Sampling the house-roasted espresso and house-baked goods at Hearth Coffee Roasters in the Castro. Photo: © tablehopper.com.
San Francisco, you look so pretty today. Someone had a nice bath. And my Fiat is thankful for nature’s carwash right now, which is handy, since I will be on the road on Thursday, driving down to Pebble Beach for the hedonistic Pebble Beach Food & Wine. I’m looking forward to checking out Josh Ozersky’s Meatopia, an amazing lunch with Daniel Boulud and Dominique Crenn, and of course there will be Champagne. So much talent will be in town, from all over the country and beyond. There are still some tickets remaining for various events, including the tasting tents, maybe I’ll see you in the mix? Cheers to that.
For those of you sticking around this weekend, don’t forget Sunday is Cochon 555.
Meanwhile, in the bummer news department, our city is losing yet another media outlet: The Bold Italic announced today they are ceasing operations, immediately. Oof. Commence another “Oh, shit” from all the freelancers they hired and paid (thank you)—48hills notes the site will stay up for a couple more months, so grab your clips and stories while you can. Best wishes to all the full-time staff, I hope you land some great gigs somewhere.
Yeah, it’s tough out there. Which is why I have a favor to ask of those of you who are gmail users. As you know, the tablehopper newsletter gets placed in your “promotions” folder, but a friend told me if you drag the newsletter into your primary inbox (and click “yes”), it’ll eventually show up there. Magic! It may take a few times, but thank you for playing along and helping re-up our visibility in your mailbox.
One more thing: we won’t be posting on Friday since yours truly will be out of town, so we’ll see you next week!
Thank you for all your support. Marcia Gagliardi
Adriano Paganini’s latest project on Union Street now has a name and a chef. The Belgian brasserie has been christened BELGA, and Freedom Rains has been appointed as chef. His previous experience includes Flour + Water, Boulevard, RN74, and Incanto, and he will be bringing a California focus to the Belgian-inspired menu. The menu is all about celebrating hospitality and “conviviality” (a word that’s been turning up a lot lately), with dishes that encourage sharing, like housemade sausages cooked in the wood-fired oven, a rib-eye for two, and his takes on classics like salad Lyonnaise and moules frites.
It will all pair well with beverages, of course, with a substantial beer list of Belgian and Belgian-inspired suds selected by bar manager and cicerone Ryan Murphy (Abbot’s Cellar). There will also be cocktails from Nora Furst, also designed to pair well with food. The space and other menu details are still in development, but we’ll have a closer look soon. In the meantime, check out a rendering of the exterior and get ready for the opening in mid-May. 2000 Union St. at Buchanan.
The new spot offers an easy spot to grab a bite, coffee and espresso by Equator, pastries, and wine and beer. You’ll find salads, sandwiches, grilled burgers, pizza from the wood-burning oven in the afternoon, and breakfast items, as well as a tightly edited selection of beer and wine on tap; take a look at the menu here. There’s an outdoor patio with views, and indoor seating if it’s too breezy. Takeout is also available. Hours are Mon-Fri 7am-7pm. 215 Lincoln Blvd. at Graham, 415-561-5300.
If anyone was going to be discriminating about sushi in this town, it would be Saison chef-partner Joshua Skenes. So when he says that someone is the best sushi chef in San Francisco right now, well, it makes you curious, doesn’t it? From now until May 30th (Tuesdays through Saturdays), you can book a seat at SAISON’s eight-seat chef counter for a modern omakase experience from guest chef Jiro Lin, who worked for 11 years at Hamano Sushi in the Castro and trained extensively in Japan at Bikkuri Zuzhi and Maguro Hanamigawa. Josh invited chef Jiro to be a guest chef because of his love of sushi, and he really respects chef Jiro’s craft. Match that with Saison’s impeccable ingredient sourcing, and it’s sure to be a special meal.
The menu changes daily but a typical meal will include an appetizer (like golden caviar), a clear soup made from ichiban dashi, a tsukemono course of Japanese pickles, and then as many courses of nigiri courses as you want, from golden eye snapper to kawahagi with its liver, and then finishing with fruit and tea. Prices begin at $220 for the menu, and partner-wine director Mark Bright is offering customized beverage pairings starting at $100. Prepaid reservations can be made by calling 415-716-6008. For more info and social media links, visit the site.
You’ll also notice someone new on the floor: GM Alicia Boyes, previously at Per Se for seven years. Interestingly, she is the only female general manager of a three-star Michelin-rated restaurant in North America. (Change always starts with one.)
Saison - 178 Townsend St. San Francisco - 415-828-7990
Fans of chef Yoni Levy’s cooking will be sorry to hear he has departed ALTA CA—he helped open the restaurant. His next step: consulting. Scoop reports his sous chef, David Goody, will be taking over for Levy; he was at Morimoto before coming to Alta CA.
Alta CA - 1420 Market St. San Francisco - 415-590.2585
The Inner Richmond has a new bakery, called ARSICAULT BAKERY. It’s owned by baker Armando Lacayo, and the specialty is authentic, French-style croissants and other pastries. They have several kinds of croissants, including plain, almond, and ham and cheese, along with scones, palmiers, and kouign amann. They officially opened last week and apparently sold out of goodies over the weekend! They are also serving Equator coffee, and have an espresso machine coming soon. In the coming months, also look for some additional “cold” pastries, like seasonal fruit tarts. Hours are Mon, Wed-Sat 7am-3pm, Sun 8am-3pm, closed Tue. 397 Arguello Blvd. at Clement, 415-750-9460.
We released all the first look details about ICHI KAKIYA last week, the new oyster shop from the ICHI crew, and we wanted to let you know they are opening tonight! You can check out the menu here. Hours are the same as Ichi Sushi: Mon-Thu 5:30pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5:30pm-11pm. 3369 Mission St. at Godeus, 415-814-3877.
After walking by this location numerous times every week (it’s in my neighborhood), the plywood has come down. The Western Addition/Nopa has a new Chinese restaurant: KUNG FOOD. Owner Andy Yan tells me his family used to own Rice and Roll in Pacifica (they like puns, this family), and the chef is their uncle, who has been cooking all over the U.S. for the past 15 years. The menu is primarily Hunan and Mandarin, plus some usual suspects like walnut prawns, Mongolian beef, and let’s not forget crab Rangoon. There are also a few dim sum choices (shu mai, steamed barbecue pork buns) and some Korean-style wings too. Yan mentions the top dishes are their basil eggplant with chicken, chicken lettuce cups, and for vegetarians, their basil meatless chicken (and they will cook vegetarian dishes in separate woks or fryers on request). They have 20 seats and free delivery. Hours are Tue-Sun 11am-3pm and 5pm-9:30pm, closed Mon. 1615 McAllister St. at Divisadero, 415-673-6688.
Last month we mentioned SQUARE MEALS was opening a takeout space in the former LILAH BELLE’S on Divisadero, which is currently open Mon-Fri 11am-8pm. In addition to the salads, main dishes, soups, and more, one more vendor is on the shelves: Nucha Empanadas. The Argentine-style handmade empanadas come in all kinds of flavors, from classic beef to mushroom and cheese to some breakfast versions, like bacon and egg. You can get three for $9, and you just warm ‘em up at home. Yup, it’s the original hot pocket. (Pro tip: pay attention to which flavor is which and write it on your bag—otherwise when you get home, they will all look the same.) There are also some quiches, Argentine sauces, and alfajores. 1207 Divisadero St. at Eddy, 415-674-1069.
Back in August, we reported on OLD BUS TAVERN, a chili-and-beer restaurant opening in Bernal. We’ve got an update on the project, which comes from partners Ben Buchanan, Jimmy Simpson, John Zirinsky, and Tim Symes. They’ll be brewing their own beer (from Buchanan and Zirinsky), including a signature lemon basil saison, as well as offering cocktails. They are still in the process of finding a chef, but expect upscale pub food, with a focus on chili.
The 47-seat space is still under construction and was designed by Thomas Pippin of Lifebox Studios (who also did ICHI Sushi) and Sarah Greenwood Design (who happens to be Zirinsky’s mom, cute!). Peek at a rendering right here. The aim is to offer a comfortable, approachable space to the neighborhood, with exposed brewing equipment and dining and drinking areas to suit everyone. Right now, they plan to open in late June. In the meantime, they are also busy raising mad cash for a side project, a chili-and-beer VW bus! 3191 Mission St. at Fair.
It looks like the market trend on Market Street is continuing with another. This one is called THE MYRIAD and will be located in the Castro. Scoop notes that the partners on the project, Jordan Langer, Pete Glikshtern, and Jeff Whitmore, are working with Forest City, the building’s developer (they also operate Pier 70). The aim is to provide more than “a glorified food hall,” Langer says, which in this case means more of a small business incubator.
Hoodline nabbed some more details on what will fill out the space, and notes that there are already two businesses to anchor it. The first is a butcher shop called Gambrel & Co., which is owned by Langer and already has a location in Redwood City. They are also opening a bar called Mrs. Jones, a partner of Tenderloin bar Jones (also owned by Langer, Glikshtern, and Whitmore), which will offer cocktails made with items available at Myriad. Drink recipes will be printed on cards, if you want to purchase the ingredients to mix on your own at home.
There are 10-15 more spaces still available for other small businesses, ranging from 40-400 square feet. Rents will be $1,000-$2,400 per month, and applications are due May 1st. Tenants will be selected by June 1st. The spaces are entirely modular, which will allow businesses to expand their real estate as they grow too. 2175 Market St. at 15th St.
Ready for a serious wallop of kitsch and cuteness? You’re in luck, because the Hello Kitty Truck is coming to town to promote the HELLO KITTY CAFE, opening in Orange County later this year. We’ve been following along on Facebook since Eater broke the story.
The truck will be appearing at the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japantown on Saturday April 11th, Sunday April 12th, and again on Saturday April 18th, all from 10am-5pm. They will also be making a stop at Santana Row in San Jose on Sunday April 19th. The truck menu includes petit fours, doughnuts, and macarons, all emblazoned with Kitty’s unmistakable hair bow. Meow. Follow along on Facebook for all the details.
Baseball season is here (the Giants’ home opener is Monday April 13th), and to add on to our post last week about the new culinary options around AT&T Park, here are a few more for your consideration.
If you miss 1058 Hoagie’s big-ass hoagie, you’ll be happy to hear DELI BOARD is (re)launching their Lou Seal hoagie on opening day, packed with Genoa salami, capicola, mortadella, provolone, cherry peppers, lettuce, their house Italian dressing, housemade Shum (garlic) spread, and salt and pepper onions, all on Dutch crunch. The Lou Seal is offered for $14 on game days only, so make sure to check the schedule. And yes, you can bring it into AT&T Park. 1058 Folsom St. at Russ, 415-552-SOUP (7687).
James Syhabout (Hawker Fare, Commis, The Dock) is going to be hosting a tailgate party for the home opener on Monday April 13th at the EatWith test kitchen, which is right across from the ballpark. On the menu: oysters (see, this is a classy tailgate), West Oakland Dock po’boys, jerk-spiced chicken wings, smoked beef tri-tips with Korean BBQ lettuce-wrap garnishes and potato salad, and more. $57. The event starts at 11am, game starts at 1:35pm.
One more item: G FOOD LOUNGE, the food truck gathering spot under the 80 freeway (with seating), will be opening a beer and wine bar with some food trucks before Giants evening home games, from 5pm-7:30pm. Look for some promos, like $4 beers. 431 2nd St. at Bryant.
While Eat Drink SF won’t happen until August 20th-23rd, the organizers have launched something to tide you over: Eat Drink 365, a yearlong membership that offers insider access to quarterly events and curated food experiences, as well as other perks, like a $50 credit with Reserve and a 10 percent discount to Eat Drink SF tickets.
Yours truly has been tapped to help curate some of the events, along with folks on the advisory board like Ceri Smith (wine director of Tosca Cafe and owner of Biondivino Wine Boutique), Thomas McNaughton (executive chef and partner of Ne Timeas Restaurant Group), and Mika Takeuchi (Food Fashionista and brand ambassador for Michelin).
The launch party for Eat Drink 365 is at Natoma Cabana next Tuesday April 14th, with complimentary cocktails, beer, wine, and food from Bacon Bacon. Sign up to join the partay! Membership is $125 a year.
The third annual Food & Farm Film Fest is taking over the Roxie Theater in the Mission soon. From Friday April 17th through Sunday April 19th, catch films about food, farms, and the unique people in both worlds. The festival opens on Friday with a selection of short films, followed by an opening party at Four Barrel on Valencia. The full schedule can be found here, with highlights like East Side Sushi, about a Latina sushi chef, and The Search for General Tso. Each of the films is paired with food from a local chef, which is included in the ticket price. Most tickets are $15; the opening night program is $30. 3117 16th St. at Valencia.
Friday Apr 17, 2015 – Sunday Apr 19, 2015 Times vary Tickets start at $15 more info
We reported in January that DOPO in Oakland was going to be moving to an all-Sicilian menu and 100 percent Sicilian wine list, and now they have announced the new name: PALMENTO A DOPO. They have also eliminated tipping. Everything will be in place starting Wednesday April 15th. 4293 Piedmont Ave. at John, Oakland, 510-652-3676.
We have been tracking the opening of chef Matt Burger’s new project, GRANGE HALL, since we first mentioned it back in June 2014. After some test dinners, the place is now open in the former Barlata in Temescal, with Burger serving as executive chef and Jonathan Moon as owner (for now—the two may officially partner in the future).
The menu changes regularly, but is all about classic American dishes with a modern interpretation, and of course there’s a killer burger. They have a full liquor license, and have brought Jason Huffman (previously of Roka Akor, and an old Chicago friend of Burger’s) to run the bar. He’s stocked more than 100 different types of whiskey, if you’re into that. (Raises hand.) The cocktails are made with lots of in-house elements, including cola, tonic, bitters, and cordials. The drinks are generally old-fashioned in style and will change seasonally.
They are open until midnight six days a week, with a special late-night menu that includes a fried chicken biscuit sandwich and a Chicago-style hot dog. They plan to add Sunday brunch in mid-May (in time for Mother’s Day). Hours are Thu-Sun 11am-2:30pm and 5pm-12am, Mon-Wed 5pm-12am, closed Tue. 4901 Telegraph Ave. at 49th St., Oakland, 510-593-2376.
Great news for the MILLENNIUM crew: not only did they totally surpass their Kickstarter goal (654 backers pledged $119,003!), but chef-partner Eric Tucker and GM Alison Bagby have also secured the Box & Bells location in Oakland. They hope to open in June, stand by for updates. 5912 College Ave. at Chabot, Oakland.
In the meantime, you can attend their last Southern Comfort dinner on Wednesday April 22nd ($39.99 per person; five-course prix-fixe menu, reservations here), and Millennium’s last night in SF is on Thursday April 30th. You can make reservations now for 5:30pm-11pm; the party is $40 per person, before tax and tip, and includes passed appetizers, full bar, and live music. You will pay upon arrival.
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Last week’s news about the tragic passing of Club Deluxe and Orbit Room owner Jay Johnson was quite sad enough, and now comes even more sadness: THE ORBIT ROOM has closed its doors after 20-plus years of brightly holding down the corner of Market, Laguna, and Hermann. Hoodline says it has been sold to a new owner (no word who that is).
That bar has been like a clubhouse for so many people, especially folks in the neighborhood. I always enjoyed its eclectic crowd, Deco styling, Jay’s music playing, and I have many fond memories of craft cocktail exploration when the trailblazing Alberta Straub was there. I used to sit at the counter—witnessing a veritable thicket of fresh ingredients at the bar—and ask her all kinds of questions about booze and muddling and syrups. The pizzas were good. The cocktails were inventive and well made. Damn it, that bar rocked. (You can read this piece in The Bold Italic by another lover of the bar.) 1900 Market St. at Laguna St.
But here’s one piece of good news: that Bold Italic piece mentions that Johnson’s friends Sarah Wilde and her husband Chris Pankow are taking over the CLUB DELUXE, so the bar will live on as it was supposed to.
News of another closure via Hoodline: BARRIQUE, the Jackson Square wine bar that served wine directly out of barrique, is closing on Friday April 10th after an unmanageable rent increase (their five-year lease was up). 461 Pacific Ave. at Montgomery, 415-421-9200.
But hey, an ice bar is coming.
If you’re looking to get your wine on this weekend, check out the 11th San Francisco Vintners Market, a two-day tasting event with a range of winemakers, domestic and imported, up to 150 in all (organized by viticultural area). The hallmark of this event is that if you taste something you like, you can buy it on-site.
Buy tickets here. Use code Tablehopper for 50 percent off general admission, the Reserve Room on Saturday and Sunday, and the Cult Room on Sunday. Saturday April 11th and Sunday April 12th, 12pm-4pm. Fort Mason’s Festival Pavilion.
Next Thursday April 16th, owner Stephen Singer of Baker Lane Vineyards will be guest sommelier at FOREIGN CINEMA. The following wines will be offered at special prices by the flight or bottle during dinner service: 2007 Estate syrah, 2010 Estate syrah, 2012 Reserve pinot noir, 2012 Sonoma Coast Cuvée syrah, 2014 Estate viognier, and 2014 rosé. All the wines are made from grapes grown on Road’s End Farm in Sebastopol, located in West Sonoma County.
Foreign Cinema - 2534 Mission Street San Francisco - 415-648-7600
Celebrate the 10th anniversary of DOSA ON VALENCIA this spring, beginning Tuesday April 7th (that’s today!), with special guest bartenders. Every week, a different bartender will be in attendance, shaking up their own version of spice-driven cocktails, and toasting to Dosa’s decade in business. The bartenders and their drinks will be available as follows:
Tuesday April 7th-Saturday April 11th: Trent Simpson of La Urbana. Sunset Ashram: Mezcales de Leyenda Oaxaca Espadin, lemon juice, ginger, celery bitters, Sunset Ashram cordial.
Tuesday April 14th-Saturday April 18th: Jonny Raglin of Comstock Saloon. Bowler: pisco, mango gastrique, Hellfire bitters.
Tuesday April 21st-Saturday April 25th: Danny Louie, Chino. Mums the Word: Bombay East gin, cantaloupe, Dosa spice mix, lemon, Lipton tea, togarashi, toasted nori.
Tuesday April 28th-Thursday May 30th: Josh Harris, The Bon Vivants/Trick Dog. Tinsmith Punch: Don Q añejo rum, Ancho Reyes, Luxardo apricot liqueur, lime, Angostura bitters.
Tuesday May 5th-Saturday May 9th: Duggan McDonnell, Cantina. East India Cocktail: Encanto pisco, pineapple cordial, lime juice, aged rum, orange juice, dash of housemade bitters.
Not only is this a great way to toast Dosa and celebrate local bartenders, but $2 from every cocktail will be donated to charity. Half of the proceeds from each Tinsmith Punch will go to the Bon Vivants Charitable Event Series, which donates money to youth organizations and charter schools around the country. So you can feel good about all that fun you’re having.
It’s well established that the tablehopper is a sherry fan, and here’s another chance to try some out. GITANE will be celebrating the delicious beverage all month, with sherry punch, sherry flights, and a special cocktails for your imbibing pleasure. The sherry flight includes Hidalgo Pastrana manzanilla pasada, Elcano fino, Grant amontillado, and César Florido oloroso ($22), or try the Innkeeper’s Cup, with amontillado sherry, gin, cucumber, lemon, Bonal, and ginger beer ($10). All sherry specials will be available during evening hours during the month of April.
To dive even deeper into sherry, you can attend Gitane’s Sherry Secrets class on Saturday April 25th at 3:30pm. Wine director Sarah Knoefler will teach you all about the different kinds of sherry, and you’ll sample different varieties, along with a sherry punch. Tickets are $55 per person.
Gitane - 6 Claude Ln. San Francisco - 415-788-6686
Sunday Apr 19, 2015 5pm Tickets nearly sold out Ticket details here Fort Mason Center Marina Blvd. at Laguna
One of the most magnificent fundraising events of the year is upon us: the MEALS ON WHEELS STAR CHEFS AND VINTNERS GALA on Sunday April 19th at Fort Mason. This is the 28th annual event and is hosted once again by chair chef Nancy Oakes (Boulevard).
The evening begins at 5pm with a completely epic, over-the-top cocktail and appetizer reception, followed by a sit-down three-course dinner and auction. The evening is capped off with a dessert reception and dancing (of course, this is a party!). More than 100 local chefs will participating, including Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski (The Progress, State Bird Provisions), Michael Rotondo (Parallel 37), Evan and Sarah Rich (Rich Table), and Yigit Pura (Tout Sweet Pâtisserie), to name just a few. Check out the full, mind-boggling lineup right here.
There will also be plenty of exceptional beverages, including wines from more than 80 vintners and cocktails by the event mavens Rye on the Road, along with Steven Liles (Smuggler’s Cove) and Andrew Meltzer (15 Romolo). New this year, if you’re really interested in decadence for a cause, is the Caviar and Champagne Supplement ($3,000), which includes Dom Pérignon for tables in the upper tiers of sponsorship.
They’ve also lined up incredible silent and live auctions, with vacations, private meals with chefs, lots of wine, and more. The event is almost entirely sold out, though some tickets may still be available; check here for details. Fort Mason Center, Marina Blvd. at Laguna, 415-343-1283.
Sunday Apr 19, 2015 4pm-7pm $75 More information CCSF Statler Wing, Ocean Campus 50 Phelan Ave. at Science Cir.
City College of San Francisco’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Studies has been educating chefs and restaurateurs since 1935 and is one of the driving forces behind San Francisco’s incredible culinary scene. On Sunday April 19th you can show your support for this excellent program at their annual Wok on the Wild Side fundraiser. The evening celebrates the program’s many outstanding alumni, many of whom will be in attendance.
In addition to great food and drink, you can also bid on items in the live and silent auctions, like a butchery class, dinner for 10, Giants tickets, and lots of gift certificates to local restaurants. Tickets start at $75 per person, with additional sponsorship levels available. All proceeds benefit CCSF’s culinary programming and scholarship funds. The party takes place at CCSF’s Statler Wing on the Ocean Campus from 4pm-7pm. 50 Phelan Ave. at Science Cir.