16, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Is
all my news about businesses that are on corners this week? Pretty
much. As I mentioned ages ago, Rob Lam of Butterfly was taking
over ~EASTSIDE WEST~ for some ch- ch- changes,
and so it finally closed for its redux. Jacques Bezuidenhout is
a managing partner, and will be creating some spiffy cocktails
along with Tequila maestro Julio Bermejo, so the bar is definitely
taking a step up. Dino Vasquez is the chef/partner and will be
focusing on regional American fare made with quality ingredients,
and Kurt Niver is the GM. I took a look at the menu, and there’s
lots of seafood, like fritto misto for $10, raw bar items plus
Bloody Mary oyster shooters ($3), a variety of salads like wild
arugula or a chopped Greek salad, plus comfort classics like a
cheeseburger, buttermilk-fried Rocky Jr. chicken, mac and four
cheeses with peas and mushrooms, and a grilled Berkshire pork chop.
There will also be a Sunday roast special of horseradish-crusted
rib eye, with scallion popovers, spinach soufflé, and au
jus for $25, or baked lasagne night on Wednesdays! Brunch will
also be in effect, with eggs Chesapeake (poached eggs, crab Louis,
toasted English muffin, and hollandaise for $14), scrambles, omelettes,
for changes to the space, they took down a partition, so the
front room will feel more open, with a now spacious bar area.
also a new paint job, new tables, and banquettes, too. The back
room will be available for private dining and parties, but it’s
also going to double as a game room, with shuffleboard,
a pool table, a couple flat-screen TVs, plus high bar tables, darts,
and a portable back bar (the fish tank swam away). Look for a reopening
sometime mid next week. Brunch will be served on the weekends,
dinner nightly, and the popular happy hour will continue Mon–Fri
from 4pm–7pm. 3154 Fillmore St. at Greenwich, 415-885-4000.
Another corner spot: ~MERCURY
LOUNGE~ has completed its move from lonely Lombard
Street to SoMa, and is now in the more spacious and former
Sneaky Tiki digs. The menu has many Southeast Asian flavors,
ranging from Filipino to Vietnamese and Thai, and there are
even some Korean dishes, too; they’re still tweaking
things as they go along. Local workers will be happy to know
about the lunch menu that includes a quick rice plate lunch
for $8.50, with soup of the day, a cucumber salad, and a choice
from various steamed rice dishes, like chicken adobo. There’s
also a weekly $8 rice plate special (Thursdays mean Filipino
oxtail stew), and dishes like Vietnamese-style sandwiches,
one-plate dishes like pad Thai and pho, and salads—not
much even hits the $10 mark. Dinner brings an even wider range
of eats, from lumpia to sisig to rolls to dumplings and more.
Open Mon–Fri for lunch 11am–2pm, and dinner 5pm–10pm.
1582 Folsom St. at 12th St., 415-551-1582.
in the Mission on the corner of Church and 18th Street, the former
home of the skanky Shukri's Scrumptious Deli, will soon be ~LILAH
The focus is on healthy take-out dishes made with organic and seasonal
ingredients by chef Traci Higgins (the menu will rotate weekly,
but you can check
out a menu here). Now, that’s a nice switch from what
the place was! Most dishes will be low fat, low sodium, and served
in single or family-sized portions. Saturday September 27th is
the grand opening, with free food samples of sandwiches, salads,
beverages, dessert, and eco-friendly bags, from 11am until 2pm.
will only be $5 for the first three hours as well. The grand opening
hours are 11am–7pm, and then the regular hours are Mon–Fri
8am–2pm, and 4pm–7pm, and Sat–Sun 11am–6pm.
Park-goers will appreciate the “while you shop” tie-up
stations outside for their pooches with water bowls and treats.
3801 18th St. at Church, 415-255-9473.
the Ebb Tide Café has
morphed into, you guessed it, ~MY
CORNER CAFÉ~. All-day breakfast is served, plus
salads and sandwiches. Open daily from 7am–5pm. 1500 S. Van
Ness Ave. at 26th St., 415-550-2382.
more corner news: Alice Cravens’ ~MODERN
TEA~ in Hayes Valley is shifting its focus from
being a café, and is dedicating energy to Modern
Cooks, a non-profit educational program for local youth.
Want to help out, or learn more? Be sure to check out the site.
You tea freaks can still get your fix for retail and wholesale
purchases by appointment or through the Modern Tea online shopping
cart. As for your weekend waffles on the Civil War irons, I
guess you’re out of luck. 602 Hayes St. at Laguna, 415-626-5406.
out on one of my “attempt to burn off the wages of
sin walks,” I noticed the Laurel Heights neighborhood corner
joint ~CAFÉ LO
CUBANO~ is closed. 3401 California St. at Laurel.
And now, a break from the corner action. ~JEN BIESTY~,
previously of COCO500 and cheftestant on the most recent season
of Top Chef has
been named the executive chef of Scala’s
Bistro over at the Sir Francis Drake. She starts at Scala’s
on October 15th, and is excited to integrate more artisan products
into the menu, like house-made ricotta, sausage, salumi, and pastas,
and really help deliver on the Kimpton Group’s promise of
greening their businesses, using quality local and organic products.
432 Powell St. at Post, 415-395-8555.
More details on the ~JCC
PROJECT~ from Joanna Karlinsky and
her business partner, Victoria Smiser, who
will open the food court in the former deli on the ground floor
of the JCCSF. Featured will be JO-JO-TO-GO, selling cold and
hot gourmet prepared foods for either dine-in or carry-out
service; CONFECTIONS, a full-service bakery offering a daily
selection of freshly prepared baked goods, cakes, pies, cookies,
and always chocolate; LUCKY DAWG, an upscale ice cream and
frozen yogurt bar; LULU DRINKS, pouring fresh juices, coffee,
espresso drinks, and wine and beer; PRESSED, hot pressed sandwiches
to order using local artisanal cheeses; and EMMA PEEL’S
PIZZA PIE, providing on-site or delivery gourmet pizzas with
upscale add-ons. THE MEETINGHOUSE name will be kept alive through
full service catering and the online Meetinghouse Biscuits
catalogue will continue to ship biscuits nationwide. The projected
opening date is November 15th. 3200 California St. at Presidio.
former Senses space on Valencia is now home to ~JANITZI~,
a Pan-Latin restaurant, with the bright and snazzy colors to prove
it. The food spans from Mexico to Argentina, and the three partners
are from Mexico and Puerto Rico. The menu includes a bunch of seafood
and meat dishes, from ceviches to fish tacos to enchiladas to mole,
and a lot of side dishes, like cassava fries, nopales, and arepas.
Most main dishes are around $12, and about double that for any
steak dishes, which come with a choice of sauces, like chimichurri.
The restaurant is named after a princess of the Michoacan tribe,
for you folks who like to know ”what does it all mean?” Open
for lunch and dinner 10am–10pm daily. 1152 Valencia St. at
22nd St., 415-821-2310.
now, a few downtown tidbits: ~CHILL~,
a 24-seat specialty dessert café is opening in mid October
from Trang Nguyen. The menu includes items made with all natural
and exotic flavors, many with Asian and tropical influences. There
will be shaved ice desserts, nonfat frozen yogurt and vanilla custard
with unique toppings like Valrhona chocolate rice pearls, crispy
dessert crepes (sugar or coconut) filled with fresh fruit, sweet
rooibos red tea drinks, fair trade coffees, floats, frosted hot
chocolate, house-made sodas like ginger lemongrass, and artisan
cupcakes. Antioxidant ingredients like açai and goji berries
will also be making appearances. Hours will be Mon–Fri 11am–7pm,
Sat 12pm–5pm, closed Sun. 125 Kearny St. at Post, 415-433-1233.
A tablehopper reader let me know that a third location of ~SAUSALITO
ESPRESSO~ is opening in the old SF-New York Deli spot
in Embarcadero #5. The Mediterranean menu reportedly looks the
same as the other two locations (think falafel, gyros, etc.).
Arren Caccamo is no longer the chef at ~LEVENDE
LOUNGE~ (he is now in New York to start a family
with his new wife). The new executive chef is Sean Randall,
a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan, who
has also worked at Balthazar, Essex House (Randall rose to
chef de partie under Alain Ducasse), plus positions at La Grenouille,
La Gouloue, and was the sous chef at The Core Club, headed
by Tom Colicchio. His new menu of “urban California cuisine” at
Levende is focused on seasonal and local ingredients, from
sake and miso-marinated halibut, plus some comfort dishes like
skirt steak, and mac and cheese. Open Wed–Sat for cocktails,
dinner, and entertainment from 5pm–2am, with dinner served
nightly until 11pm, and brunch on Sundays 11am–3pm. 1710
Mission St. at Duboce, 415-864-5585.
are moving along for the ~MOSS
ROOM~ (nicer sit-down dining) and the ~ACADEMY
quick service portion) at the California
Academy of Sciences under Charles Phan and Loretta Keller
(COCO500). The Academy’s grand opening is scheduled for
September 27th, and both The Moss Room and the Academy Café will
open for lunch service that day, but The Moss Room doesn’t
begin dinner service until October 7th.
chef Justin Simoneaux (previously
of COCO5OO) will be overseeing The Moss Room, and the dinner
menu includes appetizers like Malpeque oyster and chorizo beignets
with tarragon and mustard aioli ($12), and country-style pork
terrine with house-made pickles, fruit mostarda, and frisée
($11), while entrées include house-made pasta with red
wine braised duck sugo and pecorino ($19), and oven-roasted whole
fish with aromatics, lemon, sea salt, and olive oil ($29). Yeah,
there has to be some seafood on the menu there, huh. Lunch has
some of the same menu items plus more salads, but only one dish
tips the $20 scale (a bavette steak).
pastry chef is Rachel Leising, formerly of Petite
Patisserie in Potrero Hill. Leising
has been making pastries professionally for 22 years, baking
bread and pastries at Fran Gage’s Patisserie Francaise for seven years, plus
Citizen Cake for over seven years, and was the pastry chef instructor
at Tante Marie’s Cooking School for two years before entering
the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena. A peek at her
preliminary Moss Room dessert menu includes raspberry upside-down
cake with cardamom anglaise and malted milk chocolate cream, Dagoba
Mexican chocolate pot de crème tart, and almond cake with honey-steeped
fresh blueberry compote, lemon yogurt ice cream, and honeycomb
nougatine. There will also be a variety of grab-and-go sweet treats
for the Academy Cafe, from crème brûlée coffee
cake to cookies to some different pot de crème flavors in
a jar, like caramel and tapioca. Lunch will be daily 11:30am–2:30pm,
and dinner 5:30pm–10pm. 55 Music Concourse Drive, 415-876-6121.
Academy Café has a range of savory
items, like Vietnamese soups and spring rolls, panini, some slow-cooked
and noodle dishes, steamed buns, and a few Mexican-inspired dishes
too, like tacos, tamales, and quesadillas (good for the kiddies).
Open daily 8am–5pm, except Thanksgiving and Christmas. 55
Music Concourse Drive, 415-876-6124.
And now, a few more places where you get your brunch on: ~PRESIDIO
SOCIAL CLUB~ has started weekend brunch, offering
Sloe Gin Fizzes and Ramos Fizzes, and actual sustenance in
the form of chilaquiles, rum-soaked challah French toast, a
daily frittata, biscuits and gravy, and more. Mmmm, brioche
beignets. Sat–Sun 10am–2pm. 563 Ruger St., Building
563 near Lombard Gate, 415-885-1888.
More brunch-age: ~SERPENTINE~ is
serving brunch Sat–Sun from 10am–2:30pm. Some menu
items include red flannel hash with braised beef brisket and poached
eggs, summer vegetable succotash with baked eggs, whole-grain pancakes
with fresh berries, savory bread pudding, and their Prather Ranch
hamburger and fries. Breakfast cocktails are also in effect. Parties
of six or more can make reservations. 2495 Third St. at 22nd St.,
The Stanford Court Hotel on Nob Hill, which is undergoing a $35
million renewal, has announced that ~AUREA~,
its new restaurant and lounge, will open in October. Aurea will
be located on the lobby level of the hotel, and some design elements
include a Tiffany-style dome, plus sculptures, chandeliers, and
a glass-encased, floor-to-ceiling “wall of wine.” The
restaurant can seat up to 130, with “cocktail cubbies” that
function as work areas (yup, they are wired) or as dining nooks,
plus there are communal tables, and there’s an alfresco dining
chef is Jeffery Surprise, who was the hotel’s sous chef
in 2007, and also worked at Quince and a couple Ritz-Carlton locations.
Surprise’s menu is taking on Fish & Farm, and is actually
sourcing the majority of produce and meats from within a 50-mile
radius of the hotel. The wine list will focus on organic and California
wines, featuring 40 wines by the glass, plus handcrafted cocktails
made with fresh ingredients and locally produced small-batch spirits.
The hotel is scheduled for completion in November 2008. There’s
also reportedly a nightly sabering (“swording”) of
a Champagne bottle in the hotel’s courtyard to signal the
transformation from day to evening service in Aurea. Goodness.
905 California St. at Powell, 415-989-3500.
Good news in the Ferry Building: after the original bummer announcement
ROTISSERIE~ was leaving, it looks like now it’s
going to be staying put for another year. Owner Betty Marcon wrote
in to say, “We are now in the process of working out some
sort of agreement with Equity Office Partners which would have
us staying for at least another year. We will need to find another
business partner... Many kudos to you [aw shucks], and to your
readers. Everyone has stood by us and has been rooting for us and
we feel the love!” Stand by for more.
East Bay businesses aren’t immune to corner-related news! The downstairs café at ~OLIVETO~ has been in the midst
of remodeling, and new highlights include a Berkel slicer and salumi
display cases, an expanded menu thanks to the new ovens to bake
in (think pastas and roasts), a panini grill, and a refurbished
Faema E61 espresso machine. They are phasing in all the changes,
and things should be close to complete by next week. 5655 College
Ave., Oakland, 510-547-5356.
~LITQUAKE~ is coming up, and I’ll be emceeing the “Now
We’re Cooking” hour on the opening weekend, on Saturday
October 4th. Guests reading from books about food and drink will
be Elizabeth Falkner, Bryant Terry, Beau Timken, Tara Duggan, Julia
Flynn Siler, Brian Yaeger, and Eric Gower. And it’s FREE!
(Let’s see if a cranky local food writer shows up and graces
us all with another novella-length recap of the event.) You can
read the full schedule of events at litquake.org.
This reading will be from 3pm–4pm at the
San Francisco Public
Library’s Koret Auditorium, Main Branch, 100 Larkin St. at
not to love about a $40 wine dinner (plus gratuity)? Raphael
Knapp, owner of International Vineyards, is hosting a three-course ~SOUTH
OF FRANCE WINE DINNER~ this Thursday September 18th
Sud Restaurant. You can read the menu
here. Call the restaurant to make a reservation (from 6pm–10pm). 4238
18th St. at Collingwood, 415-255-6565.
A few folks were asking me about the upcoming ~DEMOLICIOUS~ event,
you can read the revised event info in the
On Monday September 29th at Café Rouge in
the East Bay is ~THE PROVENANCE
OF BEEF~, an interactive steak tasting and panel
discussion. Co-hosted by The Artisan Beef Institute, the evening
will begin with an interactive expert panel discussing how top
ranchers, butchers, and chefs influence taste and texture to create
their own signature styles of beef. From there you’ll go
on to taste four different styles of beef, each from
a different ranch and butcher team specializing in a specific breed,
diet, husbandry, and aging technique in a blind taste test. The
evening will run from 6pm–8:30pm. $70 per person will
include a four-course meal with paired wines. For information and
reservations, call 510-525-1440. 1782 Fourth St., Berkeley.
On Sunday October 5th, you can take a ~TOUR OF MARIN SUN
FARMS~. It includes a walking tour of the Historic "H" Ranch
within the Point Reyes National Seashore (it starts at 10am).
View and discuss Marin
Sun Farms production of chickens for meat and eggs, cattle
for beef, goats for meat, pasture management, food system sustainability,
animal slaughter, and more. Includes a delicious lunch. For details
and to sign up, please
you don’t win a ticket to the chocolatey Sur La Table
event I’m hosting this week, at least you can swing by Fog
City News this Thursday to meet ~CHLOE DOUTRE-ROUSEL~ who
will answer all your questions about chocolate, talk about and
demonstrate her chocolate evaluation methods, and sign copies of
her book The Chocolate Connoisseur ($12.95 paperback).
The event is free. Noon–2pm. 455 Market St. at First
SF has Christopher Elbow, the East Bay now has artisan chocolatier
Chris Blue, who just opened ~CHOCOLATIER
BLUE~ in central Berkeley. Blue is the only chocolatier
in the United States licensed to use Amedei chocolate, and the
cream he uses comes from a farm called Clover Clove in Nebraska,
where all the cows are grass-fed and free graze on land that has
not been fertilized in over 30 years. Oh, and the Five Star brand
organic butter he uses has the highest fat content of any butter
in the world (don’t say I didn’t warn you). Beginning
in October of this year, and running through January 2009, customers
can enjoy lemon, peppermint, pumpkin, tangerine, caramel, hazelnut,
pistachio, passion fruit caramel, palet d’or, espresso, cinnamon
and chili, apple cider, and eggnog fillings. In addition, the peppermint,
hazelnut, tangerine, apple cider and palet d’or flavors are
also available in a vegan formulation. Open Wed–Thu noon–7pm,
Fri–Sat noon–9pm, Sun 1pm–6pm. 1964 University
Ave. at Milvia, Berkeley, 510-705-8800.
A tablehopper reader wrote
in to tell me the outside of ~MARITIME
EAST~ was suddenly changed to just Maritime, and then
shortly thereafter I was told the restaurant has closed. Mark
Mitcheltree was no longer involved in the project, hence the dropping
of the “East.” We’ll see who moves into the space.
2826 Telegraph Ave. at Oregon.
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