This is such a big ugh: one year ago, we were feasting on seven kinds of crab for a tablehopper crab and Cognac dinner with Rémy Martin at ~M.Y. CHINA~, and now the restaurant from owners Martin Yan and Ronny and Willy Ng (Koi Palace) has sadly closed after eight years in business, according to Eater. (It’s tough to imagine how they could survive while being tucked away upstairs in the Westfield Centre with barely any foot traffic.) I will miss seeing chef Tony Wu’s smile and amazing noodle-stretching skills, and all their delicious dishes, from the wild boar scissor-cut noodles to their dumplings and egg sugar puffs. Thanks for all the fun meals and memories, I hope this concept returns in some way.
Another unfortunate closure is the shuttering of MOZZERIA, the deaf-owned-and-operated pizzeria in the Mission. KQED reports they are closing after nine years of making their Neapolitan pizzas, but will fortunately continue operating their food truck, as well as their new location that recently opened in Washington, DC. You can read more in their Instagram post here.
Vietnamese pop-up Rice Paper Scissors has called it quits in light of all the difficulties of running a food business during a pandemic; you can read more in this post on Eater about what founders Valerie Luu and Katie Kwan hope to be working on next (more project-based work). Thanks for all the happy food memories on your little red stools!
I received a note from John Quintos of Cafe Lambretta, Vega, and Cento Coffee, who wrote in to tell me after months of being temporarily closed, he has permanently closed his CENTO COFFEE location at 372 Ritch Street. He said his “amazing landlords helped out adjusting our rent since April [but it] wasn’t enough” and decided not to renew their lease “after an amazing run catering to the tech industry since 2008.” He says he’s “optimistic for the future of our neighborhood but not necessarily for me operating multiple locations in a two-block radius.”
You can still visit Cafe Lambretta (700 2nd St.) with the help of chef Toby Shimizu, who continues to create new pastries and lunch menu to-go items; Vega (1246 Folsom St.); Cento Clutch (242 Townsend St.); and their online store at centocoffee.com all continue forward (location hours here). He thanks his staff over the years who stayed true to their Cento coffee brand and hopes to see companies come back next year. Thank you for keeping us all well-caffeinated, John!
With the closure of indoor dining, the cold winter weather, and the end of their PPP loan funds, PIPERADE has made the tough decision to temporarily close its doors. Chef-owner Gerald Hirigoyen writes: “It was a very difficult decision to make, but a necessary one to give us time to reassess the situation and move forward as best as we can from here. We will miss everyone dearly this holiday season, but the health of our staff and guests remains our highest priority. Those dining inside these last few weeks rarely followed the proper protocols, and we hope that changes when restaurants are open again.” Take care, chef and team!
Another rotten thing happening in the city is a number of restaurant break-ins, reminiscent of the first few weeks of the stay-at-home order in March. I have seen exasperated posts on social media from owners Tony Gemignani about Tony’s Coal-Fired Pizza and Slice House in North Beach being hit a couple weeks ago (he said it was the second time in three weeks they were vandalized and now broken into—yes, the register was already empty), as well as Hing Lung in Chinatown (the perp busted the door for an empty till), and poor Nightbird and the Linden Room were hit three times in two weeks (fortunately, they just reopened, so show some support and pick up a Nightburger). As if it wasn’t hard enough for these businesses to survive (and feed others)—please show them your support, and keep your eyes open for your neighborhood businesses.
Pulling the noodles at M.Y. China. Photo courtesy Creative Mint.