Whatcha doing Wednesday evening? Chef Dennis Lee of Namu and Namu Gaji is popping up at THE SARATOGA and kicking off a four-week series of ramen specials. This Wednesday the 23rd, chef Lee is debuting his garlic sesame miso ramen, an exclusive dish available for just one night (crispy delicata squash, roasted tomato, bean sprouts, shiitake, mizuna, sesame mayu, nori, and onsen egg, $16). Then, The Saratoga’s chef Francisco Baca will be serving a different ramen special of his own creation each subsequent Wednesday (through February 13th). There’s plenty of Japanese whiskey to go with your bowl. No tickets or anything necessary, the ramen will be served in addition to the regular menu.
After the closure of City Counter, I’ve been wondering where chef Sean Thomas was going to reappear, and it ends up he’s now at the new location of CITY BEER STORE in SoMa, which has launched its full-service kitchen. Lunch and dinner are served (12pm-10pm daily), check out the menu here, with dishes like salt and vinegar onion rings with everything bagel ranch, cider-steamed mussels with Chinese sausage, and Nashville Hot mochiko chicken on an Acme roll with yuzu kosho tahini. Perfect food to pair with their selection of craft beer, wine, and cider on draft. 1148 Mission St. at 7th St.
If you’ve always wanted to try SAISON’s famed uni toast, and have been curious to try the food since chef Laurent Gras (L20) joined the team, but can’t afford the $298 tasting menu, they have officially announced a fixed bar menu for $148 for five courses, which also includes Millbrook Farms venison, which Gras air dries for a week, tempers in wagyu fat, and grills over embers. It’s seasoned with emulsified housemade butter and pink peppercorn, and served over a sauce of huckleberries, lemongrass, and black pepper with a garnish of beef tendon cracker, flower pollen, and spices, and a grilled avocado. You can also add dishes and supplements.
A wine pairing is $98, while cocktails are $19, and there are other options, like beer to go with the uni, or a junmai sake to accompany the fish course of king salmon cured over sake lees. The bar seats six and you can reserve for one or two people. 178 Townsend St. at 3rd St.
NICO has launched an à la carte menu in the dining room, although their tasting menu is an affordable $85 for six gorgeous courses if you have the time and money. And be sure to order a cocktail, they’re unique and some of the city’s most beautiful beverages. 710 Montgomery St. at Washington.
Folks who live near the new LE MARAIS BAKERY in Lower Nob Hill will be happy to know they are now offering full breakfast, lunch, and brunch. Come by from 9am-3pm for scrambled eggs with smoked trout, salads, sandwiches, croques, and more. They’re also launching delivery on Caviar very soon! 1138 Sutter St. at Larkin.
Garlic sesame miso ramen from chef Dennis Lee. Photo courtesy of The Saratoga.