Restaurant Updates: Brunch at Barrio Chino, Chef Keita Tominaga at PABU, La Cocina Municipal Marketplace's Parklet

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The new shrimp and scallion scramble at brunch at Barrio Chino. Photo courtesy of Barrio Chino.

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Keita Tominaga is the new chef-partner of PABU Izakaya. Photo courtesy of PABU.

Pete Mrabe of Chubby Noodle and Don Pistos launched brunch at ~BARRIO CHINO~, his Chino-Latino spot known for classic Asian dishes influenced by the flavors of Mexico. (It was previously Don Pistos Tequila Bar.) The new brunch menu is creative and right up my alley—it includes a shrimp and scallion scramble (oyster sauce, eggs, salsa macha); bacon egg jook (sunny side egg, scallions, fried shallots); and a birria Benedict (English muffin, hollandaise, green onions). Whut. There’s also a breakfast burrito with hot sausage fried rice, avocado, and green sriracha, sounds good! Brunch cocktails include a tequila sunrise, bloody Mary, and the option to have bottomless mimosas (made with sparkling wine and seasonal fruit for $25 at the table for 90 minutes). Available Sat-Sun 11am-3pm. 2030 Lombard St. at Webster.

After the tragic passing earlier this year of beloved chef Ken Tominaga of Hana (since 1990!) and PABU, here’s some uplifting news: his son, Keita Tominaga, is the new chef-partner of ~PABU IZAKAYA~, which Ken founded in partnership with chef Michael Mina. Keita earned a degree from the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone after working at Farmhouse Restaurant and Inn (Forestville) and Diavola Pizzeria and Salumeria (Geyserville). He also spent more than two years working at Tokyo’s Tenoshima—which earned its first Michelin star during his time there—before returning to Northern California, where he worked alongside his father from March 2021 until his passing.

“My father was more than a chef—he was an educator and friend to many,” Keita says. “He took the time to teach people—everyone from his staff to his guests. Since English was not his native language, he spoke to them through food and took great joy in introducing people to his culture. With every project he has touched on, from opening Hana to PABU Izakaya with Michael Mina, he has always led by giving guests an authentic, Japanese experience. I look forward to carrying on his legacy and adding my own take on Japanese cuisine to PABU.”

The ~LA COCINA MUNICIPAL MARKETPLACE~ is getting a parklet, starting August 25th on Golden Gate Avenue. The parklet is in partnership with neighbor UC Hastings Law and will serve as an accessible and inclusive space for public seating, outdoor dining, and community programming. The parklet was designed, developed, and constructed with the generous pro bono support of Perkins&Will, Greystar, and Build Group. The exterior walls of the parklet will also serve as a canvas for local artist and La Cocina entrepreneur, Paola Lagunas, who will paint the story of migration through food. Swing by for lunch soon! 101 Hyde St. at Golden Gate.