This week's tablehopper: clicking my heels.
Celebrating sakura season with Japanese sea bream, cherry blossom, and cherry leaf at Atelier Crenn. Photo: © tablehopper.com.
It’s true, there’s no place like home. After my first three months in New York—which I have been LOVING—a girl starts to miss things like her family, friends, Bi-Rite, Golden Gate Park air scented with eucalyptus and ganja (tomorrow is 4/20, get ready), English peas and strawberries, and toast from Josey Baker.
It has been so good to be back in SF this past week, and I got so damn lucky with this weather!! What a dream to leave the jacket at home and wear open-toed shoes to dinner at Mister Jiu’s on Saturday, and ride my bike to brunch at Fiorella on Sunday. Can’t wait for the Giants day game this Thursday!
It was also a treat to see so many of you at the Meals on Wheels Star Chefs & Vintners Gala on Sunday evening. Big congrats to MOWSF for breaking yet another record and raising a whopping $3.3 million, which translates to 650,000 meals for homebound seniors in every neighborhood of San Francisco. Fantastic. The event was gorgeous, with so many flowers everywhere, and of course the crowd offered plenty of excellent people-watching.
The primary reason I came home this week was to host the tablehopper and Vinho Verde Vietnamese dinner (with Feastly) on Friday evening. Now that was a fantastic meal—chef Rob Lam crushed us, and Eugenio Jardim totally charmed us! Check out some pics here. I’ll be coming back again on June 11th to host a second one—look for an announcement soon on tablehopper.
I’m in town and furiously trying to finish this Louis Vuitton SF city guidebook research and copy (thanks coffee!) until next Monday morning, and then I’m flying up to Washington to spend some time with Washington State Wine and celebrating my cousin’s wedding next weekend!
Am heading back to NYC May 1st, which is when you’ll start seeing New York restaurants back in my Instagram feed. Heh. Can’t wait for Hong Kong’s Tim Ho Wan to open there! Amazing.
My crazy travel and deadline mean I’ll be going dark next week, so you won’t see a tablehopper issue until Tuesday May 3rd (publicists, please take note!). It has been great seeing many of you out and about, thanks for the warm welcome home.
Love and kisses! Marcia Gagliardi
Gossip & News (the word on the street)
A Few Details About Mission Beach Valencia, Opening in the Former Luna Park
We have been waiting to hear from Bill Clarke of MISSION BEACH CAFE about his plans for the former Luna Park space, and a tablehopper reader just forwarded a letter sent to people in the neighborhood. It’s going to be called MISSION BEACH VALENCIA, and they plan to offer a similar style of food to MBC, but with different menus.
One fun option: they will be serving brunch until very late at night, like 1am. So yes, it sounds like you’ll be able to get Mission Beach Cafe’s famed eggs Benedict on a housemade English muffin (with crab or bay shrimp or mushrooms) until laaaaate. There will also be a full bar, so expect some cocktails too—which will help drive the need for that late-night brunch. We’ll keep you posted as we hear more. 694 Valencia St. at 17th St.
Openings: Barbary Coast Gastropub in Former Bocce Cafe, Aina, Morty's Deli Reopens
It looks like BARBARY COAST GASTROPUB has finally opened in the former Bocce Cafe in North Beach, just in time for everyone to enjoy that big outdoor patio. It’s from the owners of the Grant & Green Saloon.
The dinner menu from chef James Liles includes a variety of wings (buffalo, Korean, and more), pizzas, a few salads like a kale Caesar, and sandwiches, from fried chicken to duck confit banh mi, and a grain bowl for you healthy types. They also just launched brunch, which is not your typical lineup. It includes Moroccan baked eggs, an egg hopper made with crêpe batter, horchata pain perdu, and biscuits with chorizo gravy. There’s a full bar, happy hour runs 5pm-7pm (draft beers from $4, house wines from $5, and craft cocktails from $8), and again, that patio! Also, for those who remember, this was the historic location of the Old Spaghetti Factory back in the day. Hours: Mon, Wed-Thu, Sun 5pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm; brunch Fri-Sun 10am-2:30pm; closed Tue. 478 Green St. at Grant, 415-788-0115.
It looks like AINA is holding some soft opening meals in their new location in Dogpatch. Over the weekend, their modern Hawaiian brunch included dishes like kalua pork belly with kimchi, poached eggs, arugula purée, and asparagus; taro French toast; kalbi loco moco with fried eggs and a mushroom sauce; smoked king salmon with tea egg and quinoa; Spam musubi; chicken katsu; and Saint Frank coffee. We’ll update you with details and grand opening info soon. 900 22nd St. at Minnesota, 415-814-3815.
We mentioned MORTY’S DELICATESSEN was getting new owners, and it’s now open. Sounds like they updated the dining room, but the favorites on the menu remain. Hours are Mon-Fri 10am-4pm. Check out the menu and more here.
Morty's Delicatessen - 280 Golden Gate Ave. San Francisco - 415-567-3354
Tidbits: Update on the Fate of the Grubstake, Expanded Hours at The Pizza Shop
I received a press release stating the new owners of the beloved old-school GRUBSTAKE diner, Nick Pigott and Jimmy Consos, have revised their redevelopment proposal, and it sounds like the Grubstake may survive in some form after all. The proposed 15-unit building will have its entrance on Austin Alley, instead of Pine Street.
It also sounds like they will be operating the diner as is until groundbreaking (looking like late spring or early summer of 2017) and are looking into a pop-up or temporary location for the diner during construction. They will be upgrading the restaurant to “2016 standards for seismic integrity, accessibility, and water and electrical infrastructure.” But then this is where it sounds like things will be changed: “The reimagined restaurant mirrors Grubstake’s classic railcar theme, maintains the menu and vibe, and ensures Grubstake remains a neighborhood institution.” We’ll have to find out what reimagined really means. In the meantime, get your caldo verde in the original funky interior while you can. 1525 Pine St. at Polk.
Fellow fans of the New York-style slices at THE PIZZA SHOP in the Mission can now come by during the day for a slice or two. Thanks to a tablehopper tip, we learned they are now offering lunch, and open daily 11am-10pm. You’re welcome. 3104 24th St. at Folsom, 415-824-1840.
Market Report: Foodhall to Mission and Duc Loi Expanding to Bayview
A couple of new projects for your consideration. First, opening mid-May at the prime corner of Valencia and 16th Street will be FOODHALL, a 2,500-square-foot indoor market founded by two “passionate foodies” and ex-investment bankers from London, Bilal Mannaa and Yasmin Murtadha.
Scoop’s piece mentions they are taking their inspiration from “the great food halls of Europe” and will stock charcuterie, cheese (selected by British cheese expert Julie Harbutt), coffee, pastries, pantry staples, craft beers, wines selected by Master Sommelier Eric Entrikin, and spirits. Products from local food purveyors will be available, and there will also be prepared foods, recipes, and ingredients to cook at home, classes, and more. So, yeah, it’s going to be a far cry from the Val 16 Latino market that held down that corner for years and was forced out a couple of years ago—I miss seeing the piñatas and overflowing fruit stands on that corner. But one good thing: Eater’s piece mentions, “Any prepared food not sold each day will be donated.” 3100 16th St. at Valencia.
Meanwhile, I’m really happy to hear Bayview is going to be getting a market to replace the Fresh & Easy that closed on Third Street. And not just any market, but SF’s very own DUC LOI MARKET (family-owned since 1987!). DUC LOI’S PANTRY will open in May, and will be a full-service (and affordable) grocery store, with meat, fish, produce, and more, plus household items, beer, wine, and spirits, and a deli serving their banh mi sandwiches. Read Hoodline’s piece about founder Howard Ngo, a refugee who left Vietnam in 1979, for maximum inspiration. Hours will be 8am-8pm. 5900 3rd St. at Carroll Ave.
Authors and Cookbooks and Chefs and Films
A few items for the food lover’s calendar (that would be yours):
Katie Parla is in town from Rome on Thursday April 28th to talk about and sign her beautiful new book, Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors & Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City, at OMNIVORE BOOKS at 6:30pm.
Local writer Sarah Henry has a new book, Farmsteads of the California Coast. The book features a behind-the-scenes look at a dozen of our favorite Golden State farms that hug the coast (Hog Island, Pie Ranch, Swanton, and more), with recipes too. There will be an Edible Excursions-sponsored book signing and family-style dinner on Wednesday May 11th from 6:30-9:30pm at the Cook and Her Farmer, prepared by chef Romney Steele. 6:30pm-9pm. $115 all-inclusive: dinner, drinks, tip, and tax, and a copy of Farmsteads. Swan’s Marketplace, 510 9th St., Oakland.
JCCSF Arts & Ideas and the San Francisco Film Society are co-presenting a cool program called Food on Film, featuring notable chefs and a film matched to the theme of each event. The May 4th Chef’s Table event with Dominique Crenn is sold out, but don’t miss tickets for The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover with Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski on Wednesday June 1st at the JCCSF. Tickets: $27, Premium: $37, and JCCSF and SFFS members get 10 percent off.
510 Updates: Hina Yakitori and Sweetgreen Open
There is a new izakaya in Oakland that pays homage to grilled chicken (yakitori) called HINA YAKITORI. Owner Jonathan Moon has brought on Tommy Clearly, previously at Tori + Salon in Tokyo, and Ippuku and B-Dama in the 510. There is a limited number of whole chickens they break down each night and cook over binchotan. You can look at an early sample menu here. The soft opening is still under way, so when they run out, they run out. Open Wed-Sat 5:45pm-9:30pm (for now). Via Scoop. 4828 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, 510-593-2004.
Opening today (April 19th) in the former Oscar’s in Berkeley is SWEETGREEN, a fast-casual place focused on serving seasonal, fresh, and healthy food. They strive to take an active part in contributing to and investing in the communities they serve. In Berkeley, they aim to revitalize school gardens in the neighborhood and have an ongoing partnership with Edible Schoolyard. Sample dishes include their vegan umami grain bowl with portobello mushrooms and roasted organic sesame tofu from Hodo Soy, a falafel and feta dish using local feta, a salad with roasted chicken from Mary’s, and more—and everything is reasonably priced. Open daily 10:30am-10pm. 1890 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley.
This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
(Sponsored): Annual 3-Day Super Sale at TriMark Economy April 21st-23rd
Attention restaurateurs! Don’t miss the annual 3-Day Super Sale at TriMark Economy Restaurant Fixtures, featuring our lowest prices of the year on restaurant equipment and supplies. Live restaurant equipment demonstrations, free valet parking, and thousands of items on sale at ridiculously low prices.
Save big on commercial refrigeration and cooking equipment, cookware, china, glassware, shelving, cutlery, sinks, worktables, ice machines, food storage, and more. Factory representatives will be on hand to answer your questions.
Thursday—Saturday, April 21st-23rd, 8am-5:30pm daily. More information at TriMarkEconomy.com.
Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
Ownership Changes at Mighty, and The Gangway Hangs On
This has been in the works for a while, and even though it isn’t a done deal just yet, the team behind Monarch is planning to take over MIGHTY. Sean Manchester, who just celebrated the club’s 13th anniversary, confirmed things “are in the hands of the ABC right now,” so there’s no telling when the transfer can happen. Manchester doesn’t know if or what his continued involvement may be—he will continue to focus his attention on Chambers with his wife Isabel. I reached out to Monarch’s Christopher Smith (founder of Om Records, Up All Night) and didn’t hear a peep, so we’ll just have to wait and see what the fate of the club is. 119 Utah St. at 15th St.
We broke the news back in January that THE GANGWAY, SF’s first and oldest gay bar (since 1961) was in process of being sold to “Breaking Chad, Inc.” (a couple of straight guys). Well, sorrynotsorry for the owner Jung Lee, but I’m happy to hear that deal fell through and now Jung reportedly has offers from other potential buyers. His first pick is “a male couple who own another bar already” and “they’ll keep the bar the same way.” Exhalllllllinnnnnngggggg. Slowly. Would love that to work out.
So, here’s hoping one of SF’s best dive gay bars lives on in all its quirky and tattered and daytime drinking glory. And here’s a little video history lesson for you so you can learn and love even more about this place (even though it is now happily incorrect stating that it was sold). 841 Larkin St. at Geary, 415-776-6828.
Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)
Hey, Careful, Man, There's a Beverage Here!
The one and only Dude, Jeff Bridges, was in the house at Penrose sporting “long, luxurious gray hair and a full beard!!” He was in town for a benefit concert last Friday at Freight & Salvage. The Dude abides.
Hugh in the House (M.D.)
Handsome Brit Hugh Laurie was spotted in Foreign Cinema last night. Ends up he’s in town to shoot a series on Hulu, Chance, so we’ll probably see more of him. And how timely, his new miniseries, The Night Manager, kicks off tonight on AMC.