Now open in the former Jardinière in Hayes Valley is BAIA, originally announced in VegNews. This vegan Italian restaurant also launched simultaneously with a vegan sushi pop-up, Woodblock (more on that below). Since the restaurant is launching during Covid, they’re focusing on a casual and takeout-friendly version of their menu for now: A Taste of Baia. Chef Matthew Kenney (Matthew Kenney Cuisine) has developed plant-based menus and concepts for restaurants around the world with his team, and this one is in collaboration with Kyle and Tracy Vogt—Kyle is a co-founder of Cruise (the self-driving car), and Tracy is the founder of farm animal sanctuary Charlie’s Acres in Sonoma.
Baia’s weekly changing menu is focused on plant-based Italian comfort classics, from “mozzarella” sticks to “meatballs” to pasta to pizza, with main dishes like lasagna and a “Milanese Parm.” There are also batched cocktails (3-4 servings), wine, beer, and non-alcoholic options. Takeout/delivery is available Sun-Thu 4pm-9pm, Fri-Sat 4pm-10pm. Call 415-861-0625 to pick up.
Meanwhile, WOODBLOCK is a plant-based, Japanese concept with bowls, sushi rolls (like spicy yuba or spicy “crab”), and vegetable side dishes, like green beans goma-ae (menu here). More at @woodblocksf. This temporary pop-up is available for takeout/delivery Sun-Thu 5pm-9pm, Fri-Sat 4pm-10pm. (You can also order off the same list of cocktails, wine, and beer, plus sake.) Call 415-861-0625 to pick up. 300 Grove St. at Franklin.
The former TRES Tequila Lounge & Mexican Kitchen in SoMa/South Beach is now MERKADO, a tequila and mezcal-focused Mexican restaurant featuring Jaliscan street food from chef de cuisine Lorenzo Cauich. Fabien Santos, who was the general manager for 12 years at Tres, has taken over the location, and converted the parking lot into an outdoor restaurant and open-air market (you can also order takeout and delivery—and look for collabs and pop-up partners, like Eko Kitchen). Updates at @merkadosf. They offer some great pricing for happy hour (Tue-Fri 4pm-6pm), too. Dinner Tue-Fri 4pm-9pm, Sat 3pm-7pm, brunch Sat-Sun 11am-3pm. 130 Townsend St. at 2nd St.
Over in the Mission, the classic dive bar Jay ‘n Bee Club, which lasted for 60 years, is now a nautical-themed bar, LOST RESORT, according to Hoodline. There’s a bar menu with dishes like steamed mussels, a Cubano, mojo pulled pork tacos, a smash burger, and a fried chicken sandwich (according to their Instagram, they worked with Kurt Abney of Dottie’s True Blue Cafe fame on the menu).
Cocktails include a Mai Tai, blended drinks like a Floridita, a granita spritz, and wine and beer. And then there’s that enclosed patio, with well-spaced seating, plus some sidewalk seats. Enjoy the Mission sun! Nate Valentine (The Tipsy Pig, Padrecito, Harper & Rye, Fifth Arrow), Jeff Jurow, Britt Miller, and Bradley Burt are on the license. Open Tue-Sun 3pm-10pm for now. 2736 20th St. at York.
In SoMa, ROMA’S has opened from owner Matt Leum (in honor of Sister Roma), offering seasonal soups and salads, sandwiches, housemade pasta, and a couple mains, like eggplant Parm and a ribeye steak, all available for takeout or delivery (by chef Daniel Kuuk). They also opened an Italian gourmet market, featuring pantry items (including a wide selection of Rustichella d’Abruzzo pasta), condiments, cookies, gelato, coffee, and Italian wine and beer. Open daily 11am-8pm. 489 3rd St. at Bryant.
On Potrero Hill, LINEA CAFFE has opened a café counter inside their recently opened roastery, offering espresso drinks, brewed coffee, and bags of beans, with treats from Neighbor Bakehouse and Dynamo Donuts. For now, the counter is open 7am-3pm. 1125 Mariposa St. at Mississippi.
Over in the Lower Haight, FARMHOUSE THAI has expanded their footprint with a casual, takeout concept called Farmhouse Thai Express in the former Thep Phanom. They’ve created some fun sets, like a birthday box or lunch set, along with offering some of their favorite dishes, like their panang neua, wings, noodle soups, and egg rolls. Available for pickup or delivery. 400 Waller St. at Fillmore. [Via Hoodline.]
Plant-based lasagna from the new Baia in Hayes Valley. Photo courtesy of Baia.