04, 2006 | SAN FRANCISCO
Indian is what's happening in the Mission, and it's
not just DOSA-hubbub—Rasoi is under new ownership and is presently
closed for some remodeling and freshening up. In the next week or
so it will reopen as ~ASLAM'S RASOI~. The
chef/owner is Mohammed Aslam, of Indian Oven on Fillmore and Roti
Indian Bistro in West Portal and Burlingame. Don't get
me wrong, I can hang with Pakwan and Al-Hamra for some boo-jay tikka
masala, but let's hope this place will crank out some quality
Indian and get some bodies in there—it was always embarrassingly
Chinese restaurant on Valencia is opening April 7 as ~CHA-YA~,
an offshoot of a Berkeley restaurant known for its vegetarian and
vegan Japanese cuisine. This style of food is known as Shojin cuisine,
with roots in Zen Buddhist temple cuisine. It's similar to what
you find at the local (and delicious) newcomer Medicine.
(Cha-Ya's owner, Atsushi Katsumata, is reportedly a former Zen monk.)
There will be over 60 dishes, with vegan variations of sushi and
I'm sure tofu and veggie rolls will be holding it down. If it's
like their 510 location, there should also be some udon/soba dishes
too. You'll be able to sit in one of their 44 seats for dinner from
Tue-Sun, 5pm-10pm. 762 Valencia St. at 18th St., 415-252-7825.
of folks, myself included, have been wondering what the heck is
going into the former Anna's Danish Cookies space on "EuroTrash
Boulevard" AKA 18th Street. Let's pull back that plastic curtain
and peek behind the plywood, because here's the scoop: come October
or November, that fab location will be opening as ~FARINA—FOCACCIA
AND CUCINA ITALIANA~. The project is from Luca Minna and
Laura Garrone of Genova, so you can expect some Ligurian favorites
to be highlighted on the menu, like pesto, and I'm really hoping
for farinata, a chickpea crepe that is traditional Genovese street
food and served piping hot. (Are dosas the new burrito?) They did
mention cheese-stuffed focaccia. Hello. The owners are applying
for a liquor license, and intend to be open for breakfast, lunch,
and dinner. They'll actually be moving the façade of the
building back a little to accommodate outside tables, which is lucky
for us because it's on the sunny side of the street. I'll be looking
over the plans with them in a couple weeks, so I'll be able to give
you additional news about the actual space soon. 3560 18th St. at
out the popular ~OSHA
THAI~ will be opening a fourth location this summer
in Four Embarcadero Center, hopefully in August, but at the latest
in October. The street-level location brings outdoor seating, with
probably 100 or so seats total. The modern Thai look will parallel
the Second St. location's décor—in fact, the owners
are in Thailand sourcing furniture right now. (Wood elephants, anyone?)
The restaurant will be serving lunch and dinner daily, with hopefully
some delivery for you Embarcadero working stiffs later in the game.
in Bernal Heights (and beyond) will be sad to learn after two years,
~GERANIUM~ just closed on March 31. Owners Lorraine
Garrison and James Allison have a nine-month old baby to attend
to, and it ends up James already has a full-time job, so they decided
to close shop. They're moving to Sacramento since this city
is just too darned expensive (hear ye, hear ye)—I wish them
well. By late April, after seven or eight years in their present
home, Moki's Sushi & Pacific Grill will be moving in and
taking over the location. 615 Cortland St.
what exactly is going to be in SoMa's ~WESTFIELD SF
CENTRE~? (Yes, that would be a Brit spelling, people.)
Will it become our own Time Warner Center? (Not sure how I feel
about that, actually.) Here are the details I do know: come September
28, 1.5 million square feet will house Bloomingdale's and
Nordstrom, plus 170 specialty stores and boutiques; a restaurant
collection; The Food Emporium, a gourmet market and 15 fast casual
gourmet eateries; some Class A office space; a signature day spa;
and a nine-screen, state-of-the-art Century Theatres and CinéArts.
this is tablehopper, which means we're here to talk about
the food. The Food Emporium will house a 30,000-square-foot gourmet
market featuring deluxe charcuterie, patisserie, international wine
varietals, seafood, and produce, plus gourmet coffee and teas. The
15 fast casual gourmet eateries are going to offer more of an upscale
dining environment. No Hot Dog on a Stick or Orange Julius, folks—food
will be served on real china with real cutlery (no sporks), so don't
call it a food court, ha ha. Up on the fourth floor there will be
a lounge under the restored glass Emporium dome, and some leading
restaurateurs will be offering a full-service dining experience.
restaurateurs, you ask? As reported in Northside
last month, Bradley Ogden will be one of those fourth-floor tenants,
with ~LARK CREEK STEAK~, a higher-end destination
for steak and fish. During a recent conversation with Ogden, he
mentioned that he wanted to focus on simple yet creative presentations,
and sourcing is tantamount. He added that sides will shine, and
ladies who lunch will be pleased with the lighter menu offered during
the day (and the fact that the restaurant will be kitty corner to
Bloomie's). There will be an open kitchen with ringside seats,
and over 100 seats in all. Architecture & Light will be overseeing
the space, who also worked with Ogden on his Walnut Creek Café,
his Yankee Pier locations, and some remodels.
PIER~, San Francisco will finally have one of Ogden's
trademark casual seafood establishments on the bottom level of the
"centre" (ahem). The menu will highlight 8-10 items with
some East Coast/West Coast flair. Hope for tasties like fish and
chips, a clam roll, steamed mussels and clams, chowder, and his
Yankee salad of Fuji apples and blue cheese.
tenant keeping Ogden company on the fourth floor will be Chris Yeo's
CAFÉ~. He'll be moving locations, and therefore
his restaurant on Geary Street is up for sale. The sleek and contemporary
look will reference his Santana Row Strait's Café, with room
for 120 diners. There will be a full bar, a lounge area with DJs,
and the Singaporean menu will continue to highlight the Pan-Asian
influences of Malaysian/Indonesian, Chinese, Indian, and Nonya cuisines.
bird also told me ~CHARLES PHAN~ of Slanted
Door MIGHT be doing something downstairs in the Food Emporium.
Maybe. Looking at the success of his "Out the Door" takeout
offshoot at the Ferry Building, that would be my guess. Will report
more once I hear something official. I also just saw this on Chowhound:
"The owners of Slanted Door appear to be in the early stages
of attempting to open another Slanted Door restaurant at 2232 Bush
Street, near Fillmore. This week, they received a positive vote
from the Board of Appeals regarding a zoning issue." Well.
Look who's busy busy.
are some groovy deals around town I've heard about: first
up, the ever-darling ~LUELLA~
will be hosting an industry night on Mondays for those who work
in the restaurant/hotel/bar industry. You'll get 20% off their
already affordable and tasty vittles and wine (uh, and let's
not forget dessert, like those crack-laced orange and sweet ricotta
fritters). Be sure you mention who you are, where you work, or who
you know. Aw, they're friendly like that. Don't pretend
to be me, however. You'll get in trouble.
then the day after, you can scoot on over to ~2223
MARKET~ for their "12 Buck Tuesdays" promotion.
Each Tuesday there's a special menu featuring some $4 apps (like
wild mushroom bisque or asparagus tempura roll) and $12 entrées,
like classic meatloaf, Southern-fried chicken, or butternut squash
ravioli. Talk about low-impact prices. I'll apply the excess funds
to my drinking budget.
OPEN: As reported previously in the chatterbox,
these establishments are now ready to feed you: Abigail's
Bakery and Café, and Modern Tea. Also, Terzo
in Cow Hollow just opened on Saturday, and Coí is opening
this coming Friday, April 7th.