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Aug 14, 2017 14 min read

August 15, 2017 - This week's tablehopper: fricking ffffffffffogust.

August 15, 2017 - This week's tablehopper: fricking ffffffffffogust.
Table of Contents

This week's tablehopper: fricking ffffffffffogust.                    

Solange on the Sutro stage Sunday night. It looked like an album cover that came to life. Photo: ©

Whooooosh, well, that was a marathon of a weekend. Outside Lands is not for the weak, that’s for damn sure, which is the thought I had every afternoon as I was pedaling my bike to the festival into the head wind and mist, a bit slower with each passing day. But all that walking and bike riding and dancing is why you can eat amazing festival food like monkey bread chicken Parms and saturated Philly hoagie/muffulettas and your dream chocolate cookies with impunity, that’s rightttttt. SF, you crushed it, no one does it better. And thanks to Wine Lands, I was never too late for bubbles o’clock each day. Whew.

I kind of can’t believe how many amazing artists I got to see, from Little Dragon to the much-needed musical medicine from Solange (!!!), and I loved the discovery of seeing some for my first time, like Future Islands and Sofi Tukker. Great performers. I caught a little bit of The Who, which kicked up some nostalgia, and now I’m ready for a Quadrophenia viewing party—it has been 25 years since I watched it. But really, the festival belonged to Solange. I feel so lucky to have witnessed that performance. Dreamy.

There is so much work that goes into pulling this behemoth of a festival off, so I just want to say thanks to everyone who worked SO HARD to made it a special 10th anniversary. Except you, A Tribe Called Sorry Not Sorry Enough—way to just keep posts hawking merch up on Instagram instead of addressing your disappointed fans who got dissed two days in a row. Weak sauce.

Anyway, moving on… Thanks to everyone who entered the two giveaways I was running this past week for Eat Drink SF VIP tickets and the Mount Gay rum tiki cocktail party. I hope you folks who won have a blast. And for those who didn’t, there will be more!

Real quick: fellow Hatch chile fanatics, did you know the Mollie Stone’s Hatch chile roasting days are back? I’m heading to the Mollie Stone’s in Pac Heights this Sunday for mine… Check out the calendar for chile roasts around the Bay Area! They’re my favorite thing to have at the ready in the freezer. Well, besides some vodka to go with caviar, but that’s another story.

Okay, one last thing, and I could really use your help. As many of you know, I recently visited Thailand to be a part of the 10th anniversary mission of Pencils for Kids, an amazing nonprofit that raises funds to deliver backpacks filled with school supplies and uniforms to children in Myanmar, Indonesia, and Thailand every year. In 2017, PFK will deliver 2,200 backpacks to children in need!

I’m helping Pencils for Kids with their annual fundraiser in San Francisco this winter, with 100 percent of the event proceeds going directly to supply children with backpacks. We are currently looking for a venue to host this year’s fundraiser on the evening of Thursday November 16th (although that date is flexible based on availability—it could also be Nov. 8th or 9th!). It’s going to be a walk-around tasting featuring Asian street food, especially highlighting the three countries PFK visits each year. Attendees will include approximately 200 guests.

I’m having a hard time finding a venue who can donate their space, and thought I’d open up my quest to you, dear readers, for any ideas, connections, offers, and introductions. I know it’s a big ask, but we rely on the generosity of local donors so we can ensure that proceeds go where they are most needed: directly to fund the annual mission trips to help the children. Thanks for considering it, it’s for such a worthwhile cause. Just hit reply! Mwah.

Sawatdee-ka! Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)

Kuma Sushi + Sake Now Softly Open on Polk


Kuma Sushi’s Cory Jackson and Ryo Sakai. Photo via Facebook.

Color me impressed. Back in March, I wrote about the upcoming KUMA SUSHI + SAKE, from best friends Ryo Sakai (Pink Zebra, Domo) and Cory Jackson, and they reached out to let me know they are now softly open on Polk. Nice work, guys. The official opening is this Thursday August 17th.

They are opening a neighborhood-friendly sushi spot, designed to work for all kinds of budgets, while not skimping on quality seafood, with much of it local (from TwoXSea). The menu features small plates and salads to start, like sakekawa ($8), fresh arugula leaves and crispy salmon skin dressed with ponzu; chawanmushi ($9), a savory egg custard with shiitake mushroom, smoked gouda, and crab; and there are some tasting spoons for those who love those one-bite wonders.

You’ll also find nigiri, sashimi, and maki rolls, from a California roll (with real crab) to some kookier ones, like the Hey Girl ($14), a tempura shrimp roll topped with layers of tuna and avocado, spicy mayo, and unagi sauce. You can sit at the sushi bar for omakase, which is definitely fun with Ryo driving the bus. Vegetarians will also find some selections.

Local and Japanese beers, an ever-changing list of sakes, and wines are available. There’s a custom sushi case at the counter, and look for the shou sugi ban wood at the entrance (it’s a Japanese technique of charring and preserving wood).There are 18 seats, with 12 at the bar, and no reservations. Hours are lunch Tue-Fri 11:30am-2pm, and dinner Sun and Tue-Thu 5pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm. Closed Mon. 1040 Polk St. at Post.

Wagyumafia Is Coming to the U.S. with $180 Sandwiches (Whut) and Omakase Is Hosting a Preview


The Wagyumafia cutlet sandwich. Photo via @wagyumafia on Instagram.


The sushi counter at Omakase. Photo: ©

I know, you actually are reading that correctly. A $180 sandwich is coming to San Francisco from Japan’s Wagyumafia (careful, the video on their site is on blast), known as “Japan’s preeminent Kobe and Wagyu beef ambassadors and purveyors.” They basically buy the spendiest beef imaginable and feature it at their pop-ups around the world (they also opened a members-only club in Tokyo).

Co-founders Hisato Hamada and Takafumi Horie will be opening the first certified Wagyu butcher and sandwich shop in the United States in early 2018, their fifth location and first outside of Asia, which will sell Japanese Kobe and Wagyu beef in a retail setting. Sandwiches will be available at lunchtime, from $8 to $180, depending on the quality and cut of Wagyu or Kobe beef and if you stopped by your money tree that morning and picked a bushel of Benjamins (or not). There are also plans to host pop-up dinners with guest chefs from Japan.

They are partnering with ORG (Omakase Restaurant Group) owners Kash Feng and chef Jackson Yu (Omakase, Okane, Dumpling Time, Live Sushi, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s) on the shop. It will be part of ORG and Equity Residential’s One Henry Adams project in the design district (which also has a yakiniku steakhouse, whisky bar, and an udon noodle shop in the works).

To celebrate the partnership, OMAKASE is hosting an exclusive five-course dinner on Wednesday August 30th with Louis Roederer Champagne (yes, the Cristal will be flowing, and the Kobe beef “Shabusando” Chateaubriand cutlet sandwich is part of the menu). Seatings at 5:30pm and 8:30pm. $595 per person, excluding tax and gratuity (oof). For reservations, call Omakase at 415-865-0633.

Gibson Opening in the Tenderloin with Chef Robin Song at the Helm


Exterior of the Hotel Bijou. Photo via Facebook.

While waiting for chef Robin Song to get his Korean-influenced project Junju off the ground after departing from Hog & Rocks, it ends up he has pivoted and is now the chef behind GIBSON, a restaurant opening in the soon-to-be-renovated boutique Hotel Bijou in the Tenderloin.

His contemporary American menu will be focused on live-fire cooking, seasonality (due to his close relationships with many small and nearby farms), sustainability, and also affordability, while still delivering quality and good service (well, that’s nice). The menu will be designed to share, starting with charcoal-grilled sourdough bread service with seasonal accompaniments that will literally have guests break bread together. There will also be classic cocktails featuring juices, shrubs, and ingredients from the kitchen.

Oakland-based Mister Important (Chambers Eat + Drink, Gitane) is behind the design, which will take some inspiration from Art Deco. Look for an opening in late summer. 111 Mason St. at Eddy.

Coming Soon: Paganini's Group Taking La Urbana Space, Proper Hotel Restaurant Update, Toy Soldier to FiDi


The former La Urbana exterior. Photo: Dana Eastland. ©


The former Renoir Hotel flatiron building is now the San Francisco Proper Hotel. Photo courtesy of San Francisco Proper Hotel.

Adriano Paganini’s Back of the House restaurant group has confirmed they are taking over the former La Urbana space on Divisadero and will be opening their 22nd restaurant in the location. Their PR team hints it will also be their 12th concept, we’ll just have to wait and see what that will be. The plan is to open later this November. Stand by for updates. 661 Divisadero St. at Grove.

Meanwhile, details have emerged about the three food and beverage concepts that will be in the San Francisco Proper Hotel, opening in Mid-Market this summer. First will be Villon, offering an all-day dining experience by chef Jason Franey (Campton Place, Eleven Madison Park, Canlis, Restaurant 1833). Look for a menu of contemporary American cuisine featuring updated classics, or as Franey is calling it, “comfort geek cooking.” There will be a main dining room and lobby salon, with cocktails from Josh Harris and Morgan Schick of BVHospitality (their “7x7” cocktail menu—a tribute to SF’s seven-by-seven-mile radius—will feature seven thematic categories with seven cocktails in each), plus wine and beer. There’s also a private dining room that will seat 14.

Next will be Charmaine’s, the rooftop bar and lounge, with cocktails, large-format drinks, highball service for groups, and bar bites, and La Bande, serving housemade pastries, tartines, sandwiches, and salads, plus coffee, tea, beer, and wine. There will also be a specialty market, with products and housemade provisions to go. 1110 Market St. at 7th St.

There’s something new opening in late August on Belden Place in the former Belden Taverna: TOY SOLDIER. The menu will focus on contemporary American cuisine paired with house-brewed beer. Executive chef and co-owner Fred Turner is working with general manager and co-owner Franz Meis and co-owners Nick Pigott and Johnny “Love” Metheny. The hearty menu includes rabbit arancini, Brussels sprouts Caesar salad, and hefty dishes like Toy Soldier IPA-braised beef short ribs. Cocktails, 14 beer taps, and an on-site microbrewery, plus a California-focused wine list will be on offer, with live musical entertainment Thu-Sat and occasional weekend DJs. Michael Brennan is behind the renovation, which includes a communal table, booths, and banquette seating, plus an upstairs lounge. Lunch, happy hour, and dinner will be served, plus there are plans for late night (until 4am, whoa) and brunch. Hours will be daily 10:30am-3pm and dinner 4pm-11pm. 52 Belden Pl. at Pine, 415-906-9048.

Absinthe Closed for a Refresh


Absinthe. Image: ©

Just in case you’re planning on grabbing a Ginger Rogers cocktail or raw oysters or their soft garlic pretzels with Vermont cheddar Mornay sauce (the best!) at ABSINTHE BRASSERIE & BAR, the restaurant is currently closed for a refresh until Thursday September 7th. I’ll remind you when the renovations are complete. And don’t worry, you can still book a table for opera season!

Absinthe Brasserie & Bar            - 398 Hayes St. San Francisco - 415-551-1590

Cawfee (and Tea) Tawk: Enough Tea & Coffee Opening, Trouble Closes in Bayview


Enough Tea & Coffee is opening soon. Photo via Facebook.

A couple of quick notes for you fellow caffeine lovers. Just about to open in the Financial District is ENOUGH TEA & COFFEE, a small shop serving hot and cold coffee, espresso drinks, brewed tea, milk tea, fruit tea, and their Enough Milk Mousse Tea: black, green, or oolong with sea salt. There are also some yogurt drinks if you need a break from a caffeine buzz. Follow along on Instagram at @enoughteasf for their official opening date in a week. Hours will be Mon-Fri 7am-6pm and Sat 8am-5pm. 49 Kearny St. at Maiden Ln.

Meanwhile, Hoodline caught the closure of TROUBLE COFFEE COMPANY’s location in Bayview, which opened in 2013. Bummer news, but let’s congratulate founder Giulietta Carrelli on Trouble’s 10-year-anniversary—and for being the progenitor of our toast scene. The original Judah Street and the West Oakland locations remain open. 1730 Yosemite Ave. at 3rd St.

Alba Ray's Now Serving a NOLA Lunch and Brunch, Eleven in Bolinas Serving Brunch


Bubba’s breakfast sandwich. Photo: New Revolution Media.


Eleven wine bar and bistro in Bolinas. Photo courtesy of Kate Sterlin.

New Orleans-inspired ALBA RAY’S in the Mission just started lunch and brunch service. You’ll find po’boys on Leidenheimer’s French bread, a muffuletta (chef Adam makes the bun in house), salads, and check this out: on Fridays, lunch patrons can purchase $1 MARTINIS. Whut.

Brunch includes red beans loco moceaux (white rice, red bean gravy, andouille sausage, two sunny-side up eggs), boudin Benedict with scallion purée and Cajun hollandaise, crawfish omelette with chèvre and Creole gravy, and Bubba’s breakfast sandwich (fried eggs, ham, andouille, fried eggs, roasted tomato, caramelized onion, pimento cheese, rémoulade). Lunch is Wed-Fri 11am-3:30pm, brunch is Sat-Sun 11am-3:30pm. 2293 Mission St. at 19th St., 415-872-9409.

Meanwhile, if you’re near Bolinas over a weekend, ELEVEN—a newer wine bar and bistro that opened in early summer from sisters Kate and Rebecca Sterlin—is now serving Sunday brunch. They updated a long-shuttered building that dates back to the 1890s with a farmhouse chic look, a crisp color scheme, and furnishings made by their brother. Sunday brunch is 10am-3pm, but you can stay until 6pm for oysters, natural wines, and pizza as the day goes on. 11 Wharf Rd., Bolinas, 415-868-1133.

510 Updates: Paradise Park Cafe Opens, The Half Orange and Rosamunde on Telegraph Close


Exterior of the new Paradise Park Cafe. Photo courtesy of PPC.

Back in April, I reported that PARADISE PARK CAFE was coming to the former Actual Café in the NOBE (North Oakland, Berkeley, Emeryville) neighborhood, historically known as Paradise Park. The grand opening is this Thursday August 17th, and 20 percent of the day’s proceeds will benefit the East Bay College Fund and Oakland Promise.

It’s the fourth cafe from Rachel Herbert and Dana Oppenheim of SF’s Park Cafe Group (Dolores Park Cafe, Precita Park Cafe, Duboce Park Cafe). The casual, seasonal, and affordable menu includes sandwiches (BLT, fried chicken), burgers (meaty and not), housemade pastas, salads, and organic juices and smoothies, plus vegan and gluten-free dishes. Like a true neighborhood café, they want to have something for everyone, even the kiddies. Weekend brunch will also be offered (Sat-Sun 8am-3pm). Equator Coffee, local craft beers, California wines, and wine cocktails are also available. Open daily 7am-8pm. 6334 San Pablo Ave. at Alcatraz, Oakland, 510-756-4141.

Meanwhile, the Temescal location of SF’s ROSAMUNDE SAUSAGE GRILL has closed (thanks to a tablehopper Twitter follower for the tip). We reached out to Rosamunde’s Josh Margolis, who said, “We would like to thank the neighborhood and all of our friends and fans who made Rosamunde a great place to hang out with friends, enjoy delicious grilled sausage and fantastic beer. Although we are unable to continue serving in Temescal, we invite you to get your sausage fix downtown Oakland at Swan’s Marketplace (911 Washington St.) or in San Francisco at 2832 Mission Street or 545 Haight Street.” 4659 Telegraph Ave. at 46th St., Oakland.

Was also sorry to receive the news that Jay Porter and Katie Mayfield decided to close THE HALF ORANGE in Fruitvale. Their note said: “Thank you very much to all of you who’ve eaten here and supported us in many ways! It’s been a very fun experience for us, and we are grateful to everyone for welcoming us so warmly to the community.” They are looking for someone to purchase the restaurant space from them, so be sure to reach out to them if you’re interested. 3340 E. 12th St., Ste. 11, at 33rd Ave., Oakland.

the lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)

Brews News: New Belgium Acquires Magnolia Brewing Company


Magnolia on tap. Photo via Facebook.

Some big news in our local beer world: a group led by New Belgium Brewing Company (which is a 100 percent employee-owned brewery, by the way)—with Elysian founder Dick Cantwell and Belgian lambic producer Oud Beersel as minority partners—is purchasing the assets of Magnolia Brewing as part of a bankruptcy proceeding (Magnolia encountered financial difficulties and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November 2015).

Both Magnolia locations will continue to operate with existing staff and brands. Cantwell will head up brewing operations and will be working alongside Magnolia founder Dave McLean, who will be an employee of the partnership. The press release states: “The plan is to build an alliance that brings varied talent and experience to a combination of old and new, not to turn Magnolia’s Haight Street and Dogpatch locations into New Belgium brewpubs.”

Another component (and experiment!) will be blending Magnolia beers with Belgian lambic producer Oud Beersel’s beers, making this the “world’s first dedicated lambic blendery outside of Belgium.” New Belgium is also likely to ship beer to San Francisco for blending from its Fort Collins, Colorado brewery. Here’s to a successful future and collaborations for all involved.

The Mezcalistas Are Hosting a Lucha Libre Party in Oakland on Sunday 8/20


The Hive Oakland. Yelp photo by Phillip K.

Feel like a wild (but still family-friendly) Sunday afternoon party? Head to The Hive in Oakland for Lucha!, a day with masked wrestlers from Pro Wrestling Revolution; cocktails, food, and mezcal from Calavera; food and beer from Drake’s Dealership; and coffee by Red Bay Coffee. It all goes down in the plaza between Calavera and Drake’s Dealership in downtown Oakland. Sunday August 20th, 2pm-6pm.

Tickets are $25, or VIP is $50 and includes an after-party (and with the Mezcalistas hosting, you know what they’ll be pouring). The Hive, 2325 Broadway at 23rd St., Oakland.

the socialite

Shindigs, Feasts, & Festivals (let's party)

Heritage Fire by Cochon555 Returns to Napa Valley Sunday August 27th


Cochon555 Heritage Fire Napa in 2015. Photo: Galdones Photography, Cochon555.

Event Info

Saturday Aug 26, 2017 – Sunday Aug 27, 2017 4pm–7:30pm $125 Info/tickets

Escape Fogust and head on up to Charles Krug Winery in Napa Valley on Sunday August 27th for Heritage Fire by Cochon555, an afternoon and evening of live-fire animal cookery, artisan cheeses, charcuterie, wine, cocktails, microbrews, and more.

There is quite the lineup of chefs and butchers, more than 50 in all, including SF’s Sara Hauman (Octavia), Sophina Uong (Mestiza), Jordan Keao (‘Aina), and Robin Song (Gibson), plus pop-up chefs like Francis Ang (Pinoy Heritage), and Wine Country chefs like Dustin Valette (Valette). Check out the full lineup, it’s a beast. (Heh.) Chefs build their own fires and roast heritage breed animals raised on family farms, from whole lamb, goats, pigs, ducks, and dry-aged beef to foie gras, sturgeon, and heirloom vegetables.

Tickets start at $125. There are also VIP tickets, Saturday events, and more. A portion of all sales benefit the Piggy Bank agricultural charity in support of heritage breeds and family farms.

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