Cold killing and garlic-loaded spicy beef noodle soup from King of Noodles. Photo: © tablehopper.com.
Okay, sun, we see you! Please stay! I think this is it for the rain, right? Right?! I appreciate the urban jungle going on right now in SF (my god, the succulents are taking over the city!) but I would like to start riding my bike again and ditch the boots.
I guess if I was going to choose a weekend to get sick and spend most of it in bed, this past one was the one. Rainy and gross. Soggy Easter, so sad. Although swapping my family’s badass Easter dinner for a bowl of spicy beef noodle soup wasn’t quite right. Nope. I want a redo!
Sidebar: the proximity of Tax Day followed by 4/20 is making me laugh. What a week.
I wanted to let you know about a special upcoming tablehopper vintage dinner. This one is a biggie. I have dreamed of holding an homage to the Blue Fox for years, and it’s going to be happening on Friday May 12th! And I’m excited to partner with Anchor Distilling Co.—there will be martinis. And Martinezes. (Bring on the Old Potrero!)
But here’s one small snag: the event is going to be held in the private dining room at Alfred’s, which was formerly the Blue Fox! Yes, poor Alfred’s, which suffered an unfortunate basement fire last week. They assure me they are going to be reopening very soon—they’re just cleaning up the smoke damage and fixing the electrical issues, and definitely in time for the dinner. So just sit tight for now, and save May 12th on your calendar. I’ll be posting tickets soon. This is not a night you’ll want to miss. Let’s just say cocktail attire…start planning your swank vintage outfit now!
Cheers! Marcia Gagliardi
Back in February, I broke the news about the new taker for the former Café Rouge space: POMPETTE (the name means “a little tipsy”). It’s from chef David Visick, an alum of Chez Panisse and SF’s Cafe Kati, and his wife, Caramia Visick, who worked at Bay Wolf (as well as Oliveto, Zuni, and Stars) before launching her jewelry line (Hotcakes Design) and shop (Favor)—she is running front of house.
As I mentioned, they want to maintain Café Rouge’s rep as an easy place to swing by, no matter the time of day or the extent of your appetite, from a bite and a cocktail to a full-on spit-roasted chicken dinner for two. Take a look at the initial (and highly appetizing) menu here, with French-Cali bistro bar snacks and charcuterie, numerous spring vegetable dishes, and of course a burger.
The space was updated a bit, with even more seating. The restaurant is softly open for dinner starting at 5:30pm Mon-Sat and will be adding lunch in a week or so. As Caramia Visick said, “Customers are happy to get back into their bar seats and try out the new cocktails, wines, and snacks!” Indeed. 1782 4th St. at Delaware, Berkeley, 510-356-4737.
Another icon is getting an update: the former Fosters Freeze in Alameda has been transformed into the charming NEPTUNE’S, which opened today. I had the serendipitous fortune of dining next to chef Naomi Elze-Harris at an event last night and got to hear about it straight from the horse’s mouth. The daytime menu is Southern through a California lens, with some Filipino and Hawaiian references popping up too; ingredients will be sustainably sourced. The menu includes chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, housemade brioche buns, “Not Zippy’s” chili and rice (a reference to a popular Hawaiian dish), Hawaiian breakfast, a burger, and eventually soft-serve ice cream with special flavors of waffle cones designed to go with it.
There are 80 seats, both indoors and on a back patio they installed surrounded with redwood slats. They will also be launching a walk-up window in a couple of weeks, where you can get your lumpia to go. Peek at their Instagram to get a look at their clean, bright, and natural aesthetic, with colorful tiles, glass globe pendant lights, and it’s sweet how the blue throughout references the former Fosters blue. Open Tue-Sun 8:30am-2:30pm (which means you can start your day and come by for some proprietary Lincoln Rosewood coffee and espresso!). 630 Central Ave. at McKay, Alameda.
More outdoor patio action can be found at ARTHUR’S MAC’S TAP & SNACK in the Longfellow neighborhood in Oakland from Farm League Design & Management Group (Drake’s Dealership, Westbrae Biergarten, East Bay Spice Company, Tigerlily). It’s right across from the MacArthur BART Station and is part of the MacArthur Annex shipping container complex that houses a variety of artist workspaces and start-ups. It’s a pizza-by-the-slice beer garden designed to be a family-friendly and affordable place. The menu also includes wings and salads; chef consultant Michael Williams (Rivoli and Corso in Berkeley) is behind the menu. There are a number of booths, two fire pits, and a kids’ play area so mommy and daddy can enjoy their beers. Speaking of, there are 16 craft beers, 2 ciders, and 5 wines on tap, plus a house-kegged vermouth spritzer. Open Sun-Thu 11am-10pm and Fri-Sat 11am-11pm. 4006 Martin Luther King Jr. Way at 40th St., Oakland.
James Syhabout (Commis, Old Kan Beer & Co.) just keeps on pushing and is opening a full bar and lounge next door to Commis called C.D.P. (short for chef de partie). It will served cocktails, snacks, and small plates. Syhabout designed it himself and will have 10 seats at the bar, 24 overall, and is due to open in the fall. [Via Scoop.] 3861 Piedmont Ave. at Montell, Oakland.
Folks in Elmwood are lucky to be gaining a location of SF’s ITALIAN HOMEMADE COMPANY, which will be opening in the former AG Ferrari. They will be serving their piadine sandwiches, housemade pastas, and more. 2905 College Ave. at Russell, Berkeley. [Via Nosh.]
The long-awaited CASTRO FOUNTAIN is now softly open—it’s from Juliet Pries of the retro-vintage Ice Cream Bar in Cole Valley. She has much bigger plans for this ice cream parlor and soda fountain, but thought she may as well soft open for now after countless delays. For now, you can come by for their housemade and organic ice cream (check out the flavors here), plus ice cream bars, sandwiches, and some house-baked desserts (Hoodline reports they are serving cakes, pies, brownies, and cookies). Sundaes, milk shakes, and sodas will be added soon.
Down the road, they hope to get a liquor license to serve their “remedies” and more, but that’s another mountain of bureaucracy, so let’s just swing by, order a cone, and welcome The Castro Fountain to the neighborhood! Limited hours for now (today is 2pm-6pm, and they are running some Tax Day specials), and then Thu 6pm-10pm, Fri 7pm-11pm, and weekend hours are TBD. Again, it’s a soft opening! Follow along on Facebook for updates! 554 Castro St. at 18th St.
There is yet another location of MIXT opening, its ninth location, at 51 Yerba Buena Lane on Wednesday April 19th. In addition to their trademark fresh and choose-your-own-adventure salads, they are introducing a new menu option called Mixt Market Plates, exclusively at this location. Diners can choose from herb-roasted, free-range chicken, or grilled grass-fed steak or steelhead, with sauces and sides ($10.95-$13.95). Here’s the menu. Open Mon-Fri 10:30am-8:30pm and Sat-Sun 11:30am-8:30pm. 51 Yerba Buena Lane at 4th St.
I’ve got a random little mix of openings for you, starting with a new modern Filipino brunch that is popping up at Crawstation in the Sunset: MALASA. The name, which means “tasty” in Tagalog, translates into dishes like silogs (garlic rice plates), including tocilog (cured pork served with a fried egg on top of garlic fried rice and pickled vegetables), kare-kare (oxtail in a rich peanut sauce), and more. They are using quality ingredients, including organic, cage-free, pasture-raised eggs and locally sourced ingredients. Sat-Sun 11:30am-2:30pm. 1336 9th Ave. at Irving, 415-682-9980.
Another pop-up that caught my eye is Champaneria Kharma, featuring Spanish-inspired bites at BLOODHOUND, on Wednesday April 26th. Founder Samantha Kharma went to Barcelona last October and visited a place called La Champaneria (a standing-room only, counter-only restaurant with cava and tapas). She was so inspired by it that she decided San Francisco needs one, too, and is currently hoping to open a brick and mortar in a year and half—she’s targeting the Mission. In the meantime, you can get your bocadillos on at this pop-up (she is getting her bolillo-style roll from a local bakery in South San Francisco she grew up with called Panadería Hernandez).
The featured sandwich will be jamón con pepinillos y queso (ham with pickles and cheese), and take a look at the tortilla española con queso y pimento. There will also be lomo con queso y pimento, and cordero con menta y tamarindo. With every sandwich you purchase, you will get a ticket that is good for a glass of prosecco for $5 instead of $8, and there are plenty of cocktails and local beers on draft as well. 6pm-10pm. 1145 Folsom St. at 7th St.
Now open in the Outer Parkside/Sunset, practically at the beach, is a new and sunny corner café, STREAMLINE. The trio of partners (Brent Willson, Dion Garcia, and David Quinby) have turned a former restaurant and office space into a spacious café with plenty of seating and a gallery (Willson is also a painter, so he wanted to be able to have an art component to the business). They have been ramping up with staffing, always the issue these days—today is just day six for them.
The menu features house-baked scones, muffins, cookies, and a gluten-free oat bar, plus a frittata is available. There are also tartines: a mushroom and herb tartine with Comté, and a ham and Comté version. Expect more salads, sandwiches, and more as they hire additional food prep and bakers, and they also have beer and wine. Hours for now are Mon-Fri 7am-1pm, with plans to expand to weekends ASAP. They are also hosting a show opening this Sat from 6pm-10pm with Gallery 66. (Follow on Facebook for updates.)
They are using Nomadic Ground for their coffee; they have their own blend for their espresso and house drip, plus a single-origin and organic pour-over, and cold brew. They should have approval for outdoor seating any minute, so the next time you’re at the beach, here’s a new place to enjoy a brew. 3560 Taraval St. at 46th St., 415-504-7000.
You can wake up and smell the coffee at the new FLIGHTLESS COFFEE AT JAXSON coffee window. The owner, Kevin Lopata, is from Houston, and Flightless features Houston’s Boomtown Coffee. You can find a variety of espresso drinks and pour-over, plus cold brew, and he’s working on a specialty drink for the summer. He also stocks some baked goods from Mr. Holmes, including their croissant and a sweet pastry, but those go fast. Open Mon-Thu 7:30am-4pm, Fri 7:30am-2pm, and Sat 8:30am-2pm. 3231 Fillmore St. at Greenwich, 713-584-5119.
A couple of upcoming closures to note include the beleaguered HECHO CANTINA in the Castro, which will be closing in a few months after two and a half years of business (and a couple of iterations). They have an offer on the space, and Hoodline has noticed that Andale Management Group (behind the popular Mezcalito on Polk) has filed for a liquor license transfer at the address. Owners Jesse Woodward and Dana Gleim will continue to focus on their sports bar, Hi Tops. 2200 Market St. at 15th St.
This fall, the temporary food hall THE HALL is closing, as it was intended to—although it’s a year past when it was expected to close. It ends up they are timing it with The Hall’s three-year anniversary, during the last week of September. The space will then begin its next stage of development, and we’ll have to see where some of the vendors will land. [Via Scoop.] 1028 Market St. at Taylor.
One more item to note: AG Ferrari is refocusing their business on their national CPG product line and is closing their four retail store locations in Montclair Village, Piedmont Avenue, Laurel Village, and SoMa on May 1st. Their growing product line will remain available online and in grocery stores nationwide, and they’ll be offering discounts on their inventory until closing (excluding fresh foods, grab and go, and refrigerated beverages). The brand plans to release more products later this year.
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.
Thursday-Saturday, April 20th-22nd, 8am-5:30pm daily. More information at TriMarkEconomy.com.
Here are some fun wine, mezcal, and beer dinners for you to check out. Coming up on Sunday April 23rd is a Palmina Wines dinner with winemaker Steve Clifton at RICH TABLE. Chef Evan Rich is busting out his spin on an Italian “red sauce” menu (think roasted sweetbread picatta, Monterey squid Fra Diavolo, and eggplant Parmesan). $65 four-course menu, with optional $55 wine pairings from Palmina. Reservations are available online at OpenTable.com, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, from 5pm-10:30pm.
CALA is continuing their Monday mezcal dinners on the last Monday of each month, so the next one is this Monday April 24th. Cala and Amarás mezcal host a five-course dinner paired with a selection of mezcales led by bar manager Marsilio Gabuardi. The menu is designed specifically to pair with the unique expression of each mezcal. This month’s dinner will feature Amarás Mezcal with the opportunity to taste some of their unreleased selection of mezcales. (Mezcal Amarás reinvests 15% of their gross profits to improve ecological, economic, and social sustainability in the mezcal producing regions where the companies works.) It’s a small group, just 12 spots (tickets here). $125. 7pm-10pm.
You may want to hop on these tickets soon: on May 17th and 18th, chefs Jeremiah Stone and Fabian Von Hauske of New York’s Contra and Wildair will be joining Fort Point Beer Company in putting on a special dinner. It’s part of a national food and beer series called Family Craft, brought to you by October, a new craft beer site from Pitchfork. 6pm and 8:30pm seatings. $125 for multi-course dinner with beer pairings (tax and gratuity included). Tickets here.
The Gooptastic Gwyneth Paltrow was spotted flouncing around the city at PETIT CRENN with her daughter, Apple. She also hit up MISTER JIU’S and enjoyed jasmine milk tea at BOBA GUYS. One more GSpotting (I know, I know) was reportedly at COTOGNA. [Via Eater.]