I’m so happy to report that GARDENIAS has reopened in Lower Pacific Heights/Upper Fillmore. Chef-owners Dana Tommasino and Margie Conard (previously Woodward’s Garden) have opened for dining in their new outdoor shared space and on their charming back patio, serving their seasonal magic with dishes like scallop crudo, blood orange satsuma, yuzu salt, ponzu, crispy shallots, shiso, extra virgin olive oil; a pappa al pomodoro (tomato-bread soup) with roasted yellow romas, leeks, and Parmigiano; and ricotta gnocchi, roasted maitake mushrooms, spinach gorgonzola, and truffle zest. Sign me up. Dinner service begins at 5:30pm. They’d love to see you. 1963 Sutter St. at Fillmore.
Over in the Inner Richmond, the recently opened LILY from Lily and Lucy Lieu has expanded to offer takeout dinner service as well. Chef Rob Lam’s dinner menu is as full-on delicious as their daytime chao (you have to try the forbidden rice jook/porridge with succulent rock shrimp, housemade XO with prosciutto and lap cheong, and some of the best century egg I’ve tasted—plus the surprise bonus of youtiao/fried dough) and alllll the banh mi.
The new dinner menu includes braised oxtail bo kho, a tomato-y stew fragrant with lemongrass and a hit of shrimp paste and so rich—once you flake away the tender meat from the bone, you gotta pile it into one of their baguettes (slather on the shallot mayo and housemade pâté for the ultimate, decadent banh mi)—or you can have it with buttery rice. Another wintery dish is the vegetarian curry chay with bamboo heart, cabbage, and fried taro, served with a bountiful mix of herbs like culantro, rau ram, and Thai basil. All the fresh vegetables here really shine.
The bun cha Hanoi barbecue platter features Sakura Farms heritage pork, grilled over binchotan charcoal (and there are also springy herb-studded meatballs), which you wrap up with rice noodles, herbs, and tender sliced onion into fresh Little Gem leaves. And there’s a version of the classic cha ca la Vong, with turmeric-scented fried fish, a bunch of herbs with this dish’s trademark dill, and a one-way ticket to funky town with the pineapple fermented shrimp sauce that you dollop on your lettuce wraps.
Don’t miss the shaking beef salad, available for lunch or a main dish salad for dinner, with the most tender cubes of Creekstone filet mignon, and they’ve added a couple more sinh to yogurt drinks, now made with Alexandre Farms extra-creamy milk, including the bright lime version with salty kumquat. Rob may be a good friend of mine, but I am so obsessed with his food right now—check it out! Takeout hours are Wed-Sun 11am-3pm and 5pm-9pm. 225 Clement St. at 4th Ave.
The Señor Sisig crew announced their new Señor Sisig Vegano truck on Instagram, and just had their launch this past weekend. For now, you can find the truck in the parking lot for Cherin’s Appliances at 701 Valencia Street, Sat 2pm-8pm and Sun 11am-5pm; look for additional locations later on. You can read more about the menu and their R&D in this Eater piece. And have a listen to the On the Fly by tablehopper episode with CEO Evan Kidera.
Scallop crudo at Gardenias with blood orange satsuma, yuzu salt, ponzu, crispy shallots, shiso, extra virgin olive oil. Photo courtesy of Gardenias.