This week's tablehopper: appy hour.
Langos bread with white turnips, anchovy, and chicken liver. Photo: © tablehopper.com.
Yo. How you doing out there? Well, today’s a big one for me since I am launching tablehopper’s very first app! Yup, it’s called Tablehopper’s Top Late-Night Eats in SF, and it has almost 100 places that serve food after 11pm! You can read more details below in the sponsor section (or just hop over to the app page on iTunes!). Many of you have been asking me for a tablehopper app for a while, so hopefully this is the first of many. That depends upon how sales go (WINK) and if you make it worth my while, heh heh. Anyway, check it out!
Apropos of the late-night dining topic, my second column for 7x7 was just posted online today with my thoughts about our local late-night dining scene. The original title in the July/August issue was “The Night Shift: SF’s late-night dining scene is in a sorry state of affairs. So what’s the recipe for making it after dark?”
So last night I played a bit of hooky and left my desk for a few hours—there was no way I was going to miss the guest chef appearance of Christian Puglisi of Restaurant RELÆ (Denmark) at Bar Tartine. Based on the who’s who of chefs and somms in the room, it was quite the industry night—I especially loved the reunion of past Bar Tartine chefs, cooks, and staff that was happening in front of the new oven (it was their own rumpus room). It was a spectacular meal, 12 courses in all, each dish so full of flavor and texture. Puglisi made our local ingredients sing. It was like a dream meal of appetizers, one after the other, many featuring Chad Robertson’s spectacular breads (including one made with kamut). Pictured here was a dish that was the height of collaboration: chef Nick Balla’s famed langos bread topped with a wickedly memorable combination of chicken liver and anchovy, layered with sliced white turnips that looked like fish scales. Pow. What a night.
Okay folks, let’s dive in here. See you tonight at David Chang’s talk?
Gossip & News (the word on the street)
Hayes Valley Welcomes Rich Table on July 26th
Due to open in Hayes Valley on Thursday July 26th is RICH TABLE, from first-time chef-owners Sarah and Evan Rich. It’s an exciting opening for the neighborhood, and the city, for that matter. The couple has some definite chops, working in both East and West Coast restaurants like Bouley, Mas (farmhouse), Quince, Michael Mina, and Coi. The menu will be constantly changing, driven by discoveries at the market. And even though the duo has quite the pedigree, the food is designed to be shared and inspire a convivial vibe at the table. Look for Japanese, Italian, and French techniques; take a look at the really appetizing menu here. There will also be an ever-changing “Chefs’ Choice” six-course tasting menu ($70) and oysters on the half shell. And it’s all served on Heath Ceramics, natch.
The wine program by Maz Naba (most recently wine director at Coi and previously assistant general manager at RN74; he also consulted on the wine list at Contigo) includes both European and domestic bottles (from the press release: “esoteric wines that reflect a sense of place, made with a light hand and less manipulation in the cellar, with the vibrant acidity and more restrained qualities inherent in wines from cooler regions”). There will be 20 wines available by the glass and a few Californian wines on tap. You can look at the list here, which includes the cocktails as well.
Working with designer Said-Jon Eghbal, the former Paul K. space now has a spare and rustic-chic look. The 60-seater has neutral color tones, with mostly redwood paneling salvaged from an old sawmill in Petaluma (the tabletops were also salvaged barn wood), and the light fixtures are made from black steel gas pipes. The floor is all original, as are some of the cooler details, like a big red steel beam across the back wall and the rough-hewn beams in the middle of the space. There is an open kitchen, a big farm table server station, and 10 seats at the bar. There’s a booth for large groups, as well as two tables that could be either for communal dining or large groups, depending on the seating needs.
Hours will be Mon, Wed-Thu, and Sun 5:30pm-10pm; Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm; closed Tue. While the opening is targeting July 26th (and maybe a couple of days sooner), you can make reservations now via SeatMe.
Rich Table - 199 Gough St. San Francisco - 415-355-9085
New Projects: E&O's New Look, JapaCurry Finds a Location
Now open after its seven-week renovation (by designer Tonya Beluschi), E&O TRADING COMPANY is now E&O ASIAN KITCHEN, plus a new look and refreshed menu for diners (chef Sharon Nahm collaborated with chef Arnold Eric Wong on the dishes). New menu items include Asian “gnocchi” with beef filet, cabbage, and rice sticks topped with spicy soybean sauce; dan dan noodles; crudo on a Himalayan salt block (currently wild salmon); and lapsang souchong deviled tea eggs with Chinese bacon. Lead bartender Carlos Yturria has revamped the menu, with Asian-inspired cocktails like the Sutter Punch with pisco, pineapple, sherry, mezcal, and lemon. Take a look at the new menu here (food, drinks, and wine are included).
Guests will notice the larger lounge area; a new color palette of earth, gray, and golden tones; and a new live music program. Extended business hours are also part of the changes: dinner service is Sunday 5pm-10pm, Mon-Wed 4pm-10pm, and Thu-Sat 4pm-11pm, with a late-night bar menu Thu-Sat until midnight or close.
Eater breaks the news about the new brick-and-mortar location for the JAPACURRY food truck. Owner Jay Hamada is taking over the Hunan Garden space on Market Street. It will be an izakaya-like dinner spot called Roku (serving curry, yakitori, tonkotsu ramen with housemade noodles, and chicken nanban, a fried chicken dish from Hamada’s native Kyushu), as well as functioning as a commissary for the truck. Hamada is currently targeting mid-September/early October for the opening. 1819 Market St. at Octavia.
Liquor license changes point to the closure of MASALA INDIAN in the Inner Sunset, with FULL MOON THAI BISTRO taking its place. 1220 9th Ave. at Lincoln.
Maven Launches Weekend Brunch on Sunday July 29th
Starting Sunday July 29th, MAVEN in the Lower Haight is going to be launching weekend brunch. Yes, and with Kate Bolton’s fab cocktails, you are gonna be set. A peek at the menu reveals eggs Benedict, a vegetarian omelet with housemade ricotta, duck hash with a duck egg, souffléd German pancake, and cherry bread pudding-French toast. You can also choose from a bunch of sides, from breakfast links to mezcal-infused chorizo (goodness). Oh yes, and their delicious burger will be on the menu too.
Morning cocktails include the Summer’s Kiss (gin, strawberry, tomato water, basil, balsamic) and Death in the Afternoon (bubbles, absinthe sorbet). You can look at the most recent version of the menu here. Hours will then be Sat-Sun 11am-4pm, with cocktails in the afternoon until dinner service kicks in at 5:30pm.
Maven - 598 Haight St., San Francisco - 415-829-7982
Old Shanghai Restaurant Shuttered in Outer Richmond
There’s some sad news over the wire today: it appears that OLD SHANGHAI on Geary has closed. The lights are out, the door is locked, and the phone number is disconnected. Those of you craving Shanghai soup dumplings (xiao long bao) may have to head somewhere new. Does anyone have any news on where the owners have gone? 5145 Geary Blvd. at 15th Ave.
Del Popolo Pizza (and Beers!) at American Grilled Cheese Kitchen
On Thursday July 19th, Jon Darsky’s DEL POPOLO pizza truck will be popping up at THE AMERICAN GRILLED CHEESE KITCHEN from 5pm-9pm. Del Popolo will be serving three pizzas: the margherita, bianco, and one with mozzarella, rapini, spicy salami, red onion, and chile oil. There will also be beers from Pacific Brewing Laboratory, Linden Street Brewery, and Firestone Walker Brewing Co.. You’ll be able to enjoy your beer and pizza outside on the patio or, if it gets chilly, head inside the restaurant. Please note that there won’t be any grilled cheese sandwiches coming out of the kitchen, but you should be able to satisfy your bread-and-cheese craving with Del Popolo’s delicious pies.
Chef Shufflin' at Paragon and New Hires
Some chef news around town: first, chef Spencer O’Meara has left PARAGON after 12 years in the kitchen; he is taking a break and enjoying some time off—we’ll see what he decides is his next move. The new chef is Kevin Scott, and is coming over from Scala’s Bistro.
Golden Bear Restaurant Group (MoMo’s, Pedro’s Cantina, and Pete’s Tavern) has appointed Tony Flier as the executive chef for the company. He will be working closely with the chefs at all three restaurants and will oversee menu development for the group. Flier, a 35-year vet in the kitchen, has launched Nola, Kingfish, and Fish Market in the Bay Area.
And according to Eater, Roland Passot of LA FOLIE has brought on Michael Hung (previously Bushi-Tei) as chef de cuisine.
Outside Lands Summer Pairings Series Kicks Off July 22nd
Outside Lands returns to San Francisco this August 10th-12th, with the same exciting musical lineup and delicious festival food we’ve grown to expect from this event. If you just can’t wait, or just can’t make it this year, never fear! Outside Lands will be doing a few smaller events as part of its Summer Pairings Series around the Bay Area to whet your appetite for the grand shindig later in the summer.
The first will be in the Alexander Valley at Medlock Ames tasting room and bar, on Sunday July 22nd. There will be snacks from Le Truc and music by the Easy Leaves. Tickets are $30 and include food and wine. The event will be 5:30pm-8:30pm, at Medlock Ames, 3487 Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg. Tickets can be purchased here.
Then, over in Berkeley, there will be a food and wine block party at the Vintage Berkeley Wine Shop on Sunday July 29th, with wines from Kermit Lynch and Paul Grieco’s Summer of Riesling. THE AMERICAN GRILLED CHEESE KITCHEN will be serving sandwiches and soup to go along with the wines. The event will be from 4pm-7pm and tickets are $30. 2113 Vine St. at Walnut, Berkeley, 510-665-8600.
Last but not least will be a concert on Sunday August 5th, when Sean Hayes will head up to the Napa Valley to play at the Long Meadow Ranch Winery & Farmstead. The concert will be at 3pm, with doors at 1:30pm, and tickets are $30 until July 25th, $40 after. A wine tasting is included in admission. 738 Main St. at Charter Oak, St. Helena, 707-963-4555.
And while we’re on the topic of Outside Lands, let’s a take a look-see at the food lineup this year, shall we? Not only will there be more than 40 restaurants represented at the festival, but there will also be Wine Lands, a gussied-up tent that will house a variety of wines for all you music-loving lushes. More than 30 wineries will be represented, including Copain, Orin Swift Cellars, and Robert Sinskey. The focus will be on Northern California pours, but there will be more international options too. And in the food department we can look forward to a ton of good local chow, including 4505 Meats with its classic cheeseburger, chicharrones, and sausages; Azalina’s Malaysian nachos; a variety of Mexican street food from El Huarache Loco; and the fried plantain and black bean burrito from The Little Chihuahua. In short, it should be a pretty delicious way to enjoy some outdoor live music. The festival proper begins August 10th and runs until the 12th. Tickets begin at $225 for a three-day pass. For more information on the festival and to purchase tickets, head over to the Outside Lands website.
Dinner Specials: Misfit Dinner at Grand Café, Fifth Floor, Jasper's
Love meat but looking for something a little unusual? Try the July Misfit dinner at GRAND CAFÉ from Thursday July 19 through Sunday July 22, featuring guinea hen from Biagio Artisan Meats in Sonoma. Look for guinea hen terrine with local fruit mostarda ($14); grilled guinea hen heart and crispy gizzards with pickled plum, tea-soaked prune, frisée, and almond milk gelée ($14); ravioli with guinea hen liver, duck egg, savoy cabbage, truffle, and chive ($16); and a guinea hen tagine with summer peppers, saffron, fennel, olive, nectarine, and yogurt ($32). The tasting menu will be available à la carte, in addition to the regular dinner menu, and wine pairings from Bonny Doon will be offered as well.
From now through August, you can swing by the FIFTH FLOOR lounge for a special entrée each night (Tue-Fri). For $20, on Tuesday you can have lasagne made with nettles, bolognese, and béchamel; Wednesday is duck pot pie; Thursday brings short rib bourguignon; and Friday’s feature is Fifth Floor cioppino. There is also an early-bird dinner on offer in the dining room through August, which is handy if you’re going to the theater or you’re a cheap date. It’s a three-course menu for $45, with an optional $20 wine pairing (available Tue-Sat for reservations before 6:30pm; the dining room opens at 5:30pm).
Lastly, JASPER’S CORNER TAP & KITCHEN is celebrating its first birthday with a special menu this week. From Thursday July 19th-Saturday July 21st, you can come into the dining room for the three-course menu for $44, which includes three cocktail pairings. Here’s the menu: “brochette duo” with the Negroni on tap; duck leg confit with the Weissen Sour; and brown butter almond cake served with the Bay Bridge Buck. (And yes, dear publicist Jamie Law, that was a triple play of your clients.)
Contemporary Jewish Museum Explores Art and Food
Well, it’s not exactly 7x7’s Big Eat, but it should be fun anyway: on Thursday August 9th, the Contemporary Jewish Museum will be hosting The Big Eat: A CJM Mixtape, a collection of presentations and talks exploring the connections between art and food in Jewish culture. Participating chefs include Leo Beckerman and Evan Bloom of Wise Sons Deli, Leah Rosenberg of Blue Bottle’s Rooftop Café, and distiller Arne Hillesland from Distillery 209. The program will be from 6:30pm-8:30pm, and tickets are $10, including general admission to the museum. 736 Mission St. at 3rd St., 415-655-7800.
East Bay News: Ramen from Sam White, Hopscotch Brunch, More
A bunch of news to report in the 510, starting with an upcoming ramen shop from Sam White, whom many know from OPENrestaurant events and as the former maître d’ at Chez Panisse. Grub Street reports the shop will open on College Avenue in Rockridge, in the location previously occupied by Tachibana. While the ramen will have a Northern California slant, the chef (Jun Furukawa) is coming over from Hokkaido, Japan, to consult and train. Timing is TBD, stand by for updates.
A fire last weekend shut down COMMONWEALTH CAFE, hopefully it can reopen soon. 2882 Telegraph Ave. at 28th St., Oakland, 510-663-3001.
Diablo Dish (vis-à-vis a tip) reports Temescal’s REMEDY COFFEE has sadly closed after two years. 4316 Telegraph Ave. at 43rd St, Oakland.
In the good news department, HOPSCOTCH restaurant in Oakland debuted brunch service over the weekend. The menu includes a smoked trout scramble and an insanely delicious-sounding onsen eggs Benedict with shichimi togarashi hollandaise sauce (yeah, excuse me while I head over RIGHT NOW), with braised beef tongue and pickled shallots, or ham hock-braised kale, or roasted maitake mushrooms and sage. Boozy eye-openers, as well. Sat-Sun 10:30am-3pm. 1915 San Pablo Ave. at 19th St., Oakland, 510-788-6217.
According to a post on Chowhound, the Pakistani KABANA in Berkeley has expanded into two locations. You can visit the new Kabana II location (1025 University Ave.) and score your tikka masala while the original location (1106 University Ave., 510-845-3355) is being remodeled.
Berkeleyside reports the “farm-to-fork” restaurant ORIGEN has closed on Telegraph. Can that phrase plllllllease end? Farm to grave. Seriously. 2826 Telegraph Ave. at Stuart, Berkeley.
Turn Up the Jams with Blue Chair's Rachel Saunders
If you are interested in learning how to preserve your own fruit, this is definitely the class for you. Rachel Saunders, of Blue Chair Fruit Company, will be sharing her trade secrets in a series of classes on jam-making techniques at STATE BIRD PROVISIONS. After each class, students will take home two jars of jam. Snacks will also be provided, as well as coffee and tea. The first class will be on Sunday August 5th, followed by classes on August 12th, 26th, and September 2nd, and will be from 10am-12pm. Cost per class is $105, or $385 for the four-week series. Details and reservations can be found here.
State Bird Provisions - 1529 Fillmore St. San Francisco - 415-795-1272
Far West Fest Coming to Point Reyes Station
Want to take a gamble on escaping the city’s foggy summer? The Seventh Annual Far West Fest (say that three times fast!) will be held Saturday July 21st from 11am-7pm in Point Reyes Station, featuring live music and local treats from the western edge of Marin and Sonoma counties. There will, of course, be oysters, as well as sandwiches from The Farmer’s Wife and Nana Mae’s Organics, street tacos from The Lunch Box, and a slow-roasted whole pig from Symphony of Swine. Wine and beer will also be served. Tickets start at $28 for adults and $15 for kids, and all proceeds will benefit KWMR Community Radio, Home Base, and multiple youth programs.
Saturday Jul 21, 2012 – Saturday Jul 21, 2012 11am-7pm $15-$60 more info
This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
Get tablehopper's New App: Top Late-Night Eats in SF!
It’s late, you’re on the streets of San Francisco, and you’re hangry. Let tablehopper guide you to salvation with San Francisco’s first late-night dining app!
In a city that likes to shut down at 10pm, Tablehopper’s Top Late-Night Eats in SF app is essential for anyone who likes to eat and drink after-hours. The tablehopper recommends almost 100 San Francisco restaurants, cafés, taquerias, pizzerias, sandwich shops, and more that serve food past 11pm.
Each listing has a short blurb about the vibe and the must-order dishes—and it’s written in the trademark tablehopper sassy style (oh you know it!). This definitive app is GPS-enabled, and lists the business hours (crucial!) and other info, like the website, address, phone, etc.
And, hey, we’re not talking about chain restaurants, drive-thrus, or nasty diners—these are all 100 percent unique and pretty dang delicious. (Well, let’s be honest, there are also a bunch of totally grubby places that you’d only go to after midnight.)
Tablehopper’s Top Late-Night Eats in SF is debuting in the iPhone App Store for $2.99 (Android version coming soon). Yup, the same price as a slice of pizza.
It’s part of the Know What network of apps, which features creative and smart people from all over the country recommending their favorite places and best local secrets.
Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
Where to Enjoy Adult Beverages Alfresco
So the weather looks to be a bit chilly this week, but it’s not like that stops us hardened San Franciscans from partying outside. Hell no!
This Friday July 20th, NOMBE is hosting another Beer Garden night on the roof of the Wix Lounge in the Mission. For $15, you get three pints of beer (beers include Kirin, Pacific Brewing Labs, and Speakeasy). There are also $5 plates of Japanese street food and Hapa Ramen will also be there serving chicken katsu sandwiches and egg salad sandwiches (Japan train station style!). There will also be live music by 29th Street Swingtet. A portion of the proceeds will go toward La Cocina. The next Beer Garden will be Friday August 24th. 5pm-8pm. Reserve at 415-681-7150 or by visiting Nombe online. Corner of 22nd and Mission streets in the Union Bank Building.
This weekend, you can swing by the SOMA STREAT FOOD PARK, where H of Elixir (representing the Barbary Coast Conservancy of the American Cocktail) will be doing a pop-up bar. You can swing by “The Boothby Beer Garden” for an adult beverage to go with your food.
Proceeds will help raise funds to keep the Boothby Center open (it’s a non-profit beverage education and event center) and to raise awareness for SF Cocktail Week (September 17th-23rd). Friday and Saturday include beer, wine, and simple cocktails; Sunday is just beer and wine (the beer garden will be open all day, all three days!). 428 11th St. at Bryant and Division.
Pop-Up Mezcaleria at the Bold Italic Office
Mezcal seems to be the hottest booze in town these days, and rightfully so. Nothing says summer like a south-of-the-border cocktail, and we need all the summer trappings we can get in the middle of this fog. To get your fix, head over to the Bold Italic office on Wednesday July 25th for a mezcaleria pop-up with the Mezcalistas.
There will be appetizers, a signature mezcal cocktail, and tastings of various traditional and contemporary mezcals, including Alipús, Pierde Almas, Del Maguey, Wahaka, and Metl. Susan Coss and Max Garrone, the bloggers behind Mezcalistas, will be on hand to answer questions and guide sippers through the tasting. Tickets are $60, and the tasting is from 6:30pm-9pm. Bold Italic, 32 Page St. at Market.
Congrats to the Newest Members of the Court of the Master Sommeliers
Way to go, Northern California! Of the seven new members of the Court of the Master Sommeliers, five of them are from NorCal. Local honorees include Yoon Ha of Benu, Gillian Ballance of Murray Circle Restaurant at Cavallo Point, Ian Cauble of the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay, Sur Lucero of Oenotri in Napa (a Krug Cup winner—he passed on his first try!), and Desmond Echavarrie of the French Laundry. Former San Franciscan John Ragan, now with Union Square Hospitality Group in New York, was another inductee, as was Chris Miller (Spago, Beverly Hills).
There are 197 professionals worldwide who have received the title of Master Sommelier since the first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam.
Shindigs, Feasts, & Festivals (let's party)
SF Chefs 2012 Returns to Union Square July 30th-August 5th
Monday Jul 30, 2012 – Sunday Aug 5, 2012 Info and tickets
It really is the most wonderful time of the year: the SF CHEFS 2012 EVENT is upon us. This celebration of food, wine, and spirits will take place in and around Union Square from July 30th through August 5th, and includes a little something for everyone.
The Grand Tasting Tent events are the main focus, and take place Friday evening through Sunday afternoon (keep your eyes peeled to see how to win tickets to the Sunday tasting tent on tablehopper!). Talented chefs from more than 100 San Francisco restaurants (and more) will be showcasing their oh-so-fab food, including Bruce Hill (Bix), Mourad Lahlou (Aziza), Lori Baker (Baker & Banker), Staffan Terje (Perbacco, barbacco), Bridget Batson (Gitane), Thomas McNaughton (Central Kitchen, flour + water), and many more. There will also be wine tastings and featured cocktails every evening, and you’ll be able to meet and chat up sommeliers, winemakers, and bartenders at each event. Grand Tasting Tent event tickets and details can be found here. Definitely try to make at least one—it’s quite a spread.
Throughout the week, there will also be classes, seminars, tastings, and panels led by local food personalities and chefs. These include a morning of doughnuts with Laurel Davis (Donut Savant) and Thy Tran, a tasting of Portuguese wines, and a special Ethiopian coffee ceremony with Marcus Samuelsson and illy’s Giorgio Milos. Most of these events are $35 for regular admission or $28 if you have a Visa Signature card, though there are a few exceptions. Some of these seminars are part of the Food Arts Industry Series, which have a focus on food service and trade. For industry events, Golden Gate Restaurant Association members and industry folks will be able to purchase tickets for $10. More details, tickets, and the program schedule can be found here.
All charitable proceeds garnered throughout the festival will benefit the Golden Gate Restaurant Association’s Scholarship Foundation, an organization dedicated to encouraging and providing assistance to individuals who wish to further their education in pursuit of careers in the restaurant and hospitality industry.
SF Chefs 2012 is produced by the GGRA, in partnership with Visa Signature, Andrew Freeman & Co., Tannin Management, Dominic Phillips Event Marketing, and Noise 13.
Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)
Last night, Pink and her husband Carey Hart ate at Prospect.
An Edgy Sighting
A pal spotted U2’s The Edge at REDD in Yountville on Sunday (another person mentioned he was at Quintessa too).
A Fishy Story of Chappelle
Our man Dave Chappelle has been making the rounds. He paid a visit to Fish Story in Napa, dining on the pan-seared Alaskan halibut, and a steak served with creamed spinach, mashed potatoes, and jus, along with a bottle of rosé.
Juleps with a Former Bachelorette
A tablehopper reader who happens to be a fan of the starlet section (admit it, you are too!) spotted former Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky (and host of NBC’s 1st Look) at Marengo on Union on Saturday afternoon—she was reportedly “enjoying a mint julep under their open retractable roof. There was a group of guys next to us that said she had been there a couple days ago as well. Apparently former Bachelor Ben hangs out there too. From one girl to another, I have to say that Ali looked great and happy and she wasn’t with Roberto ;-) Way to stay strong!” Ya gotta love some sisterhood solidarity.