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Apr 30, 2019 4 min read

Openings: Refreshed Sam's Anchor Cafe, The Vault, Bini's Kitchen, and More

Openings: Refreshed Sam's Anchor Cafe, The Vault, Bini's Kitchen, and More
Welcome to the newly refreshed deck at Sam’s Anchor Cafe. Photo: Albert Law.
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If you follow me on Instagram, you already saw all the pics of the newly renovated and updated SAM’S ANCHOR CAFE in Tiburon, and it really is a looker. Nothing like getting a big facelift at 99!

Redesigned by ROY (Hannah and Emily Collins) in an unheard of six weeks, you’ll find a classic nautical style that reminded me a bit of being at Sunnyside in Lake Tahoe, but with fab terrazzo floors (with an original brass inlay from 1920), chic seating, an exposed and original, old-growth redwood ceiling, and get this: the outdoor bench seating on the deck is heated (by Galanter & Jones)! Magic. Living up to its rep as “the most non-exclusive yacht club on the bay.”

The refreshed menu includes an extensive raw bar (oysters on the half shell, shrimp cocktail, poke, ceviche), plus an awesome fried rockfish taco, a Maine lobster roll (with thick-cut ranch kettle chips), Dungeness crab meat, and San Francisco sand dabs with mussels, new potatoes, asparagus, and sherry cream. If you want to skip the seafood, there’s also their signature burger (with fontal cheese) and Champagne (a pairing for $25).

They also revamped the cocktail menu, now with sharable punch bowls for two or more, such as the Aperol Spritzer with Aperol, grapefruit, and sparkling wine. On the next sunny day, this is where you want to be hanging out. Take a ferry over and enjoy. Open Mon-Thu 11:30am-12am, Fri 11:30am-12am, Sat-Sun 10am-12am. 27 Main St., Tiburon, 415-435-4527.

The Hi Neighbor Hospitality Group (Trestle, Corridor, Fat Angel) has opened THE VAULT in FiDi, in the former bank vault at the base of 555 California Street, previously known as the Bank of America Center. Unlike their more-casual establishments, this one is more about fine dining, with executive chef Robin Song at the helm.

The Cali-American menu looks appetizing, with dishes like an abundant raw platter (perfect for expense-account meals), Riverdog Gem Caesar salad with pecorino, anchovy, and sourdough crumble; beef tartare with smoked egg yolk, cornichon, and shallots; Comtè-stuffed tortelloni with rye pasta, chanterelle mushrooms, and chervil pistou; and slow-cooked wagyu beef shortrib with pommes raclette, Swiss chard, and cornichons. I’m also glad Song brought over his killer bread service from Gibson, this time with Parker House rolls. Pastry chef Tara Lewis is creating desserts like a chocolate lava tart with stout-marshmallow ice cream, blackberry, and tahini caramel. There’s a bar and lounge with cocktails from bar lead Tyler Groom, some great-sounding bar snacks (kimchi-spiced almonds, or seafood fritters with gochujang and nori salt), and of course there’s a list of baller wines. The building has more than 5,000 employees at companies like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Microsoft, and tenants have exclusive access to private wine and liquor lockers to store their favorite bottles. It’s like a sequel to Bonfire of the Vanities.

The subterranean space was designed by D-Scheme Studio and has room for 215 guests, with plenty of booths and a private dining space that seats up to 25. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm, there’s a bar menu in the afternoon, martini happy hour 4pm-6pm, and dinner service begins at 5pm. Sat dinner starts at 5pm. 555 California St. at Kearny, 415-508-4675.

I was so happy to see that BINI’S KITCHEN is now open, serving La Cocina grad Binita Pradhan’s famed Nepalese momos. Also on the menu: a Nepalese burrito (with chicken, pork, or kwati: five-bean Nepalese chili), and a choose-your-own plate with some of her awesome curries and momos on the side. Yes to all of it. She has come a long way, and worked so hard for this, her first brick and mortar. Hours for now are Mon-Fri 11am-3pm. Take a peek at some pics over on Eater. 1001 Howard St. at 6th St. [Via Chronicle.]

Also in SoMa: I’ve been driving by FALAFELLAND on 6th Street and it looks pretty dang good on Yelp. The Yemeni owner is also making kabsa rice plates with lamb shank or chicken (and sandwiches), soup, and housemade sauces. Check it out—I’m going to! 133 6th St. at Natoma.

Dumpling lovers will be pleased to know DUMPLING KITCHEN has reopened in Parkside, but under new ownership, so no idea how their XLB and pan-fried Shanghai buns stack up against the former ones. The space was remodeled, and now they take credit cards! (Closed Wed.) 1935 Taraval St. at 30th Ave., 415-682-8938. [Via Eater.]

Welcome to the newly refreshed deck at Sam’s Anchor Cafe. Photo: Albert Law.

Yes, the lobster roll at Sam’s has arugula in it. But we’re in California and we do what we want. Photo: Albert Law.
The front bar at Sam’s is the kind you’ll want to belly up to. Photo: Albert Law.
The handsome and classic nautical design of the main dining room. Photo: Albert Law.
Booths and the subterranean style of The Vault. Photo: Kevin McCullough.
The bar and lounge area at The Vault. Photo: Kevin McCullough.
Singing pink bay scallop crudo (with roe, togarashi, radish, lemon). Photo: Kevin McCullough.
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