|JULY 10, 2007 | SAN FRANCISCO Brenda
Buenviaje, who some of you might know from Café Claude
and DeLessio, will be opening her own place on lower Polk called ~BRENDA’S~.
She took over and is currently renovating the former Sun’s
Cafe space, and hopes to open by the beginning or middle of August.
Buenviaje was born and raised in New Orleans, and will be offering
breakfast and lunch that celebrates the food she loves so much.
Expect some beignets with a twist, like a variation with Granny
Smith apples and ginger cinnamon butter, or a savory version
with crawfish, andouille, and coarse mustard cream. She also
mentioned omelets with shrimp, goat cheese, and sauce picante,
and the classic dish of grillades and grits. Buenviaje is also
developing a lighter version of a Sloppy Joe, a Sloppy Josephine,
made with turkey and a bit spicier than the usual version, plus
a vegan variation too. The petite 30-seat space will have hardwood
floors, antique ceiling fans, walls the color of real butter,
and some artistic touches from a potter pal in New Orleans. Buenviaje
will be serving a custom blended coffee (just regular, decaf,
or au lait) that comes from Argentina—it was blended for
the popular eatery she consults for in Denver, Snooze.
She plans to have Brenda’s open Mon–Fri, and eventually
adding Saturday once the neighborhood is hooked. 632 Polk St.
hitting a bunch of Spanish joints in New York, my appetite got
seriously whetted for the sure-to-be-swell eats at ~LAÏOLA~.
But alas, they have hit an unexpected zoning snag, so the opening
date is anyone’s guess at the
moment. They are all set to go and open their doors—I’ll
keep you posted on the official opening date once they have it
in their sights. 2031 Chestnut St. at Fillmore, 415-346-5641.
So after three years of business, the plant-covered ~ACOUSTIC
CAFÉ~ on the corner of Octavia and Page
is being sold. According to the owner, there is room for a secondary
offer if someone wants to move quickly. Will keep you posted
on what will eventually move in. 201 Octavia St. between Lily
and Page, 415-861-4599.
of new owners, ~PASHA
RESTAURANT~ on Broadway has new ones.
After 21 years of service, owner Jelal Takesh decided to retire
and travel to New Zealand. The new owners, Zouhair Senhaji, and
his wife, Jennifer Senhaji, were friends of the owner and decided
to take it over. Zouhair’s brother,
Hicham, is the new chef, who is altering the menu to reflect a
Moroccan approach with a California twist. Presentations are being
updated, with a focus on offering quality food at a good value.
The restaurant got some cosmetic upgrades, and there is a new bar
and seating area—you can now just come in for drinks and
bar bites. They are still finalizing the entertainment line-up,
but expect live music and belly dancing Thu–Sun. 1516 Broadway
at Polk, 415-885-4477.
kitty corner to Pasha, a new wine bar will be opening, aptly
called ~THE WINE BAR~.
The project is from Gerry McNerney, an abstract artist who is designing
and building out the space himself. It was formerly Café Aroma,
and he is transforming the space into one with a lot of character,
a look he is describing as Wild West-meets-MOMA, with a casual
tavern/saloon vibe. There will be chocolate brown walls, brushed
aluminum and nickel accents, high ceilings, and a solid oak bar
that will all equate to a simple but cool look. There will be a
limited menu of wine-friendly eats on offer, like cheese, meat,
and bread plates, and the wine list is currently in development.
He is hoping to open in early August, and plans to greet people
with some good art, music, atmosphere, and a killer bar staff.
The Wine Bar will be open from 11am–2am nightly. 2032 Polk
St. between Broadway and Pacific.
of the city’s favorite
chefs, ~LORETTA KELLER~ (COCO5OO)
and ~CHARLES PHAN~ (Slanted Door/Out the Door),
are partnering in a full-service restaurant and café at
the new Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. Both chefs are known for their emphasis on
local, sustainable, and organic ingredients, and their menus will
help communicate the connection between food and culture in this
unique setting that will operate as an extension of the museum.
The currently unnamed restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner,
and the café will offer healthy, kid-friendly, and multicultural
food. Olle Lundberg of Lundberg Design (he did the Slanted Door
space at the Ferry Building) and Cathy Simon of SMWM are collaborating
on design. The project is slated to open a year from now, in October
I wanted to point you fellow boozehounds to my pal Camper English’s
new website, ~ALCADEMICS~.
Yup, it’s time to go to booze school. He’s a talented
local spirits writer who really knows his sh*t, and he posts all
kinds of fun discoveries in his blog, so add that puppy to your
He will also be writing a piece for the wino soon, so keep your
eyes peeled. Camper and I are both going to NOLA for Tales of the
Cocktail, so between the two of us we just might be able to remember
of booze, the chic ~FARINA~ in
the Mission finally has its liquor license. A couple more new
details: outdoor seating should be available in a week or two
(just in time for summery Mission days), and they will be offering
restaurant guests complimentary valet parking on Friday and Saturday
evenings until they get their own valet parking permit (which
means anyone coming into the Mission will be able to park their
cars with Farina valets, not just restaurant guests). Hopefully
things will simmer down soon in the neighborhood relations department—there
has been quite a saga on Yelp
related to parking, outdoor seating, upset neighbors, and some
other growing pains. 3562 18th St. at Dearborn, 415-565-0360.
The second location of ~MALACCA~,
just next to the Café on Market Street, has closed.
Castro news—it ends up ~PHILZ~ will
still have a location in the neighborhood. They are moving into
the café space that closed several months ago in the Sit
and Spin, just a short jaunt away from the original Philz Castro
location. The café will be opening this week, serving Philz trademark
by-the-cup coffees and some pastries too. It will be open daily
from 6am–7pm. 4023 18th St. between Noe and Hartford.
you didn’t manage to get your tookus to the Ferry Plaza
Farmer’s Market on Saturday, you can at least feast on some
treats that ~JACK
FALSTAFF’S~ executive chef Jonnatan
Leiva found at the market with Farmers’ Market Finds Saturdays. Every
Saturday after Leiva visits the market, he will select the day’s freshest
finds and serve a taste for $5 along with $3 wine pairings—it
could be anything seasonal, like fresh figs with cheese. And starting
Saturday, July 21, Jack Falstaff will begin a weekly four-course
Farmers’ Market Finds prix-fixe menu served family-style
every Saturday evening. The menu is $55 per person with optional
wine pairings for just an additional $20. 598 Second St. at Brannan,
I was in New York I spotted the location of the new Pinkberry on
Spring Street, but to be honest, I kept walking since I had a
gelato from Il
Laboratorio del Gelato
on my mind. For those craving a taste of the natural yogurt craze
sweeping L.A. like UGG boots did, you can check out ~YOGURT
BAR~ at Union, which
just opened in the Marina last week. You can get either plain or
green tea low-fat frozen yogurt with a variety of toppings, like
fresh fruit and dry toppings. Open Sun–Thu 11am–10pm
and 11am–11pm Fri–Sat, closed on Mondays. 2760 Octavia
St. at Union, 415-441-2585.
now for something completely different: ~THE
a musical duo, are embarking on a tour of America on July 28
in Los Angeles, and the purpose of their tour is to promote locally
produced and organic food. Along the way, they will play about
20 shows in traditional venues. They will try to set up a farmer’s
market in the lobby of each venue (or parking lot), and will
be carrying an Earth box in the van and growing food in the van
with a grow light. One of these will be auctioned off each night
from the stage, with the proceeds going to Growing
Connection. During the day they
will be setting up appearances and shows on local farms and farmers
markets, as well as high schools and colleges, as benefits for
local farm organizations. They will also have a daily podcast and
blog that will include video and audio interviews with farmers,
chefs, and fans. Along the way they will be shooting a pilot
of a television show hosted by the Dittybops during which they
will be traveling the country bringing farmers and chefs together
to share stories and cook local food. You can check out their site for all their set locations, but locally they will be in Concord
August 2, Santa Cruz August 3, Berkeley on August 4, and Mill
Valley August 5, touring the U.S. until September 8. A for effort.
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