Over the holidays I heard about a new Thai place coming to the former Grand Pu Bah space in the random design district/roundabout area. Now a friend tells me the restaurant is SAAP VER, and that it’s not only open but totally tasty. The name is slang for “crazy delicious,” and chef Nutnawat Aukcarapasutanun (known as “Kobe”) wants to “take your taste buds ‘up to eleven.’” Any website that references Spinal Tap and their food is all good by me. (I can’t wait to check this one out when I’m back for a visit.)
Expect quality ingredients and sourcing—chef Kobe has been cooking in Thai restaurants for more than10 years, but this is his first solo venture, with the help of some investors. While Kobe is Bangkok-born, his kitchen has a team from different regions, and each cook is responsible for different dishes, from northeastern dishes like green papaya salad and larb, to another chef who’s on noodle duty. A manager from the team tells me the kitchen is almost like a night market with different vendors, each making dishes that are authentic and some that are lesser known too.
The space has a colorful style that looks really fun and playful, their inspiration a mash-up of “Thai countryside street markets and 1970s-era outdoor film showings”—they wanted it to feel like a market where you’d grab a bite outside before seeing a movie.
They have been in soft opening mode and are launching the full menu this Friday, so here’s your sneak peek! There is also a full bar, with some classic cocktails and Thai-inspired ones too—they are currently staffing up (and looking for more bar team members), so expect this to take more shape in coming weeks.
Hours are daily lunch 11am-2:30pm (they have a fun Thai street vendor set lunch, plus other combos) and dinner 5pm-10pm. Hours will expand soon as well. 88 Division St. at Vermont, 415-255-8188.
According to Chowhound, the Brazilian CAFE DE CASA, which has a location in South San Francisco, has opened a café in Fisherman’s Wharf. The menu has traditional salgados (snacks) like pão de queijo and empadas, plus tapioca crêpes (an awesome street food snack made with tapioca flour that can be savory or sweet, and it’s gluten-free), salads, açai bowls, Brazilian coffee, and more. Open Mon-Fri 6am-5pm, Sat 7am-5pm, closed Sun. 2701 Leavenworth St. at North Point, 415-345-1055.
Starting Friday March 4th, Off the Grid returns for its sixth season at Fort Mason Center. This year will have 31 food vendors (11 will be new), 3 bars with cocktails from Rye on the Road, plus DJs and local bands. New vendors include A16, Southern Comfort Kitchen, Izzy’s Cheesesteaks, Bacon Mania, Boba Guys, Gyro Stop, Frozen Kuhsterd, Rasoi, Flambé, and PB&JG. Returning vendors for the 2016 season are Bombzies BBQ, Crème Brulee Cart, Happy Dumplings, Bok Ssam, Fritas, Bini’s Kitchen, Jeepney Guy, Señor Sisig, Lobsta Truck, The Boneyard, Johnny Doughnuts, Chairman Bao, An the Go, El Sur, Curry Up Now, Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen, Korean Bob Cha, Hula Truck, Taco Guys, and Koja Kitchen. Open 5pm-10pm. Fort Mason.
Fresh (not frozen) tilapia that is salt-crusted, grilled, and served with trio of dipping sauces at Saap Ver. Yelp photo by Wirunna W.