Now open in North Beach is GIOVANNI ITALIAN SPECIALTIES from Tony Gemignani of Tony’s Pizza Napoletana. This Italian shop and grocery store is stocked with housemade pasta, focaccia (with toppings), Italian meats, piadine (a type of sandwich made with flatbread—it’s like Italian pita), pantry items, and some cookware. Open daily 12pm-7pm. 629 Union St. at Stockton.
Fans of MAU in the Mission will be pleased to know it has reopened after sorting through that raised rent snag. Mission Local reports that most of the employees came back, as well as the chef, Khai Dang, who just returned from Vietnam with some new ideas and dishes. 665 Valencia St. at 18th St.
There are some new ramen spots that have opened, starting with TORRAKU RAMEN at the base of Potrero Hill. It was originally a food truck, and now they have a brick-and-mortar location (in the former Tavares). There are five kinds of ramen (including tonkotsu and seafood), plus vegetarian and vegan options. You can also go for some rice bowls (donburi), side dishes, and small plates. Open Mon-Sat 11am-3pm and 5pm-9pm. 300 Deh Haro St. at 16th St., 415-937-4357.
The short-lived Katea tea shop has pivoted into USHIO RAMEN, serving small plates like drunken clams and gyoza, and the main event, a variety of ramen bowls, from tori paitan (rich chicken) to spicy miso. The owners care about using fresh and housemade ingredients, so no MSG here, and they created their own soup base, according to an older piece from Hoodline. Beer and wine and a few sakes are also available. The later hours on the weekend will come in handy. Open Mon and Wed-Thu 5pm-10:30pm, Fri 5pm-12am, Sat 11:30am-2:30pm and 5pm-12am, Sun 11:30am-2:30pm and 5pm-10:30pm. Closed Tue. 3128 16th St. at Albion.
Focaccia awaits at Giovanni Italian Specialties. Photo via Facebook.