This week's tablehopper: Grecian formula.
Drinking a mastiha mojito at sunset at Karnagio Beach Bar on Thassos. Yamas!
Yassou! Yours truly is back from two glorious weeks in Greece, and friends are blaming/thanking me for bringing this hot weather back. (I could barely fit it in my bag full of caftans, tunics, mastiha, spices, and Apivita skincare products.) If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve seen all the cool places I have visited (Thassos, Kavala, Thessaloniki, Rachis Pierias, Volos, Skiathos, and Athens), while learning about kiwis and cherries (more on this soon)! It was a deeply restorative and delicious trip (#dailytarama), full of wonderful personal connections and lots of time swimming in the Aegean (truly my happiest of happy places).
Of course, it was hard to come back, but Fortuna helps a lot with that part (and I wouldn’t want to miss Pride, especially when Vinny Eng is one of the grand marshals and I am so honored to march in his contingent of LOVE on Sunday). If you’re looking for some ideas of how to celebrate, here’s a Pride piece I wrote for Local Getaways (you do NOT want to miss having a pink triangle tin of glittery Pride gummies from Kiva, it’s so awesome!), and then there’s Marke B’s ever-amazing Pride Guide in 48 Hills, with allllll the parties. Stay hydrated, gang. We’re out of practice.
I also loved seeing this Pride Snack Bag, with snacks from La Cocina entrepreneurs, featuring queer-owned and BIPOC-owned businesses! You can pick it up at the marketplace at 101 Hyde St.—just a block from the parade route—on Sunday June 26th 11am-3pm (snack bags will be available for those who haven’t pre-ordered, but in limited quantities, so don’t show up late).
While I was away, the James Beard Foundation announced the 2022 Restaurant and Chef Award winners—congrats to alllll the winners, nominees, and semifinalists (including Best Chef: California: Brandon Jew of Mister Jiu’s!). I’m sure it was great to be back in person for the ceremony and parties.
I need to take Fortuna into the backyard to cool off before we spontaneously combust in my top-floor apartment, so let’s catch up on some news! Happy summer solstice.
Gossip & News (the word on the street)
Bodega SF's First Brick and Mortar Now Open Downtown
Back in January, I reported that BODEGA SF was working on opening a brick-and-mortar location in the former Mason House in Union Square/Tenderloin after popping up at Rooster & Rice in the Castro. (Read my original piece for background on this special Northern Vietnamese family business that has its roots on Larkin.)
Have you tried chef-owner Matt Ho’s delicate banh cuon? They’re hard to find around town and so delicious—you’ll see them on the lunch menu. There’s also bánh khọt on the menu, those incredible Vietnamese shrimp-turmeric-coconut cupcakes, as well as dry hu tieu, one of my favorites (rice noodles with shredded chicken, shrimp, ground pork, housemade fish cake [which totally rocks], cucumbers, cilantro, and crispy shallots in a garlic soy sauce or dry shrimp ragù that you mix up). You’ll also see some former Bodega Bistro classics: beef pho, shaking beef (bring on the Maggi butter), and I’m gonna keep a candle lit for the squab to return.
Look for elevated service and presentations (Ho has over 10 years of experience in fine dining), but a family-style vibe and casual atmosphere will keep things social and fun. Lunch will offer more traditional dishes, while dinner service will bring some modernized and creative presentations (like bánh khọt caviar and the bo luc lac comes with Maggi-truffle butter) and whole fish cha ca, plus a tasting menu for $88. There are also cocktails with ingredients like pandan and lemongrass. Hours are Mon and Wed-Sun 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm. 138 Mason St. at Eddy.
The Return of Yuet Lee, Lai Hong Lounge, Maybeck's, and More
Thanks to Supervisor Aaron Peskin for tweeting the fantastic news that YUET LEE has reopened after a nine-month, soft-story retrofit. Bring on the late-night eats: the clams in black bean sauce, the salt-and-pepper squid (always better on-site at 1am), and chow fun. Join the likes of Jackie Chan and pay a visit to this classic Chinatown restaurant that would really love to see you (and needs our business!). Open daily 11am-11pm (Tue 5pm-11pm). 1300 Stockton St. at Broadway.
Another great comeback is LAI HONG LOUNGE, a Chinatown favorite for dim sum (and sister to Hong Kong Lounge on Geary). They also closed for a soft-story retrofit, and made some major décor updates and added two new dining rooms. Time to get some friends together for a dim sum feast or evening banquet. Open daily 10am-2:30pm and 5:30pm-8:30pm. 416 Powell St. at Broadway. Via Hoodline
In a little over a week will be the reopening of MAYBECK’S in the Marina, this time with some ownership changes (Erik Lowe has departed and Lori Baker and Jeffrey Banker of the former Baker & Banker are joining chef-owner Aaron Toensing, and the talented Glen Schwartz has joined the team as chef de cuisine), a room refresh, and a major menu update (although the famed beef Wellington will continue on Wednesdays). I had some readers wondering about what what happening with the space, Eater reports it’s coming back June 30th.
The website mentions “a robust wine list created by wine consultant Rebecca Chapa” (yay, Chapa!) and “Coming this summer, Maybeck’s will open a wine shop as part of the restaurant, offering a selection of domestic and imported wines for purchase in addition to wine dinners. The wine shop will also serve as a private dining space.” Cheers! Hours (for now) will be Tue-Thu 4pm-10pm and Fri-Sat 4pm-11pm. 3213 Scott St. at Lombard.
After closing in Laurel Village after a nine-year run, ARTESANO has quietly moved to Dogpatch and has joined forces with The Plant to share fixed and utility costs, resources, the storefront, dining room, kitchen, and even some employees. Clever solution! You can find their housemade empanadas, lomo saltado, Cubano sandwich, grilled churrasco steak, ceviche, tres leches cake, and homemade sangria. Open weekdays only for the time being, with happy hour from 3pm-6pm daily. Kids eat free on Wednesdays after 4pm (kids 12 and under, with adult purchase). They offer indoor and outdoor dining, takeout, delivery, and catering. 2335 3rd St. at 20th St.
New Expansions Around Town, Including Shanghai Dumpling King and Montesacro
Great news, momo lovers: the third location of BINI’S KITCHEN is now open as a kiosk in the La Cocina Municipal Marketplace. Pre-pandemic, Binita “Bini” Pradhan, had initially planned to open her kiosk with the other six La Cocina Marketplace businesses, but decided to hold off and focus on her two other locations until the time was right. She will be serving lunch on weekdays from 11am-2:30pm, offering a similar Nepali menu to her other locations, including her well-known Nepali dumplings (momos), and combo meals with dishes like her Gurkha chicken (chicken thighs stewed in yogurt, tomatoes, and Bini’s Kitchen house spice blend), kwati (Nepali-style, nine-bean chili), housemade paneer, and more. FYI, her Montgomery Street location is set to reopen later this summer. 101 Hyde St. at Golden Gate.
Did you know SHANGHAI DUMPLING KING has opened a location in Duboce Triangle? Yes, the longtime dumpling joint known for their xiao long bao (Shanghai soup dumplings), plus pan-fried bao, steamed dumplings, Beijing-style boiled dumplings, cold tofu salad, and famed sugar egg puffs (although sadly I don’t see them on the menu here, they must not have a fryer)! Their Outer Richmond location on Balboa closed back in 2018 (the original owner sold the business and then things went downhill—it reopened as Bao Bao Noodle, which is now closed), and there’s still an SDK location on Monterey Blvd. in Sunnyside, which I honestly haven’t trekked to, so I’m happy to see this new location. No idea how the quality here compares to the original, and I couldn’t confirm if it’s the same ownership with ABC licenses, and they’re closed on Tuesdays, so it will just need to be checked out in person! SDK took over the short-lived New Cathay Express. Open Mon and Wed-Sun 11am-2:30pm and 4:30pm-9pm. 720 14th St. at Church.
In February, I was the first to report about MONTESACRO opening a new location in the Marina, and it’s now open and slinging eight kinds of pinsa for the neighborhood. Since they have a full kitchen here, you’ll see an expanded menu, with some delicious-sounding pasta dishes (like fettuccine alla vignarola: artichokes, spring onion, peas, fava beans, or the simple but perfect rigatoni burro e Parmigiano, with 36-month Vacche Rosse Parmigiano and demi-sel butter), plus some lamb chops, rice-stuffed tomatoes, and whole fish. There’s also a full bar and weekend brunch. It’s spacious, with 75 seats or so, including some outdoor seating. Open Tue-Fri 11:30am-3pm and 5pm-10pm, Sat-Sun 10:30am-3pm and 5pm-10pm; happy hour is coming soon. 3317 Steiner St. at Chestnut.
This is a bit of an unexpected location, but a fourth SCOTT’S CHOWDER HOUSE has opened on Fillmore Street in the former Black Bark BBQ. You’ll find affordably priced seafood dishes like chowders (Boston, Manhattan, lobster bisque, and a vegan version), plus a lobster roll, crab roll, fish and chips, local oysters (fresh and BBQ style), mussels, and grilled fish. The project is from Steve Mayer, chef Sammy Reyes, chef Laurent Manrique, Olivier Daridon, and chef Patrick Albert, who have teamed up with chef Michael Mann (who will head up the kitchen and was most recently at Prospect Restaurant). Open Tue-Sat 4pm-10pm; lunch is coming later. 1325 Fillmore St. at Eddy.
The former Wine Kitchen on Divis is now another location of CURRY AND KABAB, serving Indian pizza; classic chicken, lamb, and seafood curries; dishes from the tandoori oven; biryani; and more. Open 11am-10pm. 507 Divisadero St. at Fell. [Via Hoodline]
Was happy to see on Instagram that founder Nabeel Silmi, Kimberly Kim, and Adrian Lopez got their second café open, GRAND COFFEE TOO on Mission Street. Stand by for some new drinks coming soon; you can take a peek at some pics on Eater. Open Mon-Fri 7am-5pm and Sat-Sun 8am-6pm. 2544 Mission St. at 21st St.
The Outside Lands Culinary Lineup Is Gonna Rock (Per Usual)
Can you believe Outside Lands returns August 5th-7th? After taking last year off, my first ever (Miss Rona was headlining in the Heineken tent, kidding), I’m really looking forward to heading back into the foggy fray (my personal lineup includes Washed Out, SZA, Disclosure, Kim Petras, Franc Moody, Purple Disco Machine, Lido Pimienta, and Pussy Riot!). Of course, Outside Lands is known for having the best food and drink lineup of any festival I have ever attended, and this year includes 91 Bay Area restaurants and 300-plus items, the most ever to date! Nearly all 91 vendors offer a gluten-free, vegan, or vegetarian option. There will also be 35 Napa and Sonoma wineries and brews from 30 northern California breweries—did someone say bubbles and oysters in the Courtyard? Mommenpop aperitifs? Cocktail Magic will also be in effect.
There are 18 new businesses joining the festival for the first time, including The Bussdown, Wahpepah’s Kitchen, El Chino Grande, Fowl + Fare (serving their bomb fried chicken sandwiches), Daytrip (with pork butt Parker House buns), alaMar Kitchen & Bar (braised oxtail or jerk chicken nachos), Jo’s Modern Thai (drunken Thai noodles, pork laab burgers, famous party wings, yessss), Trick Dog’s Quik Dog, and Fish-GO-Tec (a take on fish and chips) by Lord Stanley.
Returning faves include Abacá, El Garage, Merkado, Media Noche, Peaches Patties, Shawarmaji, Son’s Addition (with their chorizo dirty fries), The Lumpia Company (um, bacon cheeseburger lumpia!), and The William Tell House (lobster-loaded tots!).
I’m most excited to see there’s a La Cocina Incubator booth making its first appearance at Outside Lands, hosting a different entrepreneur each day of the festival: MexiQ with smoked chicken sandwiches on Friday, Origen with tlayudas Oaxacan on Saturday, and Noodle Girl with blue pea flower rice noodle bowls on Sunday.
If you’re one of those people who minted money during the pandemic, you’ll want to consider the Golden Gate Club, with an ultra-luxe festival experience (as in much more than VIP) designed by Ken Fulk, featuring bites from chefs Nancy Oakes and Dana Younkin of Boulevard Restaurant and Ravi Kapur (Good Good Culture Club and Liholiho Yacht Club), with more to be announced.
Look forward to seeing you out there!
Culinary Events Include Foodwise Summer Bash, Guest Chefs at Greens and Turntable, Marlena Pops Up for the Summer
It’s great to see events continue to return, and a big one is the Foodwise Summer Bash (formerly CUESA) on Sunday July 10th. Among their 30 food participants (including Causwells, Delfina, Mi Comedor, Minnie Bell’s Soul Movement, Prubechu, Reem’s California, Shuggie’s, and Sister), they just added a few more food partners, including Hilda and Jesse and Pomella. Beverage partners (15 in all) include Brucato Amaro (love), Far West Cider, Freeman Vineyard & Winery, Hangar 1, Wildhawk, and more! Peak-season produce will be in the house!
After two years apart, the event is going to be both outside in front of the Ferry Building on the sunny Embarcadero promenade and upstairs in the Grand Hall for the first time ever, making for a gorgeous and spacious experience. Beyond being a delicious party, this fundraising event supports Foodwise farmers markets and raises critical funds for free food access and education programs, such as Foodwise Kids and Foodwise Teens, which serve more than 3,000 SFUSD youth each year. A portion of the proceeds also underwrite the costs of their participating restaurants.
Tickets are $165, but tablehopper readers get styled with a 15 percent discount code: tablehopperfriend. See you there! 5:30pm-8pm, Ferry Building.
Recently, GREENS announced their new executive chef, Katie Reicher, the fourth female chef to helm the San Francisco icon (since 1979!), who is implementing a new menu every month. And now, they just announced a guest chef summer dinner series, with a portion of proceeds benefitting Foodwise! The guest chef lineup includes Crystal Wahpepah of the Native American (and James Beard-nominated) Wahpepah’s Kitchen (June 28th), Heena Patel of Gujarati Besharam (August 9th), and Adiam Tsegaye of Oakland’s Ethiopian Mela Bistro (September 28th). Greens’ chef Katie Reicher will collaborate with the all-female trio on vegetarian menus made from locally sourced ingredients. Tickets are $120 per person, plus tax and fees. Seating is limited; book soon before the dinners sell out.
I am super-excited to hear James Beard Award winner chef Melissa Martin (of Cajun Mosquito Supper Club in New Orleans) will be at TURNTABLE AT LORD STANLEY for a month-long residency in August! More info/book here, and you can read an interview with her here.
While MARLENA RESTAURANT is waiting for their Bernal Heights dining room to finish being remodeled, they’re hosting a pop-up in Union Square: Summer Camp at Hotel Zeppelin, through September 3rd. The Michelin-starred, husband-and-wife team of chefs David Fisher and Serena Chow Fisher have created a variety of menus designed to be a playful celebration of summer adventures in San Francisco (no, they aren’t bringing in a fog machine). There’s a seven-course tasting menu ($125) in the main dining room, with dishes like pea panna cotta with soft-boiled quail egg and chive tuile (pictured) and plankton pappardelle with salt spring mussels and a beurre blanc sauce, plus optional wine pairings for $85, as well as a selection of à la carte offerings (including roasted black cod with Coachella corn broth, morel mushrooms, and fava beans) in the 32-seat lounge for walk-ins, plus a list of bespoke cocktails from in-house team Fernando Becerra and Luis Padilla. Open Tue-Thu: bar opens at 4pm, dinner 5pm-9pm (Fri-Sat until 10pm). 545 Post St. at Mason.
Closures Include Goood Frikin' Chicken (Bwok Bwooook) and Massawa
Oh man, I was so sorry to see a tweet from Burrito Justice that our inimitable GOOOD FRIKIN’ CHICKEN has closed. What a bummer, that place has been a neighborhood standard for bomb-ass rotisserie chicken for almost 20 years. RIP, beloved mosakhan. Sending sumac kisses. 10 29th St. at Mission.
SF Business Times reports the much-adored MASSAWA has closed its North Beach location (it moved from the Upper Haight)—Massawa has been serving Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine since 1986. 532 Green St. at Grant.
This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
(Sponsored): Don't Miss the GGRA Industry Conference on June 27th!
In-person at the Hotel Nikko SF, the GGRA Industry Conference on Monday June 27th is a must-attend event for Bay Area restaurant owners and operators as well as hospitality industry stakeholders and service providers. The conference is a unique opportunity for the industry to come together for a day of highly relevant, curated programming.
Tickets are available to current members for $150 (including all programming, as well as breakfast, lunch, and a reception with appetizers and drinks to close out the day). Non-member tickets are available for an additional price.
GGRA’s 2022 Virtual Manager Bootcamp This year, we’re also hosting a free online Manager Bootcamp for restaurant managers and employees. Seasoned industry professionals will cover the following topics: Profit & Loss Statement Basics, Understanding Food & Labor Costs, HR & Managing People, and Setting a Standard of Service.
Registrants will have access to all the live Bootcamp sessions, as well as the recordings, which will be available after each session’s completion. All Manager Bootcamp attendees must register for the Bootcamp here.
This Manager Bootcamp programming is made possible by a donation from Google to the Golden Gate Restaurant Association Scholarship and Education Fund.
Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
A Quick Roundup of a Couple Bar Openings
Now open in the former Saratoga (sniff sniff) is MEMBERS ONLY (with Finders Keepers, the moody downstairs lounge). Serving cocktails and food, it’s aiming for a supperclub-meets-cocktail bar vibe. Owner Phil Chen (Alchemist, Woodbury) has assembled an all-star, all-female management team: beverage director Candice Jae (Evil Eye, Hideout, Lolinda), director of operations Candice Shaub (Alchemist/Woodbury), and creative director Sydni Downs. To accompany the cocktails, there’s raw seafood (oysters, ahi, salmon tartare), small plates (deviled eggs, burrata and prosciutto-wrapped peaches), and hearty mains (steak frites, grilled salmon, two types of burgers). Open Tue-Thu 4:30pm-12am (food until 11pm), Fri-Sat 4:30pm-1am (food until 1am), with a nightly $1.50 oyster happy hour 4:30pm-6pm. Closed Sun-Mon. 1000 Larkin St. at Post.
ROAMING GOAT, a wine bar featuring Mediterranean, Californian, Georgian, and Armenian wines, has opened in Cow Hollow. There are also some Mediterranean dips and bites available. It has a spiffy blue interior. Open Tue-Thu 4pm-10pm and Fri-Sat 4pm-12am. 1830 Union St. at Octavia.
This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
Sponsored Event: Wine Explorers Club with Nove Vineyards, a Food and Wine Pairing Dinner
The Midway is excited to invite you to the second activation of our Wine Explorers Club dining experience with Nove Vineyards. We will transport you to the vineyard to learn about wines by drinking them! And the culinary team will pair up food specifically designed to highlight the personalities in the glass (vegetarian/vegan options available!). Meet winemakers directly and be awash in the sights and sounds of grape growing and wine production, while having a blast with other like-minded explorers and learn a thing or two!
APPETIZER Stuffed Clams, Lime Vinaigrette 2019 Nove Grenache Rosé
FIRST Beefsteak Tomato Salad, Burrata, Olive Crumble 2017 Nove Grenache
MAIN Slow-Grilled Short Ribs, Chimichurri 2018 Nove Malbec
DESSERT Cream-Honey Tart
July 1st, 2022 6:30pm Ticket: $67 (available via Tixr) Indoor Event at The Midway 900 Marin St., San Francisco
(Matchmaker): Delfina Restaurant Seeks General Manager for End-of-Summer '22 Reopening
Our OG, flagship, Delfina Mission location reopens mid-September, with a beautiful new look and feel and we’re looking for an amazing GM to take the helm.
This experienced hospitality professional should be a delightful human being, a strong, proven leader, and passionate about service, food, and the restaurant business. They’ll have the ability and experience to run/supervise a wine program and a cocktail program. This exceptional individual will collaborate with Annie and Craig (aka the owners) and existing team members to complete the critical path up to and beyond opening day.
Email résumé and cover letter here.