Rohnert Park’s posh sushi spot, HANA JAPANESE, may soon be expanding into San Francisco. Owner Ken Tominaga says he’s scoping out a new spot in the city with top toque Michael Mina. The pair opened Pabu at the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore last year, and reaction to the modern izakaya has been gushing. No details yet on the location, but Tominaga is eager for the new project. [Ed. note: The rumor I heard is the project is going into 101 California. We shall see!]
Speaking of sushi, have you tried the new sushi burrito at the Santa Rosa Saturday Farmers’ Market? Takeshi Uchida (a former Hana chef) has launched what he claims is the first sushi burrito cart ever. The hefty Japanese-Mexican wrap includes fried chicken or baked cod, plus pickled veggies, wasabi mayo, sushi rice, and a nori (seaweed) wrapper. They’ll run you about $7-$8 each, but they’re more than enough to share with a friend. Find Uchida’s sushi burrito cart at the farmers’ market at Veteran’s Hall on Saturday mornings and various locations near the Santa Rosa Airport Sonic.net campus. Find updated info on locations on Twitter.
Sonoma County is finally getting more pho! The crave-worthy Vietnamese soup is almost as prevalent as Starbucks in San Francisco and the South Bay, but aside from Pho Vietnam (711 Stony Point, Santa Rosa), Simply Vietnam (966 N. Dutton, Santa Rosa), and Noodle Bowl (817 Russell Ave., Santa Rosa), it’s not as easy to find around these parts. Two new noodle spots have the goods. NOODLE MANIA (7233 Healdsburg Ave., Sebastopol) has a variety of meaty pho, along with excellent vermicelli noodle bowls, pork buns, pickled veggies with just the right amount of garlic, and other Asian fusion dishes. We were particularly impressed with the chow fun. On the horizon is PHO CRAZY, opening at the former Anh Linh (320 W. Third St., Santa Rosa).
Also slated to open in Sebastopol: A sign has gone up for MARIGOLD, an Indian restaurant in the former Village Bakery space. Stay tuned.
What’s up with WOODFOUR BREWING in the new Barlow Center? BiteClub tasted through the menu of this recently opened brewery and pub last week. A full report is on the way, but suffice it to say that it’s worth a stop for the funky Farmhouse Ale and perfectly paired seasonal small plates. 6780 Depot St., Sebastopol.
Lots of news this week in Napa. Wine tasting lounge 1313 Main has announced the opening of LULU’S KITCHEN, specializing in farm-to-fork small plates (where have we heard that before?). Located in the Northside district of downtown Napa, the kitchen is part of the 1313 Main tasting lounge and will serve late afternoon bites and dinner. On the menu: braised pork belly, abalone wontons, and Burgundian-inspired oeufs en meurette, or poached eggs in pinor noir. Open Sun, Tue-Thu 4pm-10pm; Fri-Sat 4pm-11pm. 1313 Main St., Napa; 707-258-1313.
Also, news broke this week that chef Sean O’Toole, formerly of Bardessono and Hopper Creek Kitchen, will take over the long-empty vegetarian restaurant and yoga studio, Ubuntu, at 1140 Main Street in downtown Napa. The restaurant will be called TORC.