Boxing Room’s table at SF Chefs, serving smothered okra and tomatoes with cracklins on top. Photo: © tablehopper.com.
Well, THAT was quite the weekend of debauchery. After moderating a cooking demo on Friday with chefs Al Brown (visiting from New Zealand) and Brad Farmerie (The Thomas at Fagiani’s, Public in New York), and watching Sean Brock (Husk) joke around and cook with Daniel Patterson (Coi), I was more than ready to hit the Friday night tasting tent at SF Chefs. The Plumed Horse styled us with some proper luxury (thanks for the caviar!), while Locanda’s BLT with housemade guanciale and Baker & Banker’s corn vichyssoise were my favorite tastes of summer. Dosa didn’t hold back on the spice with their lamb uttapam, huzzah. I may have visited the Negroni umbrella stand more than once (lather, rinse, repeat), and Rye on the Road made a killer cocktail with Cynar, the cleverly named Thistling Dixie. Good times.
My Saturday workout ended up clarifying how tired I was (guess who unexpectedly took a nap and slept through the afternoon?), but then sis and I put on our dresses and hit the Saturday night tent. Kudos to Bluestem Brasserie for taking that night’s music theme the furthest, and I was really digging the oyster and Bowmore whisky luge, brilliant.
After doing some writing on Sunday, I decided to punch the clock and headed down to San Mateo for a bottle of bubbles and supper with grandma. Pimento cheese, ribs, cheese soufflé, and a salad, with the best company one could ask for. Henry the mutt provided plenty of tableside entertainment (such a clown), and I got grandma cracked out on the new Recchiuti malted milk chocolate sauce, which we had with our vanilla ice cream.
This Friday, Outside Lands is kicking off, and I am crash-coursing on a lot of opening bands I don’t know very well on Spotify. One thing I do know well is the sick lineup of eats, including pozole from Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas, Malaysian nachos from Azalina’s, Big Chef Tom’s Belly Burgers (got to try one at SF Chefs—good stuff), sardine chips from Rich Table (wow, that sounds like a lot of work, go team). You can also warm up with hot chocolate from Charles Chocolates, and in case you had a rough night, you can get started with a fried egg sandwich and hash browns from il Cane Rosso. Some food trucks will also be there, including Bacon Bacon, Hapa SF, and The Chairman Truck. Oh yeah, and don’t forget Outside Laaaaambs! Lamb poutine, I am coming for ya. Beer Lands and Wine Lands, they always keep me feeling good. Like D’Angelo, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. It’s on.
Things are chugging along for Gianpaolo Paterlini’s 1760 on Polk Street, with the interior definitely taking shape: some preview pics show a long bar (which has mirrors behind the shelving), a kitchen with a large window at the pass so you can look into it, and plenty of windows (the furniture is arriving now). The team is hoping to open this month, but all will be revealed in coming weeks.
Speaking of reveals, you can now take a peek at the initial menu from chef Adam Tortosa, which includes dishes like watermelon gazpacho with Dungeness crab, finger lime, and borage; grilled avocado, shrimp, lime, red onion, and cilantro; beef tartare, Marcona almond, Thai herbs, and chile. There will also be a few pastas, like squid ink linguini, uni, garlic, red pepper, and bread crumb; and corn-stuffed pasta with baked potato butter, potato crunch, and chive (mmmm, mysterious). A fried duck sandwich? Goodness. There is quite the array of flavors and influences; dishes will range from $8-$25.
There are also desserts from pastry chef Riccardo Menicucci, like milk chocolate ganache with hickory ice cream, bourbon caramel, and marshmallow, and caramelized banana fro-yo with peanut butter cake and bacon whipped cream. Get ready for more updates soon!
1760 - 1760 Polk St. San Francisco - 415-359-1212
Locals have wondered who or what is going to take over the former Lot 7 space on oh-so-hot Valencia Street, and I am happy to report it’s the wonderful team behind LOLO on 22nd Street. I spoke with one of the owners, Jorge Martínez, who tells me they are very excited to acquire the second space, and should be opening something in it before the end of the year. I will keep you posted on their plans, which are in a nascent stage right now. You can rest assured partner and designer Lorena Zertuche will have something clever and colorful in store for us. 974 Valencia St. at 21st St.
Loló - 974 Valencia St. San Francisco - 415-643-5656
A Mission pal tipped us off to this one, and then Eater snagged the details: now open in the Mission is RAMEN IZAKAYA GOKU. It comes from owner Eiichi Mochizuki, who also owns Men Oh Ramen, and is within the same family as the Shabuway chain (not to be confused with Subway, where people go to give birth in the restroom).
The menu is different than Mochizuki’s other locations, though, with izakaya-style small plates (beef tataki with yuzu and peppers, sweet and spicy chicken wings) and five kinds of ramen including vegetable miso and classic tonkotsu (our friend said it’s mighty tasty). The small, narrow space has seating in front and back, with a bar at the kitchen for those who like to watch the kitchen. Hours are Tue-Sun 6pm-10pm, though they hope to stay open until 1am starting soon. 3232 16th St. at Guerrero, 415-934-0321.
After the fire that devastated CHEZ SPENCER back in May, Scoop reports that the building will have to be torn down. Ugh, that gorgeous building, so tragic. Fortunately, owner Laurent Katgely has already found a new spot, this time on 18th Street in the former Suika space. The new location will be much smaller, with only 30 seats, and Katgely intends to use that intimacy to get a little more creative. Diners will choose three-, five-, or eight-course tasting menus based on a list of 10 dishes each evening, with a mix of classic French options and more modern fare. In front, the plan is to put in an informal café called SPENCER ON THE GO (like his food truck), with similar menu items in a more casual environment. Right now, they’re hoping to be open in late November. 3376 18th St. at Capp.
There’s a new neighborhood spot that just opened in the former Om Shan Tea in the Mission: MISSION PUBLIC. Hat tip to UrbanDaddy for the intel, reporting that Mission Public is just serving breakfast for now, with lunch coming this week and dinner to follow shortly. A menu on Facebook shows sandwiches, some of which are pressed panino-style. They’re pouring De La Paz coffee, with “pop tarts” and other baked goods from Black Jet Baking Co., plus there’s Wi-Fi. Once they expand their hours, look for more substantial fare like potpie, and they’ll add beer when the beer-and-wine license comes through too. Hours for now are Mon-Fri 7:30am-2pm. 233 14th St. at Natoma, 415-525-4175.
As mentioned earlier, STATE BIRD PROVISIONS is closing at the end of service on Saturday August 10th, and will be closed until about mid-September as they work on their expansion into the space next door. A date has not been set for the reopening yet, so you can’t make any future reservations at the moment, hold yer horses. They expect to know more in a couple of weeks; I’ll keep you updated.
Sunday night was the last night of service for PESCE at 2227 Polk Street. Chef-owner Ruggero Gadaldi (with Adriano Paganini) are moving the restaurant (and its menu) to the 2223 Market Street location in the Castro, and hope to be open by Wednesday August 14th. We’ll have details (and pics) of the new space in next week’s tablehopper. One thing Gadaldi did mention is the Venetian-style cicchetti will go back to the original one-biters they are intended to be, instead of the tapas-like plates they have evolved into at Pesce on Polk. He’s excited to have a full display of cicchetti by the bar, since they are truly perfect bar bites with wine and cocktails. As for the fate of the original Pesce location, stand by for more on that too.
Adriano Paganini, part of the team behind the Super Duper burger chain, Beretta, Lolinda, and Delarosa, is opening a taqueria downtown, the Scoop reports. It will be in the former location of Sellers Markets, and Paganini plans to call it UNO DOS TACOS (although that may change). He says they won’t be doing customizable-style service à la Chipotle. Instead, look for simple, authentic Mexican platters of high-quality meat and produce, with housemade salsa and tortillas. The space is large (3,000 square feet), and will seat about 50 inside, plus another 40 on the outdoor patio. Opening is slated for this fall. 595 Market St. at 2nd St.
After almost 30 years (open since 1986) of serving Ethiopian food and live music in San Francisco, RASSELAS JAZZ CLUB AND RESTAURANT is sadly closing. Scoop reports their last day is Saturday August 17th; you can read details of their farewell party (and note) on their Facebook page. No word on the upcoming project, called Era Restaurant, that is taking its place (from owner Lily Nguyen). 1534 Fillmore St. at Geary.
HANAMI BRASSERIE, a new sushi spot, is now open in the former FULL MOON THAI BISTRO location on 9th Avenue (we mentioned that one awhile back). The space, which seats 45, includes a 6-seat chef’s counter and warm yellow walls with black wide-plank wood flooring. There are cushy white leather chairs at some tables and bench seating at others, plus red glass pendant lamps. There are cute details, too, like LED lights that look like plum blossoms above the chef’s counter. One wall of the front dining room is filled by an inset shadow box displaying a variety of sake flasks and cups, with a different set in each box.
In the food department, they’ve got most of the sushi standbys, with some more inventive dishes like sea bass with braised shimeji mushroom or the, ahem, asparagus tempura, shrimp, and salmon spring roll with “sweaty sour sauce” (that has got to be one of the best menu translations we’ve seen in a long time). Take a look at the full menu here and the drink list here. There are also plans to open a back patio in the future. Hours are Sun-Thu 5pm-10pm and Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm. 1220 9th Ave. at Lincoln, 415-564-2222.
Those of you who like to enjoy your pozole alfresco will be happy to know the front part of NOPALITO ON 9TH’s patio is now open, with 12-15 seats. The back patio will hold around 30 additional seats and will open for general seating once our Indian summer arrives (it’s coming, right?). The back patio is reportedly teeming with jasmine and other vining foliage, so it will smell heavenly once it opens. For now, the back patio is only available for small parties and buyouts. 1224 9th Ave. at Lincoln, 415-233-9966.
The Local Motion series continues at the W’s TRACE on Tuesday August 20th. This time around, they’ll be joined by Little Red Riding Truck, purveyor of German vittles—it certainly is cold enough these days to enjoy a big, hearty, German feast. It all kicks off at 7pm with cocktails and appetizers (currywurst!), and then continues with a family-style meal of dishes including potato pancakes, pork schnitzel, beef short rib sauerbraten, and Black Forest cake for a strong finish. The dinner costs $55 per person (including tax, tip, and service fee), and cocktail pairings are available for an additional $25; tickets here.
For more German delicacies, check out an evening of riesling at RN74 on Thursday August 8th. From 5:30pm-9:30pm, bottles of riesling will be flowing and flipping on the market board (including a 42-year-old one) alongside dishes from chef Adam Sobel like mini pork schnitzels with glazed peach and toasted almonds, or warm pretzels with riesling fondue. Glass prices will range from $8-$40.
And this is not German, but how about a pop-up dish for you? On Tuesday August 6th (that’s today!), BLUESTEM BRASSERIE is hosting New Zealand chef Al Brown (and New Zealand wine expert David Strada) from 6:30pm-7:30pm for a guest appearance. Starting tonight, you can try chef Francis Hogan’s dish inspired by classic steak frites but using New Zealand ingredients: pan-seared Cervena venison loin (you have never tasted venison like this) with taro frites, a pinot noir gastrique, and peach and blue cheese salad, plus kiwi-pluot pavlova for dessert, all for $35. (It will be on the menu for a week.)
Bluestem Brasserie - 1 Yerba Buena Lane San Francisco - 415-547-1111
On Sunday September 1st, make your way to the patio at WATERBAR for its fifth annual OysterFest, a full-tilt celebration of the delicious little buggers (whether vegans will want to attend or not remains up for debate). In addition to a variety of oysters on the half shell, you’ll find small bites from the likes of EPIC Roasthouse, Farallon, and Waiheke Island Yacht Club. There will also be many offerings from New Zealand—including beer and wine—as a nod to Waterbar’s partnership with New Zealand for the America’s Cup. The party runs from 12pm-3pm, and also includes a hot sauce contest. Hawt.
Sunday Sep 1, 2013 12pm-3pm $60 more info
Waterbar - 399 The Embarcadero San Francisco - 415-284-9922
Okay bacon lovers who just can’t get enough of the stuff no matter how much people say it has jumped the shark, this event is for you: Sunday August 25th is the first SAN FRANCISCO BACON AND BEER FESTIVAL at the Fairmont. The event is put on by Eat Boston and is a celebration of all things bacon-y and sudsy, with more than 45 restaurants and breweries participating. Haven, Tacolicious, Nojo, Hopscotch, and Fatted Calf are just a few of the talented bacon pushers who will be in attendance, offering dishes using Zoe’s Meats.
Breweries including Lagunitas, Knee Deep, and Drake’s will be on hand as well, pouring their best bacon-friendly brews (aren’t all brews bacon-friendly?). The event runs from 2:30pm-5pm and tickets are $50 general admission and $65 for VIP, or “baller,” tickets. Proceeds benefit Sprouts Cooking Club, a local organization committed to teaching underserved youngsters how to cook and enjoy healthful, fresh food. 950 Mason St. at Sacramento, 415-772-5000.
Sunday Aug 25, 2013 2:30pm-5pm $50 general admission, $65 "baller" more info
Back in June, tablehopper broke the news that Donato Scotti of Donato Enoteca in Redwood City was going to be opening his own project in the BORGO ITALIA space in Oakland. His restaurant DESCO is now open; you can look at the menu (full of handmade pastas) here. There are also Neapolitan pizze and schiacciate cooked in a wood-fired oven. There is also full liquor, outdoor seating, and lunch is starting in two weeks (dinner only for now)! Hours will be Sun-Thu 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm. 499 9th St. at Washington, Oakland, 510-663-9000.
As mentioned in tablehopper last week, Berkeley’s O CHAMÉ has sadly closed. Well, according to Scoop, it turns out that it’s been taken over by Shotaro Kamio, who has been running the show at Yoshi’s locations in both Oakland and San Francisco for years. Now, he and O Chamé’s owner David Vardy have reportedly been working together to transition the new space into Kamio’s hands. More details, including a new name, are due in the coming weeks. 1830 4th St. at Hearst, Berkeley.
Every Monday in August, head to BEAUTY’S BAGEL SHOP for a brisket pop-up from Augie’s Montreal Smoke Meat. From 11am-3pm, you can check out their Montreal-style smoked and cured brisket. On Fridays, Beauty’s is also making bagel dogs, and they’re available starting around noon. Call ahead to make sure they’ve still got ‘em! 3838 Telegraph Ave. at 40th St., Oakland, 510-788-6098.
Here are some opportunities to help out some upcoming Oakland projects. First up, CURBSIDE CREAMERY is trying to move into the Temescal Alley, and they’ve got a final push for their Kickstarter campaign to raise the necessary funds. A mere $5 contribution gets you a scoop of ice cream, plus the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping out in a big way. You can also throw down for Top Chefs Jennifer Biesty and Tim Nugent, who are opening SHAKEWELL in Oakland’s Lakeshore neighborhood. Contributions to their Kickstarter start at just $5 dollars, so lend them a hand!
Enjoy some summertime movie fun at RAM’S GATE WINERY on Thursdays this August. Starting Thursday August 8th, they’ll be screening a different film every week, including Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Princess Bride, and Field of Dreams. Each movie costs $20 general admission or $10 for wine club members, and includes a glass of Carneros chardonnay or Sonoma County pinot noir, plus snacks from chef Taylr Behnam (like lobster grilled cheese, and vegetable or pork belly banh mi). Doors open at 7:30pm and movies begin at 8pm. Reservations can be made by email or by calling. 28700 Arnold Dr. at Mangel Ranch, Sonoma, 707-721-8700.
FARMSHOP in Larkspur’s Marin Country Mart is now open for weekend lunch. Every Saturday and Sunday from 11:30am-3pm, they’ll be offering a menu of seasonal cuisine, including a few brunch-type items, like coddled eggs and Wise Sons’ pastrami and eggs, plus more lunch-oriented fare like grilled skirt steak and shrimp and cod fritters. They’ve also added a selection of cocktails, including a Bloody Mary and The Admiral (that’s Goldrun Rye, ginger shrub, honey, and lemon); take a look at the cocktail list here. 2233 Larkspur Landing Circle at Sir Francis Drake, Larkspur, 415-755-6700.
For one night only (Friday August 16th), Alemany Market is transformed into a nighttime festival reminiscent of the markets in Beijing, Mexico City, and Seoul, complete with music, drinks, twinkling lights, and global flavors. This is La Cocina’s 2nd Annual Night Market, the kickoff to the San Francisco Street Food Festival.
In addition to live music, star chefs, and restaurants—Locanda, The Fifth Floor, Suvir Saran, and more—will serve delicious food alongside La Cocina entrepreneurs. Food will be paired with Rye on the Road’s handcrafted cocktails, and local, artisan beers from Whole Foods Market. Guests can also enjoy games of cornhole, Berlin-style ping-pong, karaoke, hookah lounges, and more. From 4pm-6pm, VIP attendees can also enjoy unlimited drinks.
Purchase tickets here while they last (use code tablehopper2 for $5 off!) for a delicious night of global street food! Prices range from $35-$150. All proceeds benefit La Cocina, whose mission is to cultivate low-income, immigrant women entrepreneurs.
Russian Hill now has an inviting place to hang out and drink quality wine and beer: ROBBERBARON is now open in the former Black Sheep space on Polk. The owners are Lucrecia Torres and Annie Flores—the two ladies have been working together at Marcello’s Pizza for 23 years (Annie is the owner, Lucrecia is the GM). For their latest venture, they wanted to create a space that feels like a bar, but serves wine and beer. It has a masculine look with a feminine touch, with dark tones of navy blue and gray, and touches of gold (a tip of the cap to the RobberBaron name). They were inspired by Leland Stanford (who lived on the nearby Nob Hill), and wanted to celebrate self-made individuals and San Francisco’s history as a place built by entrepreneurs.
There is a tufted banquette, with window seats (and tall windows), three tables, a communal table, and 12 seats at the bar (40 seats in all), plus vintage-looking art and unique light fixtures. (And we have to call out what is one of the coolest toilets in the city, truly.) There is also a TV for games (the ladies are big Giants fans) but it’s tucked above the doorway.
You can take a look at the wine and beer list here: there are 10 wines by the glass, including local selections (like chardonnay from Matthiasson) to French picks (Beaujolais from Marcel Lapierre). There are 10 beers as well, like Czechvar, Old Speckled Hen from England, and locals like Lagunitas IPA and Big Daddy IPA.
The menu of bites (bruschetta, edamame schmear) also has a bit of Latin flair, like the hummus tostada and black bean-chorizo dip. You can “make your own bar picnic” with choices like jamón serrano, Drunken Goat cheese, and Humboldt Fog ($7 each), served with some fixings. There are also the Baron Bars, described as peanutbutterymarshmelloychocolatechippykrispyness ($4).
Hours for now are Sun-Thu 3pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 2pm-12:30am, and potentially extending hours as they get used to what the neighborhood needs. 2032 Polk St. at Pacific, 415-516-6945.
THE BEER HALL, a project from husband-and-wife team Andrew and Jennifer Hall, has opened softly in the Argenta complex at 1 Polk. There is a beer tasting bar, with a variety of craft brews from more than 15 taps and more by the bottle, and then a retail operation that sells unusual beers to take home. Look for offerings from Ommegang, Stone, Magnolia, and Bear Republic, to name a few. There are also a few wines on tap, if beer isn’t your style.
Gi Paoletti was the architect for the space, which seats 39, including 12 seats at the bar. The modern tavern vibe should appeal to the after-work crowd (read: folks who work at Twitter, which is right there). There will be some small bites too. For this week, it’s open Mon-Fri 6pm-10pm, but hours should expand soon. 1 Polk St. at Fell, 415-800-7416.
Congrats to Tenderloin hangout CAFE ROYALE, which successfully acquired a full liquor license. While the place did a great job with beer and wine (and spelling bees and great live music), the addition of cocktails should completely rock. The building just got all that scaffolding taken off, so that’s a bonus. 800 Post. St. at Leavenworth, 415-441-4099.
And in case you’re cruising around SoMa on the weekend, pay a visit to ZARÉ AT FLY TRAP for a spiffy Saturday happy hour, with $4 draft beers, $5 wines, and $5 well cocktails (all night, at the bar only).
Zaré at Fly Trap - 606 Folsom St. San Francisco - 415-243-0580
It’s time for CUESA’s Yacht Rock II, the nautically themed summer installment of Cocktails at the Farmers Market at the FERRY BUILDING. On Wednesday August 28th from 5:30pm-8pm, CUESA and the Northern California chapter of the United States Bartending Guild will pair up and host more than 10 local bartenders (including David Ruiz of Padrecito and Kim Roselle of Trick Dog). There will be two full-size cocktails made with Drambuie and highlighting local, seasonal produce, plus 11 sample-size cocktails to try. There will also be snacks from eight local chefs, including Tango & Stache and Alexander’s Steakhouse. Be sure to dress up (think “Good Ship Lollipop”), too, because the winner of the costume contest gets a take-home basket of cocktail ingredients. Tickets are $40 per person.
Wednesday Aug 28, 2013 5:30pm-8pm $40 more info
Ferry Building - One Ferry Building San Francisco - 415-983-8000
COI is running a monthly wine dinner series, and coming up is a special Arnot-Roberts dinner with Duncan Roberts on Thursday August 15th. The dinner will feature five courses, each paired with one of Arnot-Roberts’ wines, though the menu will not be available for viewing until the day of the event. Seatings begin at 5:30pm and cost $150 per person including food and wine; reservations can be made by calling 415-393-9000.
Join Charlotte Chipperfield of The Wine Key at MEZÉS on Monday August 19th for an evening of the wines of Santorini, Greece. The event includes tastes of three whites along with instruction on the region and its wines, plus small bites from the restaurant. Tickets are $35 per person, and the event runs from 7pm-8pm. 2373 Chestnut St. at Divisadero, 415-409-7111.
CAFÉ ROUGE is throwing their 12th annual Think Pink party Wednesday August 21st. They’ll be pouring lots of special rosés from Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, along with a special à la carte menu designed to pair well with the pink wines (think bouillabaisse, oysters, and charcuterie). Prices vary per glass and dish; more details here. 5:30pm-9:30pm. 1782 Fourth St. at Delaware, Berkeley, 510-525-1440.
COI - 373 Broadway San Francisco - 415-393-9000