23, 2006 | SAN FRANCISCO
Oh, so you don't think my Sideways gaffe was the only place
where I was asleep at the wheel, do you? How about this one: I completely
spaced on telling you the fantastic news about who the chef is going
to be at the new ~YOSHI'S WORLD CLASS JAZZ HOUSE & JAPANESE
RESTAURANT~ at the Fillmore Jazz Heritage Center. Excuse
me while I put down this bong (kidding) and tell you: Sho/Shotaro
Kamio, formerly of Ozumo! How's that for a coup?! You might
remember Sho was on the brink of opening his namesake restaurant
in the Marina, but the deal fell through. I'm glad he didn't
leave SF—his unique and contemporary take on Japanese cuisine
would be welcomed anywhere. So come Spring 2007, Sho will be back
in effect. The owner of Yoshi's, Kaz Kajimura, says, "My dream
chef has materialized. I could not have imagined anyone better."
I have to say, he's right. Sho is currently building his dream
kitchen, and planning the menu for the 420-seat jazz club and restaurant.
hearing really good things about two restaurants that opened last
week, ~BRICK~ (1085 Sutter St. at Larkin St., 415-441-4232)
and ~BONG SU~ (http://www.bongsu.com/). I was at
the opening party for Bong Su and the space is definitely spiffy.
Naturally, I'll let you know once I've formally checked
heard from my friend at the 222 Club that ~farmerbrown~
finally opened last week. Can't tell you much since after swinging
by twice to drop my card off, I didn't get any callbacks. I know,
they're busy. But hey, I tried. (Twice.) The space looked cool,
with distressed metal touches, like copper and some oxidized bits.
Nice long bar. The owner is Jay Foster, formerly of Blue Jay Café
on Divisadero, and according to their website, it looks like there
will be some entertainment in the evenings. Groovy. 25 Mason St.
at Market St., 409-FARM.
Castro will soon have a slick little place to hang out, tucked under
the infamous Café on Market Street. While the 23-year-olds
wiggle to the latest Madonna remix and get drunk on Midori in the
bar/club upstairs, the adults will be downstairs in ~CRAVE~,
a lounge/restaurant from the same owners (they also own Malacca
on 18th Street). Executive Chef Matthew DuTrumble was the opening
chef at Geranium, the vegetarian restaurant in Bernal that closed
at the end of March, and was also a chef/instructor at the CCA.
Crave's approachable American-goes-International menu will have
a big focus on health and creativity, showcasing new flavors and
fresh ingredients. The restaurant concept is that it will be an
ideal place to swing by and have a drink and a bite to eat before
heading out for the evening, or winding down with some late-night
nibbles (it will be open until 3am Thu-Sat). The menu will include
share-ables like grilled prawns with a Marsala-spice rub and coconut
cream sauce, a grilled four-cheese pizza, and New York sliders in
a potato bun with shredded carrots, tomato, and their special house
sauce, kept company with crumbled Gorgonzola, caramelized onion,
sautéed mushrooms, and a house pickle. (Dishes will hover
around $6-$12.) Dessert will feature a dish DuTrumble is calling
Rendezvous Fondue, with Bailey's Chocolate, Tuaca toffee, and Amaretto
white chocolate fondue served with butter cookies, cereal bar treats,
candy bars, fresh fruit, almonds, brownies, and cheesecake balls.
In fact, a number of the dishes and desserts will feature alcohol
from the bar—even the ribs will have a Seagram's and 7up barbecue
loungey space is designed by Lucy Dawson (who did the Malacca design),
and will feature a loft with black leather ottomans for seating
(a few will be flat-topped for food to rest on them) and a DJ booth,
while the downstairs will have a sleek onyx bar with stainless steel
wrapping and an under-light, plus curving banquettes and tables
for more traditional seating. The space will be lit with a groovy
LED lighting system that seems to be built in to the ceiling (LED
is popping up everywhere: first Supperclub, then Temple and now
Crave) and will reflect off the mirrors. Crave is opening June 2,
Sun-Wed 6pm-11pm, and Thu-Sat 6pm-3am. 2367 Market St. at 15th St.,
the other side of town, one of the best late-night dining places
to hit (try 1am, nightly, people), ~CAFÉ
MARITIME~, is going to start taking care of the morning
risers too, by serving weekend brunch as of June 10. Expect some
delicious brunch fare like crab frittata, their lobster roll and
crab and shrimp corn fritters, and some brekkie classics, like pancakes,
French toast, and perhaps some huevos rancheros. Don't forget they
have that great raw bar, and a full liquor license, so Bloody Mary
can join you at your table.
check this out: it ends up ~HAWTHORNE
LANE~ is following the steps of Charlie Trotter and
has taken foie gras off the menu. Hawthorne Lane served their last
PB&J with foie gras from Sonoma Foie Gras about a week ago…
I spoke with owner David Gingrass, and he said it was just becoming
too much of a hot topic for him to want to keep it on the menu.
He says, "It offends enough customers that I had to consider
taking it off the menu. Even a few people are too many in my book.
There are so many other things in the world I can prepare instead.
In the end, you have to pick your battles. I will say I wish our
politicians had a better use of our time and tax dollars, however,
since there are much bigger issues that affect human lives out there
that need attention besides legislating fat ducks." Die-hard
foie fans can find a similar PB&J execution at Frisson
when the hankering strikes.
those who want to read more:
is a link to an in-depth piece about foie
gras in New York magazine from last June—perhaps you
read it? David also told me Danny Meyer in New York is taking
on the politicians (after fighting with the animal rights activists
for the past year) and is becoming the pro-foie/anti-government
foie legislation poster child for those in the restaurant community
who want the government out of their kitchens.
Here's a Chicago
Tribune piece about what exactly goes on at Sonoma's producer,
Foie Gras. See, well, read for yourself.
And here's an update
on the lawsuit filed by Sonoma Foie Gras against Whole Foods on
May 5, 2006, for interference with their contract with Grimaud
a chance to speak with the new owner of ~BYBLOS BAR AND
GRILL~, which is going into the former VXN space in North
Beach. No, it's not the latest boutique of the Italian fashion
label sporting some loud prints. Byblos the restaurant is going
to have a Mediterranean menu with California touches, and will include
authentic Lebanese dishes, for lunch and dinner. The owner, Toufic
Mahfouz, stressed that he has extremely high standards for quality,
cleanliness, and healthy ingredients. The space should be ready
to open in July, with the upstairs mezzanine featuring a fireplace
and a mosaic wall, and bright colors on the walls. Byblos has a
liquor license, and Mahfouz mentioned there will be entertainment
once dinner service is complete, like belly dancing a couple nights
a week, and a range of music, from Arabic to house. He's a
recording artist himself, so maybe you'll get serenaded over
your shwarma plate. 270 Columbus Ave. at Broadway.
here's a shout-out to all you writers and artists out there.
My good friend (and tablehopper's designer) and her trés-talented
pal are launching a new print magazine about one of my favorite
subjects, meat. ~MEAT
MAGAZINE~ is looking for contributors, from essays
to photography to the visual arts. Definitely take a look at their
call for proposal on their site—it's a great little
missive about meat! They aren't paying anything right now,
but they'll send you a salame if your work is accepted. Expect
Meat Magazine to be released this Fall. Viva meat! And now, to Fresh