This week's tablehopper: red (and orange and yellow) October.
One of the many magic sunsets from my window in Brooklyn. Photo: © tablehopper.com.
Sounds like you guys had quite the downpour over the weekend! Well, at least the sun is back out, so you’ll want to head over to Tartine Manufactory for some soft-serve, more on that in today’s column. It’s 81 degrees in New York (whut), and while I had some big plans to write even more today, I just have to go outside for an afternoon walk before temps slip back into the 50s for good this month. Unbelievable! 81. I’ll take it.
I’m here in New York for two more weeks—I have reached my halfway mark in my month in Brooklyn and don’t want this autumn adventure to end! Finally checked out the Cloisters, what a beautiful spot!
Last week’s NYC culinary highlights included dinner at the new Fish Cheeks (a seafood-focused Thai place that is proudly pad thai-free—I have three words for you: coconut crab curry!), trying the udon at Japanese import TsuruTonTan, and celebrating my friend’s 50th birthday at City Island in the Bronx (trust, I was soaking in his Bronx Irish family’s accent like a piece of bread in some clam chowder).
There’s also a fantastic Japanese speakeasy in the back of Walter’s here in Fort Greene, Karasu, where I got to visit my old SF bartender amigo Thomas Waugh. Donburi? More like don-purrrri.
This weekend I had a blast dancing to DJ Harvey at Output again, but man, I really put the hurt on myself—4am last call can be dangerous. Fortunately Caviar rescued me the next day with this beauteous amatriciana pizza from Pizza Superstar (use my special code for $10 off your first two deliveries). Bonus points: they had bottled Mexican Coke. I swear, that stuff is the magic hangover crusher.
One more quick note: congrats to The Morris for opening last night! Release the foie gras dumplings. You can read all about it in my piece on tablehopper.
If any of you New York pals will be at the StarChefs International Chefs Congress (starts Sunday!), let me know! Otherwise, I’ll see all of you virtually next Tuesday, ciao ciao! Marcia Gagliardi
Gossip & News (the word on the street)
Sugar High Begins Now: Tartine Cookies and Cream Opens
After plying us with all things bread and baked at TARTINE MANUFACTORY, now it’s time to release the ice cream and more with Liz Prueitt’s Tartine Cookies and Cream. It has a separate counter in the Manufactory where you can order.
A highlight is the soft-serve action coming off the top-of-the-line Italian Carpigiani machines, made with local water buffalo milk blended with Jersey cow milk (from Double 8 Dairy), and it’s eggless. The opening flavors are fior di latte, Askinosie dark chocolate ice cream, Ethiopian Yukro-infused coffee ice cream (of course featuring coffee from Coffee Manufactory), and Concord grape sorbet. $3.50 for a small cup, $5 for a medium cup (includes one topping), and $5.75 for a cone (includes one topping). Toppings include pistachio streusel, salty caramel, and more (75 cents each).
And the gluten-intolerant will be happy to see there’s even a blue corn cone, and the ice cream piecrusts are wheat-free as well. About those ice cream pies: right now you can get rocky road, peanut butter and jelly, and lemon ginger ($16/small, $40/large). There are also ice cream sandwiches: the current flavor is ginger-spice fior di latte ($5 each).
Look for more things to be added in time, from dairy-free ice cream to popsicles and more. (Via Inside Scoop.) Hours are daily 11am-5pm for now. 595 Alabama St. at 18th St.
Tidbits: Lao Table and OzaOza Open, 'Aina Launches Dinner, Zapata Lives On
A few months ago, I mentioned LAO TABLE was taking the place of the SoMa Osha Thai (same owner, Lalita Souksamlane), and it’s now open. Some sample dishes on the menu include roasted organic chicken with turmeric and jaew sweet chile dip; and smoked river tilapia relish with Lao’s anchovy, grilled chile, and shallots with a basket of greens. The location was given a nice update, take a look at some pics here. Hours are Mon-Fri 11am-3pm and 5pm-10pm, Sat 5pm-10pm. 149 2nd St. at Natoma, 415-872-9219.
There is a new and traditional kaiseki restaurant that just opened in Japantown called OZAOZA, from owner Tetsuro Ozawa and his wife, Gana Nergui. The multicourse dinner features a set menu ($100), you can take a look here. It’s a small and cozy place: there are only nine counter seats. Open Tue-Sat 5pm-10:30pm. By reservation only. 1700 Post St., Suite K, 2nd floor, at Buchanan, 415-674-4400.
Dogpatch modern Hawaiian outpost ‘AINA is launching dinner service, starting tonight, Tuesday October 18th, in addition to their popular brunch. Chef Jordan Keao’s dinner menu includes pupus like squid ink shrimp chips ( $5) with smoked trout furikake, and Spam bao ( $8 ) with Portuguese sweet bread, housemade pork spam, yuzu kosho aioli, and smoked trout roe . Small kine (starters) feature kiawe wood-smoked BBQ char siu pork ribs ( $13), which are binchotan-grilled with a char siu glaze, with pickled red cabbage and Thai basil , or there’s ahi limu (red seaweed) poke ($16) with inamona (kukui nut) ahi tuna, Hawaiian hearts of palm, smoked sesame oil, shiso, and salicornia .
Kau kau (entrées) include Portuguese butter bean cassoulet ($28) with Stone Valley Farm Portuguese sausage, Iacopi butter beans, edamame cream, pistachio brown butter panko . No shortage of creativity here; check out the menu online for the full, hunger-inducing lineup.
There are also some low-ABV cocktails and wine, beer, and sake will be available. Dinner service is Tue-Fri 5:30pm-10pm. 900 22nd St. at Minnesota, 415-814-3815.
On again, off again…and on again. That bonkers landlord Les Natali has thankfully extended ZAPATA’s lease for 10 months, just as it was about to expire. Literally. That poor owner Jorge Perez, talk about making things difficult for his staff—according to a Facebook post, they are scrambling to staff up again. Anyway, the tacos will continue. 4150 18th St. at Church, 415-861-4470. (Via Hoodline.)
Coming Soon: Sajj to SoMa, Media Noche to the Mission
While the city has been crying into its hands over the closure of MERIGAN SUB SHOP, the SF real estate market keeps on chugging. Merigan’s Liza Shaw mentioned she had a taker for the location, and the new tenant is SAJJ STREET EATS. I spoke with one of the partners (they are from Jordan, Palestine, and India!), who explained it’s a Mediterranean fast-casual concept, and this will be its fourth location (other locations are in Menlo Park, San Jose, and Mountain View), with a couple of trucks that launched the whole concept three years ago as well.
It’s based on a Chipotle model, where guests come in and can choose from a variety of proteins (chicken or steak shawarma, falafel, pomegranate chicken, kebab specials, and their hybrid: the popular shawafel, a combo of falafel with shawarma), and a format (a sajj wrap, pita, salad, or rice bowl), and then a variety of add-ons, from sumac onions to feta cheese, hummus, pickled cabbage, fresh mint, and spicy tahini. Check out the entire menu here.
You can also order side dishes, like hummus and pita chips, and complimentary lentil soup is served with the main items. It’s all made in-house and ingredients are sourced fresh daily and locally—they care a great deal about consistency and freshness. The proteins are halal, and while the chicken isn’t organic, it’s antibiotic-free and never frozen. There are some house drinks as well, like mint lemonade.
Since there is very little that needs to be done with the space, they plan to open within the first couple of weeks of November. Hours will be Mon-Fri 11am-3pm or so, with plans to see how things go before potentially expanding their hours into the evening. They said they are proud to be in the Merigan space and look forward to meeting the neighbors. 636 2nd St. at Brannan.
Back in September, I broke the news about a new fast-casual Cuban counter coming to SF, called MEDIA NOCHE, specializing in medianoches, those marvelous sandwiches with layers of roast pork, ham, mustard, Swiss cheese, and dill pickles pressed inside sweet egg bread that is not unlike challah. The team (Madelyn Markoe and Jessie Barker)—who has been working with culinary consultant Telmo Faria—just revealed they will be going into the former Radish location. If all stays on schedule, they are slated to open in winter 2017. Follow along on Instagram and get excited. Read the previous post for more. 3465 19th St. at Lexington.
510 Updates Include Navi from Juhu Beach Club Team, Pacific Standard, Saha, 4505, and More
There are a bunch of 510 updates for you, so let’s dive in. Am excited for JUHU BEACH CLUB’s chef-owner Preeti Mistry and business partner-wife Ann Nadeau, who are opening a second business, NAVI KITCHEN. Navi is Hindu for “new,” and this casual spot is opening in the spring in the Bakery Lofts in the Triangle neighborhood of Oakland and Emeryville. It will be a counter-style and all-day spot, with Neapolitan-style pizzas with Indian-inspired toppings like chaat masala frying peppers and fenugreek-marinated shallots (take THAT, Zante’s!), plus rotisserie chicken with burnt masala brine in the evening, and sides like tikka masala mac and #grateful stuffing, a daily seasonal curry and rice tiffin, pressed cheese sandwiches, seasonal salads, and even a kid’s menu. Of course, the farmers’ market and seasonality will play a big part in the menu. Brunch will be in the works too. There will also be outdoor seating, a chai bar, coffee, and milk shakes made with Straus soft serve. 5000 Adeline St. at 47th St., Emeryville.
There’s a new Burmese spot, THARAPHU BURMESE STREET FOOD—take a look at their affordable and appealing menu here and here. 2037 Shattuck Ave. at Addison, Berkeley, 510-356-4860. (Via Chowhound.)
Earlier this year, I mentioned craft brewer Half Moon Bay Brewing Company was going to be opening PACIFIC STANDARD TAPROOM & GROWLER STATION, a taproom and bottle shop in downtown Berkeley, and it opens tomorrow (October 19th). There will be 16 to 24 local and regional beers on tap, with up to 50 percent of the beer sourced from the on-site brewery at Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, plus ciders and NorCal wines. Executive chef Federico Godinez has assembled a menu with locally sourced meats, cheeses, and produce to complement the taproom’s local beer, wine, and cider. Open Sun-Thu 11am-11pm and Fri-Sat 11am-12am. 2055 Center St. at Shattuck, Berkeley.
Mohamed and Marmee Aboghanem’s Yemenese/Arabic fusion SAHA has opened in its new Berkeley location. Initial hours are dinner only, Tue-Sun, starting at 5:30pm, and brunch is coming soon, Sat-Sun 10am-2:30pm. 2451 Shattuck Ave. at Haste, Berkeley. (Via Nosh..)
The folks at REVIVAL BAR + KITCHEN let us know they are serving brunch, with oysters, a fried chicken Benedict, cocktails, and more. Sat-Sun 10am-2:30pm. 2102 Shattuck Ave. at Addison, Berkeley, 510-549-9950.
BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE’s third East Bay location, in downtown Berkeley, is now open. You can check out your espresso being made on the sleek Modbar system, and food and pastries are available too. Daily 7am-7pm. 2011 Shattuck Ave. at University, Berkeley. (Via Nosh.)
Things are ramping up at cousins Iso Rabins’ and Matt Johansen’s FORAGE KITCHEN, with the opening of Pal’s Take Away from Jeff Mason in the Forage Kitchen Café (take a look at the menu of sandwiches here), served Mon-Sat 11am-5pm. You can also see a list of the first members/incubator businesses here—just scroll down. More coming soon (and chefs, artisanal food purveyors, and hobbyists are welcome to apply to use the facilities!). Look for Family Meal, a dinner series on second Sundays. 478 25th St. at Telegraph, Oakland.
4505 BURGERS AND BBQ is opening a location in the East Bay, taking over the vintage Glenn’s Hot Dogs in the Laurel District (the owners were ready to retire). Owner Ryan Farr will be adding barbecue to the menu, and ultimately the menu will mimic 4505’s Divisadero location. Look for some outdoor seating and a freshened-up interior, though Farr wants to preserve the old-school vibe. The article in the Chron also mentions Farr’s shift away from whole animal butchery, although he uses humanely raised meats from sustainable ranches. One more piece of news: the end of this month will mark the end of the 4505 stall at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market after seven years of slinging their amazing burgers—it sounds like it was the right time to pull back. 3506 MacArthur Blvd. at 35th Ave., Oakland.
There’s a new restaurant on the water, EVE’S WATERFRONT RESTAURANT, in the former Rusty Scupper, with a modern American grill menu and seafood by chef Bruce Paton, with local beer pairings and cocktails. Open Thu-Fri 4pm-10pm, Sat-Sun 10am-10pm. 15 Embarcadero West near Oak Street, Oakland, 510-827-1248.
And get ready, the official launch of the new CUESA-run JACK LONDON SQUARE FARMERS MARKET is on Sunday October 30th, with the Jack London Square Farmers Market Harvest Festival. There will be apple cider pressing, a pie contest, mini pumpkin decorating, harvest-themed cooking demos, Halloween costumes, and more. 9am-2pm. Water Street at the base of Broadway in Oakland.
This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
(Sponsored): Enjoy 60+ Wines and Food at Perfect Portuguese Pairings on Sunday October 23rd
This Sunday October 23rd, discover Perfect Portuguese Pairings at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture. Challenge your senses as you progress from table to table to experience and discover the range of Portugal’s wines, from the dry reds of Bairrada to the delicious whites from Vinho Verde, and from historied cuvees of the Setúbal-Palmela and Lisbon regions to the progressive offerings from the Douro.
Sample an exciting array of more than 60 wines paired with a selection of popular food truck cuisines. Teams of retail and restaurant professionals will be competing to win the best pairing menu, so don’t miss out on your chance to experience the pairings and vote!
Ticket includes access to the wine tasting and one delicious dish from each of the food trucks: Sanguchon, We Sushi, and The Waffle Roost.
Purchase tickets. Tickets cost $60 each, but for you, our invited guest, use code HOPPER at checkout to receive 50% off the ticket price.
Sunday October 23rd 5:30pm Fort Mason Landmark Building A Gallery 308 Tickets: $30 with code HOPPER (50% off)
Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
Wine Tastings and Special Dinners, and Cru Wine Bar Coming to Redwood City
Some quick wine tasting notes for you. First up, TIBURON WINE is continuing their chef pop-up dinner series on Monday November 7th, with chef Ron Siegel (currently The Western Room at Rancho Nicasio, formerly Dining Room at SF Ritz-Carlton and Michael Mina). There will be five savory courses plus dessert, Champagne and wine pairings, and in case you love something you drink (highly possible), there will be a discount on the featured dinner wines. 7pm. $150 per person, including tax and gratuity. Details on how to reserve and more here. Tiburon Wine, 84 Main St., Historical Ark Row, Downtown Tiburon, 415-497-7693.
Califermentation 2016 is back November 12th-13th, and in case you aren’t familiar with it, it’s the first natural wine fair focused exclusively on California wines. There will be morning seminars, tastings (with 48 wineries participating), and more. Most of Saturday’s producers are from Southern California, the Central Coast, and the Sierra Foothills, while those pouring on Sunday have wines from Mendocino, Sonoma, and Napa counties. 12pm-4pm daily. Tickets are $45 per day or $80 for both days. Ten percent of the net proceeds benefit the San Francisco Food Bank. Terroir Natural Wine Merchant, 1116 Folsom St. at 7th St.
Oh, and fans of Donato Scotti’s Donato Enoteca (Redwood City) and Desco (Oakland) should get ready for the opening of CRU WINE BAR, MERCHANT & CAFÉ in Redwood City in early November, with partner Eric Lecours. Look for artisan, small-production wines (by the glass, bottle) as well as high-profile selections. A European-style café menu will include charcuterie, Roman-style pizza by the slice, and snacks (including salumi off the 1971 restored and hand-cranked Berkel slicer), as well as beers on draft and specialty coffee from Giamaica Caffè in Verona and specifically imported for Cru (so good, have you had it?). It will open for café service at 8am, lunch at 11am, and there will also be a daily aperitivo/happy hour from 3pm-6pm, sure to be popular on the enclosed patio. 900 Middlefield Road, in the Box building at Jefferson Avenue, Redwood City, 650-362-3535.
Shindigs, Feasts, & Festivals (let's party)
James Beard Foundation's Taste America Comes to SF November 4th
Friday Nov 4, 2016 5:30pm Tickets start at $375. Tickets The InterContinental San Francisco 888 Howard St. at 5th St., San Francisco
On Friday November 4th, James Beard Foundation’s Taste America returns to San Francisco, with A Night of Culinary Stars, to be held at The InterContinental, on its 10-city tour. The night begins with a walk-around tasting reception, including Tim Archuleta (ICHI Sushi + Ni Bar), Srijith Gopinathan (Campton Place), Brandon Jew (Mister Jiu’s), Dennis Lee (Namu Gaji), Pim Techamuanvivit and Narciso Salvador (Kin Khao), and Martin Yan (M.Y. China).
The reception (5:30pm) is followed by a four-course dinner (7pm) in collaboration with Taste America All-Star Anita Lo (Annisa, NYC), Charles Phan (Slanted Door), pastry chef Belinda Leong (B. Patisserie), and host chef Daniel Corey (Luce)—so yeah, wear your stretchy pants.
Tickets start at $375. A portion of the evening’s proceeds will be donated to the Taste America Scholarship Fund.
James Beard Award winners Carolyn Jung (FoodGal.com) and J. Kenji López-Alt (Serious Eats) will serve as guest emcees. There are also some free in-store consumer events at Sur La Table (2224 Union St.) on November 5th. Visit San Francisco’s event page for the full schedule and more details.
Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)
Blondes Have More Dosas
Gorg Gretchen Mol dined at DOSA ON FILLMORE a couple of weeks ago and was reportedly “supersweet” with the staff.
I’m a couple of weeks late on reporting this one—whoops, forgot about it in my Twitter messages—but anyway: the stunning Tyra Banks was spotted dining in Nightbird. (She was in town to speak at the Brit + Co Re:Make Festival and is touring around with the launch of her new skin care line.)