Recipe testing at Onsen: sweet potato and mushroom dumplings with dill, scallions, and bok choy in a mushroom broth with dill oil. Photo: Grace Sager.
A preliminary look into Onsen’s restaurant space (furniture is coming soon). Photo: Raquel Venancio Photography.
Ivy-draped wall at The Garden at Del Popolo. Photo: Eric Wolfinger Photography.
Here are some updates at places around town, starting with a look at who is going to be cooking at the upcoming ~ONSEN~, a Japanese-inspired bathhouse opening in the former City Automotive building in the Tenderloin. While it’s primarily about a soaking pool (in the former mechanic’s pit), sauna, steam room, treatment rooms, and more, there will also be a casual 20-seat restaurant area (open to anyone, not just bathhouse guests). Chef George Meza, previously the executive sous chef at Oro in Mint Plaza, will be at the helm. Expect NorCal, seasonal, and Japanese influences in his dishes, which you can check out on Instagram. Look for an opening at the beginning of November; dinner will be the initial focus, then lunch. Sake, beer, and wine will also be served. 466 Eddy St. at Hyde.
FiDi workers have already been enjoying lunch at the Middle Eastern ~SABABA~, and now chef Guy Eshel has launched dinner as well (it’s the same menu, with freshly made pita). Luckily for all of us, you can also order it for delivery on Postmates. Hours are Mon-Fri 5pm-9pm. 329 Kearny St. at Bush, 415-800-6853.
You know who else is serving dinner? ~NUTE’S~ is, on Saturday evenings, in their 903 Cortland space. A post on Facebook mentions “ramen and Thai noodles, along with our tasty small dishes and lots of Japanese craft beer selections.” Sat 5:30pm-9:30pm. 903 Cortland Ave. at Folsom.
If you’re looking for a private dining space, ~DEL POPOLO~ has opened an outdoor garden area with room for 32 (seated) or 40-45 (standing). It can be tented (and heated) since the weather is tending toward the wintry now—plus each seat has tartan blankets. There’s also an outdoor grill. 855 Bush St. at Taylor, 415-589-7940.
Fans of beef Wellington will want to check out Wellington Wednesdays at the newly named ~MAYBECK’S~ in the Marina (formerly Spaghetti Bros.). A whole beef tenderloin (prime, dry-aged) from Flannery Beef will be sliced and served until sold out. $24 per person; it comes with a side of creamed spinach and black truffle jus. Starts at 7pm. 3213 Scott St. at Lombard, 415-400-8500.