August 25, 2009

Whoa, some local restaurants have been taken down with fires this past week, damn. Last Friday, ~CHOW~ in the Castro suffered a fire in the flue in the morning, and will now be closed for a few weeks for repairs. Will let you know when the reopening is in sight, so you can resume your ginger cake with pumpkin ice cream consumption. 215 Church St. at Market, 415-552-2469.

And then this Tuesday before lunchtime, ~TADICH GRILL~ also suffered a fire in the flue. Fortunately, it was contained, and they are already open again. See, San Francisco's oldest restaurant is tough like that. 240 California St. at Front, 415-391-1849.

In the fire-comeback category ~LIMON~ in the Mission is reopening at the end of this week, potentially even on Thursday. It now has a refreshed interior (Eater has some pics of the new space here), and a ceviche bar will now be located in the front of the restaurant. 524 Valencia St. at 16th St., 415-252-0918.

Another opening this week: ~MAZU~ is opening in the old Rohan Lounge space (they are targeting this week, with Sunday at the latest). As I previously mentioned in tablehopper, a former Rohan server, her sister (who is a chef), and their good friend (who was a bartender and server at Rohan) all went in together and took it over, naming it after a mythological goddess of the sea. The partners are sisters KK and Silma Salamin, and good friend Leah Adiol—they are all local San Franciscans who grew up together. They will continue the soju lounge style, serving Pan-Asian fare (chef Silma Salamin has worked at Ozumo, Hayes Street Grill, and Mezze in Oakland). Look for new art, DJs, and a freshening up of the space (new upholstery for the booths, paint, etc.). You can look at a PDF of the menu here. According to the site, hours will be Tue–Sun 11:30am–2:30pm and 5pm–11pm. 3809 Geary Blvd. at 2nd Ave., 415-221-9800.

Folks have been wondering what was going into the former Deep Sushi space in Noe Valley, and I finally got a lead on the haps. It’s going to be called ~DEEP~, and chef Thomas Weibull, formerly of Plouf and Des Amis, is the executive chef (he was brought on by the real estate partners to run the restaurant). He was with the Belden Place Frenchies (Olivier Azancot and Eric Klein) since 2002, and the head chef of Plouf since 2004, but was ready for a change of pace—he left Plouf at the end of July. Deep is going to be focused on Japanese small plates (some will be modern izakaya in style), and using local and seasonal ingredients when possible. They will also be making their own tofu. While some sushi will be available, it will be less of a focus than the previous incarnation as Deep Sushi. Weibull told me he is still in the process of hiring a sushi chef; he’ll have more info, including the opening date for me soon (possibly mid-September). The space is currently being redone, with more seating being added in the back (previously the lounge area), and they are also working on a Zen garden behind the restaurant! 1740 Church St. at 29th St.

Grub Street New York has the news about Nate Appleman's next project: he will be working with Keith McNally on ~PULINO PIZZERIA~, a new pizza project in the Bowery. According to the post, the opening is slated for December.

As for some local pizza, over in Cow Hollow, ~PIZZERIA AVELLINO~ has officially opened in the Curbside Taqueria location. New York–style and Napoletana pizzas in the casa. Hours are Mon–Thu 11:30am–10pm, Fri–Sat 11:30am–11pm, and Sun 11:30am–10pm. 2769 Lombard St. at Lyon, 415-776-2500.

It's time for a snack attack!

A new taco truck is in the mix: look for ~KUNG FU TACOS~ in the FiDi, doing up Chinese tacos with fillings like char siu (BBQ pork), mu shu vegetable, and duck, stuffed in La Palma tortillas. They usually serve Mon–Fri from 11am–2:30pm (or until they run out). Follow their Twitter feed for other locations, new menu items, etc. Parked at Sansome and Jackson.



More FiDi bites: ~BATTER BAKERY~ (you may know these treats from Blue Fog Market and Stable) is opening a kiosk tomorrow (Wednesday) in a former flower stand. They'll be doing breakfast treats (muffins, scones, quick bread, coffeecake) and desserts (lots of cookies, brownies/bars, cupcakes, biscotti, shortbread); flavor varieties will change weekly. They will also be doing some fun ready-made mixed boxes for people to pick up for office breakfasts or meetings. Hours will be Mon–Fri 7am–4pm to start. 555 California St. at Kearny, 415-706-8076.



You just can't stop Anthony Myint and ~MISSION STREET FOOD~. MSF has launched ~MISSION BURGER~ inside the Duc Loi supermarket. What this means for you is a mighty delicious beef or vegan burger, plus fries, starting at noon daily (except Thursday, which is a Mission Street Food day) and possibly running until 2pm or 3pm or so. According to their site, here's more on your options: the beef burger is 1/3 lb. of aged Harris Ranch brisket, short rib, and chuck, granulated* and seared in beef fat (beeftastic!). It's served with Monterey jack, caramelized onion, and caper aioli on a griddled Acme bun ($8). The vegan burger ($7) features a maitake, shiitake, roasted kale, edamame, scallion, sesame seed, and fava-chickpea patty, and is served with avocado and miso "mayo" (they are using seaweed instead of egg yolks) on a griddled Acme bun. Fries are $2. There isn't a place to eat it, so be prepared to stand there and wolf it like the hungry beast you are. 2200 Mission St. at 18th St. (Photo by Jared Zimmerman.)

*About that granulation, here's what MSF says on the site: "granulation is our term for the process popularized by Heston Blumenthal, a Michelin 3-star chef based in London. Blumenthal combines strands of ground meat to create a loosely grained "meat column" (not Blumenthal's phrase), then slices the column into patties. The result is, well, a delicacy."

Also heard ~LET'S BE FRANK~ is offering beers for $2 on Mondays when you order a dog from 4pm until closing. And don't forget, on Tuesdays you get any two dogs for just $8, all day. But Wednesday is the day I really want to swing by because they have an Alsatian Dog, a family-farmed pork bratwurst with house-made choucroute (a blend of sauerkraut, roasted onions, bacon, juniper, bay, and allspice that has been simmering in wine and beer). Where do I sign? 3318 Steiner St. at Chestnut, 415-675-6755.

A tablehopper ready wrote in to let me know about a new dessert café opening in the coming weeks, ~DELISE~. I'm especially excited about this project because Dennis and Eloise Leung are behind it—they used to run the pastry kitchen of Bong Su before it closed down, and are wicked talented. The site mentions "healthy gourmet pastries and frozen desserts that are lovingly handcrafted in small batches daily. We only use the highest quality ingredients which are organic, sustainable and sourced from local producers whenever possible." I also heard they will be serving coffee from Four Barrel, and gourmet ice cream. I'll keep you posted on the opening date—you can follow their blog here. 327 Bay St. at Powell.

This is promising: ~BIG 4~ in the Huntington Hotel is reopening for lunch on Thursdays and Fridays only, starting September 17th–18th. Nob Hill ladies rejoice! Lunch will be served between 11:30am–3pm. The bar will be open all day on those two days as well. 1075 California St. at Taylor, 415-771-1140.

If you're as obsessed with Masumoto Family Farm peaches as much I am, you will want to swing by Book Passage in the Ferry Building this Saturday August 29th at 1pm. ~MAS MASUMOTO~ will be reading from his newest book, Wisdom of the Last Farmer: Harvesting Legacies from the Land.

I was already driving up to Tahoe when the first ~STREET FOOD FEST~ kicked off on Saturday. Was sorry to miss it, but then again, I might not have been able to enjoy it unless I got there super early. Yes, people were upset with the insane lines (you can see some pics of the madness here) and the delicious food running out, but here's a heartfelt thank you note on the Street Food homepage (hey, just trying to keep things in perspective). And Bay Area Bites posted a nice slideshow of the event, and dang you Beer & Nosh, must you always make me hungry and thirsty with your pictures? Here's to another event next year, taking over five blocks!

The Wild Nunavut Arctic Char season is winding down (it's only eight weeks), and on Monday August 31st, CleanFish and ~WATERBAR~ will be presenting a special dinner with this oh-so-tasty fish as the star feature. Here's a PDF of the menu; the dinner is $125 for four courses and wine pairings. It's a group thing: guests will sit at their own individual tables, but the dinner starts at 6pm. You can also have any questions about char answered at the event. Tickets can be purchased here on waterbarsf.com or by calling 415-284-9922. 399 The Embarcadero at Folsom.

Over in Oakland, ~CHOP BAR~ is opening this week in the Mono space; the project is from Chris Pastena of CODA, plus Lev Delany, and Jesse Branstetter. It's designed to be a local hangout, with served tapas style (but it's not Spanish), using local ingredients, plus there's a wine bar (there will be six reds and two whites on tap). There's full coffee service in the mornings, and lunch will include salads and sandwiches. The dining room has room for 25, plus there's a bar that seats 15, and a patio with room for about 20 people. Jim Maxwell of Architects II created a space using all reclaimed, recycled, and reused materials. Hours are 7am–11pm. 247 4th St. at Jackson, Oakland, 510-834-2467.

~MIMOSA CHAMPAGNE LOUNGE~ has opened—it hosts a Sunday happy hour that kicks off at 3pm. 2355 Broadway at 23rd St., Oakland, 510-891-1005.



Due to open next Tuesday September 1st is ~BOCANOVA~, the new Pan-American restaurant from Rick Hackett (MarketBar) and his wife and partner, Meredith Melville. The restaurant is opening on Oakland's Jack London Square in a restored 1920's vintage icehouse with waterfront views in a 6,500-square-foot space designed by Michael Guthrie (Bix, Myth, Zinnia). The genesis of the restaurant is a bit like how Nopalito came to be: the staff meals at MarketBar were so good that Hackett was inspired to open a restaurant concept highlighting the food from his Peruvian sous chef and mostly Hispanic staff. As he started researching the dishes, the territory for the cuisine keep expanding, spanning Central and South America, while using quality local/sustainable/organic ingredients. A look at the pre-opening menu includes dishes like Dungeness crab deviled eggs/chipotle aioli ($9); petrale sole seafood taco with pickled fennel and carrots ($9); braised lamb with pasilla peppers and honey ($15); and Argentine mixed grill and South American sofrito ($21). Jack London Square, 55 Webster St., Oakland, 510-444-1233.