Before we dive in here, have you seen pictures of the new THE PALM COURT restaurant at RH (formerly known as Restoration Hardware) San Francisco’s new gallery at Pier 70? Whoa, it’s like Vegas just dropped off a live-fire restaurant inside the historic Bethlehem Steel Building in Dogpatch, with two wine bars and a rooftop garden, complete with Medjool date palms and chandeliers and a whole lot of Taos taupe. Meet influencer headquarters for the next six months. (Maybe RH will finally launch an Instagram account?)
Sadly, the menus read pretty safe instead of scintillating. Lunch includes a $32 rotisserie chicken salad (with tragically chopped chives) and a $14 wood-grilled cob of corn side dish—just hope someone else invited you to your lunch date (unless you happen to be completely loaded, and you won’t even blink at a $16 butterscotch brûlée, which hilariously says “no words” underneath it, my thoughts exactly). You can view the other menus here and more images in this Eater piece. I still want to check the space out—it’s a jaw-dropping project—but I hope that menu steps up and gets interesting, especially at those prices. Open daily 10am-9pm. 590 20th St. at Illinois.
There are some mighty fine-lookin’ dumplings coming out of the new MOM DUMPLING in Park Merced (they have an original location in Pleasanton). I’m already plotting my first visit ASAP, stand by for a field report on @tablehopper on Instagram very soon! The menu’s main event is all their housemade dumplings, like five kinds of steamed XLB (xiao long bao) and Chinese spinach bao, to pan-fried dumplings, like sheng jian bao (SJB) pan-fried pork dumplings (which look amazing) to potstickers. There are a variety of appetizers, soups, and noodles, like dan dan noodles and braised beef brisket noodles, plus some main dishes (walnut shrimp, Mongolian beef, ma po tofu). Open 11am-8:30pm. 31 Cambon Dr. at Cardenas.
Over in Hayes Valley, ELEPHANT SUSHI has opened their third location in the former Little Gem. There’s a full bar, with creative, low-proof cocktails from beverage consultant Elmer Mejicanos (of Red Window low-proof fame), like an elephant spritz and yuzu highball. The extensive menu from chef Temuujin Batkhu includes sushi bites like the Beastie Boys (uni, ankimo, quail egg) and 10 pieces of nigiri for $56, as well as a flaming sea bass dish, and seasonal dishes like soft-shell crab right now. Open Wed-Sun 5pm-9:30pm. 400 Grove St. C1 at Gough.
It’s always wonderful to see a La Cocina incubator business graduate to a brick and mortar, and the latest business to do so is Aedan Fermented Foods, a traditional Japanese koji company from Mariko Grady, who just opened AEDAN KOJI KITCHEN. She has been making umami-packed, koji-based food products since 2011—Mariko sold her fermented products to friends to fundraise for victims of the tsunami in Japan.
At her new Mission koji storefront, she’s selling products like her miso paste and shio koji (all-purpose marinade), plus bento boxes ($15-20) for a to-go lunch. Similar to the bento boxes she sells at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, they will include a base of rice and dishes made with her products, like tofu, chicken, fish, or mushrooms marinated in shio koji, miso soup, sagohachi cucumber pickles, or tamagoyaki (a Japanese homestyle omelet). There are also some drinks, including warm barley and hojicha teas, and I can’t wait to try her drink made from amazake, an all-natural Japanese sweetener made with koji and rice, flavored with cardamom, turmeric, or ginger. Mariko will also be offering monthly classes on making miso and cooking with koji on first Sundays of the month. Open Tue-Fri 10:30am-2pm. 613 York St. at 18th St.
I was so happy when a tablehopper reader told me Mohamed Aboghanem (of the former Saha in the Hotel Carlton and then Saha Berkeley) has opened a vegetarian Middle Eastern café in the former Martha Brothers coffee shop in the Inner Sunset called SAVOR. You’ll find vegetarian sandwiches on griddled lavash, salads (including fattoush), falafel, a Mediterranean platter, and a tasty-looking dish called malfoufa (instead of a beef-stuffed cabbage roll, it’s made with potatoes, onion, sage, and mustard), served with babaganoush and a side salad. There are also a variety of bagels and toppings, from vegetarian to vegan options. Open daily 9am-2pm for now. 401 Irving St. at 5th Ave.
Noe Valley has a new Japanese restaurant, DASH JAPANESE TAPAS & SUSHI in the former Bacco (the original is in San Mateo). On the sushi side of the menu, you’ll find nigiri (can’t beat six pieces of chef’s choice with a California roll for $28, or five pieces of special nigiri for $36), plus maki, temaki handrolls, and donburi. But then there are the tapas Dash is known for, like the Top Secret (spicy tuna on crispy rice) or raw oysters with sea urchin. The extensive menu also includes soup, salads, and more traditional Japanese appetizers (karaage, tempura, yaki onigiri), and ramen and udon. You can make a dinner set for $22 as well. Open Mon-Thu 5pm-9pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-9:30pm. 737 Diamond St. at Elizabeth.
Over on Broadway in Chinatown is a new Thai-Vietnamese spot called SPORK serving Asian fusion brunch items like pandan waffles with fried chicken, Thai iced tea French toast, a tom yum omelette, and bo luc lac (stir-fried and diced tenderloin with onions and hoisin) with sunny side up eggs, potatoes, and garlic toast. There are also savory dishes for dinner service, like fried crispy sole with eggplant curry sauce. Open Wed-Sun 10am-2:30pm and 5pm-9pm (no dinner service on Sun). 631 Broadway at Grant Ave.
The Palm Court restaurant at RH San Francisco. Photo courtesy of RH.