The 21POP display at FOG Fair, complete with a wood stove (crafted by Stanlee Gatti’s team)! Photo: © tablehopper.com.
Hey there, ho there, hi there. It was quite the action-packed weekend: I was up bright and early on Saturday morning for my tablehopper hot list segment on KRON4—this week I talked about four new brunches in the Bay Area, check it out here. I also headed over to the upcoming Second Act Marketplace for a sneak peek (check it out in the chatterbox) and then scooted over to the FOG Fair at Fort Mason, what a cool event. (They were previewing Michael Tusk’s new line of pastas—I thoroughly enjoyed my rigatoni integrali last night; the bright yellow tagliatelle all’uovo are next!) My Italian shenanigans continued with a dinner (that was heavy on the wine) at the new inoVino in Cole Valley—the prosciutti and cheeses were a good warm-up for the next day: the Fancy Food Show.
The FFS is always overwhelming but full of great discoveries. Of course I had to hit up all the domestic salumi makers, sampling the latest from Olympic Provisions, La Quercia, and Creminelli, along with the imported hams—the ItalFoods booth is always a bounty. (Have you ever had the ricotta from Di Stefano, the evil burrata maker? So good.) My buddy at Fresca Italia always sets me up with some amazing cheese samples (Camembert di bufala, who knew?) and I am trying to forget the pistachio and olive oil spread I tried at Manicaretti. Move over Nutella. There was also an entire table of amazing cheeses (and butter!) from Caseficio dell’Alta Langa, the makers of La Tur (I enjoyed their Brunet while at inoVino the night before). I had an impressively pulled espresso shot of Malabar Gold that helped give me a boost when I needed it most. I was also on the hunt for a wonderful harissa (found it!) and sustainable smoked salmon that tastes amazing (hat tip to Verlasso).
You can check out my iPhone pics on the tablehopper Flickr page—I barely made it though two-thirds of the show, which is tough to do in one day, but I did my best, damn it. We all know where I have been the final days of the show (this Monday and Tuesday)—home writing!
Sunday night finished with a bang—importers Howard and Kris Case of Casa de Case invited me to attend their annual warehouse dinner party. Such a fun night—a long candlelit table went down the center of the warehouse (take a peek here), and we feasted on platters of salumi from Boccalone, followed by housemade tortellini in brodo (thanks Colin Dewey of Zero Zero for all your help!) and quite the bountiful bollito misto, with an array of meats (including Italian cotechino) and potatoes and condimenti, and then Viola Buitoni knocked us out with an array of beautiful Italian tortes and sweets. What a night. The Cases are amazing hosts, grazie! And in case you want to check out a bollito misto, there’s one coming up at Poggio, read more here in the chatterbox!
Let’s get started here…see you Friday! Marcia Gagliardi
This weekend I swung by the soon-to-open SECOND ACT MARKETPLACE AND EVENTS to see how it’s taking shape. Yup, it’s very, very close. To recap, Betsy and Jack Rix have transformed the former Red Vic Movie House (they were two of the original founders) into a marketplace and business incubator with five food stalls, each with their own locking gates (the concept is a bit similar to 331 Cortland). The space is clean and classic, with a vintage-looking paneled ceiling, concrete floors, and light coming in from a skylight in the back. In the back is also a set of doors that open into an event space that is still under construction; there will also be a concession area, eventually serving wine and beer from Magnolia, but let’s focus on the marketplace businesses for now.
The tenants include High Cotton Kitchen, a New Orleans-style lunch spot that will serve soup, salad, gumbo, two kinds of red beans and rice (one is vegetarian), a po’boy and a sandwich each day, as well as Beauty’s Bagels (yes!), Meetinghouse biscuits, gluten-free toast, and Sightglass coffee. Hours will be 7am-7pm daily. The partners in the biz are Neely Thomas (previously Bar Tartine) and Terrell Brunet, a Louisiana native who has been in the industry for some time, and is the man behind the recipes—look for a bit of a California spin on some of the dishes.
Just next door, Thomas and Brunet are also behind Community Craft, a cooperative bakeshop selling items from nine bakers (with gluten-free options), including Bread SRSLY (vegan, gluten-free bread) from Sadie Scheffer, Ebbs Bakery from Robert Hac (look for cakes and trifles from this ex-Scott Howard pastry chef), pies by Barbara Caldwell for Butter Water Salt Flour, Eat Me NatuRaw from Tanya Fislar, Park Bench (offering pain garni/garnished bread) from Brandywine White, Sweets Simply by Nicole Faraclas, and Meetinghouse Biscuits from Joanna Karlinsky, plus Beauty’s Bagels (available every day except Mondays). Hours will be 11am-7pm.
Other tenants include a second location of Anda Piroshki, who will be serving her delicious piroshki, borscht, and more; the juice bar RAW, with their small-batch and fresh-squeezed juices; and Spice Hound, the excellent spice shop that already has a location in Bernal.
There are still some inspections under way, but they hope to open in the beginning of February, ideally the first week, or maybe the 8th-10th. I’ll let you know for sure. 1727 Haight St. at Cole.
An update for you on LOLO, which is closing the doors on its 22nd Street location and moving to the larger space I mentioned awhile back on Valencia (the former Lot 7). The last night of service in their original location is Saturday January 25th, and they plan to open in the new space the first week of February. Don’t worry, the new spot will be just as colorful, quirky, and oh so lovable. I’ll have an update on menu details and a look at the new space for you verrrrrry soon! Can’t wait to show you what’s going on behind the bright blue doorway. 974 Valencia St. at 21st St.
Loló - 974 Valencia St. San Francisco - 415-643-5656
A report by Dana Eastland. Now open in the Mission is Latin American restaurant MANOS NOUVEAU, in the former home of Panchita’s 3. The owner is Manuel Montalban, a born-and-raised Mission native, who has brought on chef Gualberto Nic Camara to run the kitchen. The menu spans Latin America, with items inspired by the cuisine of Peru and Mexico, with a dose of California regionalism and local ingredients. The menu, which will change regularly to reflect the seasons, includes small plates like ceviche ($14) and seasonal salads ($9), along with entrées ranging from a vegetable medley with quinoa ($21), duck breast with squash and rice ($24), and a rib-eye ($26). On the wine list, look for bottles from Chile and Argentina, with a few bottles from Spain. There are a few bottled beer options as well. Hours are Tue-Sat 5pm-11pm. 3115 22nd St. at Capp, 415-638-6109.
Here’s some news on the new takers for ROXY’S CAFE, which closed earlier this month. The space has been taken over by Shawn Naputi, who was previously chef de cuisine at Roxy’s and worked at Incanto before that, and Shawn Camacho, who was the general manager at the Palace and is one of the folks behind the 13North pop-up. You’ll find a refined take on the food of Guam, much like the approach to Filipino cuisine at 13North. Naputi is currently on a research trip in Guam, and the pair hope to open in February. Manny Torres Gimenez, who previously owned Roxy’s, is not involved but wishes the Shawns well in their new venture. 2847 Mission St. at 24th St.
A report by Dana Eastland. Thanks to a tablehopper tipster, we found out that a sign has gone up for the new PIZZA SHOP on 24th Street, in the former Mike’s Deli. The new owner and pizza maker is a fellow who would only give his name as Tom; he hails from New Jersey. He didn’t want us to share his full pizza background, but suffice to say he used to work at a well-respected New York-style pizzeria in Southern California (I know, he’s a mystewious chawactew). The new space has been extensively reworked inside, with a kitchen devoted entirely to pies. The concrete-deck oven packs some power and will be fired up this week for testers. Once the dough and oven are dialed in and final inspections passed, they’ll be open. The space is intended for both dine-in and takeout. On the menu, you’ll find 14 different pizzas, available by the slice or whole. All pizzas are 18 inches around, and will be made only by Tom himself. A beer and wine license is in the works. Hours will be 11am-9pm daily (last pies come out at 9pm, and then they’ll sell until 10pm or whenever they sell out). In fitting with the purist nature of the thing, it will be cash only. 3104 24th St. at Folsom, 415-824-1840.
MISSION COMMUNITY MARKET is back, every Thursday starting this January 23rd, from 4pm-8pm. The market has moved just around the corner to 22nd Street between Bartlett and Mission while construction continues on Bartlett. Vendors include brand-new Minnie Bell’s Soul Movement, Marla Bakery, and Blue House Farm. And did you know that even though the market can only allow service dogs, they’ll keep an eye on your well-behaved pooch at their doggie valet while you shop? It’s the best. 22nd St. between Mission and Bartlett.
A name has been revealed for Traci Des Jardins’ new restaurant in conjunction with the Presidio Trust that’s due to open this spring: THE COMMISSARY, paying homage to the Presidio’s military history. The menu will be Californian with Spanish inspiration, with local seafood and ingredients from the farmers and ranchers of nearby Marin and Sonoma counties. The restaurant is opening on the first floor of a former barracks that dates back to 1895, at 101 Montgomery Street, and how convenient, it’ll be in the former barracks mess hall. Look for a simple and pared-down design: there will be salvaged Douglas fir tabletops, an open kitchen, a bar serving coffee in the day and cocktails at night, a private dining room, and a retail wine and grab-and-go area.
Chef Jonnatan Leiva (previously Jack Falstaff) is returning from some stints in New York over the past few years to open a place in San Francisco, with a working title of BAY CUISINE & COCKTAILS. Scoop mentions he is still looking for a location; his partners in the business are Khalid Lahlou (Dixie) and Chris Wright. Updates when I hear ‘em.
Tidbits: Estela's Sandwich Shop Now Open in Lower Haight, King of Thai No Longer Royal, Maneelap Srimongkoun Opens
It looks like famed Lower Haight sandwich joint ESTELA’S has joined Three Twins Ice Cream in rising from the ashes. Haighteration reports that Estela’s reopened Monday January 20th, after closing due to a fire in September 2011. They’ve opened a location in Nob Hill in the meantime, but always planned to return to their original location. Fans of their fresh sandwiches (including many vegetarians) will be very happy to hear they are back in biz! Hours are Mon-Thu 7am-5pm and Fri-Sat 7am-4pm. Congratulations! 250 Fillmore St. at Haight, 415-553-6068.
The Richmond Blog caught a (royal) mystery at KING OF THAI NOODLE on Clement. Apparently, both restaurants in the Inner Richmond have had the “King” scrubbed from their signage and now read simply “Thai Noodle.” No word on what happened to the “King,” but some speculating on Chowhound suggests that perhaps there is an issue with so many King of Thai places around town. We’re thinking maybe they’ve been renamed as the less-glamorous “Midlevel-Lord-by-Marriage of Thai.” 639 Clement at 8th Ave., 415-752-5198; and 346 Clement at 5th Ave., 415-831-9953.
Chowhounder soupçon reports that there is a new Laotian spot in the Excelsior, MANEELAP SRIMONGKOUN. The new spot is family-run by two sisters-in-law, and Full Noodle Frontity has some in-depth information on the menu offerings. Hours are daily 11am-3pm and 5pm-10pm, and delivery is available within a two-mile radius. 4995 Mission St. at Italy, 415-347-7755.
Here’s another food truck pod: G FOOD LOUNGE in SoMa is now open, including at breakfast, with a variety of food trucks on their schedule. The space offers seating at tables and couches for more than 100 people, and beer and wine will be added soon. The food trucks in attendance will vary; take a look at each day’s schedule here. Hours are Mon-Fri 7am-9pm. 431 2nd St. at Stillman, 415-894-9686.
And now for a little CUESA news: executive director Dave Stockdale has decided to leave the organization after nine years. His last day will be February 5th; a search committee helmed by board vice president Cathy Curtis will look for a replacement. In the meantime, director of operations Dexter Carmichael will serve as interim director.
As previously reported in tablehopper, beloved institution JOE’S OF WESTLAKE is closing, and will be reopened in 2015 by new owners John Duggan and his family, of Original Joe’s. The restaurant will close its doors on Sunday January 26th, though apparently employees will be protesting the closure, citing lack of severance pay or any post-closure assistance, according to San Francisco Business Times. 11 Glenwood Ave. at Lake Merced, Daly City, 650-755-7400.
According to posts on Chowhound and Yelp, Japantown sushi restaurant SUSHI AKA TOMBO has closed. No word on who might be moving in or a new location for the restaurant. 1737 Buchanan St. at Sutter, 415-674-1984.
Eddie Lau (Dux pop-up, The Summit, Poleng Lounge, Orson) is hosting a pop-up dinner with Luis Villavelazquez (Les Éléments Patisserie) called Fortress: Solitude & SF. It will be held on Sunday February 9th at 20TH CENTURY CAFE with two seatings at 6:30pm and 8:30pm. If you attended Lau’s previous Dux dinners, you’ll know it’s a casually coursed meal—check out a sneak peek of the menu here (subject to change), which includes Dux poutine, vadouvan curry and Dungeness on capellini, and a black truffle, burnt cinnamon, and cocoa nib dessert. It’s pretty dang affordable at $60 (gratuity included); beverage pairings $20. Get tickets here.
The Stag Dining duo (Jordan Grosser and Ted Fleury) is back, with more skeet shooting (pull!) and a really tasty-sounding multicourse menu, with dishes like brassicas (hazelnut, uni, fried nettle, crème fraîche, sweet herbs, Chinese boar sausage) and smoked duck breast with turnips and their greens, bourbon jus, and puffed grains. Saturday February 1st, $125, tickets here.
There’s quite the lineup of events this coming week at NAKED KITCHEN, including dinner with Sous Beurre Kitchen (with a preview of dishes at the upcoming restaurant), supper with Mullen & Smith, and brunch with Ante Meridian. Prices and times vary, check the site!
Lastly, the Dishcrawl folks are hosting a Mishcrawl on Tuesday February 11th, $45. You’ll visit several local restaurants back-to-back, and each restaurant serves multiple small bite/tapas-style dishes. The restaurants you’ll be visiting are a secret, vewy mystewious.
The Lunar New Year is Friday January 31st, and here are a few ways to celebrate (obviously all of them involve eating). First up, welcome Chinese New Year at FANG RESTAURANT on the eve of the new year, Thursday January 30th. Chef Kathy Fang will be serving a special menu from 11am-10pm, including dishes like radish cakes with plum sauce and sesame dressing (which represents growth), or eight-treasure salad (for prosperity). 660 Howard St. at 3rd St., 415-777-8568.
Catch a Vietnamese lunar new year brunch with Rice Paper Scissors at their new home, BRICK AND MORTAR, on Saturday February 1st. From 11am-3pm they’ll be serving a variety of traditional dishes, including mooncakes and sticky rice cakes. Note that it’s cash only. 1710 Mission St. at Valencia, 415-878-6657.
HAKKASAN will be offering a special Chinese New Year menu from Wednesday January 29th-Saturday February 8th. The special options, which include both small plates and entrées, will be available à la carte in addition to the regular menu. Look for stewed pork trotters with black moss, braised Chinese cabbage, and Teochew-style sea snapper with salted plum (a fantastic dish); here’s the menu. Reservations are recommended.
For a group dinner, be sure to check out M.Y. CHINA, where you can choose from two banquet dinners, the Treasure Island (which includes stir-fried lobster and jasmine tea-smoked seabass) or the Fisherman’s Wharf (kung pao crab, mmmmm), for groups of five or ten, or prix-fixe dinners for two, which include roasted Peking duck, two ways. Check out all the menus here; they’re available Saturday January 25th-Friday February 21st, and many dishes are also available à la carte.
At E&O ASIAN KITCHEN, chef Sharon Nahm will be serving a variety of dishes to inspire prosperity and joy, along with some special cocktails, from January 31st-February 16th. All the menu items will be served à la carte, including a whole crispy fish with citrus glaze, scallions, and ginger, or the steamed buns with roast duck and pickled mango. They’re also offering a selection of cocktails, including the Green Horse, with green tea-infused gin, ginger, and lime. Check out all the special dishes and cocktails right here. 314 Sutter St. at Grant, 415-693-0303.
For a more hands-on experience, check out this KIMCHI DUMPLING CLASS with Sinto Gourmet. You’ll get to learn the Korean tradition of kimchi dumpling soup-making, all while drinking Mae-Sil Ju (plum wine) and sampling mung bean pancake. At the end, you’ll sit down to enjoy the soup, followed by dessert punch. The class is on Saturday February 1st from 5pm-8:30pm and tickets are $38 per person. 1760 Cesar Chavez St. #H at Missouri.
M.Y. China - Westfield San Francisco Centre, 845 Market St., 4th Fl., San Francisco - 415-580-3001
The folks at CATHEAD’S BBQ will be celebrating their second year anniversary on Saturday January 25th by hosting San Francisco’s first annual Rib-Off. The competitors include Baby Blues BBQ, The Galley, Good Foods Catering, and The Boneyard. For $20, you’ll get a sampling of each competitor’s ribs with a side, a 101 North Brewing Co. beer or nonalcoholic beverage, and a raffle ticket. There will also be CatHead biscuit-eating contests throughout the event, plus tunes by The Pot House Shindies. The event runs 1pm-6pm (with snacks by CatHead’s BBQ), with the Rib-Off running 3pm-5pm—the winner will be announced at 6pm. Tickets here. A portion of ticket sales will be donated to Saving Grace Rescue. 1665 Folsom St. at 12th St., 415-861-4242.
The annual bollito misto extravaganza is hitting POGGIO in Sausalito this month. Starting Monday January 27th, the traditional bollito misto cart will make its rounds at the restaurant, serving a variety of meats, including oxtail, brisket, and cotechino sausage. All the meats are simmered in a rich broth and carved tableside, along with a selection of sauces. Meats are available for $19 per person at dinner every day until Sunday February 9th.
Poggio - 777 Bridgeway Sausalito - 415-332-7771
My friend who lives in the neighborhood let me know that BREADS OF INDIA has reopened in Berkeley after a fire in 2012, and this report from Berkeleyside Nosh confirms it. Their many fans will be glad to get back to sampling their daily specials, breads, and curries. Hours are daily 11:30am-2:30pm and 5:30pm-9:30pm.
Nosh also caught the news that Berkeley’s LE PETIT CHEVAL has been replaced by CHENGDU STYLE RESTAURANT. The new spot is serving Chengdu- and Szechuan-syle dishes at lunch and dinner, and the initial Yelp reports are positive, if brief. Le Cheval’s locations in Oakland and Walnut Creek remain open. 2600 Bancroft Way at Bowditch, 510-704-8018.
FORGE is celebrating their first anniversary on Thursday January 30th with (what else?) pizza at their Jack London Square location. Happy Hour specials will be available all day, and you can get free pizza from 4pm-5pm. There will also be some festive live music from 7pm-11pm. 66 Franklin St. at Water, Oakland. 510-268-3200.
FoodieTV is a free app for iPhone and iPad that celebrates the story behind the food with five bite-sized videos handpicked every week—each an ode to the passionate work of a farmer, forager, or chef.
Every Wednesday, the app showcases a carefully chosen handful of beautifully produced videos that transport you around the world.
Check out the story of an Australian hunter-gatherer who builds his own cold smokehouse, a Swedish tattoo artist who unleashes a movement when he opens a taco truck on the streets of Stockholm, and a rural French pharmacist who leaves it all behind to take up cheesemaking, among many other mouthwatering videos.
Download FoodieTV and journey beyond the plate.
Well hallelujah, GREAT CHINA is now serving beer and wine! Which means you can now enjoy some of owner James Yu’s awesome wine collection, cheers to that. 2190 Bancroft Way at Fulton, Berkeley, 510-843-7996.
To follow up on my earlier piece about rumored upcoming changes at JASPER’S CORNER TAP, I have received official word that Kimpton is no longer the management company for the location as of January 30th, and a new ownership company, Access Hotels & Resorts, is taking over. Jasper’s will stay open, and current Kimpton employees have the opportunity to stay and interview with the new management company.
One employee who won’t be staying is bar manager Kevin Diedrich, whose last bar shift will be Friday January 24th. He said, “It was a matter of time. I built this place and concepted it, but didn’t plan on being there forever.” He is leaving Kimpton on good terms, and for now is going to take a break, relax, regroup, and pick up a few shifts around town—he’s excited to get back to just bartending and not managing for a bit. Be sure to swing by and say thanks to Kevin for all the great drinks for the past two-plus years at the party they’re throwing on Friday evening. I’ll keep you updated on what’s next for this talented barman.
Jasper's Corner Tap - 401 Taylor St. San Francisco - 415-775-7979
Suds are taking this town by storm, and SF BEER WEEK is just around the corner to help you celebrate. Beer Week itself runs from Friday February 7th-Sunday February 16th, and there are all kinds of events all over the Bay Area.
Options include special events like the whiskey train, which involves riding a streetcar while trying barrel-aged brews and whiskey; beer dinners including one with Homestead and Trappist in Oakland; and tastings at spots like Blackbird.The full lineup of events can be found here, along with details on tickets and reservations. And if you can’t make it to any events, be sure to swing by Dynamo Donut for beer donuts from Almanac. Uh-huh.
Looking to get yourself primed and ready before February? Head to a special beer and cheese pairing from Janet Fletcher on Saturday January 25th from 2pm-4pm. Fletcher, local author of the recently released Cheese & Beer, will lead attendees in a tasting and pairing of (what else?) beer and cheese. The book will be available for purchase and signing. Tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased by email or calling 415-333-5557. Purcell Murray Culinary Showroom and Amphitheatre, 185 Park Ln. at Valley, Brisbane. 415-333-5557.
Saturday Jan 25, 2014 2pm-4pm $50 more info
Beyond Bubbie's Kitchen: a Celebration of Mothers, Grandmothers, and Food at JCCSF April 1st (Submit Your Stories Now!)
Tuesday Apr 1, 2014 7pm $30 (10 percent off for members) Jewish Community Center 3200 California St. at Presidio
On Tuesday April 1st, join the JCCSF for an evening of honoring the grandmothers, mothers, and other beloved relatives who shaped our tastes. Beyond Bubbie will be emceed by Joey Altman, and panelists include Craig Stoll, Traci Des Jardins, and, that’s right: the tablehopper will be a panelist too. Audience members are encouraged to submit one-minute stories of their own, with a beginning, middle, and end. Photos of grandparents, especially those in the kitchen, will be given special consideration. Submit all stories here no later than March 1st.
The event is Tuesday April 1st at 7pm, and tickets are $30 per person (10 percent off for JCCSF members). 3200 California St. at Presidio, 415-292-1200.