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Aug 29, 2016 11 min read

August 30, 2016 - This week's tablehopper: homeward bound.

August 30, 2016 - This week's tablehopper: homeward bound.
Table of Contents

This week's tablehopper: homeward bound.                    

Lake Tahoe, always a study in blue. Photo: ©

Hey. How you doin’? Already daydreaming about the three-day weekend? In case you want to get some ice cream this weekend, my post on “7 ice cream spots you’ll want to hit before the end of summer” should come in handy. Hit it.

I’m soaking in my last few days here at Lake Tahoe. After living in San Francisco for 22 years, I decided a few years ago that I just can’t be around in Fogust, it kills the Mediterranean part of my soul. Tahoe time also means I’m home cooking each night (god I love having an outdoor grill!) and binge watching shows on Netflix (loved The Get Down more than anything right now, plus Stranger Things (yessssss), and am now deep in Narcos). I also enjoyed watching a preview of A Year in Port, which comes out September 6th on iTunes. So fascinating! The vistas of the Douro Valley are remarkable, and it’s great to see so many old traditions still in play, including some good old grape stompin’ with feet. And songs! Awww.

Lastly, have you had a bowl of pasta all’amatriciana to help with relief efforts for victims of Italy’s earthquake yet? Chow has quite a roundup of local resstaurants donating proceeds to help, or you can always donate directly here, which will go to the Italian Red Cross (if you understand Italian, you can go here). Grazie for any help you can offer!

I’m hitting send on this puppy and pedaling to the beach, pronto. I look forward to seeing a flood of your out-of-the-office messages! Cheers and ciao for now! Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)

Take a Look at Nomica's Menu, Opening Any Moment


Nomica’s beef tartare with cornichon purée, hon-wasabi, and green plantains. Photo via @nomicasf on Instagram.


Hitachino waffle with matcha butter and truffled maple. Photo via @nomicasf on Instagram.

It looks like NOMICA in the Castro should be opening this week, hopefully, if the permit sign-off gods behave. (This is the project from the Sushi Ran team: Yoshi Tome, Paul Quinn, and Mynor Morales.) In the meantime, I’m happy to show you the latest menu (with pricing) of this exciting addition to the neighborhood.

In a previous report, I mentioned chef Hiroo Nagahara, a Tokyo native, will be offering a fresh take on Japanese cuisine and ingredients (no sushi here). There will be small and large plates, both hot and cold, all designed to share. While the food will be technique-driven (he worked for Charlie Trotter), it will still be comfortable. Think rustic but focused, like Dungeness crab donabe rice served tableside—an homage to his time at the Michelin three-star Kagurazaka Ishikawa in Tokyo—served with crab miso, marinated salmon roe, and mitsuba.

Before you head on over (or make your reservation), you may want to call ahead at least 24 hours for the whole chicken in brioche with miso butter, shiso chimichurri, and chicken essence (serves four). Right? Granted, it’s $100 (making it one of the most expensive chickens in SF), but it serves four, and will sing your favorite song to you, so there’s that. And I can’t wait to try the gyoza-farce (filling) stuffed chicken wings, with yuzu kosho and chile oil. And “cubed” karaage chicken. And Hitachino waffle with matcha butter and truffled maple.

You can look at the cocktails here, with awamori (a spirit from Yoshi’s native Okinawa) playing a part on the menu, plus the sake list and wine list.

We’ll update you on social media (Twitter) once it’s officially open, which could be any minute. Dinner nightly 5pm-11pm. 2223 Market St. at Sanchez, 415-655-3280.

Chef Anthony Strong Departing Delfina Restaurant Group


Chef Anthony Strong; photo by Eric Wolfinger.

After 11 years with Delfina Restaurant Group, group executive chef Anthony Strong is leaving at the end of September. He has been busy over the years, first at Delfina, then opening Locanda, as well as expanding Pizzeria Delfina to its four current locations.

What’s next? Scoop reports he is working on opening his own Bay Area restaurant, but there aren’t any details to share at the moment. Delfina’s Craig and Annie Stoll have been aware of his impending departure since the beginning of the year, so it’s not a surprise, although it’s a big change—and now they need to hire a replacement. Stand by for details on all of this as things take shape, and best to you, Anthony! Looking forward to seeing what’s next.

Coming Soon: More on Pizzetta's Sister Project, Plus Lao Table and La Boulangerie de San Francisco


The Pine Street location of La Boulangerie de San Francisco. Yelp photo by J W.

After we ran the initial story that PIZZETTA 211 was opening a new Mediterranean-focused project on the corner, a follow-up to our piece adds that owner Jack Murphy, working with chef Mel Lopez, probably won’t be opening the project until summer 2017. The menu, which we mentioned will highlight pasta and seafood, will feature family-style options, with dishes from a wood-fired oven, and they are also aiming for it to be affordable.

Hoodline brings news that Osha Thai’s chef-owner Lalita Souksamlane is going to be adding a new concept to the Osha empire, opening LAO TABLE, focusing on the Laotian cuisine that is actually her heritage (she reportedly grew up in northeastern Thailand, bordering Laos). She will be converting a SoMa Osha Thai into the new concept. Look for an opening in mid-September. 149 2nd St. at Natoma.

Fans of Pascal Rigo’s former La Boulange will be happy with the news that he’s opening a LA BOULANGERIE DE SAN FRANCISCO in October in the Financial District at 222 Sutter Street at Kearny. He is reportedly going to have seven total open by next summer. [Via Scoop.]

New Brunch, Happy Hours, and Bar Tartine Lowers Pricing


Dishes at Old Bus Tavern’s new Saturday brunch. Photo: Zejian Shen.

Some new service for you around town, starting with Saturday brunch at Bernal’s year-old OLD BUS TAVERN. Think oatmeal-maple pancakes with brown butter syrup, seasonal berries, praline, and oatmeal crunch, and a pulled pork eggs Benedict (menu here). Don’t forget they have full liquor, so you can get things started with their Bloody Maria (with okra-infused tequila) or one of their house brews. Plus: patio. Saturdays 11am-2:30pm. 3193 Mission St. at Valencia, 415-843-1938.

AATXE wants you to get happy with their $1 pintxos and other happy hour prices, like $4 cañas (small beers), $8 for their special gin & tonic, and $8 for certain wine offerings. Available daily 5:30pm-6:30pm in the dining room or bar. 2174 Market St. at Sanchez, 415-471-2977.

DELAROSA is launching happy hour for the first time at both their locations (2175 Chestnut Street and 37 Yerba Buena Lane). You’ll find $6 (and under!) cocktails (including an Aperol spritz) and wines by the glass, beer, pizzette, and antipasti (including fried artichoke hearts and arancini). And at Yerba Buena Lane, they now have a patio, just in time for Indian summer (but there are heaters, windscreens, and blankets for our typical blustery evenings). Mon-Fri 4pm-6pm.

In a refreshing move that is quite the opposite of most SF restaurants right now, BAR TARTINE has actually lowered their prices: the fantastic prix-fixe/friends-and-family menu is no longer $78, and is now $58 (it’s three courses, and as abundant as ever), while the wine pairing has dropped to $32 from $46. Now, that’s what you call a neighborhood restaurant! [Instagram via Eater.]

September Dinners and Happenings and Fests!


A cheese plate at the Cheese Fest. Photo via Facebook.

Here’s a quick roundup of special dinners, events, and more happening this September:

If you’re around Labor Day weekend, HOMESTEAD in Oakland is hosting a Sunday Supper BBQ on September 4th from 4:30pm-8:30pm. Think chopped salad, baby back ribs, smoked brisket, corn on the cob, baked beans, Texas toast, traditional fixings, and strawberry shortcake. The three-course prix-fixe is $55 (there’s a children’s portion at half price). 4029 Piedmont Ave. at 40th St., Oakland, 510-420-6962.

Saturday September 17th is the second annual SF Cheese Fest, featuring 24 California Artisan Cheese Guild member cheese companies, plus cured meats, pickles, jams, sauces, craft beer (Magnolia Brewing, Fort Point Beer), and wine from CACG member Herb Lamb Vineyards. I went last year and tasted some great cheeses and really enjoyed speaking with many cheesemakers. Expect to see Cowgirl Creamery, Marin French Cheese, and Point Reyes Farmstead joined by artisan makers such as Bleating Heart, Nicasio Valley Cheese, and newcomers such as Chevoo and Pazzo Marco, among others. Tickets: $84 and include unlimited food and drinks. Limited “Bring a Friend” tickets are $149 for two, available through Wednesday August 31st. Get your ticket soon! Social Hall SF, 1270 Sutter St. at Van Ness, 6pm-9pm.

The fifth annual Wing Wings Chicken Wing Eating Contest is coming up on Saturday September 17th during the Eat Trill Fest, a daylong music and food event at the brand-new Spark Social Food Park in Mission Bay (the contest will run from 2pm-5pm).

Wing Wings needs some donations of raffle prizes since this is a big fundraiser! Donations of any kind are welcome and appreciated, from items to gift bags, services, gift certificates, or otherwise. Homeless Youth Alliance is the recipient of this year’s fundraising efforts. Please email Lisa or Christian if you are able to donate a raffle prize. They are also looking for contestants! The entire fest runs 11am-10pm. 601 Mission Bay Blvd N. at 3rd St.

Sunday September 18th is an Autumn Belgian Beer Dinner (more like a supper, really) at BEL, with quite the lineup of dishes and beers (check it out here). $160 per person, tax and gratuity included. 2pm-6pm. Call to reserve a spot: 415-206-1000. 3215 Mission St. at Fair.

On Wednesday September 21st, PRUBECHU is doing another one of their whole roasted pig parties, with live music and a release of their craft beer collaboration with Good Beer Company (including one made with soursop!). It’s all you can eat, and a 4-ounce taste of each beer will be included with the roast pig dinner. $120, all-inclusive of tax, tip, music, beer, and food. Only 34 tickets, hop to it! Doors 6:30pm, dinner 7pm. 2847 Mission St. at 24th St., 415-952-3654.

the sponsor

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


(Sponsored): Members of Trade and Media Shouldn't Miss the Largest Latin American Wine & Spirits Tasting!

Are you a member of the restaurant, hotel, wine retail, distribution trade, or a journalist? Do not miss the largest collection of Latin American wines and spirits from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Guyana, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, and Uruguay at the Latin American Wine & Spirits Tasting on Wednesday September 7th. More than 200 selections will be featured. Plus, rub shoulders with countless winemakers and distillers from across the continent. It’s an absolute “don’t miss” event! Pisco sours, juicy malbecs, brooding tannats, anyone?

Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein will be available to sign Wines of South America. Only for qualified trade and media who must show business card and credentials at the door. Registration required, as it will sell out. Latin American Wine & Spirits Tasting at Sir Francis Drake Hotel on Wednesday September 7th, 3pm-7pm. Sorry, this event is for trade and media only. The consumer portion has been canceled due to an expected high trade turnout.

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the lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)

Old Devil Moon Rises/Opens Tonight in Bernal


Pouring some Almanac Pilsner at Old Devil Moon’s beautiful new bar. Photo via Facebook.


The draft board at Old Devil Moon. Photo courtesy of Old Devil Moon.


Custom ODM glassware. Photo via Facebook.

A couple of years ago, we ran a post about three self-identified “beer geeks” who were opening a bar in Bernal, called OLD DEVIL MOON. And whaddya know, tonight is opening night! The project is now a quintet of folks, and three are certified cicerones—Chris Cohen (founder of the San Francisco Homebrewers Guild), Andrew Kelley, and Ericka Schell—plus Will Marshall and Carson Beker are also involved.

They have quite the wall of taps, with 20 tap handles made from different types of wood and a beautiful custom tile backsplash. The 19 Perlick flow-control faucets are drilled through the wall of the walk-in cooler (take a peek here) for the perfect temperature control, plus there’s a cask ale tap. Look for a range of craft beers, highlighting direct-from-brewery selections, both local and international, with many beers that are rarely found in San Francisco.

Their opening tap list includes beers from Almanac Beer, Alpine Beer, Barebottle Brew, Boulevard Brewing, Bruery Terreux, Craftsman Brewing, Eagle Rock Brewery, Ferment Drink Repeat, Fieldwork Brewing, Firestone Walker Brewing, Freewheel Brewing, Het Anker, HenHouse Brewing, Ol’ Republic Brewery, Sante Adairius Rustic Ales, Schloss Eggenberg, Rodenbach, Stone Brewing, and Tag + Jug Cider. Expect plenty of meet-the-brewer and other beer events.

There are also bottled beers, and there’s a full bar for craft cocktails. They’re doing some fun stuff, like infusing a barrel of Balcones Distillery whiskey with housemade Louisiana-style hot sauce (you’ll note a Southern accent with a lot of things they’re doing here). They have three liquors on draft: Fernet Francisco, Sutton Cellars vermouth, and Old Grand-Dad bonded rye whiskey, along with two premixed cocktails (a mint julep and an El Presidente). Take a look at the cocktail menu here. Oh, and if you’re a little sleepy, they have Stumptown Coffee nitro on draft. Whoosh.

There is some food available too (menu here), and they brought on chef Charlie Kleinman to consult (previously Wexler’s). There are some fantastic-sounding po’boys, including a fried oyster Rockefeller po’boy, a Gulf oyster and shrimp combo (via Jimmy at Gulfish, who sources such fresh seafood from individual fishing boats), plus a housemade bologna and mustard slaw po’boy. And it’s a neighborhood affair: the po’boys feature bread made by Pinkie’s Bakery on Cortland, with Avedano’s Butcher Shop making the tasso, and Paulie’s Pickling making special pickles for them. As a bar snack, they’re featuring some chicharrones from a nearby Mexican grocer, and you can get hush puppies too. And warm griddled bread pudding.

Fun design touches include murals with a ouija board, plenty of candles and occult imagery, and of course there’s a devil in the mix too. Pssst: even the tap board has a trick to it (you’ll have to come by to figure it out). Just wait for their Halloween party. Oh yeah, and there’s a sunny patio!

Doors open tonight at 5pm. Hours are Sun-Thu 5pm-12pm and Fri-Sat 5pm-2am. The kitchen is open from 6pm-10pm on weeknights and 6pm-12am on weekends (yay). 3472 Mission St. at Cortland.

the sponsor

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

(Crowdfunding Ad): Finn Town from Chef Ryan Scott--"Tavern with a Twist" Opening in October

Who wouldn’t want a VIP invite to a pre-opening party catered by an Emmy Award-winning chef? How about bar bites and craft cocktails for two, Champagne and oysters, a behind-the-scenes-kitchen tour, or a weekend brunch with your BFFs? These and more are among the thank you gifts chef Ryan Scott and the team at Finn Town—a new “Tavern with a Twist,” serving up contemporary comfort fare on Market Street between Noe and Sanchez—are offering this fall.

Watch the Indiegogo video (including the totally fun outtakes at the end) and claim your perks today.

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