This week's tablehopper: voting looks good on you.
Merna the cat eyeballing my black magic birthday cake. Photo: © tablehopper.com.
Oh dear lord, can the tension be any higher today? I foresee a lot of alcohol and Valium being consumed in the U.S. today. Be sure to check out my list of election night viewing parties so you can hang out with your fellow citizens while you drink the edge off. There are also some awesome “I Voted” freebies as well. Wear that sticker with pride!
I had quite the birthday week, although my trip to LA was sadly canceled. I always make a point to never work on my birthday, so I enjoyed a fab birthday lunch at Perbacco, walked over to the Embarcadero to see the Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel film (a must-see for anyone who is a fan of color and characters), and then headed down to San Mateo for a family dinner (hello lamb and mushroom risotto!). My mother made my favorite cake: black magic cake (the family cat also seems to have a penchant for it!).
I had a packed weekend of dancing (two epic DJs were in town: DJ Harvey at Public Works and Timmy Regisford at Mighty!), and wound the whole weekend up on Sunday night with a gorgeous dinner at Atelier Crenn in honor of the upcoming Olive Oil from Spain Week (more on this on Friday!). I learned I need more hojiblanca olive oil in my life.
Another thing I need in my life (besides some sleep and more kale): I am looking for one more ticket to the Lucky Peach event at the JCC on Sunday November 18th. If anyone has an extra ticket to unload, can you let me know? Grazie!
Lastly, here’s a bit of reading for you: last week on 7x7.com, I wrote up some of the top business breakfast spots in San Francisco. Oh, and here’s the latest Hungry In… episode, featuring three spots in Los Angeles (I so want to track down that hazelnut croissant), and here’s more about me and my Hungry In… cohosts!
Okay folks, I really hoped you all voted today. Voters are so hot.
Gossip & News (the word on the street)
ICHI Sushi Opening a Second (and Larger!) Location
Exciting news for fans of the delicious ICHI SUSHI: owners Tim and Erin Archuleta are going to be expanding with a second project practically across the street from ICHI in Bernal. They are finalizing a lease to take over the former Inti Market space (in between Al’s Good Food and D/J Market), which is twice the size of their current location. The new space will host a full sushi bar, raw bar, kitchen, and cocktails. They will continue to serve sushi with sashimi and nigiri as the focus, expand the list of hot dishes, and for beverage options, they’ll expand their sake and beer lists and start offering cocktails. They will also have the capacity to host larger parties—woo hoo!
Thomas Pippin of Lifebox Studios is the architect, and they are targeting a spring 2013 opening—for now, it’s just a raw space that they get to design from scratch. 3282 Mission St. at 29th St.
Once it opens, the original ICHI space (at 3369 Mission St. at Godeus) will become ICHI Omakase, focusing exclusively on sushi counter service and chef’s choice meals at its 22 prized seats.
One last thing to note: starting November 12th, ICHI is going to put lunch service on hold for a while while they focus on the new project. Exciting (and busy) times for the Archuletas!
ICHI Sushi - 3369 Mission St. San Francisco - 415-525-4750
Bar Agricole's Thad Vogler Opening Whiteside Company in SoMa
The rumor Grub Street posted about Bar Agricole doing a project in the other half of the Pacific Telephone Building proved to be correct: Thad Vogler will be opening WHITESIDE COMPANY. The Scoop shares it will be “an all-day cafe, restaurant, and bar, named after a turn-of-the-century dried foods company in San Francisco.” And since we’re talking about Thad Vogler, of course there will be primo beverages (Vogler will be taking inspiration from the cocktail canon of the famed Bill Boothby, who used to work at the nearby Palace Hotel). Salvatore Cracco, the butcher at Bar Agricole, will be overseeing the rustic menu, which will include a raw bar. There will be 40 seats inside, with another 40 on the back patio, flanking Mourad Lahlou’s new Aziza project. Timing is targeting September 2013 for now. 140 Montgomery St. at Mission.
Update on Three, Wait, Four of Charles Phan's Projects
Charles Phan is never short on projects. First, his upcoming restaurant at Pier 3 now has a name: HARD WATER, which ties in to the whiskey theme of the project. He hopes to open in December, according to the Scoop.
Phan will also be involved in opening a café/restaurant and bar in the SFJAZZ CENTER that’s opening in Hayes Valley in January. Look for an all-day menu and quality cocktails, and the Scoop adds that the space will be open to the public. Corner of Franklin and Fell.
Lastly, Phan’s restaurants seem to have a bad history of flooding: Out the Door in Westfield Centre remains closed due to a second flood, and now HEAVEN’S DOG in SoMa is closed due to a pipe backup. Scoop reports he hopes to reopen Heaven’s Dog by Friday November 9th.
Openings: Dynamo on Marina Green, and Wrecking Ball Coffee in Firehouse 8
Now open on the Marina Green is the DYNAMO DONUT AND COFFEE kiosk that I mentioned awhile back. You can now swing by for donuts and Four Barrel Coffee after going for a run—and enjoy a gorgeous view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Hours are Tue-Sat 8am-4pm and Sun 9am-4pm. The location is 110 Yacht Rd., just off Baker Street at Marina Boulevard on the Marina Green (in front of the St. Francis Yacht Club).
Meanwhile, Tasting Table announces that WRECKING BALL COFFEE has opened in Firehouse 8 in Russian Hill, serving coffee daily. The founders, Nick Cho and Trish Rothgeb, are not only serving their own third-wave coffee, but Rothgeb is reportedly the one who invented the phrase! You can either try their espresso blend or go with a pour-over (you can opt for a slow or quick brew—depends on how much time you have). 1648 Pacific Ave. at Polk.
Closures (Marbella), Project Cancellations (The Parlour), and Sales (Miss Pearl's)
A friend in Russian Hill let me know that MARBELLA, the restaurant concept that replaced Rex Cafe in April, has closed. Unfortunately, I have not been able to reach my contacts at the restaurant (both emails have bounced), and while the phone remains connected, no one is picking up during business hours. We’ll see what’s next for the space. 2323 Polk St. at Union, 415-441-2244.
Eater breaks the news that HUMPHRY SLOCOMBE will not be opening their upcoming project, THE PARLOUR, in the 3000 20th Street compound next to Central Kitchen and Trick Dog after all. Taking over the space will be a location of Sightglass Coffee, with a TBD opening date. Stand by for updates.
Last week, a friend in the East Bay shared that MISS PEARL’S RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE in Oakland was sold to Chris Pastena (Chop Bar, Tribune Tavern), who will be taking it over at the end of the first week in January. My source says it’s going to be a Northern Italian place, and Eater mentions the new concept will be called LUNGOMARE, opening February 7th (wow, how specific!). 1 Broadway at Water, Oakland, 510-444-7171.
Additions: Brunch at Central Kitchen, Lunch at St. Vincent and Lolo
On Sunday November 11th, CENTRAL KITCHEN will begin offering brunch from 10am-2:30pm every Sunday. Patio in effect! The menu will include some egg dishes, as well as more eclectic offerings like a sea bass crudo or caraway bread pudding. You can check out the full menu here. They’ll also be serving brunch cocktails from their neighbor-to-be, Trick Dog. Reservations can be made online or by calling the restaurant at 415-826-7004.
Starting Wednesday November 7th (which is tomorrow, so you won’t have to wait long) you’ll be able to get a hearty weekday lunch over at ST. VINCENT. From 11am-3pm they’ll be serving a one-pot special of the day, like hearty Italian wedding soup (chicken meatballs, escarole, filet beans, chopped egg, grilled bread) or braised pork with avocado and hominy. There’s only one option daily, so be sure to check out their website for updates. Each plate costs $12.
If your midday needs a little color and verve to keep you going (hey, it beats that fourth cup of coffee), LOLO is your spot. They’re now open for lunch on Friday and Saturday from 11:30am-3pm, and may add more days in the future. You can sink your choppers into a mezcal barbecue-short-rib sandwich, a chicken tinga torta, their classic taco tropical, huevos rancheros con chorizo cantimpalo, and, of course, lunch-friendly beverages like a tangerine mimosa. (From 3pm-5:30pm—until dinner service kicks in—Lolo will remain open for cocktails and bar snacks.)
Loló - 974 Valencia St. San Francisco - 415-643-5656
Changes at Gitane: New Menus and More
Starting this Friday November 9th, there will be some changes in effect at GITANE in the Financial District. Chef Bridget Batson will be working alongside her husband, Patrick Kelly (previously at Angèle in Napa), launching a new menu taking a lot of inspiration from Andalusia. Diners in the upstairs dining room will have the option of a five-course regional tasting menu ($65) or an à la carte menu, and all guests will receive complimentary Della Fattoria bread and Evian or Badoit water. Meanwhile, the bar and patio will feature a more casual “compartir” menu that’s built for sharing. There is also an updated wine list from the new wine director, Sarah Knoefler (previously at Dosa on Fillmore and Prospect), along with a new local, handcrafted beer program and cocktail list.
Gitane - 6 Claude Ln. San Francisco - 415-788-6686
Civic Duty Never Tasted So Good: Election Day Parties and Giveaways
Have you voted yet? Today’s the day. Here are a few freebies you can enjoy after making your way to the polls, and where to watch results come in too (but please, don’t bite your nails, it’s unseemly).
Want to watch election results in style (with plenty of liquor nearby)? RYE will be projecting results on its back wall and mixing up some election-themed cocktails too (like the Swan Song, with Espolón reposado tequila, Frangelico, Wild Turkey American honey liqueur, and mole bitters, $8). There will also be Negroni-smoked pork butt tacos made with gin, orange, bacon, and jalapeño chutney from TANGO & STACHE. It all kicks off at 5:30pm and runs until they close. 688 Geary St. at Leavenworth, 415-474-4448.
Want another boozy option? Remember you can head to BLACKBIRD for a special night of cocktails and tastings with St. George Spirits. 2124 Market St. at Church, 415-503-0630.
If the weather seems too nice to spend the evening inside at a bar, head to the SOMA STREAT FOOD PARK, where there will be election results on their four large television screens, pitchers of beer for $13, and a slew of food trucks. Keep yourself updated on which trucks are in attendance on their Facebook page. 428 11th St. at Bryant and Division.
All KARA’S CUPCAKES stores will be giving a free mini-cupcake to anyone who comes in and shows off their “I Voted” sticker on Tuesday November 6th while they’re open. Various locations in the Bay Area; two in San Francisco (both are open 10am-8pm): 3249 Scott St. at Chestnut and in Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point, Plaza Level, both 415-563-2223.
Take your “I Voted” sticker to BUN MEE on Fillmore for 10 percent off your meal today. Mmmmmm, sloppy joe with an egg, so good. 2015 Fillmore St. at Pine, 415-800-7696.
Down in Dogpatch, JUST FOR YOU CAFE will be giving a free mini-beignet to anyone who flashes an “I Voted” sticker on Tuesday November 6th, 7:30am-3pm. 732 22nd St. at 3rd St., 415-647-3033.
And in Noe Valley, swing by CONTIGO for a free glass of cava with your “I Voted” sticker!
Tomorrow, regardless of whether you’re feeling celebratory or devastated (or indifferent), you can make your way to CUESA’s Election Hangover Cocktail event for some delicious seasonal beverages to wash all that slung mud away. 1 Ferry Building.
Did you vote early? Did your polling place run out of “I Voted” stickers? Here are some print-your-own options!
Mission Parties: Izakaya Yuzuki, and Barbecue, Booze, and Art at Pot + Pantry
On Thursday November 8th, join IZAKAYA YUZUKI for their first anniversary celebration. They’ll be serving oysters for half-price, and you can also toast to them with one glass of beer, shochu, wine, or sake on the house. Congratulations, and here’s to many more years to come!
The next evening, here’s a little art-meats-barbecue (har) event for ya. On Friday November 9th, the adorable POT + PANTRY kitchen supply shop will be celebrating their second anniversary with a party and art reception. Local artist Alyson Thomas has created a show dedicated to beer, bourbon, and barbecue, which are a few of her favorite things. Since those are probably a few of your favorite things, too, you’ll probably want to check it out. The reception will feature Sneaky’s BBQ and beer, and runs from 6pm-9pm. 593 Guerrero St. at 18th St., 415-206-1134.
Izakaya Yuzuki - 598 Guerrero St. San Francisco - 415-556-9898
Benefit for the Family of Slain Cook Cesar Chuc on November 11th
You may have read about the tragic passing of a cook at SERPENTINE a couple of weeks ago. Cesar Chuc was a valued and generous member of the food community in San Francisco, and the senseless act of violence that took his life also left his four children without a father.
If you would like to help out and show your support for his family, Serpentine will be hosting a benefit on Sunday November 11th to celebrate his life and raise funds for his wife and children. The benefit will be from 6pm-9pm at Serpentine, and will feature a hosted taco bar, cocktails for purchase at the bar, and a silent auction. A $20 donation is requested at the door. All proceeds will go to Chuc’s family. You can check out the event’s Facebook page for additional information.
Serpentine - 2495 3rd St. San Francisco - 415-252-2000
This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
(Sponsored): Food for Thought: Sending Mission Youth to College
Something delicious is about to happen. The players are 21 restaurants, more than 40 ambassadors, and 1 mission. On Wednesday November 14th, Mission Graduates is calling on its friends and supporters to come out and dine for a cause that has helped thousands of Mission youth and their families for 40 years. Since 1972, Mission Graduates has clarified its commitment to getting more youth from the Mission District into college as a means to achieve economic equity and strengthen our community.
For the past four years, our signature event Food for Thought has been engaging its local community and beyond in a language that many people speak fluently: good food. Restaurants (like Commonwealth, Foreign Cinema, and Little Star Pizza) have agreed to donate at least 25 percent of the evening’s proceeds to Mission Graduates while we pack the house (and raffle off donated items). On Wednesday November 14th, our supporters will be getting more than a taste of our mission, they will be helping to secure the futures of Mission youth.
For more information, visit our website, or for ways to get involved in addition to dining at one of our partnering restaurants, contact us via email.
Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
Enjoy Oliver McCrum Wines at DIG, and Beaujolais at Arlequin Wine Merchant
On Sunday November 11th, DIG wine shop in Dogpatch is hosting a tasting of Italian wines from Oliver McCrum’s excellent portfolio. This tasting is a rare treat because McCrum doesn’t hold many tastings for the end consumer (he’s a wholesale distributor). Come by at 5:30pm to taste eight of Oliver’s favorite wines and learn more about them, all while enjoying a selection of Fatted Calf charcuterie and artisan cheeses. $40 per person, seating is limited. To reserve your seat, email here. 1005 Minnesota St. at 22nd St., 415-648-6133.
If you’re a lover of Beaujolais, now is an exciting time for you, as the recent imports start pouring in from France. ARLEQUIN WINE MERCHANT will be throwing their seventh-annual Beaujolais Bash on Thursday November 15th, from 6pm-8pm. They’ll be pouring more than 25 wines (including Marcel Lapierre, Guy Breton, Jean-Paul Brun, Alain Coudert, Jean-Paul Thévenet, Jean Foillard, Bruno Debize), many from the ten cru villages in the region, plus some more innovative “nouveau” styles. And if you really love a bottle, all of them will be priced at 10 percent off. The event costs $25, just pay at the door.
Arlequin Wine Merchant - 384 Hayes St. San Francisco - 415-863-1104
Get Your Beer On at These Upcoming Events
The West and East Coasts will be facing off on Thursday November 8th at PUBLIC HOUSE, with a special From Ales to Fromage beer and cheese pairing. Cicerone Rich Higgins will lead lovers of suds in comparisons among eight different beers and cheeses, comparing East and West Coast offerings side by side. You can take a look at the full beer and cheese lineup here. Tickets are $60 and include eight beer and cheese tastes. The event runs from 6pm-8pm.
Like trying home brewers’ offerings? Brew beer at home yourself? You should definitely check out BREWLAB, a local collective for home brewers. On Saturday November 10th they’ll be throwing a Harvest Party at their new space in the Mission. The event begins at 8pm, and everyone who attends will receive a bottomless glass to fill with samples from local home brewers. Though the event is free, a $15 donation is requested at the door, and you should register here if you plan on attending. 1462 Hampshire St. at 26th St.
Public House - 24 Willie Mays Plaza San Francisco - 415-644-0240
It's Gonna Be Booze O'Clock at the Independent Spirits Expo
Want to check out some of the newest small-batch, independent distillers and the spirits they’re making? Then be sure to stop by the Independent Spirits Expo on Wednesday November 14th. There will be distillers and importers pouring tastes of their products, including whiskey, tequila, and mezcal. It’s at the retro-cool Swedish American Music Hall, so you can enjoy the vintage charm of that space while enjoying your boozy sips. VIP tickets are $75, and general admission is $55. 2174 Market St. at Sanchez.
tablehopper has one pair of VIP tickets to give away to one lucky tablehopper reader. Hop on over to the tablehopper Facebook page (you like it already, right?) and stand by for a post on Wednesday about how to enter to win! Good luck!
Wino Alert: Join Eric Asimov at the JCC November 14th
Next week, you can watch some wine programming with chutzpah at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco (JCCSF). The Arts and Ideas program hosts a bunch of pretty cool discussions on food, wine, and how to enjoy it, including this one. On Wednesday November 14th, join Eric Asimov for a workshop called “How to Love Wine.” Ha! As if you needed any help. That’s okay, though. Asimov recently wrote a book by the same name, and currently works as chief wine critic for The New York Times—he’ll be in conversation with Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein, so you’ll definitely learn something interesting. The event begins at 7pm and tickets (type in “Asimov” in the search box) are $25 for the general public, $20 for members, and $15 for students. Just prepare yourself for a ridiculous service fee ($7.50! Why?). JCCSF, 3200 California St. at Presidio.
The Dogpatch Saloon Closes for a Refresh Under New Owners
According to the Dogpatch Howler, the DOGPATCH SALOON closed on Monday November 5th so the new owners (of 83 Proof in SoMa) could do a refresh of the space before reopening. Sounds like the new owners want to keep the atmosphere “casual and welcoming” and they are keeping the name. UPDATE: Dogpatch Howler now reports DS will stay open for now, possibly through the holidays. 2496 3rd St. at 22nd St.
Shindigs, Feasts, & Festivals (let's party)
Indulge in Truffle Season with These Special Dinners and Events
Thursday Nov 8, 2012
Oink oink! Smell that? It’s time to make like a truffle hog and root your way to some of the special dinners celebrating truffle season.
Starting Thursday November 8th, PERBACCO will be offering a special truffle menu. The offerings will be in addition to the regular menu, and you can take a look at the menu that you can add truffles to here—yes, there will be butter and eggs and carne cruda! It may change a bit, though, so be prepared. The special dishes will be available until they run out, so call ahead and make sure they’ve still got the tasty truffles around. Reservations can be made by calling the restaurant.
Across the bay in Oakland, OLIVETO will be featuring their annual truffle dinners, from Tuesday November 13th until Friday November 16th. Every year, owner Bob Klein goes to Italy to hunt down the finest truffles, and brings them back to feature on chef Jonah Rhodehamel’s menu. All of the dishes will be available à la carte, and the regular menu will also be available—you can expect both black and white truffles. The menu hasn’t been finalized, but you can take a look at last year’s menu here and start drooling—even desserts by Jenny Raven will feature truffles. The menu will be available during regular dinner service, and you can make reservations by calling the restaurant.
Beginning Friday November 9th, POGGIO in Sausalito will be serving a special à la carte truffle menu in addition to their regular menu. They’ll be shaving truffles tableside onto a variety of courses, plus they’ll be pouring special Barolo and Barbaresco wines to pair with the truffles. Reservations can be made online or by calling the restaurant.
ACQUERELLO has started serving a limited truffle menu, though the season has not been as abundant this year so they’ve limited the offerings to a few selections on the menu. You can take a look here, and whatever you choose, I recommend you don’t miss the poached ranch egg nested over creamy leeks (the egg usually comes from a very special place—chef Suzette’s coop!).
Other places around town known for having truffles every year include Delfina, Farina, and more. Stand by for updates—or just call your favorite place and ask!
Dance Your Zapatos Off at the Fiesta Cubana
Sunday Nov 18, 2012 5pm for dinner, dancing at 7pm $20 just for dance party and a drink; $40 for dinner, a drink, and dancing Pizzaiolo 5008 Telegraph Ave. at 51st, Oakland
Cuban pig-roast dance parties don’t come up that often, but when they do, it’s best to lace up your finest fancy shoes and show up. On Sunday November 18th, PIZZAIOLO will be hosting just such an event. The pig roast part of the evening begins at 5pm and the dancing starts at 7pm. The entire event is to raise money for Planting Seeds, a group of local chefs (including Samin Nosrat) who are headed to Cuba in conjunction with the Green Cities Fund and could use a little financial assistance. They’ll be traveling to Havana for a weeklong series of events collaborating with Cuban chefs, paladar owners, farmers, students, and artists with many long-term goals to continue this cultural exchange into the future. That’s a cause you can eat some pork for.
There will be live music by Tito y Su Son de Cuba and a raffle too. Tickets are $20 for just the dance party and a drink, or $40 for dinner, dancing, and drinking. You can check out their Facebook page for some additional details. 5008 Telegraph Ave. at 51st, Oakland, 510-652-4888.
the sugar mama
(Sponsored): A Foodie's Dream: More to Enjoy with Explore Oakland
Courtesy of Bay Area company Marqeta, which gets you more money for the things you buy every day, enter to win one of two “Dinner for Two” Explore Oakland offers (worth $100 each; winners do not prepay anything).
With four dining levels to choose from, Explore Oakland gives you 25 percent more money to spend at more than two dozen of Oakland’s hottest restaurants, including Ozumo, Picán, Barlata, and many more. Indulging your inner foodie couldn’t be easier with Explore Oakland from Marqeta. Just prepay and get 25 percent more!
- Taste of Oakland: prepay $40 and get $50
- Dinner for Two: prepay $80 and get $100
- Party of Four: prepay $200 and get $250
- Indulge Oakland: prepay $400 and get $500
To enter to win one of the two “Dinner for Two” offers (worth $100 each), all you need to do is forward today’s tablehopper newsletter to one friend (but even more would be so very fabulous), and add a note to your friend(s) about your favorite Oakland restaurants, or why you read tablehopper, or both! Be sure to Cc: or Bcc: me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I know you sent it—I promise I won’t use anyone’s email address. The deadline to enter is Sunday November 11th at 11:59pm. We’ll notify the winner on Monday! Good luck!
Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)
Yeezy Spotted Around Town
Did the air feel a little more electrified the last couple of days? Well, maybe that’s because Kanye West was in town. He hit up Cotogna on Sunday night, where he had a quiet dinner. He sat in the back and was sans Kim. He also did a little impromptu freestyling for some of the guests outside after dining. Jealous much?
Then, on Monday, he was at Spruce on what appeared to be a business meeting. He was there with three other people, enjoying wine (Brown Estate, if you were curious), and the burger.
The Giants Eat Steak--A Lot
Seems outfielder Hunter Pence is a fan of steaks, because he came in to Alexander’s Steakhouse (just a week ago, he was at House of Prime Rib). Last Thursday, manager Bruce Bochy also came in to celebrate—some happy guests at the next table bought some Opus One to congratulate him and the team.
On Sunday night, Pence ate at EPIC Roasthouse—he dined on the patio, ordering sautéed spinach, mac and cheese, and … wait for it: the NY strip.
And just last night, a tablehopper tipster shares that Sergio Romo came in to House of Prime Rib “with an elegant young lady and two young men.” They dined in a corner booth.
Aaron Paul, of Breaking Bad and Big Love fame, was spotted dining at the Redwood Room while staying at the Clift this weekend. He was with his fiancée, and they played cards quietly in the corner while enjoying cocktails and a cheese plate. Apparently they were excellent tippers too.