The former Burgermeister on Church is now home to BEIT RIMA, a casual place for Arabic comfort food. The name means “Rima’s House,” an homage to owner Samir Mogannam’s mother and her wonderful cooking (she is originally from Jordan). His father is Paul Mogannam, founder of Burgermeister, who is retiring and passing the mantle to his son. The menu includes falafel or kebab-stuffed pita, shakshuka all day, hummus (including a version topped with spiced beef), fattoush salad, vegetables from Mariquita Farm for dipping, and more. A post on Eater reveals he has quite the cooking pedigree, working at Aziza, Tawla, and Dyafa. Open Mon-Thu 5pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-10pm. 138 Church St. at Duboce. [Via Hoodline.]
I was happy to see Nick Balla’s SMOKEBREAD back in action as a kiosk in the Market on Market in the Twitter building. Yup, his tasty dips and spreads made from B-grade produce are back! Eater got some additional details: it’s a permanent kiosk, serving one item for $4, or three items for $10, choosing from smoked potato bread (made from ugly potatoes!), dips, vegetables to dip, and pickles. The selection will change based on what he’s sourcing from farmers markets, Good Eggs, Imperfect Produce, and other purveyors. It will also be “a launching pad for Balla’s wholesale and packaged business; he plans to expand production to accommodate white labeling for bigger companies and distribution to other markets.” Think: airports and other quick-serve spaces. We’ll be hearing and seeing more in coming months. Open Mon-Fri 11am-2pm. 1355 Market St. at 10th St.
The teams behind Monarch Management Group (Monarch, The Great Northern) and Bisou Group (Beso, ChouChou) have opened a quirky wine bar and restaurant on Mission at Sixth Street called THE PAWN SHOP in a space that was originally…a pawn shop. The exterior and front area look just like a vintage pawn shop (designed by Jesse “Roadkill” Wilson), complete with VHS tapes and a fast-talking “pawn master” who wants to make some deals. After some initial haggling, he’ll press some buttons and open a secret door built into a shelf, which opens onto a rather spacious bar and dining area with high-top communal tables and an eclectic tropical style. Service is friendly in spite of the bustle as servers navigate the room (it can get a little tight). The wine list is heavy on the Old World selections, with some California wines, and flights offered. There are also four low-ABV cocktails, but they could use some fine-tuning.
The mostly Spanish-inspired menu of tapas with a few Cuban dishes is extensive (perhaps a bit too much so), and the pricing is all over the map (the fried cauliflower with romesco was a great snacky dish, and just $10, while a minuscule escarole salad was $12, and mini lamb chop “lollipops”—with nothing listed about their sourcing—were a whopping $19 each). The montados (toasted baguette toast points loaded up with toppings) ended up being a favorite bite, like the tuna or the cojonudo with chorizo and quail egg, a nicely priced bite at $6 each. I also snuck one of my friend’s tostones ($8), with an avocado pistachio sauce that worked much better with the plantains than the lamb lollipops. There are also oysters, charcuterie and cheese, skewers, tapas (including a vegan section), flatbreads that are like an island of cheese (good for the end of the night but maybe not the beginning if you’re planning to dance at Monarch next door), and piping hot churros.
Some folks are decrying the insensitivity of opening a mock pawn shop in the middle of one of the city’s most downtrodden areas, but I almost take greater offense at the lack of prices on the online menu—maybe it’s just part of the pawn shop schtick. Open Mon-Sat 4pm-2am, happy hour 4pm-6pm and late 10pm-12am, Sat-Sun brunch 10am-3pm. 993 Mission St. at 6th St.
Now open in the Marina/Cow Hollow is MAMO, a restaurant blending Colombian, Venezuelan, and Californian cuisines. The South American menu includes small plates, salads, and larger plates like pork shoulder guajillo with arepas, poached white fish, and even a vegan bowl, plus beer and wine. It’s a tiny spot, but looks like it will be a cozy neighborhood joint. Open Tue-Thu 5pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm. 3659 Buchanan St. at Bay.
You love breakfast sandwiches? Yeah, me too. The one they’re serving at BREAKFAST LITTLE looks like a winner, along with their ham and cheese French toast, savory toasts, oatmeals, and breakfast burrito with tater tots inside. It’s a sister business to Piccolo Pete’s, so you’ll find coffee from Henry’s House of Coffee. It’s tiny, so plan on take-out. Open Mon-Fri 6am-6pm, Sat 7am-6pm, and Sun 8am-6pm. 3224 1/2 22nd St. at Bartlett.
There are some new banh mi spots that opened, starting with LE TRIO in the Outer Sunset, serving banh mi like slow-roasted pork with lemongrass (from 11:30am-3pm) in a stylin’ café space, along with scones, cakes, and coffee drinks from Temple Coffee and tea. Open Wed-Sun 8am-3pm. 2575 Judah St. at 30th Ave.
Another spot is B&B BANH MI & BOBA in the Inner Sunset, which reportedly has special bread made for them. I’ll be checking this one out soon (b&b special combo with house-roasted pork, fancy pork loaf, headcheese, pate, and b&b special sauce, you are mine), let me know if you’ve already been! Open Tue-Sun 11am-7pm, but it sounds like the banh mi can run out around 4pm, FYI. 1634 Irving St. at 17th Ave.
Now, let’s look at dumplings. There’s a new Shanghaiese noodle and dumpling spot in the Inner Richmond called ALLEY HOUSE, and taking a quick glance at their album of photos on Yelp is enough to make me want to check it out stat. Bring on the saozi noodles. Open Tue-Sun 11am-3pm and 5pm-9pm (until 9:30pm Fri-Sat). 3751 Geary Blvd. at Arguello Blvd
Downtown workers will want to check out GOLDEN SABA SEAFOOD, offering freshly made dim sum like har gow, steamed bao (including trendy colorful ones), xiao long bao, siu mai, and fun dumplings like the tom yum goong ones from Dumpling Time, plus some lunch specials and small plates. Open daily 11am-3pm. 646 Washington St. at Kearny.
You can pick up some quality vegetarian and meat handheld pies from PYE, who you may know from various farmers markets and festivals, who are now serving from inside San Franpsycho in the Inner Sunset. Brothers Caleb and Cody use local and regional ingredients, organic vegetables, fruits, herbs, dairy, and grains, along with no added hormones, antibiotics, pesticides or harmful chemicals in their ingredients. Available Thu-Sun 10am-3pm. 1248 9th Ave. at Irving.
Meanwhile, a second location of the kosher FRENA BAKERY has opened in the Outer Richmond, serving everything from pizza bagels to sambusak, burekas, shakshuka, challah and other breads, halva, and doughnuts. I have never been particularly in love with the goods from their location on 6th Street, but some people seem to dig it, and I do appreciate their fluffy pita. Here’s a second location for you. Open Mon-Thu 8am-8pm, Fri 8am-3pm, Sun 9am-7pm. 5549 Geary Blvd. at 19th Ave.
Ful (fava beans) with an egg and pita at Beit Rima. Yelp photo by Dan B..