A very happy ladybug. Photo: © tablehopper.com.
Good day, sunshine. I just came back from four days in the rain in Washington state, but it was great to be in fresh air, take in some magnificent fall color, hang with the fam, and tour my cousin’s impressive cannabis grow in Eastern Washington during harvest.
I also checked out a number of the recreational shops in Seattle. I swear, what a trip. So many fascinating products, and very local too (of course there had to be a WA cannabis and apple drink). Never thought I’d be seeing anything like this in my lifetime, but here we are. (And just in case you’re curious yourself, there’s a Curious Cannabis salon you can check out on Sunday in SF.)
This week, I have a bit of catch-up news for you, plus many upcoming fundraisers and events I hope you can support. So many people need our help, please consider attending one.
I’m also excited to announce I’ll be emceeing the James Beard Foundation Taste America event this Friday at the Fairmont San Francisco, see you there?
I hope you enjoy this warm evening, I have a beach walk that is imminent and I can’t wait.
A few quick openings to report, including a second SALT & STRAW in SF. The Portland-based ice cream maker now has a Hayes Valley shop, where you can experience 17 of their unique flavors, including some local collaborations (like Sightglass Coffee and single-origin Dandelion Chocolate, and Teranga baobab juice and coconut in partnership with La Cocina alum Nafy Flatley).
And they are really going all out for Halloween, including The Great Candycopia (salted butterscotch ice cream and an abundance of homemade Snickers, Whoppers, Heath bars, and peanut butter cups); and for you thrill seekers, there’s Dracula’s Blood Pudding (spices and cream cooked into real blood pudding) and Creepy-Crawly Critters (chocolate-covered crickets and coconut toffee brittle-covered mealworms blended into a matcha ice cream). Eek! I laughed over Essence of Ghost, and there’s Freckle & Hyde Potion with coconut ash-coated Pop Rocks. (Also, they get kudos for all their community involvement and programs they work with.) Open 11am-11pm daily. 586 Hayes St. at Laguna.
A second location of TADU ETHIOPIAN KITCHEN has opened in Mission Bay (the original is in the Tenderloin). You can order their trademark kitfo and tibs, and there are a bunch of vegetarian options too. Open daily 11:30am-9pm. 1130 4th St. at Channel, 415-409-6649.
Remember when I told you a bunch of details about NEWKIRK’S coming to Potrero with East Coast-style BECs (bacon, egg, and cheese, aka egg on a roll, fried egg sandwiches), plus classic subs and some salads too. Well, owner Ryan Blumenthal is doing some soft opening hours, so if you’re in the neighborhood, swing by for a limited menu of BECs or subs as he ramps up. You can follow along for updates on Instagram—seems like he’s closing at 3pm, and cash only for now. [UPDATE: soft opening hours are Mon-Fri 11am-2pm for now.] Can’t wait to come by and check out the kaiser roll he had custom made for the shop! 1002 Potrero Ave. at 22nd St.
Finn Town’s Rick Hamer and William Vastardis will be opening another restaurant in the Castro in November, PAPI RICO, in the former Dante’s Table. Inspired by Puerto Vallarta, the BAR reports it will be a beachy cantina, featuring Mexican playa and street food, like fish tacos, ceviche, al pastor, salads, and housemade churros. Finn Town’s new executive chef, Steve Dustin, will oversee the menu.
The location has a full liquor license, so expect both traditional and frozen cocktails, with a focus on tequila and mezcal, as well as Jell-O shots and boozy popsicles, because it’s the Castro. There’s also a nice outdoor patio and seating on the front sidewalk, with room for 90. 544 Castro St. at 18th St.
THE CHEESE SCHOOL OF SAN FRANCISCO is going to be moving from its Mission location (in the former Saison, at Stable Café) to Ghirardelli Square in late spring 2018. Owner Kiri Fisher tells me she hopes that it will be a pretty seamless transition and that they’ll only go dark for a couple of weeks, tops. The new location will be the two-story Apartment House (the space just behind the fountain on the main plaza). The expanded space means they will be launching a new culinary program, a counter service café serving cheese-centric dishes from around the world (and wines by the glass or bottle), and a retail space, with cut-to-order cheese and charcuterie counters. Classes will be held on the second floor, which will be outfitted with a catering kitchen and pizza oven, with space for 28 participants per class.
Details are a little sparse, but a kosher restaurant is coming to 6th Street, focused on “falafel, shwarma and other grilled kosher meats,” according to the J Weekly. The owners are Arik Sharabi and Roni Rotholz, and it will open in six months or so. Will keep you posted. 6th St. and Howard.
Closures Include L'Osteria del Forno, 1300 on Fillmore, Craftsman & Wolves Russian Hill, Isobune, and Paragon
Man, there are some unfortunate closures to report, starting with a North Beach classic, L’OSTERIA DEL FORNO, which has cyrptically closed after 27 years in business. Scoop reports there was a sign in the window that stated it was closed for renovations, but it also reportedly said that “they weren’t sure where the restaurant was headed once the work was done, so they wanted to take a moment to thank everyone that made this 27-year journey possible.’” But their phone is disconnected and their OpenTable reservations page is down, so yeah, that’s all pretty strange. Fingers crossed they return, it’s a special and nostalgic place for so many. 519 Columbus Ave. at Stockton.
Unfortunately 1300 ON FILLMORE is closing its doors after 10 years, but Hoodline has a coda to the stories reported elsewhere. It looks like owners Monetta White and her husband chef David Lawrence are going to reconcept and hope to relaunch something new in the location. In the meantime, they will be renting out the restaurant as an event space (perfectly swanky for holiday parties!). And Black Bark BBQ down the street remains open. There will be a closing party on Wednesday October 25th.
We received word that the famous sushi boat restaurant in Japantown, ISOBUNE, has closed. (“All the boats are out of the moat and it’s dark at noon on a Tuesday.”) But it also seems there’s a new boat place that has opened nearby (hmmm). Kintetsu Mall, 1737 Post St. at Webster.
A tablehopper reader let me know PARAGON in SoMa has closed (on October 13th), which was confirmed with a note on their website. 701 2nd St. at King.
With all the lousy news these days, let’s highlight a few nice and fun things, starting with this feel-good story in Mission Local about the return of BOOGALOOS after the landlord realized the rent hike that almost squeezed them out of their iconic Valencia location was not a cool move (a fire put the nail in the coffin). (“In 2015, the restaurant was rocked by a proposed increase of its rent from $4,200 to a parodic $17,500.”) The rent has returned to a much more manageable $7,500 a month (delivered with an apology!), and Boogaloos hopes to reopen in January 2018 after completing the renovation. Sweet!
You have one week to take advantage of LORD STANLEY’s $45 three-course prix-fixe dinner, served on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the month of October. That’s one way to check out this Michelin winner—and then there’s their new monthly English breakfast, which I’ll be reminding you of soon!
Lobster lovers, PACIFIC CATCH is featuring lobster for the first time (flown in daily from Maine). Hi lobster, welcome to Cali! Executive chef David Gingrass has put a Thai-inspired red curry lobster bisque ($10) on the new East Coast Classics, West Coast Style menu, plus a West Coast lobster roll ($22) on a butter-toasted King’s Hawaiian roll (and $1 from every lobster roll goes to All Hands Volunteers disaster relief). Available through November 28th at all locations (San Francisco, Campbell, San Mateo, Mountain View, Corte Madera, and Dublin).
Remember the kind chef Guddu (and his famous tandoori fish) at LAHORE KARAHI, and then his attempted comeback at Guddu de Karahi in the Outer Sunset? Well, it looks like he’s now in Rocklin at Kabab Hut. So if you’re passing through to ski in Tahoe, you know where to find him! (Just remember he can take awhile…but it’s worth it!)
Hi gang, the world continues to really needs our help. The majority of Puerto Rico remains without power, one month after Hurricane Maria struck (just think how much you lose your mind when the power is out for just a couple of hours). And our dear neighbors up north, man, do they need our continued generosity and help. Here are a bunch of fundraising events that could use your support, so grab some friends and go have a good time while helping. I have organized them by date below.
This Wednesday October 25th, Bacchus Management Group restaurants will host Fire Relief dinners, with 100 percent of dinner proceeds donated to the North Bay Fire Relief Fund. Visit any of their restaurants to help support our local community: Spruce, San Francisco; The Saratoga, San Francisco; The Village Pub, Woodside; The Village Bakery, Woodside; Mayfield Bakery & Cafe, Palo Alto; Pizza Antica, Danville; Pizza Antica, Lafayette; Pizza Antica, Mill Valley; and Pizza Antica, Santana Row. For those interested in supporting the North Bay Fire Relief Fund, but are unable to dine on Wednesday, Bacchus started a GoFundMe page, with all monies raised distributed directly to the Redwood Credit Union. Any amount counts, please click here to show your support.
Also on Wednesday, ANINA and BRASS TACKS in Hayes Valley are hosting a NorCal Fire Relief Event, raising money via proceeds from drink specials thanks to donated product, raffle ticket sales, food sales, and some amazing silent auction items. Come by anytime from 2pm-1:30am. Silent auction on the patio from 4pm-8pm. 488A Hayes St. at Octavia.
Maybe you’d prefer some wine instead? On Wednesday October 25th, come by the FERRY PLAZA WINE MERCHANT anytime from 4:30pm-7:30pm for a special tasting event to generate funds for the victims of the North Bay fires. Debbie Zachareas and Pamela Busch reached out to some wine importers who were willing to do whatever they could to help. You will be able to visit and taste with Gretchen Penn from Vintage 59, which imports wines from France; Nadia Dmytriw from Floraison Selections, which supports natural wines from France, Italy, Spain, and California; and Cristian Valbruzzoli from Lyra Fine Wine Imports, with his Italian portfolio. Along with Debbie and Pamela, they will be stationed in front of the store pouring their amazing wines.
The purchase of a $20 tasting will include six tickets that can be redeemed for either a taste or glass of any wine on the table: 1 ticket = one 2-ounce taste, 2 tickets = one 5-ounce glass. They are asking that everything be paid for in cash, so they can donate 100 percent of all funds directly to the UndocuFund charity. One Ferry Building, Shop 23.
Other wine-related fundraisers happening this week (Wednesday-Thursday) in conjunction with the newly formed Winemakers & Sommeliers for California Wildfire Relief will be at BERGAMOT ALLEY in Healdsburg and BLUXOME STREET WINERY in San Francisco. Click here for more information. Each event will feature rare wines donated by collectors, sommeliers, and/or distributors, with 100 percent of the profits donated.
On Sunday October 29th is Stand With Puerto Rico, a cocktail event organized by the United States Bartenders’ Guild San Francisco chapter. Expect quite a lineup of food and drinks (and bartenders, including Nora Furst, Christian Suzuki-Orellana, Mo Hodges, David Nepove, Ryan Fitzgerald, and many others). One hundred percent of the proceeds raised through this event will go to Unidos Por Puerto Rico, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that is directly helping the victims. There’s also a silent auction, and they are accepting donated clothing and supplies. Tickets are $25 and will be sold online until 1pm on the day of the event. Available at the door for $30. 5pm-9pm. Local Edition, 691 Market St. at 3rd St.
Coming up on Monday October 30th at Copia on The Wizards of Elixirs Cocktail Competition with Charbay Vodka and Perfect Purée. The event and competition will be walk-around style, with sample cocktails from Wine Country’s top bartenders as they vie for People’s Choice Award (6pm-8pm). There will then be an after-party and dancing from 8pm-11pm. Tickets: $35 presale online, $40 at the door. Ticket includes tasting of competition cocktails, light snacks, and one raffle ticket. Additional raffle tickets will be available to purchase. One hundred percent of proceeds will go to families directly affected by the North Bay Fires. 6pm-11pm. CIA at Copia, 500 1st St., Napa.
The San Francisco Vintners Market is Saturday and Sunday November 4th-5th, and they are donating 50 percent of all ongoing Sunday tickets to the Redwood Credit Union Community Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity. They have been supporting family-owned wineries since 2010, and the most important way to support winemakers is to buy their wine—100 percent of all wine sales accrue directly to the selling winery.
On Saturday November 4th, SAM’S GRILL AND SEAFOOD RESTAURANT is hosting a benefit reception and dinner supporting North Bay fire relief. Sam’s Grill will open its doors outside its regular Monday-Friday business hours with a $150-per-person, prix-fixe dinner, in honor of its 150th anniversary. The event starts at 4pm with an open bar cocktail reception on the patio followed by either a 5pm or 6:30pm dining room seating. The four-course menu will feature Sam’s famous chowder, mixed greens with shellfish, a main course (New York steak, cioppino, petrale sole, or fish and chips), and Sam’s tiramisu or chipwich for dessert. Call to make reservations at 415-421-0594.
Sam’s will be donating all profits to three charities that are doing great work in Napa, including the Napa Valley Community Foundation, Eqiu-Ed (a nonprofit that enhances the lives of children with special needs), and the Redwood Complex Fire Relief Fund in Mendocino County. Peter Quartaroli, managing partner of Sam’s Grill, had this to say: “Looking back on the history of Sam’s Grill, we feel very fortunate to have survived the 1906 earthquake and fire. What history has taught us is that the spirit and heart of the community is what carries on. We at Sam’s send our love and support to all those affected by the fires.”
A couple more ongoing notes:
—FOREIGN CINEMA will be donating 10 percent of all sales of Sonoma-, Mendocino-, and Napa-grown wines by the bottle to The Napa & Sonoma County Fire Relief Fund. The team will also donate $15 of a Napa wine flight to The Napa Valley Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund and $3 from the Oh, I’ve Seen Fire and I’ve Seen Rain cocktail to the Sonoma County Resilience Fund.
—If you are planning a trip north (you should!), INDIAN SPRINGS CALISTOGA and NAPA VALLEY LODGE will be donating $10/night per reservation for all reservations made by November 9th for stay dates from now through November 30th. And BODEGA BAY LODGE will be donating $10/night per reservation to for all reservations made by November 9 for stay dates from now through November 30.
There are a bunch of new East Bay openings, starting with COPPER SPOON, which is now open in the former Art’s Crab Shak in Oakland. Chef Andre Hall (previously Acme Chophouse, Bar Tartine, Fifth Floor, and Alexander’s Steakhouse)—who has teamed up with co-owners Vita Simone and Carmen Anderson (Sassafras Seagrass food truck)—has put together an opening menu that includes Sassy’s Original Hand Rolls with salmon, wasabi aioli, and daikon sprouts; Breads and Spreads with purple sweet potato, eggplant harissa, and tomato bacon; poached black bass with koji-cured vegetables, fried potatoes, and oyster broth; and a lamb merguez burger with spice rub, kraut, and tzatziki on a brioche bun.
Look for some quality cocktails at the spacious bar (Simone has been a bartender of note for more than 12 years), with some mezcal-based numbers. Happy hour is Mon-Fri 5:30pm-6:30pm; look for live music and occasional weekend DJs. Open daily 5:30pm-2am. 4031 Broadway, at 40th St., Oakland, 510-897-7061.
East Oakland has a new Vietnamese spot called THE TEMPLE CLUB, and East Bay Express reports chef-owner Geoffrey Deetz has cooked in Ho Chi Minh City the past 15 years. Look for some lesser-seen Vietnamese dishes, including goat curry served with warm bread, butter, pâté and a small salad. Lunch for now, dinner coming soon. 2307 International Blvd. at 23rd St.
James Syhabout’s chic new cocktail lounge is open, CDP. It’s a brandy- and sparkling wine-themed cocktail bar and lounge with a small and refined food menu that is connected to Commis next door. Eater reports the 24-seat space will have crowd control, so don’t worry about having to nudge your way to the bar, although you may need to put your name on the waiting list instead. 3859 Piedmont Ave. at Rio Vista, Oakland.
Fans of Brazilian food will want to check out PAULISTA BRAZILIAN KITCHEN AND TAPROOM in Oakland’s Glenview neighborhood, serving classics like empanadas, coxinhas (chicken croquettes), and pao de queijo (Brazilian cheese bread), plus açai bowls and smoothies in the morning (7am), and feijoada and moqueca (fish stew) for dinner (5pm). Nosh mentions there’s also a taproom that opens at 12pm (click for the extensive tap list). 4239 Park Ave. at Wellington, Oakland.
Folks near Montclair Village have a new meat and charcuterie shop, THE FIFTH QUARTER CHARCUTERIE. I mentioned this project back in 2016 from Scott Brennan, formerly from Cafe Rouge, who has been making charcuterie on his own for the past six years and selling at the farmers’ market in Berkeley on the weekends. His new retail storefront features a meat counter with his wide selection of sausages, pâtés, cuts of meat, and prepared foods made from animals sourced from local farms. He will also be offering sandwiches (such as pulled pork and meatball). Open Tue-Sat 11am-6pm, Sun 10am-4pm. 6464 Moraga Ave. at La Salle, Oakland.
Charles Phan and Michelle Mah have soft opened their new canteen on U.C. Berkeley’s campus inside Wurster Hall, RICE AND BONES. For now, you can come by Mon-Fri 12pm-5pm. Nosh has a detailed report, check it out for more.
Friday Oct 27, 2017 6pm VIP, 6:30pm reception $375 Tickets Fairmont San Francisco 950 Mason St., San Francisco
The James Beard Foundation is hosting its fifth annual Taste America Tour, making stops in nine other cities around the country between September and November. The SF event is Friday October 27th at the Fairmont San Francisco, with a one-of-a-kind benefit dinner prepared by visiting All-Star Chef and James Beard Award-winner Hugh Acheson of 5 & 10 (Athens, Georgia), and Local Star and James Beard Award-winner Stuart Brioza and Local Star Pastry Chef and James Beard Award-winner Nicole Krasinski, both of State Bird Provisions and The Progress.
And guess who is emceeing the event? Yours truly. See you there?!
There will be a reception before the dinner featuring wine, beer, and cocktails, with some delicious bites from some of the city’s hottest chefs, including Val Cantu (Californios), Melissa Perello (Frances and Octavia), Evan and Sarah Rich (Rich Table), David Barzelay (Lazy Bear), and Mourad Lahlou (Mourad), as well as host chef Oscar Gonzalez (Fairmont San Francisco).
Tickets are $375 (VIP is sold out). Cocktail attire. 6pm VIP reception, 6:30pm main reception, 7:30pm dinner.
On Saturday October 28th, free in-store consumer events will take place at Sur La Table (2224 Union St). Activities of the day will include cooking demonstrations by All-Star Hugh Acheson and Local Stars Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, book signings, tastings from local producers and artisans, as well as product demos and tastings from national sponsors. Reservations here.