2009 | SAN FRANCISCO For me, the biggest bummer last week
was the news that Katharine Zacher and Ryan Ostler are no longer
running their kitchen in the back of ~BROKEN
RECORD~ in the Excelsior. I had a chat with them and
learned it was just too much of a grind for
them to be running the kitchen seven days
a week. And with all the labor they were
putting into it, let's just say the remote location made it challenging
to be a sustainable business model for them to keep going. They're
going to take the next couple months off to do a variety of things,
from travel and work in Utah, to some potential travels to Europe
and the South. Will of course keep you posted. Here's hoping their
Buffalo wings and 'cue and other delicious treats are back in the
City soon, I know they will be missed. (FYI, a new kitchen staff
and menu will be led by James Moisey at the Broken Record starting
on Saturday July 18th.) 1166 Geneva Ave. at Naples St., 415-963-1713.
CHEF SEASON SIX~ (which takes
place in Vegas, baby) is airing on Wednesday
August 26th. Of the 17 contestants on
the show, here's our local talent who
will be appearing: Mattin Noblia of Iluna
Basque in North Beach, Laurine Wickett
of Left Coast Catering, and from Google
HQ, we have Preeti Mistry. You can peek
at the line-up of contestants here.
(Oh yeah, and the villainous food critic
Toby Young will be back, muah hua hua.)
You want your shot at getting on TV? ~THE
NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR~, Food
Network's culinary reality series, is currently
casting for its 2010 season. The SF casting
call is on Sunday July 26th from 10am–4pm
at the W San Francisco (181 Third St.). For
applications, contest rules, and submission
instructions, read more here.
A new "pop-up" restaurant is happening at Stable
Cafe in the Mission each week:
chef Joshua Skenes (of the upcoming Carte
415) and sommelier Mark Bright, both Michael
Mina alums, are going to be hosting ~SAISON~ every
Sunday evening (they plan to eventually
extend it to five nights a week). They
will be offering a, you guessed it, seasonal
prix-fixe menu. It's set at $60, with wine
pairings offered for an additional $30.
Their goal is to offer delicious food and
wines in an unpretentious and comfortable
setting. The opening menu includes garden
vegetables (bagna cauda, crème fraîche);
Monterey abalone (seaweeds, poularde bouillon,
foie gras); Four Story Hill Farm poularde;
and Santa Rosa plum tart. In case some
of you are familiar with the space or have
been there for parties, they are hosting
Saison in the gallery space in the back
of the buildingthere will be a large communal
table in the gallery room. It flanks the
spacious and comfortable community kitchen
and a heated garden patio. Dinner starts
at 5:30pm, with the last seating at 8pm.
Call for reservations. 2124 Folsom St.
at 17th St., 415-828-7990.
Who let the dogs out? ~SHOW
DOGS~ near the Warfield is open.
You can get your corn dog, 4505 dog, Fatted
Calf dog, all kinds of dawgs (and all of
them hawt) from Mon–Fri 11am–8pm for now…
1020 Market St. at Golden Gate, 415-558-9560.
ROSSO~ just opened.
To recap, this Ferry Building Marketplace
project is from chef-owner Daniel Patterson
and chef de cuisine Lauren Kiino of COI,
with chef Doug Borkowski. Let me paint
a picture for you: pasture-raised meats
(chicken, porchetta, and more) on the
rotisserie or braised overnight, local
ingredients, lots of vegetables, sandwiches,
salads, and soup. Breakfast (mmm, a fried
egg panino) and lunch are served, plus
early supper. It's all kind of home-cookin'
in style (if your mother was Italian
and only shopped at the farmers' market),
with primo ingredients, and it's easy
to take home. As for the name, it's inspired
by Kiino's three-legged and totally precious
red dog, Cody. Woof. There are 10 seats
at the counter inside, 25 in the hallway,
and 30 outside. Kiino will now be busy
focusing on Bracina in Oakland, which
is looking like the end of the year (more
on that project later). Open Mon–Sat
8am–8pm, and Sun 10am–8pm. 1 Ferry Plaza,
last item in this dog-related roundup: while
my sister and I were on an evening walk Sunday
night, she pointed out an alley to me next
to Nickie's where
they were serving hot dogs on Saturday night.
(I loved the homemade hot dog sign.) Anyway,
a peek behind the tarp showed it's a real stand,
called ~HOT DOG ALLEY~. Has anyone eaten
there yet? I'll investigate soon. Haight St.
on our walk in the hood, we looked through
the windows at the now-closed Metro
Kathmandu. Things are moving along
for the change to ~DISTRICT 5~, and
it should be open July 15th at
5:30pm, serving Californian comfort cuisine
with Mediterranean flavor. The chef is Jacques
Rousseau, a French native who has most recently
worked as a chef at Baker Street Bistro for
the last five years. I took a peek at the extensive
menu, and here are a few highlights: heirloom
black tomatoes, cucumber, piquillos, goat cheese,
and olive oil and lemon dressing ($8); pasta
dishes like pennette with spicy Italian sausage
and Point Reyes teleme cheese ($12); Camarguais
red rice, piquillo, tomatoes, asparagus ($11);
roasted chicken breast brushed with California
olive tapenade on red rice ($15.50); and a
hanger steak, with pinot noir red onion compote
and fries ($17). Yeah, the prices are right.
(The super-delicious momos are also still on
the menu, yay.) And don't forget the cute patio
that's open during weekend brunch. 311 Divisadero
St. at Page, 415-552-0903.
Also in the nabe, ~JANNAH~ has opened
in the old creepy Gabin space next to Poleng
Lounge. But now it has a mural with bright
blue skies and water, so no more of the illicit
dungeon look. The chef is the kindly Yaya Salih,
known for YaYa Cuisine on Van Ness a few years
ago. The menu is affordable Mediterranean-meets-Californian,
with a big patio in the back that should be
open later. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
1775 Fulton St. at Masonic, 415-567-4400.
A small teaser: looks like I'll soon be able
to announce a cool new project that chef ~IAN
BEGG and RYAN MAXEY~ (formerly at Café
Majestic) have cookin'let's just say the eats
around North Beach will continue to get better.
And it's not a big restaurant projectsomething
a bit smaller in scope. Stand by for more.
Looking for a new place to sit outside in
this gorg weather? The patio at the Japanese ~UMI~ in
Potrero Hill is open for lunch! Heat lamps
and all that stuff for dinner are a month or
so out, but in the works. 1328 18th St. at
outdoor seating report: ~TRADEMARK
GRILL~ is open in Belden
Place, serving lunch, dinner, and a happy
hour during that funky in-between afternoon
time (2:30pm–6pm). Swing by for a cocktail
(there's a full bar) and kick it on the
outdoor patio in the alley. 56 Belden
Pl. at Sutter, 415-397-8800. (Photo by
Monica S. Lee.)
You know it's summertime when the tomato cart
returns to ~BIX~.
Or as they like to call it, the "Return
of the Killer Tomatoes Cart." You can
enjoy some heirloom tomatoes sliced tableside
and served with hand-pulled mozzarella, extra
virgin olive oil, and basil during dinner nightly,
or for lunch on Fridays. $13.50. 56 Gold St.,
off Montgomery St. between Jackson and Pacific,
tablehopper reader John D. wrote in to let
me know ~SURIYA THAI~ (of pumpkin curry
fame for many years on Valencia Street) has
reopened in SoMa, serving lunch and dinner.
Mon–Sat 11am–2:30pm, dinner Mon–Sun 5pm–10pm.
1532 Howard St. at 11th St., 415-355-9999.
Just a block away, the former SOMA Cafe is
transforming into ~SAGE~ (no relation
to the restaurant near Civic Center) from owner
Gabriel McWilliams and his wife Sue. This lounge/café
will serve coffee (Lavazza) all day, plus healthy
sandwiches and salads, and in the evening will
offer desserts, and beer and wine. Sage will
also be going back to the space's roots by
providing a venue for local artists to perform,
from live bands to DJs to poetry. The space
is significantly larger, with a 1,000-square-foot
addition, outdoor seating on both sides, and
it's now ADA-compliant. The look is "modern
glam," with crystal chandeliers, sofas, and
comfy seating. If all stays on track, look
for an opening for the neighbors on August
1st, and the general public grand opening on
August 3rd. Hours will be Mon–Sat 6am–11pm.
1601 Howard St. at 12th St., 415-552-SAGE.
This was a sad bit that came over the Twitter
wire yesterday: Little Skillet noted that
pancake institution ~J'S POTS OF SOUL~ in
Hayes Valley has closed. Huh wah? Wah. Yup,
the number is disconnected. From what I heard,
owner Laura Horne was ready to hang up her
chef coatunderstandable, since it was a lot
of work as a one-woman show. And so, one of
the last remaining bits of Hayes Valley soul
is no more. Bummer. 203 Octavia Blvd. at Page.
But, in the "things that make me happy" department: ~SUMMERTINI
2009~ managed to net over
$75,000 (almost $10,000 more than last
year) for the CHEFS
(Conquering Homelessness through Employment
in Food Service) program. Right
I had a delicious dinner at ~ZARÉ
AT FLY TRAP~ on Saturday
(such tender and juicy pistachio meatballs,
and loved the braised duck legs over
basmati rice with almonds and candied
citrus, meow). In case you want to go
check it out, I thought you should know
that for the rest of the month, chef-owner
Hoss Zaré is offering a 15% food discount
to all patrons who bring in a canned
good (which will be donated to Citymeals-On-Wheels).
Must be a can for each guest at the table.
606 Folsom St. at 2nd St., 415-243-0580.
to work on their roastery, they set up
a cart for the next few months so you
can start getting great espresso drinks
from them. tablehopper reader Jon B.
sent in this photo of
the brothers, which includes the additional
detail that they're using a custom blend
Coffee Roasters. BUT, before
you get all excited, the Sightglass kiosk
is closed today during a building inspection.
Otherwise, open daily 8am–5pm for now,
and open at 7am soon (follow them on Twitter for
updates). 270 7th St. at Folsom.
As I mentioned on my
Twitter feed at some point, the ~NAMU~ brothers
are not only serving their Korean tacos
at the daytime street food hootenanny at
the Ferry Plaza Thursday Market, but they
are also serving them at their restaurant.
The ingredients: "marinated short ribs,
on a bed of seasoned rice folded in Korean
and Japanese seaweeds topped with a pickled
daikon radish and kimchee salsa, a kimchee
remoulade, and homemade teriyaki sauce."
Sign. Me. Up. I also learned they are serving
delicious okonomiyaki (hard to find a good
one in this town), kimchee fried rice,
and a weekly secret menu item will be featured
at the new Thursday market as well as at
their restaurant. 439 Balboa St. at 6th
And here's a ~CAFÉ AND TAQUERIA UPDATE~ from
Jason B. with handy Yelp links so I don't have
to type in addresses: "E
Surf Café has opened in the Café
Benally spot; coffee, breakfast bagels, sandwiches,
some very reasonably priced crepes and Wi-Fi. Taqueria
El Sol opened in the Hawaiian Island
Café spot; interesting menu. Burritos, but
they also kept the burgers and American breakfast. Caffe
Amici opened a second location
downtown at 5th/Market; this used to be the
old Café 36 spot."
ON FILLMORE~ is now
offering their Sunday gospel brunch twice
a month: you can experience it now on
first and third Sundays. There are two
seatings: 11am or 1pm for the performance
and three-course prix-fixe brunch. Brunch
is $39 per person, and includes a Bellini
or mimosa and coffee and tea. 1300 Fillmore
St. at Eddy, 415-771-7100.
in Berkeley, Scott Howard's ~FIVE~ is
open in the historic and freshly renovated Hotel
Shattuck Plaza (designed by Thom Jess
of Arris Architects, design firm Ziv Davis,
and historical architect Mark Hulbert)there
is both a restaurant and lounge in the spacious
room. Looks pretty glam. Howard's American
bistro menu includes American Kobe steak tartare
with a quail egg and watercress salad; a truffled
egg salad with smoked trout and brioche; slow-cooked
short ribs with a white cheddar polenta and
turnips; and a pork belly "pork and beans"
served with a Waldorf salad. Breakfast, lunch,
and dinner daily plus a separate bar menu.
2086 Allston Way at Shattuck, 510-845-7300.
And a new opening up in Mill Valley: Roy Lui
and Chanel Liu (formerly of Morpho in San Francisco
and Ikura in San Rafael) are opening ~TSUKIJI
SUSHI~ in the previous Ora space. If inspections
go well, it should be opening this week (so
call first, yo). The menu is classic Japanese,
with sushi, small plates, and specials. Lui
will be working alongside Haruo Komatsu, who
was a sushi chef at Sushi Ran for something
like eight years. Tsukiji will be using Koshihikari
rice (a super-premium rice), rice bran oil
for their frying, and fish will be flown in
from the namesake market in Japan. There are
about 70 seats total and seven at the sushi
bar. There will eventually be outdoor seatingthere
are two really nice patio areas in front of
the restaurant, which will be open in hot weather.
The hours are roughly lunch Mon–Fri 11:30am–2pm,
dinner nightly 5pm–10pm, and possibly until
11pm Fri–Sat. 24 Sunnyside Ave. at Miller,
Mill Valley, 415-383-1382.
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