There’s a new Latin-Caribbean restaurant in the former Soluna: CHAO PESCAO, which translates to “see you later alligator.” Soluna owner Rene Denis is pulling from his Cuban-Colombian upbringing, offering homey dishes like empanadas vallunas (three kinds of Colombian empanadas, made with a masa dough and fried), pan de bono (gluten-free cheese bread), soups, ropa vieja (one of Cuba’s national dishes, with shredded flank steak, green olive, red bell pepper, tomato, bacon, and oregano), choripan, a Cubano sandwich (on housemade bread), plus some fun dishes, like Tajin fried chicken. Dishes are affordable, and all entrées come with black beans from his late-grandmother’s recipe. There are also a variety of cocktails, from a daiquiri with 12-year-old rum, to a Santería Sling (Havana Club blanco, lime, pineapple, house grenadine, benedictine, angostura, soda), plus some fun wine packs.
Keeping most of his kitchen staff employed, and some of the front of house as well, he and the team completely remodeled the restaurant, doing much of the work themselves. Go team! Pick-up and delivery are available. 272 McAllister St. at Larkin.
There’s a new sandwich spot operating out of Swirl Wine Bar in the Castro called HEROIC DELI, an offshoot of the original location in Santa Monica. Read the Eater post to learn more about the folks behind it and a creative pandemic solution they had with the location. There are four sandwiches and salads, and the idea is these smaller but crafted sandwiches (on rolls from Montesacro Pinseria) will be appreciated by sandwich lovers who don’t necessarily need a huuuuge hero. The OMG ($16) has Italian prosciutto, spicy salami, capocollo, mortadella, porchetta, smoked mozzarella, roasted artichokes and tomatoes, lettuce, housemade giardiniera, French’s mustard, and mayo with Italian black truffle infusion (sounds fun, but I’m going to need some convincing with that French’s). Open for takeout Thu-Sun 12pm-6pm. 572 Castro St. at 19th St.
I’ve been tracking the opening of DESTAPAS in the Mission, and I love it when a tablehopper reader tips me off to the opening! This new spot is from a Spanish catering company based in the East Bay, and their menu is focused on paella (three kinds—seafood, Valenciana, or vegetarian), and they offer a smaller size with a salad for lunch, sweet. There are also a couple sandwiches, and I think this soup sounds amazing: patatas a la Riojana soup, with Spanish chorizo, onions, bell peppers, smoked paprika, and chicken broth. Yes, please. More dishes and sangria coming soon; takeout only for now. Open Mon 11:30am-2pm, Tue-Sat 11:30am-2pm and 5pm-9pm. 2708 24th St. at Potrero.
And out in West Portal in the former Paradise Pizza, John and Elena Duggan have opened LITTLE ORIGINAL JOE’S, serving pizza (a first for the OJs restaurant group), pasta, and parm, plus rotisserie chicken, soups, salads, sandwiches, and more. You can pick up at the counter, and there’s a market too, with some retail offerings and items in the cold case. Open daily 10am-10pm. 393 W. Portal Ave. at San Fernando Way. [Via Eater.]
Empanadas vallunas at Chao Pescao. Photo: Barbara Ve.