Some new openings to report on, starting with Z & Y BISTRO, which just opened. This outpost from the SF favorite ~Z & Y RESTAURANT~ is focused on serving 18 kinds of Japanese-style yakitori “with a Chinese twist” (hello, bacon-wrapped shrimp), but you can also score their signature spicy dishes, like spicy fish in flaming chile oil and chicken with explosive chile pepper, plus hot pot and mapo tofu (peep the menu here). And wine! They are also open for lunch, when you’ll find a yakitori lunch combo (soup, appetizer, yakitori, and rice) and Lanzhou beef ramen.
But the biggest reason why you should go there is this note on Yelp about the business owner, chef Zhang: “Chef Zhang has been cooking since he was 14. He married 5 years ago and wanted to bring the best to his beloved. Opening his own restaurant is his dream. He enjoys cooking and he loves to eat. Most importantly, he wanted to feed the eaters. He will have big smile when he sees people enjoying his food.” I mean, okay, yes, that is all. Open Wed-Mon 11am-3:30pm and 5:30pm-8:30pm, closed Tue. 606 Jackson St. at Kearny, 415-986-1899.
Well, this is a feel-good, comeback story if there ever was one. PALERMO II has opened in North Beach from some neighborhood locals, brothers Frank and Vince Balistreri. They’re serving some winning-sounding deli sandwiches, including The Vince ($10.50), with imported mortadella, olive oil, fresh tomatoes, salt, black pepper, oregano, and provolone cheese. That’s exactly my kind of panino. Open Tue-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 9am-5:30pm, and Sun 10am-5pm. 658 Vallejo St. at Stockton.
More sandwich comeback stories: CHOMP N’ SWIG has soft-reopened on Geary in the Richmond, serving sandwiches, breakfast burritos (so wicked, with hash browns inside!), and their bacon butter crunch sandwich. Beer and wine will be coming in a month or so. Open Mon-Fri 11am-4pm and Sat-Sun 10am-4pm for now. 5203 Geary Blvd. at 16th Ave.
Arepa fans, there’s a new arepa spot in the Mission called EL AREPAZO, a family-owned and -operated business that started from their need to find Colombian food in San Francisco. They offer a menu of handmade arepas, from meaty to vegan, and all the arepas are gluten- and dairy-free (unless you order cheese on yours, of course). Each item of the menu was named after a region in Colombia, such as La Santandereana ($7.99), with shredded beef, tomato, onion, bell pepper, quail egg, and La Pastusa ($8.99) with Colombian chorizo. They also cater. Open Mon-Thu 4pm-8pm and Fri-Sat 4pm-11pm. 2169 Mission St. at 18th St., 415-283-9923.
Another location of SAMOVAR TEA & CHAI recently opened in the former Fraiche frozen yogurt on Fillmore, serving their tea drinks (and you can add boba), including matcha, turmeric golden milk, and house chai from big copper pots, and some bites too, from egg cups to toast to chia pudding to mochi muffins. Open Mon-Thu 7am-6pm, Fri-Sun 7am-8pm. 1910 Fillmore St. at Bush.
An array of yakitori at the new Z & Y Bistro. Photo via Z & Y Bistro via Yelp.