July 14, 2015

July 14, 2015

The future location of Little Gem, photo via Facebook.


Goods on display at The Spanish Table. Photo courtesy of The Spanish Table.

We have a bunch of quick updates for you on some projects around town, starting with ~LITTLE GEM~, coming to Hayes Valley this fall from Thomas Keller Restaurant Group vet Eric Lilavois and partners John DiFazio and Dave Cruz (former chef de cuisine of Ad Hoc). This “quick Californian” project will have 75-plus seats, counter service, and the farm-driven menu will also be gluten-, dairy-, and refined sugar-free. (Lilavois is sensitive to gluten and dairy, so the inspiration to create this restaurant comes from experience.) Diners will be able to choose from California-raised beef flat-iron ($14) or king salmon ($15), accompanied by a grain or potato ($5) or a selection of vegetables ($6). There will also be soups, salads, wraps, and more during the day, all featuring seasonal produce and well-sourced ingredients. Wine, beer, smoothies, and coffee will be available. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch will be served. Boor Bridges Architecture is designing the space, which features large windows, marble, reclaimed American elm, and locally crafted furniture. We’ll keep you posted on their opening this fall. 400 Grove St. at Gough.

Meanwhile, some details have been released about what will be opening in the former Annabelle’s Bar & Bistro, which we mentioned was being reinvented after 30 years in The Mosser Hotel. The new name for this American tavern is ~THE KEYSTONE~, an ode to the location’s history as the Keystone Hotel. Chef Zack Freitas (most recently at Game) is leading the kitchen, working along with general manager Aric Sandoval and beverage director Kelly Naughton (assembling a large selection of whiskeys, rye, and Scotch, and creative cocktails, like a Porcini Negroni with porcini-infused gin). The new look will feature tufted leather banquettes, white marble flooring, and exposed brick walls, plus an open kitchen, communal table, and a long bar. Look for an opening in mid-August. Hours will be 11:30am-12am nightly, with not one but two happy hours (4:30pm-6:30pm and 10pm-12am). 68 4th St. at Market.

This morning we got a call from Ryan Cole of the Hi Neighbor Restaurant Group (the group behind Stones Throw, the newly opened Trestle, and Fat Angel, with chef Jason Halverson, Jason Kirmse, Tai Ricci, and Cyrick Hia), letting us know about an upcoming project coming to the new 100 Van Ness residential building, formerly the AAA office building (it’s from real estate developer Emerald Fund). The Hi Neighbor team is taking over two street-level spaces and will be the only food and beverage business in the building. Cole says, “While we aren’t able to share too many details just yet, I will say that we’re taking certain aspects and attributes from all three current restaurants-Trestle, Stones Throw and Fat Angel-and bringing them to the new spaces in some fashion, plus implementing new ideas and offerings for today’s on-the-go customer.” Stand by for more details in coming months. 100 Van Ness Ave. at Fell.

Not too long ago, we noted some license activity for pop-up ~IZA RAMEN~, which looked like it was going to be moving permanently into Dante’s Table in the Castro, but now they have filed for the Squat & Gobble Lower Haight location instead. Stand by for more details soon. 237 Fillmore St. at Haight.

Chef Manny Torres Gimenez and his wife Katerina De Torres of The Palace Steakhouse have taken over the former Savanna Jazz location in the Mission and will be opening ~COCO FRIO~ in its place. From the website: “Coco Frio is cuisine based on the food from Margarita Island, Caribbean island off the Venezuelan coast. Chef focuses on fresh seafood and Venezuelan flair to amuse your palate.” It sounds like both a tasting menu and bar menu will be available, with cocktails to pair with the food as well. Stand by for more once we hear back from the team. 2937 Mission St. at 25th St.

One more piece of exciting news: locally loved Spanish grocery store and wine shop ~THE SPANISH TABLE~, which has locations in Berkeley (for 14 years) and Mill Valley (10 years)—and Seattle—is going to be opening an SF location on Clement Street! The new location size will fall in between their other shops and will include a small deli that will serve Spanish and Portuguese cheeses cut to order and meats like chorizo and jamón. Owners Andy and Tanya Booth also hope/plan to serve bocadillos, seasonal dishes like gazpacho, and offer coffee service too, including café con leche and cortados. They’re busy converting the former jewelry shop and aim to open in September or October. 130 Clement St. at 3rd Ave.


The delicious burger from the Burger pop-up. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

So hopefully all you burger fans are well acquainted with the completely and utterly insane burger from ~CAUSWELLS~ and their weekly Monday pop-up at Cease & Desist in the Mission, Burger. Adam Rosenblum (Causwells chef) and Alvin Garcia (Causwells partner) have been looking for a brick-and-mortar location for their burger concept, and they are just about to sign a lease on a 2,000-square-foot space near 6th Street and Market (and no, it’s not Dottie’s). Garcia says it’s going to be a complete buildout, so we’re looking at the first quarter of 2016 on this one. It will be a quick-service format (order at the counter, and they’ll bring your burger to your table), and there will be beer and wine too. This should be the first location of what they hope to be many more. Lucky us. In the meantime, you can keep enjoying their Monday pop-up at Cease & Desist, 2331 Mission St. at 19th St.

More burgers: I’ve been hearing good things about the griddle-steamed (à la White Castle) slider pop-up in the Marina, ~SEL’S OLD-FASHIONED SLIDERS~, happening on Friday and Saturday nights at Lucky Dogs. According to their Yelp profile, they’re “serving the all-American classic cheeseburger in all its original glory, using the perfected method of griddle-steamed cooking introduced in 1921. Made with 100 percent all-natural, source-verified Angus beef from Creekstone Farms, nestled between Martin’s Famous Potato Rolls (flown in direct from the East Coast), with griddled onions, American cheese, and pickles. Crinkle-cut fries are also available with a house-made natural cheddar cheese sauce.” Seriously, where do I sign? See you there. Fri 9pm-1am, Sat 12pm-1am. Follow along on Facebook for updates on Sel’s hours, which change. Lucky Dogs, 2211 Filbert St. at Fillmore.

Another favorite around town is the burger at ~ABV~, and in honor of their one-year anniversary, and 10,000th burger sold (whoa!), they are offering a great deal for the month of July. You can come in for a burger and a pint of Moonlight beer (or a glass of wine) for $10. Score. Available every day Monday through Friday from 2pm to 1am and during brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11am. Happy Birthday, ABV!


The counter at Ino. Yelp photo by Jenny Q.


The iconic exterior of Grubstake. Yelp photo by トモ T.

We noticed an ABC license transfer for Japantown’s ~INO SUSHI~ (one of SF’s most notorious sushi Nazis), and after some sleuthing it looks like the new owners are none other than Ayumi and Kiyoshi Hayakawa of ~KOO SUSHI~. Perhaps Ino-san (and his poor frazzled wife) are finally retiring.

We reported on the license transfer application at Koo last month with Koo’s potential new owners, and it looks like this is the follow-up to that, with a little do-si-do to Ino’s space. The new application for the Ino space says it will be called An Sushi. We have reached out numerous times to Koo but no one will call us back with details, so that’s all we know for now. We’ll hopefully hear back from Ino soon as well, and will keep you posted. 22 Peace Plaza, Suite 510 at Buchanan, 415-922-3121.

We noticed a liquor license transfer application for late-night powerhouse ~GRUBSTAKE~ yesterday, and then this morning Scoop shared some details. The new owner is Nicholas Pigott, who owns Mayes Oyster House and calls himself a real estate developer on his LinkedIn page. Despite that résumé, though, he tells Scoop: “We’re going to take over and run it as is…Nobody is going to notice a difference. We’re going to maintain the status quo.” So everyone can breathe a big sigh of relief. In fact, the space won’t even close when ownership officially changes later this summer. Current owners Fernando and Linda Santos are ready to retire, and we’d say they deserve some time off. Hopefully the caldo verde will remain! 1525 Pine St. at Polk, 415-673-8268.


The line for Hometown Creamery. Photo: © tablehopper.com.


The bar at Hecho Cantina. Photo via Facebook.

After picnicking and enjoying Flower Piano in Golden Gate Park, my friend and I walked to Snowbird Coffee for an afternoon shakerato (we needed to wake up after being in the sun, drinking rosé, and stuffing our faces with Merigan subs). Walking down 9th Avenue, we saw a long line (yes, lines are mandatory in every neighborhood in San Francisco) and realized ~SF HOMETOWN CREAMERY~ was now open and serving ice cream.

The business opened in the former Hotei, and you’ll still see some wood counters and beams from the building’s previous incarnation. We didn’t join the line, but a look at the ice cream flavor board included chocolate fudge and peanut butter, strawberry-balsamic, fresh mint chocolate chip, and rosemary-lemon, all served in homemade cones. There are also milk shakes, root beer floats, tea, and ice cream sandwiches. You can read more about the owner-brothers Adar and Saadi Halil here; it turns out that they are even pasteurizing their own milk, making the ice cream truly from scratch. 1290 9th Ave. at Lincoln, 415-682-4977.

We spotted this new Uighur restaurant on Yelp, and of course wonderful Chowhounds managed to find out even more details. The restaurant is called ~UYGHAR TAAMLIRI~ and is located in the back of Chug Pub on Lincoln Way in the Sunset. The restaurant is run by a man named Carl and his father and specializes in the cuisine of Central Asia—specifically, Western China, with influences from Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. That means lots of lamb, hand-pulled wheat noodles, and spices like cumin and pepper, with dishes like the laghman, a hand-pulled noodle dish with your choice of lamb, beef, or chicken, cooked with garlic and served with a large assortment of vegetables. There is also şorpa, a lamb stew with onion, potatoes, carrot, and parsley, which looks like the perfect dish for a foggy day or groggy head. Hours are daily 11am-2pm and 4pm-10pm. 1849 Lincoln Wy. at 20th Ave., 415-242-9930.

In advance of their grand opening in the former El Patio space in a couple of weeks, brewpub ~OLD BUS TAVERN~ has been hosting some test dinners Wed-Fri, with a limited menu and pouring a variety of guest draft beers (their own brews aren’t ready just yet). A tablehopper reader forwarded chef Max Snyder’s test menu, sharing that the steak fries feature beef salt, which is “dried beef tongue, paprika, etc., mixed with salt. Ummmm, yeah.” There are also pickled quail eggs with fried onions, chili with slow-cooked chuck, and onion spaetzle with maitake mushrooms, mustard seeds, and kohlrabi. And, of course, there’s a mighty sick burger, with housemade bacon and more fried onions. Stand by for news on the official opening and more details soon. 3193 Mission St. at Valencia, 415-843-1938.

On the evening of Saturday July 11th, a fire broke out in the kitchen at ~HECHO~ and quickly spread to the wall the restaurant shares with ~BREWCADE~. It happened around 7:30pm, and both locations had to be evacuated. Fortunately no one was hurt and neither business seems to have sustained major damage, but Brewcade will be closed until Wednesday or Thursday of this week for repairs (UPDATE: BREWCADE IS NOW OPEN). Best of luck to everyone, and we’re so glad everyone is okay! 2200 Market St. at 15th St.


The interior of Black Sands. Photo from Instagram.


The second La Capra location, photo via Instagram.

Back in December of 2013, we reported on Lower Haight brewery and café ~BLACK SANDS~. It is now softly open, though just serving coffee and pastries. They are pouring De La Paz coffee and offering pastries from Jane, plus a few small food items like a chorizo and egg breakfast torta and granola. Plus, there’s a bottle shop too! Perfect for picking up a tallboy as you pedal the Wiggle home. Their beers are still in the process of fermenting (SMASH Nelson, Son of Man black IPA, and Empire saison), and the kitchen isn’t quite ready to offer lunch yet (from a kale salad to a fried chicken sandwich!), but all that should be coming very soon—they’ll be adding kitchen service a few nights during the week and pouring from the full bar too. Naturally, we’ll keep you updated. 701 Haight St. at Pierce, 415-534-5194.

Brothers Mitchell and Steven Rosenthal must be out to win the busiest brothers award this year: opening tomorrow is a second location of their ~LA CAPRA COFFEE~ in SoMa. To recap, they partnered with Hanna Suleiman of Caffè Greco to create their own Italian-inspired roast, and this will be their second café. This location is a bit more spacious, with an open kitchen and additional seating.

The format is the same: baked goods and pastries from Starter Bakery in the morning, and for lunch, you can pick up salads (like smoked duck, quinoa, or a Cobb) and sandwiches (including egg salad, roast beef, and smoked salmon). Since this location has a type-two hood, look for some additional sandwiches and hot items in the future, like Cubanos and tartines. In a month or so—once their beer and wine license kicks in—there will be some mezes to pair with too. Hours are Mon-Fri 7am-6pm. 360 3rd St. at Harrison.

Thanks to tipster Jason B., we learned that Inner Richmond café ~RO CAFE~ has moved from its original location at 5th Avenue and California to a spot on Geary Street in Laurel Heights that used to house Nani’s. According to Yelpers the new location still serves owner Havin Gavgasi’s famed salads and strong Turkish coffee, just with some additional elbow room. 2739 Geary St. at Wood.


Le Charm in SoMa. Yelp photo by Espana S.

French bistro ~LE CHARM~ in SoMa is closing on July 31st after 20 years in business, but it’s not going away completely. As Hoodline reports, owner Lina Yew has brought on one of her front-of-house staff members, Mathilde Gravel, as partner. They are renaming the restaurant in her honor, calling it ~MATHILDE~, and making some changes to the space. The space will become more airy and casual, and they’ll be serving lunch, brunch, and dinner. Le Charm’s last day is July 31st, and Mathilde should be opening its refreshed doors in mid-August. 315 5th St. at Folsom, 415-546-6128.

Mission Local reports that the brick-and-mortar location of the ~CRÈME BRÛLÉE CART~ is closed indefinitely. Founder Curtis Kimball says that they are trying to decide what to do with the location moving forward, but there’s no word, exactly, on what’s gone wrong. In the meantime, stand by for more information on what’s happening with the space. 3338 24th St. at Mission.


The margherita pizza at Uva Enoteca. Photo by Jen Siska via Uva Enoteca.

There’s a new brunch game in town, from Japanese restaurant ~YUZUKI~. The menu is built around noodles, with many dishes offering a choice of udon or soba, including options like the Oyako with fried chicken and egg, or the Kakiage with fried shrimp and vegetables. There is also tenzaru soba with cold dipping sauce. Sake, wine, and beer will also be available. Brunch is served Sat and Sun 11am-2pm.

The newly opened ~MYRIAD GASTRO PUB~ in the Mission is now serving weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 3pm. The menu includes a Taylor ham and egg sandwich, Mayan hash and eggs, and zeppole with cardamom ricotta filling (um, yes). There are also brunch cocktails. 2491 Mission St. at 21st St., 415-525-4335.

We got a note from owner Boris Nemchenok that Lower Haight’s ~UVA ENOTECA~ is now offering weekday lunch three days a week. The menu offers a $12 special with a green salad and either a margherita or salami pizza, along with panini, special salads, additional pizzas, and antipasti; take a peek at the menu here. You can make a reservation to dine in, order pickup, and place delivery orders on Caviar (that link will get you $15 off your first Caviar order, by the way). Lunch is served Wed-Fri 11am-2pm. 568 Haight St. at Steiner, 415-829-2024.


Heirloom tomatoes at Bix. Photo by Kristen Loken via Bix.

The ~BIX~ Killer Tomatoes Cart is back in business this summer, as of Wednesday July 15th. You can get heirloom tomatoes from Mariquita Farm and the Peach Farm prepared tableside and served with either Di Stefano burrata or house-pulled mozzarella, basil, and olive oil. The cart experience is available at dinner nightly and at lunch on Fridays.

There’s a new tasting menu format available at ~AL’S PLACE~ in the Mission. The eight-course tasting menu starts with a variety of snacks and then a series of dishes follows. The tasting menu can be prepared to accommodate many diets, with four different preparations available: omnivore, pescatarian, vegetarian, and vegan. The tasting menu costs $85 per person and changes seasonally. The regular à la carte menu is also still available. 1499 Valencia St. at 25th St., 415-416-6136.

French bistro ~NICO~ is now offering a “carte blanche” menu option in addition to their regular dinner menu. You choose between five courses for $55 or three for $45, and then chef Nicolas Delaroque will create a meal for you. Wine pairings are also available for $45 for the five-course pairing or $35 for the three-course option. In addition, Maz Naba has added an even larger selection of rosés to the wine list, many of which are prominently featured on each night’s tasting menu. 3228 Sacramento St. at Lyon, 415-359-1000.

~MILLER’S EAST COAST DELI~ has made some changes to the their menu, according to a blog post. They’ve eliminated some items that weren’t selling well, added some new deli staples from around the country, like Cincinnati chili, a Chicago-style Italian spicy beef sandwich, and Nashville spicy fried chicken, and even lowered prices. They’ve also closed their San Rafael location. 1725 Polk St. at Clay, 415-563-3542.

Sri Lankan restaurant ~1601 BAR & KITCHEN~ is making some adjustments to their menu. Chef Brian Fernando has been cooking at 1601 for two years and is adjusting the menu to include more dishes that are influenced by the food he grew up with. There are 10 new items, including a halal goat stew for two with beets, chévre mousse, and red basmati, as well as a black curry-crusted bavette steak with rapini, tamarind-date chutney, and bacon. There are also some new wines to pair with the menu’s new direction.


The patio at Presidio Social Club. Photo from Facebook.

There’s a new executive chef at ~PRESIDIO SOCIAL CLUB~, taking over for longtime chef Ray Tang. Tang is still the founding chef-owner, but is just stepping out of running the kitchen day to day and focusing on his new venture, Presidio Palms Café, which also has a catering component.

Chef Wes Shaw, a Texan, worked at PSC in the past, and after a few years working in the Pacific Northwest (Poppy and Jack’s BBQ), he has returned, bringing some new dishes to the menu. Also back: the Weeknight Suppers, available Sunday through Thursday. Sunday is the PSC pig roast night; Monday is prime rib; Tuesday is Latin night; Wednesday is a fried whole bird night, ranging from chicken to duck; and Thursday is barbecued beef ribs, smoked for 12 hours in a central Texas barbecue style.


Live music on the lawn at Long Meadow Ranch. Photo from Facebook.

Outside Lands is going to be a blast this year, and of course the food lineup is always pretty exciting. Get ready for all the fun with the annual Summer Pairings Series between now and the main event on August 7th through 9th. First up, catch a wine and food pairing party at Bluxome Street Winery on Friday July 17th from 5pm to 9pm. Nombe will be on hand, serving a variety of snacks to pair with wines from Bluxome—tickets and the menu can be found here. It’s $25 per person to attend, including three tastes of wine with pairings, plus live music from The Rusty String Express. Additional food will be available for purchase. 53 Bluxome St. at 4th St., 415-543-5353.

On Sunday July 19th, head to Napa’s Long Meadow Ranch for a concert with The Travelin’ McCourys, a progressive bluegrass band, along with tastes of Long Meadow Ranch wines and a sample of Cheese Lands cheeses. The doors open at 2pm, the show begins at 3:30pm, and tickets are $35 in advance or $45 at the door.

Keep the Outside Lands spirit going on Wednesday July 22nd from 7pm to 9pm at La Urbana, where 21st Amendment will be pouring beers to pair with modern Mexican bites like sopes carnitas and the La Urbana chorizo platter. Reservations can be made via Sosh or by calling the restaurant.

~SUTTON CELLARS~ is hosting their annual Chili Cook-Off on Sunday July 19th from 12pm to 4pm. The cook-off will take over Sutton Cellars in Dogpatch, as well as the neighboring Smokestack and Magnolia Brewery, and you get to taste (and judge) all the chili you can handle. Come hungry, because participating restaurants include Alembic, Comstock Saloon (the defending champions), The Half Orange, Hillside Supper Club, Magnolia, Smokestack, and even more. The winning restaurant gets a $1,500 check to donate to the charity of their choice. Tickets are $45 per person and include all the chili you can eat, two drink tickets, and a ballot to cast your chili vote. 601 22nd St. at Illinois, 707-874-9466.


Daikon cakes from the previous night market at Rice Paper Scissors. Photo by Andria Lo via Facebook.

On Friday July 24th, ~RICE PAPER SCISSORS~ is hosting a Summer Night Market at Brick and Mortar Music Hall with Vietnamese restaurants from around the Bay Area, inspired by the outdoor night markets of Southeast Asia. Participating restaurants represent both modern and old-school takes on Vietnamese food, including Bicycle Banh Mi, SUP!, and Turtle Tower.

Check out the menu here, and get your tickets early! They are $16 in advance or $20 at the door, and include one bite from each vendor. Vegetarian tickets are also available, and additional items from Rice Paper Scissors will be available for purchase as well as drinks. 1710 Mission St. at Duboce, 415-231-6267.


Corned beef breakfast sandwich from Authentic Bagel Co. Yelp photo by Simone F.

~AUTHENTIC BAGEL CO.~ has now opened a café in Oakland, serving their East Coast-style bagels. There are bagel sandwiches, including bacon and cheese, lox with cream cheese, and corned beef on rye, as well as a selection of flavored cream cheeses and coffee from Roast Co. 463 2nd St. at Broadway, Oakland, 510-459-1201.

Last month, we reported that Shotaro Kamio was taking over Zut! on Fourth Street in Berkeley, and now Scoop reports that it is open. Kamio hasn’t changed the restaurant’s name or concept very much: he’s calling it ~ZUT TAVERN~ and is still serving Mediterranean food with a French and Italian influence. They’re open for lunch and dinner daily. 1820 4th St. at Delaware, Berkeley, 510-644-0444.

After 40 years in business, the folks behind ~BAY WOLF~ will be closing on August 30th after celebrating their 40th anniversary. Scoop reports that the owners, founder Michael Wild and partner Larry Goldman, are looking forward to retiring from the restaurant (Wild turns 75 this year) and taking a well-earned vacation. From August 25th through the 30th they’ll be hosting an entire week of their famed Double Duck dinners and celebrating the restaurant’s long run. 3853 Piedmont Ave. at Rio Vista, Oakland, 510-655-6004.

The team behind Rotten City Pizza has opened a new bar in Emeryville called ~BRANCH LINE~, Scoop reports. The bar’s main draw is the selection of drinks on tap, made with in-house elements, so that the bartenders can serve high-quality cocktails quickly. Cortney Logue created the drinks list, which includes classics like the Vieux Carré (Old Overholt rye, Hennessey, Carpano Antica, Benedictine, Peychaud’s and Angostura bitters, brandied cherry) and originals like the Happy Accident (Sailor Jerry infused with yerba maté, housemade tiki bitters, splash of Sprite). There is also a menu of higher-end bar snacks, like a warm cheese plate of Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam with fig, maitake and oyster mushrooms, fried alliums, port, and balsamic. 5885 Hollis St. at 59th St., Emeryville, 510-547-9000.

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