2009 | SAN FRANCISCO A little birdie tells me Erica Holland-Toll (most
recently the chef at the former Lark Creek Inn) is the new executive
chef of ~DUCCA~ and
the Westin (she just started yesterday). The current menu is going
to be intact for a few months, and she will start making changes
then. Chef Richard Corbo's last day is this Friday. 50 Third St.
at Market, 415-977-0271.
Hayes Valley has opened (it's the spot that used to house Frjtz,
and Mad Magda's for you old timers). Owner Raul Vargas has put together
a menu that is designed to please the neighborhood: namely, he acquiesced
and is offering burritos. But they don't come cheap: the initial
menu I received says $8.95. There are also a number of seafood dishes,
from a coctel or tostada or tacos de
camaron to shrimp and crab enchiladas. The menu seems pretty straightforward
(plates of carne asada, carnitas, or chile
verde with rice, beans, and tortillas) and isn't specific to any one
region of Mexico. But it's definitely more of a restaurante than
a taqueria. Beer and wine served. Open daily 11am–10pm. 579 Hayes St.
at Laguna, 415-626-1162.
Your outdoor dining options with a view just got bigger and better: ~SLANTED
DOOR~ is now offering seating on their patio, 44
seats in all. The tables are available
for walk-ins, but if someone with a reservation for inside wants
an outside table, they get first dibs. The tables are good for
two or four, and there are heat lamps to help deal with our typical
brisk weather. The full menu is available, and the tables are
open for both lunch and dinner. 1 Ferry Building #3, 415-861-8032.
in Phan-land… I have some exciting news for late-night diners: starting
on Monday June 29th, ~HEAVEN'S
DOG~ will serve the full menu from Monday–Saturday until
1am! Based on the delicious meal I just had
last week, I am pretty excited with the prospect
of having their edamame salad (made with bean
curd ribbons and chili oil) and the meaty/fatty char sui pork late
in the evening. This would be after getting tipsy off of Erik Adkins's
bevvies, like the tasty Gin Fizz Tropical, and the Manhattan I tried
that he made with absinthe and curacao. Yes, dangerous. (FYI, hours
on Sunday are 4:30pm–9:30pm). 1148 Mission St. at 7th St., 415-863-6008.
Fortunately the other place where I am likely to tie one on while
dining is also extending their kitchen hours to 1am: ~ALEMBIC~!
The kitchen is doing their magic until 1am nightly. Huzzah.
1725 Haight St. at Cole, 415-666-0822.
In case you happen to run into Steven Oliver at ~ENRICO'S~,
it's because the local GM and (party) host extraordinaire has been
brought on to help out for a few months. Swing by, have a cocktail,
and say hello! 504 Broadway Ave. at Kearny, 415-982-6223.
When I was pedaling home from brunch on Sunday at Pomelo, I noticed
the long-awaited/mysterious ~XANATH ICE CREAM~ is finally
open. While every ice cream place around town is giving us flavors
like burnt caramel or prosciutto, Xanath is being true to its name
and offering a variety of vanillas, including Mexican or regular vanilla.
There's also saffron, espresso, and 10 or so other flavors (using Straus
Family Creamery ice cream mix), plus frozen yogurt, and milkshakes.
Everything is organic, and the spoons and cups are compostable. Fun
fact: the owners import vanilla
and saffron, hence the ginormous bottles of vanilla extract in the
window. The windows could also use a little merchandising help, but
hey, we all can't be Simon Doonan. Hours Sun–Thu 12pm–10pm, Fri–Sat
12pm–11pm. 951 Valencia St. at 21st St., 415-648-8996.
Thanks to a tip from tablehopper reader Paul G., ~CHA-YA~,
the Japanese-vegetarian restaurant on Valencia will be opening a third
location, this time in the Inner Sunset. It's going to be in the long-shuttered
Empress Garden Restaurant space. I called to confirm with the Cha-Ya
folks, and it should be open within the next week or two. 1386 9th
Ave. at Judah.
opening will perhaps help soften the blow
of the closure of ~CAFÉ
GRATITUDE~ for vegans and vegetarians, which just shuttered
its Sunset location after three years of business.
1336 9th Ave. at Irving.
A little activity out in the Richmond: some soju-lovin' locals were
bummed with the closure of ~ROHAN LOUNGE~ back in May. Well,
a former Rohan server, her sister (who is a chef), and their good friend
(who was a bartender and server at Rohan) all went in together, and
are now taking over the space. They are going to reopen it in July
named after a mythological goddess of the sea.
The partners are sisters KK and Silma Salamin, and Leah Adiol—they
are all local San Franciscans who grew up together. They will continue
the soju lounge style, serving Pan-Asian fare (chef Silma Salamin has
worked at Ozumo, Hayes Street Grill, and Mezze in Oakland). Look for
new art, DJs, and a freshening up of the space (new upholstery for
the booths, paint, etc.). They're excited to take good care of the
space and bring it back. I'll keep you posted as it gets closer. 3809
Geary Blvd. at 2nd Ave.
More Richmond news: the second location of ~PAGAN~ is
now open in the former Eva's Hawaiian Restaurant, serving Burmese
dishes for lunch and dinner, Tue–Sun (but they won't be serving
any Thai food like the original location does). 731 Clement St. at
8th Ave., 415-221-3888.
According to permits, it looks like there's a shabu place opening
called ~PRIME RIB SHABU~ in the Wang Daegam tofu/BBQ
house, a few doors over from Troya. 308 5th Ave. at Clement, 415-668-1858.
tablehopper reader Peter F. went to check out ~ORALIA'S~, the
new café/deli from The
New Spot owners (Julia and Gilbert Rivera), and even sent
in this picture of his pastrami sandwich. On the menu: hand-carved
meats, like corned beef, ham, turkey, pastrami, and roast beef, which
you can have put into a sandwich ($8) or as a lunch plate with two
sides and a roll ($8.49). There are also some hearty daily specials
like lamb or ribs, salads made with organic greens, and regular cold
sandwiches, like egg salad, plus coffee from La Colombe, and bagels
for breakfast. Oh yeah, and Fridays you get a free side with an order
of a hot sandwich. Hours are Mon–Fri 7:30am–4pm. 2347 3rd St. at 22nd
Also a bit off the beaten path, reader Karen Z. writes in this tip
about ~LA MICHOACANA ON BAYSHORE~: "In the space of the former
El Potrillo, 300A Bayshore at Oakdale. I used
to like Potrillo for its big beefy carne asada
burritos, but haven't been to the new
version: fresh paint, a newly glassed-in patio, big 'Grand Opening'
sign. Maybe they're preparing for an influx of visitors to what
may be Lowe's in the site of the old Goodman's Lumber (where
reminder for you Showplace Square-worker types: ~HORATIUS~,
a bistro and market in Potrero Hill, is slated to open tomorrow, on
Wednesday June 17th. And the 30 outdoor seats are reportedly on the
sunny side of Kansas Street. Bistro hours: Mon–Sat 7am–3pm, and lunch
entrées start at 11am. 350 Kansas St. at 16th St., 415-252-3500.
Curious what is going into the soon-to-be-revamped line-up at the ~METREON~?
The fast-casual players include a La Boulange from Bay
Greens, a Best-o-Burger,
and a "new Asian noodle concept from Arnold
Eric Wong and the other owners of E&O Trading Co." You can read
the San Francisco Business Times article here for
all the details. (The article also mentioned that Steve Weber's Best-o-Burger
will be opening "in One Market in about two months and a third will
open near Union Square before the Metreon's official rebirth." As for
Tavern on the Green opening here in SF, the timing is still TBD since
the New York location's lease renewal is in flux—stand by. Mission
and 4th St.
More life is happening on Sacramento Street: as previously reported, ~WEXLER'S~ opened
last week, servin' up southern comfort food and new American BBQ and
more for lunch and dinner. 568 Sacramento St. at Montgomery, 415-983-0102.
And now ~PALIO
D'ASTI~ is open on Saturday nights again, from 6pm–9pm.
(They haven't been open on Saturdays since 1995.) And bonus,
there's plenty of free street parking around there after
7pm, so you can actually go out in heels
without the hike. On Saturdays only,
they will also throw in a complimentary
antipasto platter. A few more things to note: every night, including
Saturday, the first martini is only $1 with a three-course meal
($37/head, no matter what you order). And if you're doing the
three-courser, there is no corkage either (every night)! That
makes for one heck of an inexpensive meal: a $1 martini, $37
for three courses, and you could even bring your own wine. Plus
a free antipasto platter if you're comin' in on a Saturday. 640
Sacramento St. at Montgomery St., 415-362-6003.
Sounds like it's time to segue to meal deals, no?
Does it get much cheaper than hot dogs? They may be recession-friendly,
but they are also perfect for customizing and gourmand-izing. I got
to taste an early prototype of ~4505
MEATS'~ hawt dawg a few weeks ago (verdict: delicious,
naturally). And now the 2.0 version of the dog will be served at Wexler's,
in addition to a BBQ at Elixir on
Sunday from 4pm–7pm. $5 for a hot dog, just pay inside and you'll
get a ticket, then go visit mister-chef Ryan Farr, who will be manning
the big half-keg grill setup outside. Elixir will then have the dogs
available at the bar on other nights, warmed up on a George Foreman
grill. Good old George. 3200 16th St. at Guerrero, 415-552-1633.
TAKEAWAY~ is going to be doing a weekly 4505 chili
dog every Friday, consistently starting next Friday the 26th.There
will be various styles (cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, etc.)
at about $7 a pop (I am basing this on a previous chili dog Friday
price). 2751 24th St. at Hampshire.
I also hear those evil geniuses at ~BROKEN
RECORD~ are wrapping their 4505 dogs in bacon,
dipping them in corn batter, and deep frying 'em. Brutal. Beautiful.
1166 Geneva Ave. at Naples St., 415-963-1713.
the Sunset is now offering $1 oysters during
their happy hour,
which runs Wed–Sun from 5:30pm–7pm. During happy hour, Sapporo pitchers
are $8, 12 oz. Asahi beers are $3, and warm sake is $5 per carafe.
There are also two happy hour food specials daily, each for $3. 1500
Irving St. at 16th Ave., 415-235-7745.
Town has ended, which means ~ANA MANDARA'S~ Stimulus
Menu will be available again. It's $35 per person, with your
choice of starter (lemongrass chicken skewers, vegetarian wraps,
or banana blossom salad); an entrée (sautéed garlic prawns, crispy-skin
five-spiced poussin, or wokked lemongrass beef); and for dessert,
Valhrona dark chocolate semifreddo or house-made ice cream or sorbet.
Ana Mandara also has live jazz and happy hour specials in the Cham
Bar Thu–Sat every week. I have to admit I have never eaten there,
but I was impressed with chef Khai's cookin' at Pot
de Pho, so it's now on my "to check out" list. 891 Beach
St. at Polk, 415-771-6800.
And now, the bad news: some closures/changes:
Valley blog noticed that Stefano Coppola's short-lived ~CITY
GRILL~ (previously Kookez) has shuttered. According
to a commenter, Coppola is reportedly opening
a French bistro in its place, Bistro 24. Stand by for more. 4123 24th St. at
wrote in to tell me it appears that ~INDULGENCE~ in the Financial
District has closed. Didn't get a chance to indulge? Me neither. 375 Bush St. at Belden.
District casualty: was informed by Jason B. that the ~FIRE HOUSE CAFÉ~ has
closed as well. 545 Sansome St. at Washington.
Some news south of the City:
Redwood City's ~MARTINS
WEST~ finally got its liquor license, cheers. Cocktails
will now be shaken, and Scotch will be lovingly poured. 831 Main
St., Redwood City, 650-366-4366.
ENOTECA~ in Redwood City will open on Monday June
22nd. Chef Scotti (who is from Bergamo)
has crafted a menu that looks mighty appetizing, including fried
baby artichokes, house-made pastas like agnolotti dal plin and
ravioli made of fava beans and ricotta. There are also a few
pizzas from the wood oven, plus grilled branzino, and a couple
meat dishes. 1041 Middlefield Rd. at Jefferson, Redwood City,
the new Indian restaurant in downtown Mountain View, is due to open
this Friday the 19th. 357 Castro St., Mountain View, 650-965-2000.
Down in San Jose, Roland Passot's ~LB
STEAK~ (as in Left Bank) opens today, June 16th.
To recap, this is the modern steakhouse
that's opening in the Tanglewood space. You can read a sneak
peek from Carolyn Jung on her Food
Gal blog. One staggering item on the menu: Passot's escargot-bone
marrow gratin. Mon dieu. The lunch menu includes sandwiches,
pastas, salads, and six kinds of burgers,
plus seafood and vegetarian dishes. There is also a bar and lounge
area for drinks and small bites. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
334 Santana Row, San Jose, 408-551-4611.
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