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Jan 12, 2015 17 min read

January 13, 2015 - This week's tablehopper: jook joint.

January 13, 2015 - This week's tablehopper: jook joint.
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This week's tablehopper: jook joint.                    

Today’s lunch at home: jook by Trilogi and barrel-aged sriracha by Sosu. Photo: ©

Hey there, ho there, hi there. Yours truly is a bit under the weather today. I managed to pick up someone’s nasty bug over the weekend, here’s hoping I squash it quickly. (I think this jook and sriracha will help.) Because next Wednesday, I’m going to be heading to Hong Kong for my first time (!!), a weeklong dream trip. As always, I would love to hear any of your recos of your favorite HK restaurants, bars, shops, and places; thanks for any tips, fabulous readers! It’s a pretty packed itinerary, but as I like to say, more is more. There will be dim sum.

On Sunday I visited the Winter Fancy Food Show (as did thousands of others); I wrote a recap of some of the fun products I found in today’s column. More on the trend side of things, here’s a piece in The Bold Italic about what’s coming in 2015 that I just contributed to as well.

In case you missed this on Friday (with my review of Pink Zebra), here’s my roundup of five new places to eat at now on, and I also contributed six dishes to this Eat This Now: 12 must-try dishes in SF right now” piece on Blackboard Eats.

We’ll see you again on Friday. Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)

Greg Mindel's Neighbor Bakehouse Now Open in Dogpatch


Neighbor Bakehouse from the outside. Photo from Instagram.


Chocolate claws and savory tarts at Neighbor Bakehouse. Photo from Instagram.

Fans of the superlative baked goods by Neighbor at cafés around town will be thrilled to know owner-baker Greg Mindel has moved into new digs in Dogpatch, giving him enough room to have a walk-up shop now! Meet NEIGHBOR BAKEHOUSE, now in the AIC (American Industrial Center) on 3rd Street.

There’s a full exhibition kitchen, so you can take a peek at their process while you make some hard decisions on what to order. There will be his croissants, of course (oh, that twice-baked pistachio-blackberry one), savory tarts, and look for cookies, scones, and muffins coming soon. And there will be bread, which is in short supply in the neighborhood since there’s no grocery store. Mindel is also going to eventually add a pastry case, offering some European and American selections, too, including carrot cake and a chocolate layer cake. He also mentioned that sandwiches, salads, and some grab-and-go options are in the works as well, which will extend business hours.

There’s coffee service from De La Paz, so you can get espresso and drip, and look for a dedicated coffee window to come soon. While there isn’t room for seating inside, there are some picnic tables outside. Hours for now are Mon-Sat 6:30am-11:30am or so. Mindel says  the best selection will be at 7am, and they are doing multiple bakes throughout the morning so people can eat the just-baked goods—he said it makes him happy to be able to offer that unique experience. Yeah, hot, fresh-out-of-the-oven croissants, is there anything better? 2343 3rd St., Suite 100, at 20th St.

Details on Trestle, a New Restaurant from the Stones Throw and Fat Angel Crews


The exterior of Great Hunan (located in a 1911 building) that is the future home of Trestle. Image via Google.

Back in October, we reported that some ABC license activity pointed to a new project from Stones Throw’s Ryan Cole and Jason Kirmse (also of Fat Angel) going into the Great Hunan space in Jackson Square.

The team has now released some information about their forthcoming project, TRESTLE. The Hi Neighbor group, the newly established San Francisco-based restaurant group behind Fat Angel and Stones Throw, is behind the project, which includes the aforementioned Ryan Cole and Jason Kirmse, plus Cyrick Hia, Tai Ricci, and executive chef Jason Halverson.

The daily-changing menu will focus on elevated interpretations of comfort cuisine, and the format will be a three-course prix-fixe for $35, with an option to add additional courses for $10 each. As for the name, the press release explains that a trestle is “defined as one of the earliest interpretations of a dining room table.” Dinner will be served nightly. We’ll have more details to share on the 49-seat space in the coming weeks. The targeted opening is late March 2015. 531 Jackson St. at Columbus.

Chef Moves and News: Verbena, Marla Bakery, Range


The interior at Verbena. Photo by Carmen Troesser.

We were sorry to read in Scoop that one of our favorite chefs, Sean Baker, is leaving VERBENA, where he is also a partner. He’ll be transitioning out of the restaurant over the next couple of months, apparently, while he ramps up for a new project and the restaurant finds a new chef. No details are available about the cause of the split, but it is certainly a shame for those of us who loved Baker’s food there. We can’t wait to hear (and try) where the talented Baker goes next, and we’ll see what talent moves into the Verbena kitchen.

MARLA BAKERY has a new chef de cuisine, Duncan Holmes, previously of Sons & Daughters. He will be working on daily changing menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and in true San Francisco style, he is committed to using seasonal, local ingredients. He’ll also be working on their family-style Sunday suppers, which will be happening on a monthly basis. Stay tuned for more on that soon. 3619 Balboa St. at 37th Ave., 415-742-4379.

It looks like RANGE will be returning to its roots later this month. According to Scoop, chef Rachel Sillcocks will be leaving on January 18th to work on her own projects, and owner and original chef Phil West will take over in the kitchen. Look for many of his classics, including the famed coffee-rubbed pork shoulder on the menu. 842 Valencia St. at 19th St., 415-282-8283.

Upcoming Openings: Myriad Gastropub, VeganBurg, BDK Restaurant & Bar


A burger from VeganBurg. Photo from Facebook.

We’ve been waiting for final details on the one for a while, and can now confirm: Trish Tracey of Ramblas and Thirsty Bear will be opening her restaurant, MYRIAD GASTROPUB, in the recently closed Nombe in the Mission. They’ve begun the process of securing permits, the liquor license, and staffing, and hope to open this summer. 2491 Mission St. at 21st St.

Hoodline reports that Haight Street is getting a new option for vegan eaters, in the form of VEGANBURG. The Singapore-based chain is moving into the long-vacant former All You Knead space, and this marks its first venture in the United States. Their menu lists a variety of burgers, all completely vegan, with lots of different toppings and patty options, plus vegan desserts and sides. 1466 Haight St. at Ashbury.

The Kimpton Group has a new restaurant moving into the former Grand Cafe space in the Hotel Monaco in March, called BDK RESTAURANT & BAR. It will be an American-style tavern, with approachable food and drinks, and focused on hospitality (it’s named after Kimpton’s founder, Bill Drennon Kimpton). 501 Geary St. at Taylor, 415-292-0101.

Tidbits: Cotogna Pops Up at FOG, Charin's New Location, Tadu Ethiopian Kitchen, Cioppino Sundays at Bar Agricole


Quince’s fresh pasta hanging at the 21POP display, complete with a wood stove, at 2014’s FOG. Photo: ©

This week is the second annual FOG Design+Art fair (January 15th-18th) at the Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion, with more contemporary and modern design and art than you’ll know what to do with. There are a variety of talks, conversations, presentations, films, and more, and there will also be some pop-up dining options from Cotogna and Jane Coffee Lounge (serving baked goods, sandwiches, and Stumptown Coffee and Red Blossom Tea, local wines, and more). Cotogna’s Michael and Lindsay Tusk have created a pop-up/sit-down restaurant, with communal seating and a menu that includes a mozzarella antipasti bar, soups and salads, sandwiches, agnolotti dal plin, and Tuscan fried chicken. Oh yeah, and French Onion Gruyère soup (get it, FOG). Open 11:30am until closing. Tickets for the FOG Design+Art fair are $15 online and $20 at the door. Fort Mason Festival Pavilion.

CHARIN, the haute pop-up from Charles-C Onyeama we told you about in July and August, has landed a permanent home at Stable Cafe. The pop-ups will still be happening every three or four weeks, with seating for 34 diners per evening. Dinner will be $95 per person, not including wine pairings, and the next dinner will be on Sunday January 25th and Monday January 26th. To stay on top of upcoming dinners and menus, join their mailing list. 2128 Folsom St. at 17th St.

A new Ethiopian restaurant has opened in the Tenderloin, called TADU ETHIOPIAN KITCHEN. Early Yelp reports are positive, with mentions of friendly service, vegetarian-friendly platters, and even an option for gluten-free injera. Hours are daily 11:30am-9pm. 484 Ellis St. at Leavenworth, 415-409-6649.

Fans of one of our finest local specialties (that would be crab cioppino, duh) will want to head over to BAR AGRICOLE on Sundays for chef Melissa Reitz’s special cioppino nights (while local Dungeness crab season lasts). For $50, you’ll get a salad, cioppino, and dessert, and the service fee is included in that price, FYI, so don’t be crabby.

Bar Agricole            - 355 11th St. San Francisco - 415-355-9400

New Service: Brunch at Marlowe, Lunch at Orenchi Beyond


The dining room at Marlowe, the perfect setting for brunch. Photo by Eric Wolfinger.

On Saturday January 17th, MARLOWE will begin serving weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-2:30pm. The menu offers chef Jennifer Puccio’s seasonal take on classic American dishes, including tomato-baked eggs with lamb, chickpeas, artichokes, Swiss chard, and yogurt, or French toast soldiers with vanilla bean crème anglaise and caramel dipping sauce. Take a look at the brunch menu here. And remember, their new location has a full liquor license, which means brunch cocktails like the Marlowe Reviver with Solerno blood orange, lemon, Fernet-Branca, and prosecco. Here are all the boozy options.

Mission ramen hot spot ORENCHI BEYOND will begin serving lunch Tuesday through Sunday starting Saturday January 17th, according to Eater. They’ll be open from 11:30am-1:30pm, which should hopefully help alleviate some of the crazy evening lines to get a bowl o’ noodles. 174 Valencia St. at 14th St.

Marlowe            - 500 Brannan St. San Francisco - 415-777-1413

Closures and Changes: Osha Thai and Lark Creek Restaurant Group


Osha Thai on Union Street. Photo from Facebook.

According to a post on their Facebook page, the Union Street location of OSHA THAI closed on Sunday January 11th. Their other (many) locations are still in operation, though. 2033 Union St. at Buchanan.

Some big changes in the Lark Creek Restaurant Group: Moana Restaurant Group (which has Piatti, Sonoma’s El Dorado Kitchen, Milf Valley’s Molina, and other restaurants in its portfolio) has now taken over the management of nine of Lark Creek’s restaurants: Lark Creek Steak and Cupola Pizzeria in San Francisco; Lark Creek Walnut Creek; Yankee Pier in Lafayette and at Terminal 3 San Francisco International Airport; Parcel 104 at the Santa Clara Marriott; Lark Creek Grill at Terminal 2 San Francisco International Airport; Lark Creek Blue at Santana Row in San Jose; and Lark Creek Newport Beach. Moana will also be handling the marketing for One Market, but the restaurant will remain independent.

Moana CEO Tim Harmon and President Jon Swanson will continue to work with Lark Creek’s CEO Michael Dellar on the direction of the Lark Creek restaurants as well as the reconcepting of Fish Story in Napa, which will debut in the spring (more to come on that front soon).

I Came, I Saw, I Ate: A Report from the Winter Fancy Food Show


Domestic ‘nduja. Photo: ©


Fileja Calabresi from Bella Italia. Photo: ©


Savory yogurts from Blue Hill. Photo: ©


Grady’s cold brew. Photo: ©

On Sunday I hit up the Winter Fancy Food Show, which is always a staggering undertaking, with more than 80,000 international food and beverage products displayed in both the north and south halls of Moscone. I only had one afternoon, so I surfed the aisles and cut through the crowds like a fast shark, looking for obvious prey. A few products I enjoyed sinking my teeth into were:

  • The new/about-to-be-released sriracha potato chips (using sriracha “rooster sauce” from Huy Fong Foods), and they’re also releasing a sriracha seasoning (deviled eggs and popcorn will never be the same). And you know about their sriracha popcorn they made with Pop! Popcorn, right?
  • This was kind of mind-blowing: there’s a new buffalo mozzarella made in the U.S., but using milk from water buffalo in Campania. I. KNOW. Angelo + Franco will also be selling the milk soon in small frozen 500-ml blocks (or more)—your mozzarella-making at home, or ice cream, or whatever, is gonna have a whole new level of game.
  • The salumi from New York’s Charlito’s Cocina were new to me—especially enjoyed the dry beer salami and chorizo.
  • Always good to taste the cured meat products from Daniele, Inc.—they do an excellent domestic prosciutto.
  • Holy crap, I saw the biggest chub of ‘nduja at the Lettieri & Co. booth. It’s from ‘Nduja Artisans in Chicago, and this very authentic spicy spreadable pork from the heavens is actually available at The Pasta Shop, and hallelujah, this product isn’t sold in a jar. Bonus: the pork is hormone-free.
  • Also on the Calabria tip: I discovered this line of pasta called Bella Italia, which offers a regional line of pasta shapes, including fileja Calabresi. I couldn’t believe it. They also had cicatelli Molisani, busiate Trapanesi, and more. Not sure who carries this line locally, but it was cool to see!
  • Oh man, someone needs to pick up this line of mustards by Domaine des Terres Rouges imported by HPS Epicurean—their absinthe mustard was beautiful, and I would totally find many uses for their tandoori mustard (it made me want to make an Indian mustard chicken with it). While I typically like a hotter mustard, these had an appealing delicacy and balance. And fortunately they sell them on Amazon (until someone local picks them up).
  • While visiting the HPS Epicurean booth, it was great to see Victoria D’Amato-Moran and preview her new (and complex) line of Cent’Anni Spirit Syrups, coming soon to BevMo and Dean & DeLuca.
  • The enthusiastic guy manning the Pollen Ranch booth—which features hand-harvested pollen—got me hooked on their dill pollen. This stuff is so fragrant (my purse smelled like the small sample they gave me all day), and they have a whole line of fennel-based products, rubs, and salts.
  • I love kefir, and Sierra Nevada Cheese Company has added this new release to their line of grass-fed milk products, plus there’s grass-fed Greek yogurt too.
  • Also on the yogurt side, I tried savory yogurts (tomato, sweet potato, butternut squash) from Blue Hill. I dislike sugary fruity yogurts, so these were kind of rad.
  • No one let me have the Red Clay containers of pimento cheese in my house, they’d barely last a day. I’d spread it on everything. DANGEROUS. Bonus: they use rBGH-/rBST-free cheeses.
  • Of course had to taste some of the products in the new Nancy’s Fancy line: gelati and sorbetti from LA’s Nancy Silverton. Sadly they weren’t sampling the trademark butterscotch budino flavor, but the coconut stracciatella was mighty tasty, ditto the chunky salted peanut butter—both had great mouthfeel.
  • The show was totally dominated with ice creams. Additional shout-outs to the Intelligentsia Black Cat espresso from Jeni’s, and strawberry balsamic sorbetto from the Maine-based Gelato Fiasco (their espresso chip was also notable). The inventive flavors from Brooklyn-based Phin & Phebes were awesome (ginger ice cream with ginger cookies with lemon icing filling, and banana pudding ice cream with vanilla wafers, whut?). Oh yeah, and St. Benoit (of the fantastic yogurt) is now making boxed ice milk.
  • These tins from Grady’s contain tea bags of cold-brew coffee that you can just throw into a pitcher of water and have New Orleans-style cold brew 12 hours later! So ingenious. Great flavor. I’m all over it!

Tickets for California Artisan Cheese Festival on Sale Now


So much cheese. Photo courtesy Artisan Cheese Festival.

The ninth annual CALIFORNIA ARTISAN CHEESE FESTIVAL lands in Petaluma on March 20th-22nd, with lots of fun cheesy activities including farm tours (these sell out quickly!), seminars on topics like cheesemaking and cheese and beverage pairings, and the not-to-be-missed tent tastings. Each of the activities offers an opportunity to try out great local cheeses, talk to the farmers and makers who create them, and learn about even more ways to enjoy cheese in your daily life. Because more is more.

A full schedule of activities can be found here, and tickets can be bought here. Details vary per event, but ticket prices begin at $45 and most events take place at the Sheraton Sonoma County. 745 Baywood Dr. at Marina, Petaluma.

               Friday Mar 20, 2015 – Sunday Mar 22, 2015 Varies Varies more info

510 News: Deep Roots Wine Bar Opens, Dinner at Liba Falafel, TrueBurger Open, More


The colorful salads at Liba Falafel. Photo from Facebook.

The latest project in Swan’s Marketplace has arrived. As we previously reported, it’s an extension of Periscope Cellars from Brendan Eliason, and offers a wine bar called DEEP ROOTS WINE BAR alongside HEN HOUSE, the food side of the operation from Celeste Cooper and Ally Lopez (reported in Scoop). On the regularly changing menu you’ll find a small selection of pizzas, salads, and a heartier daily dish. As for drinks, they’ve got wine, low-alcohol cocktails, and Hamm’s (and only Hamm’s) for beer. Hours are lunch Wed-Fri 11:30am-3pm, dinner Wed-Sat 5pm-9pm, and brunch Sat 10:30am-3pm. 907 Washington St. at 9th St., Oakland, 510-229-4399.

LIBA FALAFEL’s brick-and-mortar location is now open for dinner from 5pm-8pm Monday through Friday, according to a post on their Facebook page. They’ll be serving their usual incredible array of seasonal salads and toppings, get it! 380 17th St. at Webster, Oakland, 415-806-5422.

We’ve been tracking on Facebook the second location of TRUEBURGER on Broadway in Oakland and it looks like it’s now open. The menu offers a basic selection of burgers, including a vegetarian mushroom option, plus fries and milk shakes with various mix-ins. Hours are Tue-Sat 11am-3pm, with dinner hours coming soon. 4101 Broadway at 41st St., 510-883-8808.

ABC license activity and Yelp reports are saying that neighborhood fixture TAIWAN RESTAURANT in Berkeley is closing. 2071 University Ave. at Shattuck, 510-845-1456.


the sponsor

This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)

(Sponsored): Make Your Reservations Today for SF Restaurant Week

SF Restaurant Week returns January 21st-30th, 2015, with 100-plus restaurants offering specially priced menus. Diners can enjoy meals offered in three menu formats:

$25 two-course lunch $40 three-course dinner

New this year: $85 “Discovery” tasting menu that includes food and beverage pairings available at select restaurants.

Check out this year’s lineup of participating restaurants, preview the menus, and make your reservations today.

Brand-new for the program this year is a charity partnership with the SF-Marin Food Bank. OpenTable will donate $0.25 from each cover sold through reservations to that fantastic organization.

Get social: RSVP to the Facebook event page and get trending with #SFRW.

It’s time to celebrate in the best city that loves a great meal!

the lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)

Closures: Supperclub, The Addition


The exterior of The Addition. Photo from Yelp.

Quirky nightclub/restaurant/bar/venue SUPPERCLUB is serving its last dinner on Friday January 23rd, Scoop reports. On Sunday January 25th, they’ll be throwing an “everything must go party” from 2pm-2am, for these wanting to say good-bye in (in)appropriate style. The club will continue, though, in pop-up form, around the city, check the calendar for details. 657 Harrison St. at 3rd St., 415-348-0900.

It looks like THE ADDITION, or the artist formerly known as Yoshi’s, is closing once and for all. The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that the Fillmore Live Entertainment Group has been trying to revive the location, which opened in 2007, but its financial commitments have been too burdensome. It will close January 14th, but they are hoping a new partner will step in yet again to try and breathe some life into the location. 1330 Fillmore St. at Eddy.

Beverage Bits: Buffalo Club Opens, Tastings at Les Clos, Winter Cocktails Event, Boxing Room's New Cocktail List


The disco ball buffalo head at Buffalo Club. Photo courtesy Buffalo Club.


The bar (and groovy stools) at Les Clos. Photo courtesy of Les Clos.

As we reported last month, the team behind Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem and Tonic has a new bar and restaurant in the Mission, in the former Specchio space. It’s called BUFFALO CLUB and is serving classic cocktails, beer, and wine along with an Italian-inspired menu of pizza, salads, and snacks. Here’s the opening menu, but some additional snacks and pizzas will be available in the next few weeks. You can also peek at the drink list right here. Hours are daily 5pm-2am, with the kitchen open until 1am daily. 2331 Mission St. at 19th St., no phone yet.

This is a fantastic way to try new wines: LES CLOS, the new wine bar from sommeliers Mark Bright and Cara Patricia, is now offering weekly Saturday afternoon wine tastings. Every Saturday from 3pm-5pm, beginning January 17th, guests can try four to six different pours for a tasting fee of $10 per person. Each week will have a different theme, starting with wines from Italy and followed by pinot noirs from around the world. The highlighted bottles will be offered at a discounted price the day of the tasting too. Walk-ins at the bar only. 234 Townsend St. at Lusk, 415-795-1422.

The seasonal Cocktails of the Farmers Market series at the Ferry Building continues with winter’s installment, Jazz on the Rocks on Wednesday February 4th from 5:30pm-8pm. The event is a partnership with SFJAZZ, CUESA, and the local chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild, and offers seasonal cocktails from 17 local bartenders, all inspired by the bounty of the farmers’ market.

The theme this time is all things jazzy, with the appropriate soundtrack, of course, and participants include Shirley Brooks (The European), Tony Devencenzi and Suzie Robinson (Novela), and Ian Adams (15 Romolo). Seven chefs will be providing snacks, as well, including the likes of Preeti Mistry (Juhu Beach Club) and Josh Even (Tosca Cafe). Tickets are $50 per person and include three full-size drinks and unlimited sample-size drinks and bites. 1 Ferry Plaza at Embarcadero.

Great news: BOXING ROOM will be launching their cocktail list with their brand-new liquor license on Friday February 6th, which we mentioned was in the works not too long ago. Jonny Raglin, who developed the list, says it’s all about classic and straightforward New Orleans cocktails, spanning from the Sazerac to the Hurricane. Just last night, he ran a preview at Brass Tacks, and you can take a peek at the list here. A big hit was the drive-thru daiquiri, with a blender in effect—the daiquiri and Sazerac will be running as a special in the beginning in honor of Mardi Gras season, but expect most of the drinks to hover around $10. Let the good times roll.

Boxing Room            - 399 Grove St. San Francisco - 415-430-6590


the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)

American Sharknado Bunny Zeroes in on San Francisco

Tara Reid, brave survivor of botched plastic surgery and of Sharknado, American Pie, and recent naughty Instagram fame, paid a visit to San Francisco last week. She enjoyed pizza at Zero Zero, dubbing it the best in “San Fran”, where she and her midsection posed with staff for photos. She also appears to have done some shirtless bowling at Lucky Strike. Like you do. A spy let us know that she and a friend nibbled caviar and oysters at Farallon—and if that’s all she had for dinner, it explains why she can’t keep those jeans up.

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