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Jun 3, 2019 15 min read

June 4, 2019 - This week's tablehopper: I can see clearly now.

June  4, 2019 - This week's tablehopper: I can see clearly now.
Table of Contents

This week's tablehopper: I can see clearly now.                    

Happiness is a sunny day, Caesar salad, and a Cappelletti spritz (at flour + water Pizzeria). Photo: ©

Here is the rainbow I’ve been prayin’ for—it’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) sun-shiny day. Happy Pride month, everyone, and I’m glad the sun finally decided to make an appearance.

Although the gray skies and lousy wind didn’t stop me and my friends from our walk across the city on Sunday, celebrating two of my friends’ 25th anniversary of living in SF! We walked from the Filbert Steps all the way to the Cliff House, about nine miles in all, and I can’t recommend it highly enough! Get some friends together (ideally some SF old-timers, so you can share stories and trivia along the way) and don’t forget your flask (it gets chilly by Lands End!).

A bunch of restaurant folks were celebrating last night with the announcement of Michelin stars for California. Congrats to Campton Place on gaining their second star, and Maum, Sorrel, and Angler now have a star (although Saison lost one, dropping to two stars). You can also read the Bib Gourmand listings here.

You can celebrate some local culinary talent at next Tuesday’s StarChefs: 2019 Rising Star Award Winners, which includes a walk-around tasting gala. Don’t miss it!

See you soon, and make some gumbo in honor of Leah Chase. What a life.

Big XO. ~Marcia

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)

Flour + Water Pizzeria Now Open on Valencia (Release the Mozzarella Sticks)


The updated dining room at flour + water Pizzeria. Photo: ©


The squash blossom pizza with burrata. Photo: ©


The trio of marinated vegetables. Photo: ©

Whoosh, someone opened early this past weekend: FLOUR + WATER PIZZERIA is now open in the former Farina Pizzeria space on Valencia in the Mission. There’s some prime corner real estate, with plenty of natural light and sidewalk seating. The space was updated by Studio KDA with new surfaces, green Heath tiles, and bronze light fixtures, but the layout is the same with the small bar and then bar seating across from the kitchen. (The pizza oven is now a four-deck Pizza Master.)

Chef Thomas McNaughton has put together a fun menu, with starters like fritto misto, meatballs, and their pride and joy: mozzarella sticks with marinara (all $12 and under). It ends up these mozz sticks were one of the toughest things to engineer, but with one bite of the seasoned breadcrumb exterior, I’ll say they nailed it.

There are three different marinated vegetable options for $5 each, including a minty and tangy dish of asparagus, mushrooms, charred spring onion vinaigrette, and pine nuts. All three have a conserva/bright note to them, an excellent accompaniment or precursor to the pizzas. You’ll also find a Caesar salad with white anchovies, a classic chopped salad (McNaughton is from New Jersey, represent!), or a more Cali-style salad with kale, arugula, and quinoa (which you can add avocado to), all $13.

The 13-inch pizzas are divided into white or red pies, 10 in all. Chef Tom told me a bit about some of the different doughs they have been working on, from the delicate-yet-crisp dough for the margherita ($15), to the four-day ferment for the squash blossom with burrata ($19). These are not Neapolitan pies, they’re something unique. Both had an airy yet crisp lightness to them (they bake at 650 degrees), and the flavor of the crust will have you eat every last bite (it ends up they brush the pies with tomato sauce and dry/shaved mozzarella, creating an extra layer of flavor—and you’ll notice some of the blisters on the pizza have a darker red look to them). You want a side of ranch? They got you.

For dessert, there is soft-serve ice cream, featuring Double 8 Dairy, and your choice of flavors and toppings (including Mike’s Hot Honey). There’s also an off-menu topping you can request: the Felipe, named after their bartender, which comes with Cappelletti drizzled over fior di latte ice cream and sea salt. Yes, you want this.

Speaking of Cappelletti, it’s featured in their house spritz ($11), along with a few beers, and a wine list of both California and Italian selections (four of them are their own label, custom-crushed in CA).

Look for the second entrance and counter, where you can pick up takeout orders and soon you’ll be able to grab “the big slice” to-go (it will be a daily-changing slice that will be one-quarter of a full pie), served on a paper plate, and for to-go only. (Perfect on your way to or after Dolores Park.) You’ll be able to order the rest for delivery exclusively on Caviar (use my code for $10 off your first two orders).

Hours are 11am-11pm. No reservations, but there is text notification waitlist functionality. 702 Valencia St. at 18th St.

Azalina's Malaysian Opening Mahila in Noe Valley on June 15th


The delightful Azalina Eusope. Photo by Tim Benson.

Congrats to Azalina Eusope on getting her new restaurant open in a couple weeks! She’s opening MAHILA in the former Contigo in Noe Valley on June 15th. She’ll be serving dishes that highlight her Mamak heritage—a community in Malaysia, which melds Chinese, Indian, and Polynesian/Malay influences—along with California influences and inspiration, making dishes in her own unique way. Specialties such as salted fish curry, sweet potato dumplings, mee Mamak (spicy stir-fried noodles), and pasembur (a salad of shredded cucumber, potato, beancurd, turnip, bean sprouts, and seafood, with a spicy nut sauce) will be on the menu. There will also be beer and wine selected to pair well with Mahila’s flavors, plus specialty fermented alcoholic drinks, and teh tarik, a hot, pulled milk tea. A great deal of the produce used in Mahila’s dishes will be sourced from a 3,200-sq.-ft. urban hydroponic farm located within Azalina’s Bayview commissary space.

As for the name, “mahila” means “becoming a woman,” in Mamak, referring to the second stage of a woman’s life, when she comes of age and can become a leader of her community and family. I think it nicely reflects Azalina’s journey as a businesswoman, who started as a farmers’ market vendor in 2010, working with La Cocina, and keeping her family’s legacy of street food vendors alive and well (she is the fifth generation to do so). She has her own line of packaged products in Whole Foods, a kiosk in The Market, and a robust catering business. So excited for this next stage for her.

Open Tue-Sun 5pm-10:30pm and for brunch Sat-Sun 10:30am-2:30pm. You can make reservations on Tock. 1320 Castro St. at 24th St.

A German Bakery, Hahdough, Is Coming to the Panhandle


Get excited for a slice of bee sting (bienenstich) cake! Photo courtesy of Hahdough.


Hahdough’s Berliners come filled with vanilla cream or seasonal jam. Photo courtesy of Hahdough.


German laugengebaeck: brezel and laugenstange (pretzel and pretzel roll). Photo courtesy of Hahdough.

A new German bakery is coming to Nopa, in the former Panhandle Guitars store on Fell. It will be the first brick-and-mortar location for HAHDOUGH, from baker Ha Do, known for her stand at the Inner Sunset and San Mateo farmers’ markets. She has many fans of her vanilla cream or seasonal (and organic) fruit jam-filled Berliners (they run out early!), pretzel croissants, and German cakes and tortes.

She is thrilled to create a space where people can gather for a slice of cake and coffee or tea, like a slice of her black forest cake, bee sting (bienenstich) cake, mousse cakes, and traditional German cheesecake (made with quark), which is lighter and less sweet. (There will also be the opportunity to order an entire cake in advance.) You’ll additionally find almond cookies, fruit pies, and hazelnut twists. There won’t be German breads (for now)—her production kitchen is limited.

Do grew up in Koblenz, Germany—her father (a refugee) left Vietnam after the war, and was picked up by a German boat. She studied astronomy and graphic design, and came to SF in 2008. In 2015, she made a career change when she realized there wasn’t a German bakery in the city and wanted to fix that. She went home for an internship for three months in a German bakery, and went through the baking science and baking program at City College (for free, what an amazing thing, thank you City College). She also worked for an Austrian owner at CIP (Creative International Pastries), who makes wholesale pastries in Dogpatch, and then started her farmers’ market stand.

She’s hoping to open in time for Oktoberfest so she can serve her pretzels! In the meantime, visit her stand at the San Mateo (on Saturdays) and Inner Sunset (on Sundays) farmers’ markets.

Hours will start at Tue-Sun 7:30am-4:30pm, and until 8pm on the weekend. I’ll keep you posted. 1221 Fell St. at Divisadero.

The Latest Openings at ONE65: Bistro & Grill and Elements


Table with a view at ONE65 Bistro & Grill. Photo: ©


The perfect place to sneak away for a clandestine cocktail: the booths at Elements at ONE65. Photo: ©


The dimly lit bar and communal table at Elements at ONE65. Photo: ©

In the last tablehopper issue, I reported on the opening of ONE65 Patisserie & Boutique on the ground floor in the multi-level ONE65 in Union Square, and now it’s time to visit the other floors of the restored, historic Beaux Arts building. To recap, the project is from chef-partner Claude Le Tohic, known for gaining three Michelin stars while at the restaurant Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand (the only three-star in Vegas).

Now open is ONE65 Bistro & Grill (on the second and third floors), offering lunch, brunch, and dinner from chef de cuisine Jennifer Dewasha, with contemporary Cal-French comfort dishes like steak tartare, a crispy onion tart with porcini, a seasonal stuffed artichoke, and dishes from their Spanish Josper charcoal grill, including skirt steak (and entrecôte for dinner). Fun fact: all meals are prepared using induction ranges and the Josper ovens, eliminating the use of gas throughout the building.

Sustainability appears with the recycled cork flooring and recycled porcelain paneling, and it has a sleek look, with white marble and wood tabletops. There’s tufted banquette seating by the windows, or sit at the counter facing the open kitchen.

Also open is the cocktail bar and lounge, Elements at ONE65, on the fourth floor. It’s a dark and dramatic hideaway, with dim lighting, private booths, and some lounge-y seating by the windows if you want to see who you’re drinking with (and take a picture of your cocktail). The black and gold quartz bar is a stunner, and where you’d find me. The bar is overseen by bar director Trevin Hutchins, who came out from Maine, and his cocktail menu covers the four elements, with a couple large-format options for groups. You’ll find wines, and you can order bites from the Bistro (there is also afternoon tea service from 2:30pm-4:30pm, except on Sundays).

Due to open this Thursday June 6th is O’ by Claude Le Tohic (on the fifth floor, and a private chef’s table on the sixth floor, plus two other private rooms). I’ll have more on that in the next issue!

ONE65 Bistro & Grill is open for lunch from 11:30am-2pm and 5:30pm-9:30pm for dinner (until 10pm Fri-Sat), with brunch Sat-Sun 10:30am-2:30pm. Elements at ONE65 is open daily from 11:30am-12am. 165 O’Farrell St. at Powell.

Coming Soon: Vegan Baia in Former Jardinière


Jardinière. Photo: ©

Vegans in SF are rejoicing over the news that an upscale, Italian-inspired, vegan restaurant will be opening in the former JARDINIÈRE called BAIA (which means “bay” in Italian). The project is from Tracy Vogt, who owns a 32-acre farm animal sanctuary in Sonoma. She has brought on chef Matthew Kenney, who has vegan restaurants in LA (including Folia in Beverly Hills, Plant Food + Wine) and New York (Bar Verde), and has a vegan pizzeria chain, Double Zero, among other concepts as well.

According to the Chronicle, the space will be modernized a bit, but it sounds like Vogt appreciates the restaurant’s classic character. According to the Matthew Kenney site, lunch, brunch, and dinner will be offered. No opening date yet, stand by. 300 Grove St. at Franklin.

Gioia Pizzeria Opening Friday in Hayes Valley


Hayes Valley is really lucky to be the future home of Gioia’s crazy-delicious pizza. Photo: ©

Opening this Friday June 7th is the new Hayes Valley location of GIOIA PIZZERIA, after closing up their Polk Street location and moving into the former Two Sisters Bar & Books space. Think New York-style pizza, with quality Cali ingredients. Husband-and-wife duo, Will and Karen Gioia, are also known for their original pizzeria in Berkeley, which just celebrated 15 years.

You’ll be able to get whole pies, pizza by the slice, and East Coast faves like meatballs roasted with San Marzano tomatoes, chicken and meatball parm heroes, seasonal salads, and daily specials, all available for take-out and delivery.

Hours: Sun-Thu 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-10pm. 579 Hayes St. at Laguna.

Space Refreshes, Renovations, and Reopenings


The colorful new exterior of Bi-Rite Creamery. Photo courtesy of Bi-Rite Creamery.


In the mood for a soft-serve-filled donut? Uh huh. Photo courtesy of Bi-Rite Creamery.

Just in time for sunny days at Dolores Park, BI-RITE CREAMERY on 18th Street has reopened after a three-month closure for seismic retrofitting and renovation. You’ll find more communal seating, a vibrant mural, and new treats, like soft-serve stuffed donuts (featuring brioche donuts from Mr. Holmes Bakehouse) served with dipping sauces, three new ice cream bars (vanilla with dark chocolate and puffed quinoa, balsamic strawberry with white chocolate and graham cracker crumble, and chocolate with dark chocolate and rainbow sprinkles), plus three new vegan flavors, created with oatmilk and coconut milk. Open daily 11am-10pm. 3692 18th St. at Guerrero.

With executive chef and co-owner Laurent Gras now leading the helm at SAISON, he will be closing the restaurant for a renovation later this summer. Ken Fulk will be updating the interior of the restaurant, while retaining the open-kitchen format. Will there be taxidermy? Stand by for more.

I was surprised to see ALFRED’S STEAKHOUSE announce closure for a remodel, which the restaurant recently had when the Daniel Patterson Restaurant Group took it over a few years ago, and then after the recent fire as well. Stand by for what’s next, now that owner Al Petri has taken the restaurant back over once again. 659 Merchant St. at Kearny.

Over in the Castro, BREWCADE is expanding into the neighboring Botellón space, but they need to close for the expansion, and will rename to DISTRICT 8, since the new format will be more than beer and arcade games. Siblings and owners Shawn Vergara and Tiffny Vergara Chung will now be offering food and cocktails. Look for fast-casual bites, like pizza and lemongrass beef sandwiches. They’re hoping for a mid-summer reopening (with a new entrance). 2200 Market St. B at Sanchez.

What to Eat (and Drink) at Outside Lands and Clusterfest


Whoa, was there something in my beer? Nope, Outside Lands always delivers on the trippy lights! Photo: Tom Tomkinson.


Rich Table’s porcini doughnuts with raclette cheese. Photo courtesy of Outside Lands.


This will be the second year of Grass Lands at OSL. Photo: ©


Sis showing how it’s done (at the Hendrick’s Gin activation). Photo: ©

It’s that time of the year, when you start plotting who you’re excited to see at Outside Lands (on my list: The Seshen, Childish Gambino, Leon Bridges, Yaeji, Paul Simon, Toro y Moi, Santigold, Bob Moses, DJ Koze, Luttrell) and what you’re going to eat and drink in between sets! This year, OSL runs August 9th-11th, and single-day tickets are now on sale.

The lineup of food vendors (Taste of the Bay Area) includes over 80 restaurants and food trucks, serving over 200 menu items. Newcomers include Pinoy Heritage from Francis Ang (bringing sisig fried rice and pork lumpia!), Chef Smelly’s Creole and Soul Food, Chris Kronner (Henry’s) will bring KronnerBurger, and also rolling in from the East Bay is Xolo with its creative Mexican eats, including Impossible burritos.

More burger love will come from Causwells (I love their smash-style Americana burgers), Guerra’s Quality Meats will have Toscano Sloppy Joes and vegetarian po’ boys, crab nachos from Metal + Match, Rooh will be there with a chicken tikka kathi roll, as well as Noosh with their housemade chubby pita sandwiches. Look for some Hawaiian vibes from chef Sam Choy of Poke to the Max, and Michelle Karr-Ueoka and Wade Ueoka of Trailblazer Tavern in VIP. Also in VIP: Omakase will serve Edomae-style sushi, and A16 will be offering their wood-fired Neapolitan pies.

You can also find treats at Outside Clams, GastroMagic, Cheese Lands, Grass Lands (look for Cannaisseur’s five-spice duck meatball sliders!), and something to drink at Wine Lands (46 wineries!) and Beer Lands (with 31 Northern Californian breweries, including newcomer Woods Beer Co., and look for the annual special edition Outside Lands brews!). Happy to hear more than half of the 125 wines on the Wine Lands menu will be priced at $10-14 per glass. Will there be more bubbles this year? A hopper can only hope. Look for some special picks from Terry Theise, bringing his selections of boutique wines from Germany and Austria this year. VIP gets some really special juice, and winemaker visits too. And swing by the 14 Hands horse trailer-turned-wine bar for some frosé (let’s see if Karl the Fog is a headliner this year).

Cocktail Magic will feature six Bay Area cocktail bars (15 Romolo, The Snug, Starline Social Club, Comstock Saloon, The Treasury, and RadHaus), and magicians (Poof! There goes your money!), and music.

There are also some liquor sponsors with booths throughout the grounds (and good deals on drinks—I hit up the Jim Beam booth daily for their Knight Rider—with Jim Beam Black Whiskey, cold brew, macadamia orgeat, and coconut milk—which gave me LIFE). Stand by for more announcements and updates!

Coming up Friday June 21st-23rd is Clusterfest from Comedy Central, with some fun culinary options and plenty of puns, including the Drunk History Beer Garden, with Al Capone’s Italian Sausage, or Alexander Hamiltots, and Agatha Crispy Battered Fish & Chips (har). KronnerBurger and Humphry Slocombe, yes. You’ll also find an international lineup, including dumplings from Bling Bling, Bulgogi Taco, Cochinita (panuchos!), Gerard’s Paella, Señor Sisig, and beef birria tacos from Tres Tequila Lounge & Mexican Kitchen. Civic Center Plaza and the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.

Closures Include Prather Ranch at the Ferry Building Marketplace, Naked Lunch, More


Flickr photo by yipe.

Some unfortunate closures, including the PRATHER RANCH shop at the Ferry Building Marketplace. I reached out to Prather for a comment but didn’t hear anything back. According to a letter forwarded to me, it sounded like employees were told to hang on for a reboot, but were laid off after all. (That happened to me at the ad agency where I worked back during DotBomb, it sucks. “Hang on, we’ll get through this rough patch. Shit, sorry, you’re laid off!”) No word about the fate of their farmers’ market appearances (a friend said they were missing from his weekly market, who knows if it’s related), but you can still find them on Good Eggs, so that’s good.

Over in North Beach, NAKED LUNCH is closing up shop after 10 years in the former Enrico’s. No more of Ian Begg and Ryan Maxey’s amazing sandwiches and burgers, sorry people! The last day is June 15th. 504 Broadway at Kearny.

A tablehopper reader also let me know that FRJTZ will no longer be open in its somewhat recently new location in the Mission, and is moving to a delivery-only model (via Caviar) for its burgers and stoner piles of fries.

the sponsor

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

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the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)

Ayala Is a Good Candidate for Dinner

I was happy to be scrolling through Instagram and spot senator Elizabeth Warren standing next to chef Melissa Perfit of Ayala in Union Square—Warren came in for dinner, and reportedly loved the baby artichokes. The Democratic presidential candidate was in town for the California Democratic Party convention at Moscone.

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