The roast beef sandwich with fonduta and pickles on a pretzel roll by Firebrand at Salumeria. Photo: © tablehopper.com.
How was your weekend? I was thrilled to finally not have a weekend full of writing, mamma mia. Instead, it was about reading, riding my bike, trying the sandwiches at the new Salumeria, an impromptu dinner at the counter at Bar Crudo, catching Moonrise Kingdom (a wonderful escape), and Sunday night udon and gyoza at Iroha after the flick. Yeah, it was a good weekend.
This week has all kinds of events, including the sold-out 7x7 Best of the City party, but it’s still not too late to get tickets for SummerTini this Friday, a very important fundraiser for CHEFS—see you there? And coming up on Sunday June 17th is Father’s Day—we have a few fun options for you in the socialite.
Don’t forget to vote today, folks.
Marcia Gagliardi (Marcia rhymes with Garcia; bonus round: the second “g” is silent in Gagliardi)
Exciting news and a blast from the past: chef Sante Salvoni (previously the chef of Slow Club for seven years) is coming back to the stoves after a seven-year private-cheffing stint. He is the chef-partner in MAU, a Southeast Asian spot opening in mid-July at 665 Valencia in the former New Yorker Buffalo Wings space. His partners in the venture are Hung Dang (Tin Vietnamese in SoMa) and husband-wife team Annie Abbott and Luke Wendler. An architect by trade, Wendler is also behind the transformation of the space. (The partners all live within blocks of the restaurant.)
MAU’s menu is going to be casual, based on rice bowls and noodle dishes that clock in under $15, with a whole fish or Dungeness crab for two for $20. The format will be more individual than family style, except for the whole fish dishes, and the menu will change daily (there will also be sandwiches for lunch).
Salvoni told me about a few dishes he’s been working on for the opening menu, like lemongrass shrimp bun, a braised barnyard chicken with rice and broth, neua nam tok (grilled beef salad with toasted rice, chile, and mint). He’s a huge fan of curry, so he’s talking about serving a beef massaman curry. He said this is how he’s enjoyed eating the past few years, trading in super burritos for pho, and he has been staging at Tin. Oh, and he’ll also be making housemade sauces and condiments. Salvoni said he has missed cooking for the public and is so excited to be back.
Construction is under way, with about 80 seats in all. There will be a bar and communal table in one room, along with banquettes, hardwood floors, wood chairs, and other reclaimed wood throughout; the walls will be shades of off-white to bring some light into the space. One more point: the partners also wanted it to be a family-friendly place since some of them have kids. Open for lunch and dinner daily. Stand by for more as the opening gets closer. And welcome back, Sante. 665 Valencia St. at 17th St.
MAU - 665 Valencia St. San Francisco - 415-934-8889
After hosting a few lunchtime trial runs, SOMA STREAT FOOD PARK is holding its grand opening this Wednesday June 6th. The food truck pod, just across the street from Costco, will feature a rotating selection of food trucks, up to 10 at a time. The pod looks a bit like a Western scene, with a barn-meets-pavilion that has covered seating for 200, plus sun-soaked picnic tables and free Wi-Fi. Once permits go through, you’ll also be able to enjoy an ice-cold beer with your meal—after a couple brewskis, you’ll be thankful for the on-site bathrooms. Also cool: a projection screen for movie nights and sporting events.
The opening day lineup includes Curry Up Now, Sunrise Deli, Slider Shack, Eire Trea, La Pastrami, Mr. Nice, Mayo and Mustard, Garden Creamery, Golden Waffle, and Topshelf Boutique (a fashion truck—so maybe you want to try clothes on before you tuck into that cheeseburger). Hours are 11am-9pm daily. 428 11th St. at Bryant and Division.
Just after my deadline last week, I received a call from Sarah Kirnon (previously at Hibiscus) with the good news that she finally found a home for MISS OLLIE’S: in Swan’s Market in Old Oakland. She’ll be in good company, with Cosecha Cafe and the upcoming Rosamunde.
Naming the project after her grandmother, Kirnon explained the concept will be a lot like the “one-stop shops” of her native Barbados. Menu items will include a spin on “shark and bake,” a popular street food dish: swordfish tucked into a savory doughnut, filled with pickled pineapple, mango chutney, and tamarind sauce. She also mentioned salt cod salad (bol jol) with pickled peppers, scorched cherry tomatoes, parsley, garlic, and green banana chips; and roti with goat and potato filling, a kind of Caribbean burrito. Other dishes like her famed fried chicken, plus oxtail, black-eyed peas, and more will be making appearances. She said lunchtime will have counter service, plus a takeout window for those who need to grab and go. Dinner will be a simplified menu, with a few key dishes and sides and an array of beverages, plus special nights with whole-animal dinners, guest chefs, and more.
The space was previously Jesso’s Seafood, and after some cosmetic changes, Kirnon thinks Miss Ollie’s should be able to open mid-September. It will be closed Sunday evenings and all day Monday. 901 Washington St. at 9th St., Oakland.
Somehow this café opening slipped past my radar, but last month 144 KING ART CAFÉ opened in SoMa, right across from the ballpark. True to its name, it has a very artistic look (the space is a lot like an art gallery). The in-house chef is Michelle Mathews, previously the executive chef of Café Claude. You can get breakfast, lunch, and Saturday brunch, and everything is organic and locally sourced. The menu rotates often, but breakfast includes a whole-wheat ham and cheese waffle with a fried egg, while lunch brings a beef brisket or house-smoked turkey sandwich (or a Cubano), soup of the day, and salads. Mon-Fri 8am-4pm, Sat 10am-3pm. 144 King St. at 3rd St.
Burning up the Twitter yesterday was the news that Starbucks bought LA BOULANGE CAFÉ & BAKERY for $100 million from New World Group (a privately held global investment firm and majority investor of La Boulange). Founder Pascal Rigo is going to be working with Starbucks to develop their menu offerings. “Would you like a palmier with your venti?”
Haighteration chimes in with this piece about the fate of Lower Haight’s Café du Soleil—fortunately the owner, Mustapha Hakkou, just bought out Bay Bread’s stake in the café, and he is now the sole owner. The piece mentions he will continue to carry Bay Bread/La Boulange baked items, however. 200 Fillmore St. at Waller, 415-934-8637.
Eater reports GOAT HILL PIZZA is opening a third location at the former West Portal Bakery, hopefully in August. There will be takeout, delivery, and a few spots to sit for those who want to dine in. 170 W Portal Ave. at Vicente.
A few things to note: first, SOCIAL KITCHEN & BREWERY in the Inner Sunset is now serving Sunday brunch from 10am-2pm.
Downtown workers: THE MELT launched breakfast (open at 7am), so you can order an Egg-in-a-Hole Melt, Banana-Maple Waffle Melt, or oatmeal on your smartphone while on the F Market—just scan your special QR code when you arrive and your hot meal will be ready in three minutes. Yup, it’s a whole new kind of techy breakfast. Breakfast is served until 10:30am at its three San Francisco locations.
NOMBE is now only serving lunch on Fridays. If you want to try chef Nori’s ramen in the evening, you can also order it from 6pm-7:30pm (which is when you can order the $20 deal of ramen, gyoza, and a beer) and from 10pm-close. Oh, and you can now valet your car in the evening at Foreign Cinema if you’re having a tough time finding parking.
Nombe - 2491 Mission St. San Francisco - 415-681-7150
Hayes Valley is getting another European market, according to Hayeswire. Moving into the former Blo Salon will be NOSA RIA, a Spanish food and wine market from Krista Avery and Manuel Bargiela. Coming to the shop: acorn-fed jamón ibérico, vino, and more. Sounds like permits may take a few months. 500 Laguna St. at Fell.
A reader let me know that a new speciality shop called OLIVE THIS, OLIVE THAT is opening in Noe Valley, selling premium extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and pastas. Stand by. 304 Vicksburg St. at 24th St.
One of the city’s biggest get-you-trashed brunch locations is no more: LIME in the Castro has closed shop. Grub Street reports San Francisco’s first gay sports bar will be moving in (the business will be under new ownership). 2247 Market St. at Sanchez.
Six months ago, tablehopper intern Rebecca Kinney noticed a petition in support of converting the former Haz Liquors on Polk and Pine into a Lefty O’Doul’s Express. I was never able to get any answers from the Lefty O’Doul’s folks, but now The Tenderlife blog has this update from the Lower Polk Neighbors meeting: “DBA LEFTY’S FRESH SPIN will be operating a Hof Brau style [sic] quick serve eatery. Food will consist of soup, salad, sandwiches and operate with a type 41 beer and wine license which requires food sales during all hours of operation. Per Lower Polk Neighbors request, Lefty’s has agreed with operating restrictions and will close at 12 am.” Looks like the neighborhood is in favor of it, so stand by for more. 1401 Polk St. at Pine.
With the statewide ban of foie gras rapidly approaching on July 1st, the GGRA (Golden Gate Restaurant Association), chefs, and culinary professionals are rallying together in an attempt to organize and overturn the ban with the newly formed CHEFS (Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming Standards) organization. The coalition was designed to regulate the industry by supporting farmers who use sustainable and humane farming practices, and is an attempt to prevent the likely black market that will spring up after the ban goes into effect. Let’s hope their efforts are fruitful and a humane middle ground can be reached. Tablehopper will be bringing you more articles on the ban, and the industry reaction, as the deadline nears.
In the meantime, plenty of restaurants around town have put together meals that are farewell love letters to foie gras, and they certainly look delicious. Be sure to snag reservations and tickets now, before it’s too late to get your foie fix! I also have an article in this month’s issue of 7x7 with five of my favorite foie dishes in the city—check it out (I’ll post a link to it once the story is online).
Beginning today, FIFTH FLOOR is serving a five-course foie gras menu, on offer every night in June. The menu includes foie gras ice cream with fried rhubarb pie, oh hello! The tasting menu is $120, and wine pairings are available for an additional $75. And it doesn’t stop there: they are also mixing a foie gras cocktail called the Wild Goose Chase, which features Armagnac, lemon, honey, and sparkling wine. The garnish is, that’s right, foie gras powder on the rim and a foie-stuffed prune. Reservations on their website.
NOMBE will be toasting to the last days of foie two ways: with foie gras ramen served every day from now until June 15th and with a full five-course Japanese-style foie gras dinner on June 21st. The full tasting menu is a steal at $49.95 (an optional wine and sake pairing is $25). There is still some seating available at 7pm and 9pm.
MARTINS WEST GASTROPUB in Redwood City sold out its first two foie gras dinners, so hurry to snag reservations to the third and final one. This “whole duck dinner” will not only feature foie gras with every course, but also includes duck egg, smoked duck tongue, and slow-cooked duck leg. The full dinner is $125, and reservations are only to be had by calling the restaurant directly at 650-366-4366. What’s more, $50 of each ticket will be donated to the above-mentioned CHEFS.
Underground dinner mavens STAG DINING GROUP are doing a five-course menu event called Foie-ther’s Day, on, you guessed it, Father’s Day. That’s Sunday June 17th, if you hadn’t marked your calendar yet. The menu will be paired with cocktails from Cocktail Lab and Kanon Vodka. Added bonus: if your dad’s a spy, he’ll love the super-secret location (emailed the morning of event, how mysterious!). Cost for the event is $110 and includes cocktails and five courses. Tickets can be purchased on their website.
If a full five foie courses is more than you can take, head to CHAYA BRASSERIE, where seven dishes will be offered à la carte from the Au Revoir to Foie Gras menu from June 18th through 30th.
On Wednesday June 13th, Off the Grid is partnering with the SF Giants for OFF THE COVE, a special night at AT&T Park. A ticket to this event includes access to the pregame food truck festival on Terry Francois Blvd. (starting at 4:30pm), an Off the Cove-themed T-shirt, and a ticket to watch the Houston Astros take on the Giants at 7:15pm! Line up of vendors includes: An the Go, The Crème Brulée Truck, Curry Up Now, El Norteño, Onigilly, Pacific Puffs, Phat Thai, Sam’s Chowdermobile, Señor Sisig, The Chairman, and the Ribwhip. The final bonus: partial proceeds from this event will go to La Cocina.
Hey folks, have a sec to help out some of our local trailblazers? As you may have heard, Iso Rabins of The Underground Market and The Wild Kitchen is trying to raise money for FORAGE KITCHEN, a coworking space for food designed to support people like the vendors from The Underground Market, but also give non-professionals access to professional equipment. There will be classes, workshops, beer brewing, a rooftop garden, a meat-curing room, a café, and a big kitchen. It will function as an incubator for new food businesses, from a shared-use kitchen and office space to equipment rental and business advice. Please check out his Kickstarter here to see how you can help. ForageSF is also seeking investors to raise the remainder of funds. Follow Forage on Facebook for future fundraising event updates.
And Anthony Myint of Mission Street Food, Mission Chinese Food, and Commonwealth wrote this blog post about his idea of opening a restaurant inside the San Francisco Food Bank as a way to raise more money for the nonprofit. Myint is applying for a small business grant from Mission: Small Business to try to make this dream a reality and is asking for your vote. Please log in and then search “Mission Chinese Food.”
According to a post on Chowhound, DONUT SAVANT is now open in Oakland in an old Lee’s Donuts shop. East Bay Express posted an in-depth account of the fried little numbers, which are more like donut holes. Seems the “chocolate bomb” (with dark chocolate cake, Irish whiskey ganache, and Guinness and Baileys glaze) is the way to go. Open Mon-Fri 7am-3pm and Sat 8am-2pm. 1934 Broadway at 19th St., Oakland.
Berkeleyside mentions THE BREAD GARDEN (open since 1973) is closing up, and the owner, David Morris, is moving the business to Paso Robles. Here’s more: “Morris said he plans to close the Claremont neighborhood bakery, home to the 19th-century baguette, cheese rolls, cinnamon swirl bread, and pizza bread, among other things, by July 1.” 2912 Domingo Ave. at Russell, Berkeley, 510-548-3122.
The Scoop announced B RESTAURANT has closed, and it looks like Paul Ferrari of AG Ferrari may be taking over the space, stand by. 499 9th St. at Washington, Oakland, 510-251-8770.
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Some exciting news at PRESS CLUB: Mauro Cirilli, previously the wine director of Perbacco and Barbacco, is the new wine director for Press Club. He will completely revamp the wine program, keeping the focus on California wines, but integrating a good percentage of European wines as well, from France, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Germany. It won’t be a huge list, around 100 labels, but definitely fun and interesting, with 25-plus wines by the glass and plenty of flights, mostly focused on comparing New World with Old World. With the new menu by chef Chris Borges of Taste Catering and now this, let’s just say I’m looking forward to revisiting Press Club soon.
Press Club - 20 Yerba Buena Lane, San Francisco - 415-744-5000
A report by Dana Massey-Todd: Many of you in the neighborhood and beyond will be excited to hear that the HI-LO CLUB, brought to you by the team behind the now shuttered Koko Cocktails, has opened up on Polk Street. Owners Chris Keith, Lori Martens, and Justin Mulford have beautifully redesigned their new space into an open, minimal, industrial affair, with warm details like extensive use of hardwoods and cozy pockets for quiet conversation. This attention to design and, in particular, wood, is no coincidence: one of the owners is a woodworker.
Martens was generous enough to give me a peek on a recent afternoon, and I can’t wait to go back when it’s in full swing at night. Much like Koko (and as the name implies), the cocktails will be focused on deliciousness without pretension. As Martens said, “We love fancy things, we love lowbrow things,” and they appear to be hitting a nice balance of both. Martens said her favorite cocktail they are mixing at the moment is the “Buster Brown,” a bourbon-based drink with citrus, orange bitters, and sugar, though there should be plenty more to come.
Specialty drinks with clever names not your style? You’ll be fine; they have a better-than-solid selection of liquors and are proud to offer high-quality well pours, so sliding up to the bar with a simple order won’t leave you with a nasty taste in your mouth or a headache. As Martens was quick to point out, these guys are way more interested in being a good neighborhood spot than having a specialty drinks list a mile long. Hi-Lo also has twelve beers on tap, including Racer 5 IPA and selections from Firestone and Lost Abbey.
They will be offering table service Thursday-Saturday nights, which should offer a welcome change of pace from jostling at the bar. So throw on some ratty jeans and your best fur (or whatever your sartorial version of hi-lo is) and make your way down. They’re open Mon-Sat 4pm-2am. 1423 Polk St. at Pine, 415-885-4788.
On Thursday June 7th, Drink Me Magazine and PISCO LATIN LOUNGE are hosting a pisco party featuring four pisco brands (including the locally owned Encanto). You can enjoy a hosted lineup of pisco cocktails, Destino will be providing appetizers, plus music, entertainment, and guests dressed up in their interpretation of Barbary Coast-meets-modern. And here’s a code for 20 percent off the ticket price (acholado20)—so basically you’re paying $40 for cocktails, food, and what should be fun too! 1817 Market St. at Guerrero, 415-874-9951.
In the food and restaurant industry? Enjoy cheering and jeering your fellows over a stiff drink after a long Sunday of tourists and special requests? Then make your way to the WAYFARE TAVERN on Sunday nights for the Industry Night and Billiards Tournament. Staff at various local eating and drinking establishments have put billiards teams together and will be competing for the crowning glory billiard championship on July 22nd. Drink specials and light bar snacks will be on offer, and the games begin at 11pm every Sunday until the big game day. Be aware that the kitchen is open until 11pm, so if you are looking for dinner it is recommended you arrive fashionably early. The drinking and competing will go until 1am.
Wayfare Tavern - 558 Sacramento St. San Francisco - 415-772-9060
Friday Jun 15, 2012 – Sunday Jun 17, 2012
Make a toast to Dad on FATHER’S DAY, Sunday June 17th! Make it a special meal, too, at any of these fine Bay Area establishments.
GRAND CAFÉ will treat dads who bring in “proof of a kid” to a free entrée at brunch (10:30am-2:30pm). Yes, free!
MAVERICK is putting a modern twist on a classic breakfast dish to celebrate dad. It’s steak, eggs, and beer for $20; specifically, flatiron steak, a smoked soft egg, coffee-red wine butter, home fries, and gravy made with Lucky Hand Organic Black Lager from Santa Cruz, plus a 7-ounce pour of the same beer.
For meat-eating dads, consider ESPETUS CHURRASCARIA. Both locations will offer a $54.95 prix-fixe all-you-can-eat Brazilian rodizio menu, including a salad bar, hot side dishes, and 12 to 14 varieties of skewered meat carved tableside. Noon-10pm.
Also consider ALEXANDER’S STEAKHOUSE’s Sunday prime rib special ($35) with a side dish and signature hamachi shooter, or order from the regular à la carte menu. 5:30pm-9pm.
ABSINTHE BRASSERIE & BAR will be serving a Father’s Day “Surf and Turf” special with a 10-ounce rib-eye, Hawaiian blue prawns, and roasted potatoes, in addition to their usual menu offerings. Fortunately for you, one doesn’t have to be a Dad to get the special.
THE PRESIDIO SOCIAL CLUB will be celebrating fathers and summer generally with a rollicking, vintage Hawaiian-themed whole pig roast from 4pm-7pm on Sunday. Yep, you heard that right. And get this: there will be a costume contest, and the prize is a pig roast at your house. So get your cat-eye sunglasses and Aunt Mimi’s muumuu out of the closet and get over there. There will also be live reggae, passed pork sliders for a buck, Mai Tai specials, and pupu platters available. If your Dad is a meat nerd (and whose isn’t, really?), get there at 3pm for a pig carving class with chef Ray Tang.
THE VILLAGE PUB in Woodside celebrates dad with a four-course brunch menu ($55), or order off the regular menu for dinner.
Down in Los Gatos, DIO DEKA will be serving a special Father’s Day brunch from 10am-2pm. The menu will include steak and eggs (Greek-style!), and lamb meatballs.
Dads can join DISCOVERY STREET TOURS for free on June 17th for The Science of Bread and Cheese Walking Tour. Kids are welcome; suggested minimum age is 10. 1:30pm-4pm. $65 per person, includes tastings and picnic; dads use discount code Daddy-O. Tour begins at Allyne Park at Green and Gough Sts.
DELISE will have some special offerings for Father’s Day weekend (June 15th-17th), including That’s a Boy (cigar and Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch) ice cream, and caramel popcorn with bacon and roasted cocoa nibs.
Happy Father’s Day!
Thursday Jun 21, 2012 – Thursday Jul 19, 2012 Info/tickets
Some of the most exciting chefs in SF are getting together for dinner. You’re invited. What do you do? Say yes, of course. SF Chefs 2012 presents the DINNER PARTY PROJECT, a series of one-night-only pop-up dinners with chefs who are not just collaborators in the kitchen, but friends outside the kitchen too. Each dinner also includes a Campari aperitif and beverage pairings.
Sign up for dinner on Thursday June 21st to see the Stars Realigned: Jan Birnbaum (EPIC Roasthouse), Mark Franz (Farallon), Parke Ulrich (Waterbar), Emily Luchetti (Waterbar), Pat Kuleto, and special guest chef Jeremiah Tower. These friends will start dinner at 6pm at Waterbar with hors d’oeuvres, Champagne, and a Campari aperitif, then move to EPIC Roasthouse for a six-course meal. Witness a reunion straight out of California culinary history, with Narsai David and Cecilia Chiang also joining in. Yeah, this one will be extra-special. 6pm. $350.
On Thursday June 28th, friends and neighbors Mark Dommen (One Market) and Staffan Terje (Perbacco, Barbacco) are cooking up the Two Chefs, One Beast dinner at One Market, featuring their signature whole-animal cooking styles, using Rossotti Ranch goat. 6pm. $125.
Dominique Crenn (Atelier Crenn) and Jason Fox (Commonwealth) will bring together their molecular techniques and modernist aesthetics in what’s sure to be a well-composed dinner on Sunday July 8th. More details coming soon.
Have a Modern American Picnic with Lori Baker and Jeff Banker (Baker & Banker) and Nick Balla (Bar Tartine) on Monday July 9th at Baker & Banker. Get picnic faves like fried chicken and mac and cheese paired with local beers on tap—without the pesky bugs. 6pm and 8pm. $135.
Jen Biesty (Scala’s) and Alicia Jenish (Grand Café) are cooking together on Monday July 16th for Family Night: Going Basque at Grand Café. They’re serving up a family-style Basque feast, a cuisine they formed a friendship over. 6:30pm. $85.
Telmo Faria (Tacolicious), Ryan Farr (4505 Meats), and Alex Ong (Betelnut) are collaborating on a Street Feast on Thursday July 19th at the Tacolicious Mission location. They’ll be roasting a whole pig and offering up family-style Asian- and Mexican-inspired platters. Look for Farr’s pork auction to benefit CUESA: he will carve a whole animal before the meal and his cuts will be auctioned off, along with a chef dinner for 10. 6:30pm. $95.
Must be 21 and over to attend dinners. Advanced ticket purchase required. All prices inclusive of beverages and gratuity. Visa Signature cardholders, look for additional discounts. A portion of the proceeds from each dinner will benefit CUESA.
A couple Adrian Grenier sightings: he dined at Dosa on Valencia and also dined early at the counter (solo) at Brenda’s yesterday. (My spy said, “He had the veggie omelet but scrambled with a salad and a biscuit.”) This tweet mentions he’s in town to launch Churchkey beer (there’s an opening party tonight).
The John Waters fun continues. Remember how last week I mentioned Mr. Waters was hitchhiking across the country? Well, it ends up that during his travels he stopped to eat at Campo in Reno last Monday evening, the new restaurant from my buddy Mark Estee (I was a big fan of his Truckee restaurant, Moody’s).
Well, Mark writes in to tell me, “Tuesday am, my wife and I are headed to St. Helena to run a few errands…knew JW was on the road because he ate with us night before…Who do I see at the on-ramp but the man himself…We pick him up and drive him to a rest stop at Vallejo…Here’s the line of the day: ‘Hi I am John Waters and I am hitching across the USA writing a book, thanks for picking me up.’ I say, ‘Hi I am Mark Estee and I served you your steak rare last night at Campo.’ We had a blast in the car for three hours…What a great, funny, cool cat!” Indeed.
Over the weekend, this tweet from EPIC Roasthouse made me laugh: “Tommy Lasorda having brunch at EPIC on the patio. Stop by and boo him.” (Addendum: I just heard Lasorda suffered a mild heart attack on Monday—best wishes for a speedy return to good health.)