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Apr 30, 2018 15 min read

May 1, 2018 - This week's tablehopper: time to party.

May  1, 2018 - This week's tablehopper: time to party.
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This week's tablehopper: time to party.                    

Just GUESS how I felt about these colors! (Hot pink and green is totally my jam right now.) This is the rich A5 tri-tip tataki nigiri with a squid ink tuile on the latest tasting menu at Hitachino Beer & Wagyu. Photo: ©

Hi gang! I’m baaaaack! Well, for some of you—many of you who have subscribed to mymilligram (my new cannabis brand and weekly newsletter about low-dose products) already heard from me last Thursday! The mymilligram site is live, mymilligram boxes are being delivered around town, @mymilligram is up and running on Instagram, and I’m a happy hopper! Thanks for checking it out and joining me! It means a lot. (Been receiving some fantastic feedback. You rock.) If you subscribed to mymilligram, I’ll be back in your inboxes on Thursday with an amazing product I just looooove: a cannabis condiment! :)

I celebrated the mymilligram launch last week with a gorgeous Friday night LCD Soundsystem show at the Greek, what a night! Felt good to get up from this damn desk and go shake it.

If you’re here after a little break and wondering why tablehopper is every other week now, here’s the update for ya.

I’ve still been doing a ton of food writing: I have my new weekly column at Bay Area Bites on Mondays called Table Talk, which you won’t want to miss. This Monday’s column includes the new meat-and-three menu at Town Hall, my fave hefty deli sandwiches at Limoncello, plus a special guest tempura chef from Japan is going to be cooking at Hitachino Beer & Wagyu May 14th-15th, and there’s a great new happy hour at Lord Stanley, plus a fun Kentucky Derby party at Comstock Saloon!

The prior week’s Table Talk included a look at the swanky new The Beehive, the sad closure of Katia’s (open since 1994, the year I moved to SF!), and did you know you can get steaks from Olivier’s Butchery on the menu at Café de la Presse? Now you know.

I’ll be posting my weekly Table Talk column on the tablehopper Twitter and Facebook channels, so you can keep up with weekly news I (mostly) won’t be covering here in tablehopper. There’s just too much to write, I swear.

We are in the home stretch for ticket sales for this Thursday’s tablehopper preopening party for Donato Scotti’s Cento Osteria on the Embarcadero. It’s going to be a lively evening of Aperol Spritzes, Boulevardiers, Negronis (and Sbagliatos!), wine, wood-fired pizzas, stuffed pastas, antipasti, salumi, roasted suckling pig, vegetable sides, and plenty of fun tablehopper party people.

Just $50, people! And we’re making a donation to Family House—the more tickets we sell, the bigger the donation, so grazie!

Cento Osteria isn’t opening until next week, so you can say you were there first. I’d love to see you! (Thanks to SF Weekly for the nice plug.)

Another article for you: I wrote this post for Blackboard Eats a few weeks ago on some of the best Southern cooking in SF. Lastly, I was posting this interesting Munchies article on social media about the man behind Meyer lemons, check it out, it’s a great read.

Sending lots of support and cheers to all the local folks attending the James Beard Foundation Awards this coming Sunday May 6th! (Congrats to all the JBF Media Award winners!)

See you Thursday! Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)

Get Your Ticket! This Thursday May 3rd Is the tablehopper Preopening Party for Cento Osteria


Aperitivo time means Aperol Spritzes and Negroni Sbagliatos. Photo: Ryan Robles PR.


Thursday is your time to get up close and personal with some Cento Osteria pizza. Photo: Nadia Andreini.


There will be all kinds of pizzas coming out of the wood-fired oven! Photo: Nadia Andreini.


Donato Scotti knows a thing or two about stuffed pasta, especially casonsei from his native Bergamo! Photo: Nadia Andreini.


Thanks to Campari America, we’ll be pouring one of my very favorite cocktails, the Boulevardier. Photo courtesy of Campari America.


Did you get your ticket yet? No? You don’t want to hang out over aperitivi, cocktails, salumi, roast pig, pasta, and wine for just $50? Whatsamatta wit you? Tutti a tavola a mangiare!

A few weeks ago, I shared the latest details about Donato Scotti’s (of Donato Enoteca and CRU in Redwood City and Donato & Co. in Berkeley) first SF restaurant coming to the Embarcadero, CENTO OSTERIA, and we get to be the first ones in! We’re hosting a preopening apericena party this Thursday May 3rd, and it’s going to be a blast.

If you attended the DONATO & CO. opening party I co-hosted last September, then you know Donato puts out quite a spread! (Italians can’t help themselves—they want everyone to eat!)

You’ll be the first to taste some dishes off the upcoming Cento Osteria menu, which is all about highlighting dishes from the different regions and provinces of Italy. You’ll get to taste housemade pasta (like Donato’s famed casonsei, a pasta from his native Bergamo stuffed with sausage, pancetta, amaretto crumbs, Grana Padano, and garlic) to a variety of pizzas from the wood-fired pizza oven and roasted suckling pig! There will also be salumi, assorted antipasti, and vegetable dishes aplenty.

You’ll get to experience apericena, a trending style of eating in Italy: a dinner (cena) comprised of antipasti and ample bites and small plates (which is what you find during aperitivo time). It’s one of my favorite ways to eat, and it’s something Donato will be encouraging and bringing to life at Cento Osteria, especially since they have that full bar. Consider this your first apericena! You may have an Italian accent by the end of the evening (if you don’t already)!

To accompany all those tasty bites at the party, we’ll also be offering cocktails (courtesy of our generous sponsor Campari America), including Aperol Spritzes, Boulevardiers (my favorite!), Negronis, and Sbagliatos, as well as pouring some wines (prosecco, white, rosé, and red). Your $50 ticket includes three drink tickets!

We’ll be making a donation to our charity partner for the evening, Family House, which serves as a home away from home for families of children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses by providing physical comfort and emotional support, free from financial concerns. So the more tickets we sell, the more we can donate. Please come!

Tickets are only $50 (plus a small ticket service fee), which will get you three drink tickets and access to all the delicious food! (Additional cocktails/wine will be available at a very affordable price.) And a donation will be made to charity partner Family House.

The party will run from 6pm-9pm. 21+ only. Get your tickets now, we don’t have many left!

See you this Thursday May 3rd! Festeggiamo! Mangiamo! Beviamo!

100 Brannan St. at Embarcadero @centoosteria

               Thursday May  3, 2018 6pm–9pm $50 + processing fee more info

Pim Techamuanvivit Named Chef of Nahm in Bangkok


Pim Techamuanvivit (photo via Facebook).

Big news: Bangkok native and chef-owner Pim Techamuanvivit (KIN KHAO) has been named chef at Bangkok’s NAHM, an extraordinary restaurant I enjoyed immensely during my visit to Thailand last year. (The restaurant first opened in London, and then inside the COMO Metropolitan Bangkok; chef David Thompson, an Aussie, is moving on to “focus on his global food business Aylmer Aaharn”).

Today’s New York Times piece mentions Pim “plans to split her time between the two cities and the two restaurants, though she isn’t sure of her exact schedule; she has been in Bangkok for just over a week.” She’s going to be touring farms in the north and connecting with producers, and plans to renovate the kitchen, which will close the restaurant temporarily before it reopens with her menu, updates, and more. Congrats on this amazing news, Pim!

Papi Rico Opens in the Castro on Cinco de Mayo


Starting on Cinco de Mayo, the cocktails will be flowin’ at Papi Rico. Photo: Connor Bruce Photography.


An array of beachy bites at Papi Rico. Photo: Connor Bruce Photography.

Opening just in time for a soft opening on Cinco de Mayo is PAPI RICO, a Puerto Vallarta-inspired cantina in the Castro (in the former Dante’s Table). Owners Rick Hamer and Bill Vastardis (Finn Town) will be bringing beachy vibes in the food and cocktails, as well as a party atmosphere.

There’s a main dining area, a semiprivate Gecko Lounge (for large groups or private parties), and a lush backyard patio with a living wall, tropical plants, and three magnetic murals (all commissioned by Papi Rico from different artists).

The cocktail menu (from lead bartender R.M. Richards of Finn Town) features tequila- and mezcal-based drinks that take their names from beaches, towns, and landmarks of P.V., including the Playas Conchas (tequila, lime, grapefruit bitters) and the Sayulita (sotol, pineapple, hibiscus), and some frozen drinks, of course.

The snacky menu is like what you’d find at beachside stands, like ceviche de pescado, cheese empanadas, and your choice of tacos, tostadas, or quesadillas with steak, chicken, carnitas, fish, vegetables, or al pastor.

Open Mon-Fri 4pm-1:30am, Sat-Sun 11am-1:30am; note the kitchen closes at 11pm, outside patio closes at 10pm. 544 Castro St. at 19th St.

Openings: Sequels (Bakeworks, Powder), Plus Grilled Cheez Guy, Dancing Yak, and More


The new Hayes Valley Bakeworks on Golden Gate Ave. Photo courtesy of Mark Bailey/Bakeworks.


Powder’s boozy Tropical Flight. Photo: Albert Law.


Bun bo Hue at the new Rose Kitchen. Yelp photo by Genevieve Y.

Congrats to Hayes Valley’s BAKEWORKS on opening their second location in the SFPUC (San Francisco Public Utilities Commission) building. Bakeworks is a nonprofit social enterprise that helps provide employment and training for people with disabilities, or who are homeless or otherwise at risk. (It’s a part of Toolworks, another amazing organization that operates janitorial and staffing businesses that employ more than 100 individuals with disabilities.)

This latest Bakeworks location will offer morning pastries, soups, salads and sandwiches, and all-day cookies/bars, including many gluten-free and vegan offerings (office meal catering is also available). Drinks include locally roasted hot and iced coffees and teas along with fresh-squeezed juices and more. Jim Maxwell of Architects II designed this space as well. 525 Golden Gate Ave. at Polk.

Another sequel: POWDER, the makers of the tasty Taiwanese shaved snow on Divisadero, Mimi Hanley and David Chung, have opened a second location at Mission Bay’s Spark Social SF. You’ll find their signature flavors like black sesame, horchata, and matcha green tea, waffle bowls, and new additions like boozy snow (you can try all three—passion fruit mojito, piña colada, and strawberry daquiri—in a tropical flight during happy hour Mon-Fri 4pm-7pm for just $7). Open Mon-Sat 11am-9pm and Sun 11am-5pm. 601 Mission Bay Blvd. North at 4th St.

Looks like the GRILLED CHEEZ GUY got his brick-and-mortar location open! Be sure to follow him to find out when he’s giving away free grilled cheese sandwiches each month! Soft opening hours: Mon-Fri 11am-4pm. 529 Stevenson St. at 6th St.

Eater first reported about a new Nepalese restaurant taking over the former Babu Ji space on Valencia, DANCING YAK, and it’s now open. Check the menu here (some of the dishes sound really awesome, like roasted soybeans, crunchy beaten rice, garlic, ginger, and chile—sign me up!), and you can enjoy cocktails too. Open daily 11:30am-10pm. 280 Valencia St. at 14th St.

I was so sad that BODEGA BISTRO closed, and with the death of former chef Jimmie Kwok not too long ago, man, I guess it’s time for a fresh start over there. Sigh. Hoodline noticed there’s a new Vietnamese restaurant that has opened in Bodega’s place, ROSE KITCHEN, and according to their note on Yelp, “We specialize in Vietnamese authentic food, bun bo Hue (spicy beef noodle soup), banh canh cua (Vietnamese thick crab soup), mi vit tim (duck leg stew with Chinese herb broth), bun cha Ha Noi (Northern-style grilled pork patties in sweet and sour fish sauce with vermicelli)”—I say yes to all of that. Open daily 10am-11pm. 607 Larkin St. at Eddy.

More noodles: Hoodline’s intrepid tipster Al M. noticed Ramen Underground has opened a new udon spot, UDON UNDERGROUND, in the former Kisu Japanese Cuisine in the FiDi. They reportedly are serving six different udon variations with udon imported from Japan. 493 Pine St. at Belden.

This came rolling in at the last minute, but there’s a new gaming café that just opened in the Inner Sunset called THE GAME PARLOUR. I kind of love this. They have hundreds of board games you can play, and it’s just $5 per game (for as long as you want) unless you order food, and then it’s free. The menu includes mochi waffles, savory waffle sandwiches, waffle-cut fries, Three Twins ice cream, and gourmet popcorn, plus a full specialty coffee and espresso bar featuring Ritual Coffee to keep you wired, a soda fountain, and milkshakes. Soft opening hours: Sun-Thu 11am-11pm and Fri-Sat 11am-1am. 1342 Irving St. at 15th Ave.

Tasty Tidbits: Chicken Karaage at Kahnfections, Culinary Love at MUTEK.SF


The crispy chicken karaage sandwich. Photo courtesy of Kahnfections.


MUTEK.SF is not just about beats. It’s also bi-valves. Photo courtesy of MUTEK.

Happy Birthday to KAHNFECTIONS, celebrating their first year in the Mission with the introduction of a crispy chicken karaage sandwich, served on one of their amazing fresh biscuits with wasabi furikake, wasabi aioli, and Japanese pickled vegetables. On the weekend of May 4th-6th, 100 percent of the proceeds from the purchase of the new sandwich (as well as any other biscuit sandwich or biscuit purchase) will go to Support for Families. Check your sandwich packaging for some Willy Wonka-style presents ($10 gift cards!). And then the karaage sandwich will continue to be served on Fridays only. Open Mon-Fri 6am-3pm and Sat-Sun 8am-3pm. 3321 20th St. at Folsom.

Fellow lovers of music and food: the MUTEK festival is premiering in the U.S. (and San Francisco!) for the first time, and they lined up some pretty cool food programming too. It runs Thursday May 3rd-Sunday May 6th. MUTEK.SF is co-hosting pop-ups with Feastly, and as a passholder, you receive exclusive access to reserved seats for these dinners: use password EatMUTEK (case sensitive) when booking your seats. MUTEK.SF passport holders also get access to some reservations at top restaurants (Octavia, Rintaro, Montesacro Pinseria, Kin Khao, and others). Call the reservation line: 415-997-9054.

And then on Sunday May 6th at The Midway, Preeti Mistry is hosting a Juhu Beach Club revival! Some of her most beloved dishes will return just for one day! The early-bird brunch special (12pm-2pm) includes a special brunch pizza with chai bacon and eggs—that will get me out of bed. Presale $20 tickets get you a brunch pizza, fried cauliflower/wings or salad, coffee, and a drink ticket (a $30-plus value)—you also have to have an Experience ticket for the day/evening at The Midway to attend. Brunch closes at 2pm, so you must arrive beforehand to take advantage of this offer. There will also be food available all day, from the Bollywood Baller lamb/beef meatball slider to Love Veggie Indian Pizza (eggplant crush, asparagus, fava leaves, paneer).

tablehopper readers also get a 25 percent discount on a four-day passport, Nocturne 2 this Friday May 4th (incredible lineup at Mezzanine, including the West Coast premiere of Mexico’s Debit, part of NAAFI from Mexico City!), and Nocturne 3, for the techno lovers, on Saturday May 5th.

510 News: Dyafa Opens for Dinner, Farmhouse Oakland Coming, Boot and Shoe Sold, More


The cheerful and colorful dining room at Dyafa. Photo: Connor Bruce.


An array of dishes at Dyafa. Photo: Connor Bruce.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that Reem Assil (of Reem’s California) had opened DYAFA for lunch service in the former Haven at Jack London Square in Oakland, and now dinner has launched. You can survey the menu, which also includes cocktails, wine (riesling flights!), and beer selected by beverage director Aaron Paul. Lunch is served Tue-Fri 11am-2pm and dinner is 5:30pm-10pm. 44 Webster St. at Water, Oakland, 510-250-9491.

Also in the neighborhood, the Chron reports that the former Jack’s Oyster Bar & Fish House is going to become FARMHOUSE OAKLAND, a Thai restaurant from the team behind SF’s popular Farmhouse Kitchen and Montclair’s Daughter Thai. Stand by for more. 336 Water St., Jack London Square, Oakland.

Great news (in case you missed it): Oakland restaurant owner Charlie Hallowell (who was accused of sexual harassment by more than 30 employees at his restaurants) and his business partner, Richard Weinstein, have sold BOOT AND SHOE SERVICE to a former employee, Jen Cremer, and her husband Richard Clark. According to the piece in the Scoop, they will continue to keep the menu, recipes, and staff the same. So that’s one Hallowell establishment you can feel better about supporting.

And now for some bad news: was sorry to hear POMPETTE has closed (via Nosh) in Berkeley (in the former Café Rouge space). 1782 4th St. at Delaware, Berkeley.

the sponsor

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


(Sponsored Event): Celebrate Cinco de Mayo 2018 at Cadillac Bar & Grill!

Come join Cadillac Bar & Grill for San Francisco’s biggest Cinco de Mayo celebration Friday May 4th AND Saturday May 5th! Our third annual Cinco de Mayo will be one you won’t want to miss! We will have our favorite Tex-Mex dishes, a fully stocked bar with drink specials, a free photo booth, and free entry all night long!

5pm-7pm: Teatro Flamenco 5pm-8pm: Mariachis 8pm-12am: Somos el Son!

Call us at 415-554-0181 or email for more information. We’re located at 44 9th St. in San Francisco, on the ground floor of the Twitter building. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, too!

the lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)

Rooftop 25 Opens, Along with The Beehive, and School Night in Dogpatch


Rooftop 25 at Twenty Five Lusk. Photo: Anne-Claire Thieulon.


The Ipanema Gold at The Beehive. Photo: Andrew Calisterio.


School Night at The Pearl. Photo via The Pearl’s website.

There are three new bar openings to assist with you getting your springtime swerve on, starting with ROOFTOP 25, the new rooftop bar (and you thought I was going to say basement bar!) at TWENTY FIVE LUSK in SoMa. It has its own upstairs bar, room for 100 guests, and a chic look by Cass Calder Smith/CCS Architecture + Design, complete with mahogany wood and olive trees. Grab a table with your date or snag a spot at the communal tables, and your next birthday posse can hit up the cabana lounge that seats up to 14. It is SF, so there are heaters, a windscreen, retractable canopy, and blankets (because Karl).

Executive chef Matthew Dolan’s menu includes albacore ceviche, Dungeness crab roll sliders, wood-fired pizzas, and a skillet burger on a pizza dough bun with shishito aioli, mushrooms, and Valley Ford’s Highway 1 cheese. Cocktails include a spicy blended passion fruit margarita, bottled cocktails, adult Otter Pops (caipirinha, watermelon sangria, or key lime pie), or keep things truly adult with a Spanish-style G&T with London dry gin, Fever Tree tonic, fruit, and herbs. Conveniently open Sun-Wed 11:30am-8pm and Thu-Sat 11:30am-10pm.

Over in the Mission, I had fun checking out the new THE BEEHIVE in the former Range on Valencia. Check out more about the retro 1960s-inspired décor, cocktails by lead bartender Emilio Salehi, midcentury party food, and swanky back room in my Table Talk column on Bay Area Bites. Open Mon-Wed 5pm-12am, Thu 5pm-2am, Fri-Sat 3pm-2am, and Sun 2pm-10pm. 842 Valencia St. at 19th St.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that Traci Des Jardins was opening a semipermanent bar in The Pearl in Dogpatch called SCHOOL NIGHT, and it’s now open Sunday through Wednesday nights. You’ll find affordable and beautifully made cocktails from Arguello’s fantastico bar director Enrique Sanchez, from agave to pisco (Enrique is Peruvian, so duh) to whiskey. Scroll down a little more for the food menu highlighting dishes from the wood-burning oven, like queso fundido, albondigas made with Impossible non-meat, and tacos al pastor, plus a Tijuana Caesar. Open Sun-Wed 5pm-12am. 601 19th St. at 3rd St.

the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)

Goopy Dinners at Che Fico and Cala

As if the hype machine wasn’t already on blast for CHE FICO in Nopa, and then Gwyneth Paltrow goes in for dinner and dials it PAST 11.

And then she was back in SF again, dining at CALA on Sunday night and indulging in one of my favorites, the charred sweet potato with bone marrow salsa negra (!) and housemade tortillas.

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