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This week's tablehopper: trip the light fantastic.

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The poor old Li Po Cocktail Lounge sign, it so deserves to have all its neon restored! Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Howdy. I know we have a lot on our minds right now, and heavy hearts. Our Bay Area community suffered a horrific loss this past weekend. And with each piece of news released about the Oakland fire, our hearts break even more. Sincere condolences and deep sympathies to all—this tragedy is felt by all. I hope today’s column can offer some distractions for you from all the bleak news right now.

One way to get into the holiday spirit is by adopting an ECS student in the CHEFS culinary training program. Every year they host an “Adopt-a-Student” Holiday Drive, when you can buy a much-needed gift for students, such as shoes and clothes. The deadline is December 20th to have any gifts dropped off. Please contact Mallory Burke via email or call 415-487-3300 x1245 to be assigned an individual. And read this inspiring piece to see how much good this amazing program can do to get people back on their feet.

I took an interesting tour of neon signs in Chinatown and Union Square with my sister this past weekend. It was such a cool way to explore the city—check out their upcoming tours in 2017. The duo behind the tours also have a great book and Instagram feed. After the tour, sis and I stopped in at Wayfare Tavern for a burger—the space looked beautiful, all tricked out in garland and holiday lights. Feeling the vibes…

Take good care, make some time for holiday cheer and seeing good friends. Come have jook with me on Sunday at Jook Joint! I’m hosting a wonderful (and affordable!) brunch. Or then there’s our Vietnamese dinner feast next Friday. I’d love to see you and feed you! Get tickets to all events here!

XO
Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)
Dec 6, 2016

Jook Joint Is Sunday, a tablehopper Brunch Pop-Up with Chef Rob Lam and Lo-Fi Aperitifs

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Smoked duck jook with duck leg confit, pomegranate, and salty duck egg, and Chinese doughnut. Photo courtesy of Rob Lam.

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The Saturn Returns (Lo-Fi Gentian Amaro, pineapple). Photo: Breeane Furlong.

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The White Elephant (Lo-Fi Sweet Vermouth, coconut cream, cold-brew coffee, allspice dram).

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Have you noticed how suddenly chilly our weather has become? Brrrr. Yes, it’s perfect jook weather, one of my favorite dishes for breakfast or brunch on a chilly or rainy day. Think of it as the warm, fuzzy sweater of brunch dishes. (Some of you may know it as congee, or rice porridge.) Fortunately my chef buddy Rob Lam of Butterfly is equally obsessed with jook, so we decided to throw an affordable and tasty brunch pop-up for you: Jook Joint.

We’re hosting the brunch on Sunday December 11th (in one-hour time blocks, from 10am-2pm), which is perfect for those of you who may have had a little too much holiday party cheer the night before. We’re excited to be partnering with Lo-Fi Aperitifs, who will be making a range of low-ABV cocktails for you to get you back in the game. Bartender extraordinaire Claire Sprouse (Tin Roof Drink Community) will be on deck, offering four inventive concoctions using Lo-Fi Dry Vermouth, Sweet Vermouth, and Gentian Amaro. As they like to say, “Lo-Fi Aperitifs are made with botanical conviction, crafted with superb California wines and whole ingredients.” Cheers to that.

This jook brunch will be prepared by chef Rob Lam of Butterfly, a good friend and one of my favorite people to eat with. I have been lucky over the years to enjoy some of his Vietnamese home cooking and dishes you won’t find on the menu at Butterfly, so here’s your opportunity to try his seriously delicious cuisine.

You’ll be able to choose from three different jooks: there will be one with rock shrimp and crab (with XO chile sauce, crab-uni butter, century egg); smoked duck (with duck leg confit, pomegranate, salty duck egg); and vegetarian (poached farm egg, cilantro and kale pesto, bamboo pith, pickles)—and vegans, you can have it without the egg, no problem! All the jook will come with a traditional savory Chinese doughnut (youtiao) and Vietnamese coffee, and it’s only $15 for the whole set ($2 extra if you want to put an egg on it).

You can also order a side of housemade shrimp dumplings (five for $8), and one, two, or three Lo-Fi Aperitif cocktails ($9 each)—you can take your pick from four at the brunch, including the White Elephant (Lo-Fi Sweet Vermouth, coconut cream, cold-brew coffee, allspice dram) and the Saturn Returns (Lo-Fi Gentian Amaro, pineapple). There are also nonalcoholic options (yuzu soda and a lychee Palmer, $4 each). Please note you’ll need to order these items in advance as a ticketed item, so if you plan to bring a jook home for the next day (or your roommate), order an extra bowl in advance!

It’s going to be a fun, lively, and casual brunch, and is designed to move pretty quickly, so we’ll be selling tickets in one-hour time blocks (10am-11am, 11am-12pm, 12pm-1pm, and 1pm-2pm). You don’t have to show up on the dot, but somewhere in that time frame would be great. We’ll reveal the Mission location when you get your ticket.

Tickets are available on Feastly. We can’t wait to see you, let’s eat!

On Friday 12/16, Join tablehopper and Chef Rob Lam for a Vietnamese Dinner with Wines from Ernest Vineyards

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Canh ga chien/big Buddha chicken wings with yuzu shrimp paste. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Erin Brooks from Ernest Vineyards and sommelier Eugenio Jardim. Photo courtesy of Ernest Vineyards.

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Bun rieu/Dungeness crab noodle soup with fat rice noodles, rock shrimp, fish cake, fried tofu, Dirty Girl tomatoes. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Array of pork and shrimp skewers, with lettuce, herbs, sauces, and rice paper wrappers. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Did you ever get a chance to attend the two Vietnamese dinners I hosted with Feastly earlier this year, which sold out in less than 24 hours? Well, if you missed out on chef Rob Lam’s amazing food, or you would love to try some more of his dishes, here’s your chance, because we’re hosting another feast! And we mean feast: we’re gonna stuff ya!

On Friday December 16th, I am thrilled to announce we’re hosting Family Style, a Vietnamese family-style dinner, paired with the restrained and elegant European-style wines from Ernest Vineyards, which are primarily sourced from carefully selected vineyards around Sonoma County. Wait until you taste these beautifully made and food-friendly wines! We did a preliminary tasting and were so happy to see how marvelously these wines paired with the menu. And since we’re partnering with Feastly, we’re going to be dining in a cool location in the Mission.

This Vietnamese feast will be prepared by chef Rob Lam of Butterfly, who is also a dear friend and one of my very favorite people to dine out with. I have been lucky over the years to enjoy some of his home cooking and dishes you won’t find on the menu at Butterfly, so here’s your opportunity to try his seriously delicious Vietnamese cuisine.

Rob was born in Vietnam, and when his family moved to Southern California after the fall of Saigon, his mother opened a restaurant called Vien Dong, just outside of Los Angeles, so restaurants are in his blood. And since Rob cares deeply about using quality ingredients, expect things to taste extra-special, with many housemade sauces and more.

During the evening, we have Ernest Vineyards co-founder Erin Brooks and sommelier and wine educator Eugenio Jardim, winner of Sunset Magazine’s 2010 Sommelier of the Year Award, who will be walking us through the pairings and educating us on these exquisite, site-specific wines, from the Eugenia rosé of cinsault (which is going to become your new favorite) to the fresh and floral Edaphos chardonnay, plus a pinot noir and grenache too.

The dinner will begin at 6:30pm, starting with an amuse on arrival (including bo tai chanh/hanger steak carpaccio and tartare). You can view the menu and wine pairings here. There will be three courses of authentic and flavorful dishes—from fried chicken wings with yuzu shrimp paste to bun rieu (Dungeness crab, egg, and tomato noodle soup with fried tofu and shrimp cake)—and the main event will be the bountiful family-style skewers course, served with a variety of pork and shrimp skewers (including some you have never seen before!), sauces, lettuce, herbs, and DIY rice paper wrappers. Get ready to roll up your sleeves.

With each course, you’ll enjoy an Ernest Vineyards wine pairing. There will also be dessert at the end: warm chocolate pot de crème with Vietnamese coffee sauce and matcha chantilly. Mmmmhmmm. No pairing for that one—it stands on its own! We’re planning to wrap up around 9:30pm, but probably closer to 10pm—you know how these things go. Sorry we can’t accommodate vegetarians at this meal since it’s a set menu.

Tickets are available on Feastly for just $80, all-inclusive. Yes, this is a steal, so don’t delay on getting your seat, we are more than halfway sold-out! We are selling tickets to the six bar seats separately, you can nab those here. I can’t wait to see you, especially around a table covered with delicious food prepared by one of my favorite chefs! See you!

Meet Alba Ray's, the Upcoming Cajun Restaurant from Alvin Garcia and Adam Rosenblum

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Back in May, I mentioned a Cajun restaurant was coming to the Mission from Popsons Burgers and Causwells restaurant founder-CEO Alvin Garcia and chef-partner Adam Rosenblum, and we’re excited to be the first to announce the name: ~ALBA RAY’S~. The name is a combination of Rosenblum’s daughter’s first name, Alba, and Ray is Garcia’s son Noah’s middle name.

There are also some new folks on the team, including sous chef Matthew Russell Woods (previously executive chef of Schmidt’s in San Francisco, and former sous chef of Bacchanal Wine in New Orleans)—he will eventually ramp up to chef de cuisine. And to recap, exec chef Rosenblum worked for James Beard Award-winning chef Donald Link at Herbsaint in New Orleans. The GM is Scott Christopher, previously a manager at House of Prime Rib.

The menu will include New Orleans classics like boudin balls with pickled peppers and Creole mustard, frog legs sauce piquant, shrimp and grits, seasonal crawfish boils, and sweets like upside-down bananas Foster cake and cinnamon roll bread pudding with rum sauce. Oh my.

They are planning to open Alba Ray’s in early January in the space formerly occupied by Hapa Ramen. 2293 Mission St. at 19th St.

Hinata, an Omakase Place That Isn't Out to Take All Your Money, Opens December 7th

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The bar at Hinata. Photo via @hinata_sf.

How refreshing, there’s a new sushi counter that isn’t charging two bills for an omakase experience in SF. In fact, the omakase menu here, which features a salad/starter, 3 pieces of sashimi, 12 pieces of nigiri, and soup (owan), will put you back $78, and you even get dessert. ~HINATA~ is opening this Wednesday December 7th, and Eater reports the chef-owners are Gavin Leung (Zushi Puzzle, Jiro Lin’s pop-up at Saison) and Weida Chen (Sushi Ran, Ijji).

There is a 12-seat bar (omakase only), with 14 seats at tables (à la carte or omakase). The name means “sunny place” in Japanese. (The website charmingly says, “When you are at our restaurant we want you to feel as though you are relaxing on a nice sunny day.”) Open Tue-Sun 5:30pm-10pm (reservations available for seatings 5:30pm-5:45pm and 8:15-8:30pm during the soft opening). 810 Van Ness Ave. at Eddy, 415-829-8291.

Dip, Your New Destination for French Dips and More, Opens Friday in North Beach

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Dip’s namesake French dip. Photo courtesy of Dip.

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Dip’s veal osso buco with potatoes au gratin with Gruyère. Photo courtesy of Dip.

Opening this Friday December 9th in North Beach is ~DIP~, the French dip-centered spot I mentioned earlier this year. Mahmoud “Mo” Khossoussi—owner of North Beach’s Maykadeh and Mo’s Grill, who is in his 70s and can’t stop, won’t stop—and his daughter, creative director Haleh Cunningham, have collaborated to open this bistro based one of their favorite family dishes.

Look for a menu with a variety of French dip sandwiches, all served on Acme bread with house au jus: organic roast beef, organic slow-roasted pork shoulder, organic porchetta alla Romana, leg of lamb, free-range roasted chicken, and a vegetarian version with oven-roasted tomato, fresh mozzarella, and arugula pesto (all $11-$13).

There is also a bistro delivery menu that will begin January 3rd, perfect for those nights when you don’t want to cook, but a plate of beef bourguignon or a roasted half chicken with potato au gratin and roasted vegetable mirepoix and Acme bread on the side sounds like the most amazing thing to have show up at your front door. There are also pasta dishes, sides, and of course, French dip sandwiches. Delivery is free for orders $40 and up to most neighborhoods in San Francisco (there is a 35-year-old delivery system in place from Maykadeh and Mo’s Grill).

The shop is reminiscent of a butcher shop, with lots of white tiles, plus brass and wood.

Mo and Haleh will be donating half of the proceeds from the opening day of Dip (Friday December 9th) to the victims of the Oakland fire and their recovery process. Open daily 11:30am-10:30pm. 1318 Grant Ave. at Union, 415-757-0775.

Openings: Rooster & Rice, Katani, Manitas, Lemonade West Portal

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Khao man gai from Rooster & Rice. Yelp photo by JP N.

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The “Who Let the Dogs Out” hot dog pizza at Katani; Yelp photo by Dan B.

Fans of the tasty khao man gai (Thai-style chicken and chicken rice) at ~ROOSTER & RICE~ in the Marina will now have a second location to visit in SoMa, according to Hoodline. You can get the original version (poached breast and thigh meat with jasmine white rice), or get skinless breast with organic brown rice, or a vegetarian version with organic tofu. Simple and kind of perfect. Hours to start are Mon-Fri 11am-3pm. 303 2nd St. at Howard.

For my fellow Panhandle residents, Hoodline also reports we now have pupusas in the neighborhood, along with sandwiches, espresso drinks, and more at ~MANITAS CAFE~, a new Salvadoran restaurant. 2078 Hayes St. at Cole.

Nearby, actually on the same block, ~KATANI PIZZA~ is also open in the former Panhandle Pizza. Look for thin-crust pizzas on the menu (yup, they have some creative ones), pastas, and they are even making their own version of jalapeño poppers. Open daily 11am-11pm. 2077 Hayes St. at Cole, 415-742-5234.

Over in West Portal, ~LEMONADE~, the fast-casual vegetable-focused chain (but there are still meats, like Thai chicken meatballs in green curry sauce) from LA is opening another SF location on Thursday December 8th. Open daily 11am-9:05pm. 16 West Portal Ave. at Ulloa.   

Upcoming Closures Include Range, Kuleto's, and Starboard

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The interior. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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The dining room at Range. Photo from Facebook.

Wow, this is the end of an era: was sorry to learn ~RANGE~ is closing after almost 12 years of business on Valencia. So many cocktails, so many Sungold Zingers, so many coffee-rubbed pork shoulders… SFGate reports that Phil and Cameron West are closing their seminal Valencia Street restaurant at the end of December, and it sounds like they have other plans for the space. (There are still 10 years on the lease, and they want to create something more appealing to the current Valencia crowd.) Be sure to swing by for a final-final this month. Thanks to the team for all the memories. 842 Valencia St. at 19th St.

I heard word from a reader that ~KULETO’S~ is closing after New Year’s Eve. Chef Bob Helstrom left last August after being there for 28 years, so this really is the end of the line. Swing by for their amazing eggnog while you can.

And just shy of a year of being open, ~STARBOARD~, the Mission late-night spot with the cheeky menu, has sadly closed. Owners Daniel Hyatt, Patty West (owner of Slate Bar, next door), and Suzanne Ray gave it their best shot, but ultimately had to close; they want to thank everyone for their support. Le sigh. 2919 16th St. at S. Van Ness.

It also looks like venerable ~PAULINE’S PIZZA~ may be closing soon—the restaurant is currently up for sale for $150K. It has been open since 1985, known for its garden-fresh pizza toppings and as a haven for parents with little ones (and having one of the most memorable bathrooms). Go get a pesto pizza while you can. Sigh. [Via Capp Street Crap via Eater.] 260 Valencia St. at Brosnan, 415-552-2050.

Junju Pops Up, Lunch at Motze, The Den Opens Weekends, Truffles at Trestle, More

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A dish from Junju. Photo courtesy of Robin Song.

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Cold ginger starch noodles with sunflower tahini at Motze. Photo: Pete Lee.

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Butternut squash risotto and white truffles at Trestle. Photo courtesy of Trestle.

Here’s another chance to check out chef Robin Song’s ~JUNJU~ concept at a pop-up before he’s able to open his brick-and-mortar location. Come by Nightbird, where he is working right now, on Sunday December 18th or Monday the 19th to experience his seven-course tasting menu (you can come by anytime between 6:30pm-8pm). The menu looks fantastic and is $95 (buy tickets here). Wines can be purchased that evening for $50 for all 6 tastes, or $15 a glass. At Nightbird, 330 Gough St. at Hayes, 415-829-7565.

Next Tuesday December 13th is a special event from the Ment’or Foundation, which is hosting its final fundraiser for Team USA prior to its trip to Lyon to represent the US at the next Bocuse d’Or competition! Five SF-based chefs who are part of the foundation’s Culinary Council—Corey Lee, Joshua Skenes, Mourad Lahlou, Michael Mina, and Roland Passot—will be cooking together for one night at In Situ. There will be walk-around bites, cocktails, and a panel discussion. Tickets are $200. 7pm-9pm.

In case you haven’t had a chance to swing by Nick Balla and Cortney Burns’s ~MOTZE~ for dinner, they are also serving à la carte lunch Tue-Sun 11am-2pm. Menu items include cold ginger noodles with sunflower tahini and seven-spice; romanesco and cauliflower salad with sesame and sea laver; and nare rice porridge bowls (with spicy chicken, sausage, egg, peanut, and fried garlic schmaltz, or chile egg with kale and squash). There are also low-ABV housemade cocktails and soft drinks, plus beer, cider, and wine. And while you’re looking at the menu, prices include tipping. 983 Valencia St at 21st St., 415-484-1206.

Craftsman and Wolves have decided to add weekend hours to their Bayview café, ~THE DEN~. You can come by for coffee (from Highwire) and kouign amann, and yes, the Rebel Within, plus their granola bowl, quiche, and toasts. Lunch options and their sick frittata sandwich will come after the holidays. Speaking of, you can pick up some holiday confections and their entire retail line for gifts. Hours are now Mon-Fri 7am-5pm and Sat-Sun 8am-2pm. 1598 Yosemite Ave. at Keith, 415-423-3337.

Feel like making it rain? The folks at ~TRESTLE~ are selling 2-3g of white truffle shavings for only $20. Starting Tuesday December 6th (that’s today), you can have them over pasta dishes like their baked garganelli or butternut squash risotto. Through New Year’s Eve, pending availability. 531 Jackson St. at Columbus, 415-772-0922.

Another good deal: ~BELGA~ has launched a new Monday Lite menu, with dinner for $15. You can choose two items: lentil soup; cauliflower with vadouvan, golden raisins, and almonds; avocado toast with pea hummus; kale salad; sautéed broccolini with Grana Padano; falafel and flatbread; and grilled chicken paillard with warm potato and kale salad. There will be $5 Bodkin rosé, plus free corkage during dinner service every Monday night in December. Which means more money for buying truffles (see above). Happy holidays! 2000 Union St. at Buchanan, 415-872-7350.

Cawfee Tawk: Chapter Two Coffee and Café Inside RS94109

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A peek at Chapter Two Coffee. Yelp photo by Albertino M.

A couple of fun additions to our local caffeination scene for ya. Over in the FiDi, ~CHAPTER TWO COFFEE~ has opened inside the Wildflower Cafe. You can enjoy Verve espresso drinks, plus matcha lattes, teas from T-We, bagels from Authentic Bagel Company, and pastries. Open Mon-Fri 7am-3pm. 411 Sansome St. at Commercial.

Secondly, the new record shop, ~RS94109~ on Larkin has a café in their space. So you can enjoy a cortado made with Bar Nine coffee while listening to some underground ’80s music. 835 Larkin St. at Myrtle (near Geary).

510 Updates Include Curry Up Now to Oakland, Duchess Opens, Ozumo Closes, More

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Deconstructed samosa from Curry Up Now. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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The dining room at Duchess. Photo via Duchess.

Time to catch up on some East Bay news, starting with the announcement that ~CURRY UP NOW~ is expanding to Oakland with a 50-seat restaurant (plus 16 outside). The Indian street food restaurants and trucks are known for their tikka masala burrito and deconstructed samosa, but they also serve classic street food dishes like bhel puri (puffed rice, potato garbanzo mash, cucumber) and one of my favorites, pav bhaji (a Mumbai slider with a mash of cauliflower, beans, carrots, potatoes, and peas). Weekend brunch is also in the plan. They are targeting an early 2017 opening. 1745 San Pablo Ave. at 18th St., Oakland.

After running some soft opening tests (and tempting us with pictures of breakfast sandwiches and housemade pastrami), ~DUCHESS~ is now open in Rockridge. To recap my original post, it’s a café, pub, and local watering hole (with craft cocktails!) from wine pros Caroline Conner and Chris Strieter, with chef Candice Caris. Here’s the seasonal menu, which you can also enjoy on the outdoor patio. Hours this week are 8am-2pm through Wed, then Mon-Thu 8am-10pm, Fri 8am-11pm, Sat 9am-11pm, and Sun 8am-10pm. 5422 College Ave. at Manila, Oakland, 510-871-3463.

A few closures to report, including ~OZUMO~, after being in Uptown for almost 10 years (the SF location remains open!), as well as the rebooted ~GRAND FARE MARKET~, although Freya Prowe’s Brothers & Sisters Flower Shop will remain open Tue-Sun (via Eater). ~PATHOS~ has closed in Berkeley (Nosh reports a dispute with the landlord), and ~CHA-AM~’s owners are retiring—it is being replaced by an Indian restaurant called Jotmahal Palace (1543 Shattuck Ave. at Cedar, Berkeley).

Winner winner chicken dinner! ~SHAKEWELL~ in Oakland is offering some new weekday deals every Tue-Thu, starting with a fried chicken dinner on Tuesday nights, served family style (choose a meal for 2-4 people for $49 or 4-6 for $98). You get buttermilk fried organic 38 North chicken, two sides, pickles, corn bread, and three different sauces. Dine before 6pm and receive complimentary churros with buttermilk syrup. Wednesday is We Drink Wine Wednesday, with no corkage and 20 percent off Shakewell’s wine list. And every Thursday from 4pm-6pm, you’ll find $1 oysters at the bar. AND every Tue-Thu, order off the bar menu and pay half price on bar bites like bacon-wrapped Medjool dates (4pm-6pm, at the bar only). 3407 Lakeshore Ave. at Mandana, Oakland, 510-251-0329.

the sponsor

This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
Dec 6, 2016

(Sponsored Event): Get Pickled with The Lunchpad on Sunday December 18th!

Just in time for the holiday gift-giving season, The Lunchpad (581 Hayes St., SF) will host a pickling class on Sunday December 18th from 6pm to 7pm. The class will include a short talk on the history of pickles and the different methods of pickling. Attendees will create and take home their own favorite pickling combinations, and all ingredients (such as cucumbers, carrots, green beans, and other seasonal vegetables) are included in the cost of the class ($20 per person).

Bonus: Chef Adam of The Lunchpad will be demoing Candied Jalapeños! Second bonus: if attendees feel like getting a little “pickled” while they’re pickling, Noir Lounge (sister restaurant to The Lunchpad) will offer festive drink specials for the evening. To sign up for the class, please click here.

the lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
Dec 6, 2016

Bar Fluxus, an Artsy New Downtown Bar, Opening Saturday December 10th

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Seating and a view at Bar Fluxus. Photo courtesy of Bar Fluxus.

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Seating at Bar Fluxus. Photo courtesy of Bar Fluxus.

The Hotel Des Arts has a new bar that is opening this weekend, ~BAR FLUXUS~. It’s a spacious one, with capacity for 176, and it’s going to feature cocktails, plus music (spanning all genres) and live entertainment, including literary readings, bands, and performance art. There’s even a baby grand piano and a stage. Anyone who is a fan of John Cage or Yoko Ono will likely understand what the Fluxus name is referring to—the experimental art movement in the 1960s. The team is trying to infuse our local scene with some fun, art, and spark.

Partners in the project include Mike Spike Krouse (Madrone Lounge), Ludo Racinet (previously owner of Tunnel Top), and Jean Michel Fabregon (Tunnel Top, Michel Bistro). Cocktails are from Bottom of the Barrel’s Matt Grippo and Shirley Brooks, and Ella Johnson is behind the wine list.

The creative and playful space was designed in collaboration with Jonathan Siegel (Viracocha) and is full of eclectic furnishings and installations—get ready to see something completely different. The soft opening is this Saturday December 10th, 7pm-11pm, with live music with Jenny Kerr Band, Misisipi Mike, and the Keller Sisters, and then DJ Sonny Phono is coming on at 11pm. Regular hours will be 3pm-2am. 447 Bush St. at Grant.

Bar Crenn Coming in 2017, Next Door to Atelier Crenn

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The exterior of Cellar Door. Yelp photo by Kamran S.

Over the weekend, I was happy to see chef Dominique Crenn announce her upcoming project, ~BAR CRENN~, over social media. It’s going to be opening next door to Atelier Crenn, in the space that Cellar Door wine bar is in. The Chron reports further that it will feature biodynamic and natural wines (curated by wine director Matt Montrose), older wines, low-ABV cocktails, and ports and Madeiras. There will also be some small plates and dishes to share. It’s going to be relaxed and a place to hang out with friends, or for a drink before or after dinner. The opening is looking like April 2017; I’ll keep you updated. 3131 Fillmore St. at Greenwich.

Champagne Celebration at Arlequin, Champagne Hour at EPIC Steak

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It’s Champagne o’clock. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hello, my fellow bubbles lovers. On Thursday December 15th, ~ARLEQUIN WINE MERCHANT~ is hosting their annual Champagne Celebration, one of my favorite events each and every year. They will be pouring more than 40 Champagnes from primarily grower-producers, including Courtin, Bouchard, Tarlant, Agrapart, Chartogne-Taillet, Laherte, Savart, Lassaigne, and more. It’s 5pm-8pm, $75.

And ~EPIC STEAK~ is making Wednesday happy hour extra sparkly. Come by Wednesday evening from 5pm-7pm, when you can enjoy 50 percent off all Taittinger bottles, half bottles, and by-the-glass offerings. Get there early, because Champagne Hour will kick off with a sabering of 2008 Taittinger Champagne and the first 10 guests will receive a free taste. Pop!

Jerry Thomas Tribute, SOS! Save Our Stud Meeting and Update

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The New Era at 54 Mint, in honor of the Jerry Thomas Celebration. Photo courtesy of DRink PR.

Coming up December 12th-16th is a citywide homage to Jerry Thomas, known as the father of American bartenders, someone we owe a great many cheers to. He wrote How to Mix Drinks or The Bon-Vivant’s Companion, a collection of recipes back in 1862—many of our current cocktails can trace their roots to the recipes in his book. Some of the city’s best bars are partnering with Bols Genever for a Jerry Thomas Celebration, offering specially priced cocktails inspired by the genever-based drinks created by Thomas more than 100 years ago. Participating bars across San Francisco include 54 Mint, Comstock Saloon, Devil’s Acre, Bourbon & Branch, White Chapel, Absinthe, Nightbird, Dobbs Ferry, Alembic, Sessions at The Presidio, Louie’s, Blackbird, The Treasury, and Café du Nord.

Tonight, Tuesday December 6th, is a community meeting with the SOS! Save Our Stud Collective, which is not only celebrating The Stud being recently designated a Legacy Business (yay!), but will be announcing next steps in the attempt to save the bar and how the community can contribute to the Stud’s longevity and success. The meeting will start at 6pm at the Stud, and anyone is welcome to attend. 399 9th St. at Harrison.

the sponsor

This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
Dec 6, 2016

(Crowdfunding Ad): A Philz Coffee Cookbook Is Happening!

Do you have a serious Philz Coffee addiction, or just love damn good food? Well, a Philz Coffee-inspired cookbook is happening. Yes, cooking with Philz! It’s also the perfect gift for any foodie or coffee lover.

This is a Kickstarter project started by a couple of Philz fans that would love your support. Made with Coffee, created by Jerry James Stone and K.C. Cornwell, explores all that is delicious when cooking with coffee.

Years in the making, you’ll find tasty recipes such as Pastry-Wrapped Poached Pears with Coffee Caramel, Cocoa Roasted Beets, and Coffee & Pomegranate Lamb Chops. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, or not, there is something for everyone in this cookbook.

Jerry lived in San Francisco up until a few years ago and is known for his unique spin on vegan and vegetarian cuisine. But this book is about coffee, and not vegetarianism, which is why it has contributors from Whole Foods Market and even Food Network.

If you are looking to try coffee on a whole new level, this is your next cookbook! The campaign ends December 19th.

the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)
Dec 6, 2016

Full Bellies with Fuller House

The entire cast from Fuller House came in to ~MAYBECK’S~ for dinner (they did a premiere of the new season at the Presidio Theatre and took over the dining room afterward). Dave Coulier, Bob Saget, and Candace Cameron Bure, along with 40 others from the new show, were there.

In other news, the creator of the show, Jeff Franklin, recently bought the original Tanner house used in Full House in Lower Pacific Heights. It seems the previous tenants were not happy about all the fans who would come by for pictures.

the matchmaker

Classifieds (let's get it on)
Dec 6, 2016

(Matchmaker): Arlequin Cafe Is Hiring an Assistant Manager

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Arlequin Cafe, Hayes Valley’s favorite place to meet and eat, seeks an Assistant Manager responsible to the Cafe Manager in the day-to-day operation of the Cafe, ensuring the best of service at all times. We seek a professional who possesses strong cafe, barista, catering, and supervisory skills; who can be hands-on, with excellent people skills; and has the ability to work with the team while leading them as mentor, motivator, and supervisor. The successful candidate will be promotable and capable of managing this successful business with minimal hands-on support.

To hear more about this position, click here.

(Matchmaker): Handles Gastropub Is Seeking a Sous Chef

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Handles is a neighborhood gastropub in Pleasanton featuring the best of local food and drink. The menu is seasonally driven comfort food with an emphasis on a farm-to-table approach. The Public House showcases 30 craft beers and 16 wines on tap, with a full bar; menus supported include lunch, happy hour, dinner, and Sunday brunch, along with a full-service catering and banquet offering.

The position is responsible for overseeing line cooks, preparing all mise-en-place lists for stations, ordering, inventory, menu development, expediting service, and working environment. The qualified candidate will be a motivated self-starter with excellent communication, problem resolution, and organization skills. Must be able to develop, mentor, and lead junior staff members; work cleanly and efficiently; and have respect for quality ingredients and careful attention to preparations.

Learn more about this job and apply by clicking here.

(Matchmaker): Feastly Seeking a San Francisco City Manager

Feastly is hiring! We’re seeking a dynamic leader with deep relationships in the San Francisco chef community to be our next San Francisco City Manager. The position will oversee local operations, including our chef relationship program, developing partnerships with local hospitality businesses, content creation and social media engagement, light PR, and overall market strategy and reporting. Experience at a start-up, food media, or PR firm is a plus—entrepreneurial, solutions-oriented, and efficient. Feastly is a rapidly growing online marketplace for chefs with an exciting work environment and a food-obsessed team.

To apply, please send cover letter and résumé here.

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