January 13, 2015

January 13, 2015

Neighbor Bakehouse from the outside. Photo from Instagram.


Chocolate claws and savory tarts at Neighbor Bakehouse. Photo from Instagram.

Fans of the superlative baked goods by Neighbor at cafés around town will be thrilled to know owner-baker Greg Mindel has moved into new digs in Dogpatch, giving him enough room to have a walk-up shop now! Meet ~NEIGHBOR BAKEHOUSE~, now in the AIC (American Industrial Center) on 3rd Street.

There’s a full exhibition kitchen, so you can take a peek at their process while you make some hard decisions on what to order. There will be his croissants, of course (oh, that twice-baked pistachio-blackberry one), savory tarts, and look for cookies, scones, and muffins coming soon. And there will be bread, which is in short supply in the neighborhood since there’s no grocery store. Mindel is also going to eventually add a pastry case, offering some European and American selections, too, including carrot cake and a chocolate layer cake. He also mentioned that sandwiches, salads, and some grab-and-go options are in the works as well, which will extend business hours.

There’s coffee service from De La Paz, so you can get espresso and drip, and look for a dedicated coffee window to come soon. While there isn’t room for seating inside, there are some picnic tables outside. Hours for now are Mon-Sat 6:30am-11:30am or so. Mindel says the best selection will be at 7am, and they are doing multiple bakes throughout the morning so people can eat the just-baked goods—he said it makes him happy to be able to offer that unique experience. Yeah, hot, fresh-out-of-the-oven croissants, is there anything better? 2343 3rd St., Suite 100, at 20th St.


The exterior of Great Hunan (located in a 1911 building) that is the future home of Trestle. Image via Google.

Back in October, we reported that some ABC license activity pointed to a new project from Stones Throw’s Ryan Cole and Jason Kirmse (also of Fat Angel) going into the Great Hunan space in Jackson Square.

The team has now released some information about their forthcoming project, ~TRESTLE~. The Hi Neighbor group, the newly established San Francisco-based restaurant group behind Fat Angel and Stones Throw, is behind the project, which includes the aforementioned Ryan Cole and Jason Kirmse, plus Cyrick Hia, Tai Ricci, and executive chef Jason Halverson.

The daily-changing menu will focus on elevated interpretations of comfort cuisine, and the format will be a three-course prix-fixe for $35, with an option to add additional courses for $10 each. As for the name, the press release explains that a trestle is “defined as one of the earliest interpretations of a dining room table.” Dinner will be served nightly. We’ll have more details to share on the 49-seat space in the coming weeks. The targeted opening is late March 2015. 531 Jackson St. at Columbus.


The interior at Verbena. Photo by Carmen Troesser.

We were sorry to read in Scoop that one of our favorite chefs, Sean Baker, is leaving ~VERBENA~, where he is also a partner. He’ll be transitioning out of the restaurant over the next couple of months, apparently, while he ramps up for a new project and the restaurant finds a new chef. No details are available about the cause of the split, but it is certainly a shame for those of us who loved Baker’s food there. We can’t wait to hear (and try) where the talented Baker goes next, and we’ll see what talent moves into the Verbena kitchen.

~MARLA BAKERY~ has a new chef de cuisine, Duncan Holmes, previously of Sons & Daughters. He will be working on daily changing menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and in true San Francisco style, he is committed to using seasonal, local ingredients. He’ll also be working on their family-style Sunday suppers, which will be happening on a monthly basis. Stay tuned for more on that soon. 3619 Balboa St. at 37th Ave., 415-742-4379.

It looks like ~RANGE~ will be returning to its roots later this month. According to Scoop, chef Rachel Sillcocks will be leaving on January 18th to work on her own projects, and owner and original chef Phil West will take over in the kitchen. Look for many of his classics, including the famed coffee-rubbed pork shoulder on the menu. 842 Valencia St. at 19th St., 415-282-8283.


A burger from VeganBurg. Photo from Facebook.

We’ve been waiting for final details on the one for a while, and can now confirm: Trish Tracey of Ramblas and Thirsty Bear will be opening her restaurant, ~MYRIAD GASTROPUB~, in the recently closed Nombe in the Mission. They’ve begun the process of securing permits, the liquor license, and staffing, and hope to open this summer. 2491 Mission St. at 21st St.

Hoodline reports that Haight Street is getting a new option for vegan eaters, in the form of ~VEGANBURG~. The Singapore-based chain is moving into the long-vacant former All You Knead space, and this marks its first venture in the United States. Their menu lists a variety of burgers, all completely vegan, with lots of different toppings and patty options, plus vegan desserts and sides. 1466 Haight St. at Ashbury.

The Kimpton Group has a new restaurant moving into the former Grand Cafe space in the Hotel Monaco in March, called ~BDK RESTAURANT & BAR~. It will be an American-style tavern, with approachable food and drinks, and focused on hospitality (it’s named after Kimpton’s founder, Bill Drennon Kimpton). 501 Geary St. at Taylor, 415-292-0101.


Quince’s fresh pasta hanging at the 21POP display, complete with a wood stove, at 2014’s FOG. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

This week is the second annual FOG Design+Art fair (January 15th-18th) at the Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion, with more contemporary and modern design and art than you’ll know what to do with. There are a variety of talks, conversations, presentations, films, and more, and there will also be some pop-up dining options from Cotogna and Jane Coffee Lounge (serving baked goods, sandwiches, and Stumptown Coffee and Red Blossom Tea, local wines, and more). Cotogna’s Michael and Lindsay Tusk have created a pop-up/sit-down restaurant, with communal seating and a menu that includes a mozzarella antipasti bar, soups and salads, sandwiches, agnolotti dal plin, and Tuscan fried chicken. Oh yeah, and French Onion Gruyère soup (get it, FOG). Open 11:30am until closing. Tickets for the FOG Design+Art fair are $15 online and $20 at the door. Fort Mason Festival Pavilion.

~CHARIN~, the haute pop-up from Charles-C Onyeama we told you about in July and August, has landed a permanent home at Stable Cafe. The pop-ups will still be happening every three or four weeks, with seating for 34 diners per evening. Dinner will be $95 per person, not including wine pairings, and the next dinner will be on Sunday January 25th and Monday January 26th. To stay on top of upcoming dinners and menus, join their mailing list. 2128 Folsom St. at 17th St.

A new Ethiopian restaurant has opened in the Tenderloin, called ~TADU ETHIOPIAN KITCHEN~. Early Yelp reports are positive, with mentions of friendly service, vegetarian-friendly platters, and even an option for gluten-free injera. Hours are daily 11:30am-9pm. 484 Ellis St. at Leavenworth, 415-409-6649.

Fans of one of our finest local specialties (that would be crab cioppino, duh) will want to head over to ~BAR AGRICOLE~ on Sundays for chef Melissa Reitz’s special cioppino nights (while local Dungeness crab season lasts). For $50, you’ll get a salad, cioppino, and dessert, and the service fee is included in that price, FYI, so don’t be crabby.


The dining room at Marlowe, the perfect setting for brunch. Photo by Eric Wolfinger.

On Saturday January 17th, ~MARLOWE~ will begin serving weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-2:30pm. The menu offers chef Jennifer Puccio’s seasonal take on classic American dishes, including tomato-baked eggs with lamb, chickpeas, artichokes, Swiss chard, and yogurt, or French toast soldiers with vanilla bean crème anglaise and caramel dipping sauce. Take a look at the brunch menu here. And remember, their new location has a full liquor license, which means brunch cocktails like the Marlowe Reviver with Solerno blood orange, lemon, Fernet-Branca, and prosecco. Here are all the boozy options.

Mission ramen hot spot ~ORENCHI BEYOND~ will begin serving lunch Tuesday through Sunday starting Saturday January 17th, according to Eater. They’ll be open from 11:30am-1:30pm, which should hopefully help alleviate some of the crazy evening lines to get a bowl o’ noodles. 174 Valencia St. at 14th St.


Osha Thai on Union Street. Photo from Facebook.

According to a post on their Facebook page, the Union Street location of ~OSHA THAI~ closed on Sunday January 11th. Their other (many) locations are still in operation, though. 2033 Union St. at Buchanan.

Some big changes in the Lark Creek Restaurant Group: Moana Restaurant Group (which has Piatti, Sonoma’s El Dorado Kitchen, Milf Valley’s Molina, and other restaurants in its portfolio) has now taken over the management of nine of Lark Creek’s restaurants: Lark Creek Steak and Cupola Pizzeria in San Francisco; Lark Creek Walnut Creek; Yankee Pier in Lafayette and at Terminal 3 San Francisco International Airport; Parcel 104 at the Santa Clara Marriott; Lark Creek Grill at Terminal 2 San Francisco International Airport; Lark Creek Blue at Santana Row in San Jose; and Lark Creek Newport Beach. Moana will also be handling the marketing for One Market, but the restaurant will remain independent.

Moana CEO Tim Harmon and President Jon Swanson will continue to work with Lark Creek’s CEO Michael Dellar on the direction of the Lark Creek restaurants as well as the reconcepting of Fish Story in Napa, which will debut in the spring (more to come on that front soon).


Domestic ‘nduja. Photo: © tablehopper.com.


Fileja Calabresi from Bella Italia. Photo: © tablehopper.com.


Savory yogurts from Blue Hill. Photo: © tablehopper.com.


Grady’s cold brew. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

On Sunday I hit up the Winter Fancy Food Show, which is always a staggering undertaking, with more than 80,000 international food and beverage products displayed in both the north and south halls of Moscone. I only had one afternoon, so I surfed the aisles and cut through the crowds like a fast shark, looking for obvious prey. A few products I enjoyed sinking my teeth into were:

  • The new/about-to-be-released sriracha potato chips (using sriracha “rooster sauce” from Huy Fong Foods), and they’re also releasing a sriracha seasoning (deviled eggs and popcorn will never be the same). And you know about their sriracha popcorn they made with Pop! Popcorn, right?
  • This was kind of mind-blowing: there’s a new buffalo mozzarella made in the U.S., but using milk from water buffalo in Campania. I. KNOW. Angelo + Franco will also be selling the milk soon in small frozen 500-ml blocks (or more)—your mozzarella-making at home, or ice cream, or whatever, is gonna have a whole new level of game.
  • The salumi from New York’s Charlito’s Cocina were new to me—especially enjoyed the dry beer salami and chorizo.
  • Always good to taste the cured meat products from Daniele, Inc.—they do an excellent domestic prosciutto.
  • Holy crap, I saw the biggest chub of ‘nduja at the Lettieri & Co. booth. It’s from ‘Nduja Artisans in Chicago, and this very authentic spicy spreadable pork from the heavens is actually available at The Pasta Shop, and hallelujah, this product isn’t sold in a jar. Bonus: the pork is hormone-free.
  • Also on the Calabria tip: I discovered this line of pasta called Bella Italia, which offers a regional line of pasta shapes, including fileja Calabresi. I couldn’t believe it. They also had cicatelli Molisani, busiate Trapanesi, and more. Not sure who carries this line locally, but it was cool to see!
  • Oh man, someone needs to pick up this line of mustards by Domaine des Terres Rouges imported by HPS Epicurean—their absinthe mustard was beautiful, and I would totally find many uses for their tandoori mustard (it made me want to make an Indian mustard chicken with it). While I typically like a hotter mustard, these had an appealing delicacy and balance. And fortunately they sell them on Amazon (until someone local picks them up).
  • While visiting the HPS Epicurean booth, it was great to see Victoria D’Amato-Moran and preview her new (and complex) line of Cent’Anni Spirit Syrups, coming soon to BevMo and Dean & DeLuca.
  • The enthusiastic guy manning the Pollen Ranch booth—which features hand-harvested pollen—got me hooked on their dill pollen. This stuff is so fragrant (my purse smelled like the small sample they gave me all day), and they have a whole line of fennel-based products, rubs, and salts.
  • I love kefir, and Sierra Nevada Cheese Company has added this new release to their line of grass-fed milk products, plus there’s grass-fed Greek yogurt too.
  • Also on the yogurt side, I tried savory yogurts (tomato, sweet potato, butternut squash) from Blue Hill. I dislike sugary fruity yogurts, so these were kind of rad.
  • No one let me have the Red Clay containers of pimento cheese in my house, they’d barely last a day. I’d spread it on everything. DANGEROUS. Bonus: they use rBGH-/rBST-free cheeses.
  • Of course had to taste some of the products in the new Nancy’s Fancy line: gelati and sorbetti from LA’s Nancy Silverton. Sadly they weren’t sampling the trademark butterscotch budino flavor, but the coconut stracciatella was mighty tasty, ditto the chunky salted peanut butter—both had great mouthfeel.
  • The show was totally dominated with ice creams. Additional shout-outs to the Intelligentsia Black Cat espresso from Jeni’s, and strawberry balsamic sorbetto from the Maine-based Gelato Fiasco (their espresso chip was also notable). The inventive flavors from Brooklyn-based Phin & Phebes were awesome (ginger ice cream with ginger cookies with lemon icing filling, and banana pudding ice cream with vanilla wafers, whut?). Oh yeah, and St. Benoit (of the fantastic yogurt) is now making boxed ice milk.
  • These tins from Grady’s contain tea bags of cold-brew coffee that you can just throw into a pitcher of water and have New Orleans-style cold brew 12 hours later! So ingenious. Great flavor. I’m all over it!

So much cheese. Photo courtesy Artisan Cheese Festival.

The ninth annual ~CALIFORNIA ARTISAN CHEESE FESTIVAL~ lands in Petaluma on March 20th-22nd, with lots of fun cheesy activities including farm tours (these sell out quickly!), seminars on topics like cheesemaking and cheese and beverage pairings, and the not-to-be-missed tent tastings. Each of the activities offers an opportunity to try out great local cheeses, talk to the farmers and makers who create them, and learn about even more ways to enjoy cheese in your daily life. Because more is more.

A full schedule of activities can be found here, and tickets can be bought here. Details vary per event, but ticket prices begin at $45 and most events take place at the Sheraton Sonoma County. 745 Baywood Dr. at Marina, Petaluma.


The colorful salads at Liba Falafel. Photo from Facebook.

The latest project in Swan’s Marketplace has arrived. As we previously reported, it’s an extension of Periscope Cellars from Brendan Eliason, and offers a wine bar called ~DEEP ROOTS WINE BAR~ alongside ~HEN HOUSE~, the food side of the operation from Celeste Cooper and Ally Lopez (reported in Scoop). On the regularly changing menu you’ll find a small selection of pizzas, salads, and a heartier daily dish. As for drinks, they’ve got wine, low-alcohol cocktails, and Hamm’s (and only Hamm’s) for beer. Hours are lunch Wed-Fri 11:30am-3pm, dinner Wed-Sat 5pm-9pm, and brunch Sat 10:30am-3pm. 907 Washington St. at 9th St., Oakland, 510-229-4399.

~LIBA FALAFEL~’s brick-and-mortar location is now open for dinner from 5pm-8pm Monday through Friday, according to a post on their Facebook page. They’ll be serving their usual incredible array of seasonal salads and toppings, get it! 380 17th St. at Webster, Oakland, 415-806-5422.

We’ve been tracking on Facebook the second location of ~TRUEBURGER~ on Broadway in Oakland and it looks like it’s now open. The menu offers a basic selection of burgers, including a vegetarian mushroom option, plus fries and milk shakes with various mix-ins. Hours are Tue-Sat 11am-3pm, with dinner hours coming soon. 4101 Broadway at 41st St., 510-883-8808.

ABC license activity and Yelp reports are saying that neighborhood fixture ~TAIWAN RESTAURANT~ in Berkeley is closing. 2071 University Ave. at Shattuck, 510-845-1456.