the July Kink shoot. Noto himself hasn’t been reachable for clarification, but the rep says that the shoot was closed to the public, done entirely with Noto’s permission, and did not lead to any disciplinary action. Look for Place Pigalle, then, to stay closed for the duration and for the space to turn over.”