Last week, a friend let me know that New York import BABU JI was closing after a year in business here in SF and becoming a delivery-only business. Delivery starts tonight (December 19th). You can also still book private dining and other large-party reservations. Not sure who will serve you or how long this odd arrangement will continue, but according to a post on Facebook, owners Jessi and Jennifer Singh are “heading south and we’ll keep you posted on our exciting Southern California happenings soon!” We’ll see if L.A. cares about their reputation that was tarnished with two past wage and labor lawsuits—it obviously didn’t fly so well here in SF. And everyone likes to say that location is cursed. And of course restaurants are damn hard to run in SF. 280 Valencia St. at 14th St.
And in the East Bay, chef Donato Scotti is closing DESCO in Old Town Oakland after New Year’s Eve service on December 31st (they’re offering an amuse-bouche, a choice of two antipasti, porcini and cheese tortellini, a choice of rabbit or swordfish, and a chocolate tart for dessert, $68, FYI!). Scotti says the closure is a result of an “inability to come to a long-term agreement that would allow us to make updates to the restaurant space and concept.” He goes on to say, “While Desco is doing very well, we have decided to focus our attention on Donato & Co., our two restaurants in Redwood City, Donato Enoteca and Cru, as well as a new venture planned in San Francisco.” I’ll keep you posted. 499 9th St. at Washington, Oakland.
The private dining room at Babu Ji. Photo: Katie Newburn.