This week the Southern California-based Umami Burger opened another location in San Francisco, this one in SOMA. It takes the places of Burger Joint, which never really drew a crowd. (The area, near AT&T Park, is a bizarre one; sort of stuck in limbo. After the Border's Books closed, then replaced by a bombastic bowling alley, the neighborhood lost what little "community space" it had. Maybe Umami can help revive it? We digress.) Our favorites are the smushed potatoes, truffle burger, and the original burger (parmesan crisp, shiitake mushroom, roasted tomato, caramelized onions, house ketchup).
Umami Burger: 242 King (between 3rd and 4th Streets; 415-904-8626
James Beard winner State Bird reopened. It now looks like a really hip kindergarten. And although you can't score a reservation until Lord knows when, you can grab a table if you wait in line when it first opens. (We do this at Rich Table. It works. We prefer eating alone at the bar, anyway.)
State Bird Provisions: 1529 Fillmore (at Geary); 415-795-1272
Check out Dennis Leary and Eric Passetti's Terminus, the cafe/bar across from the cable car line at California. SFoodie's Pete Kane beams: "While the menu rotates daily, breakfast emphasizes pastry and goodies such as the light, eggy bread pudding, and lunch is sandwich-heavy. The pork shoulder (with ham, cheese, pickles, and spicy mustard on two slices of Leary's own white bread, glazed to perfection with an egg wash) was pretty much un-improvable, just fatty and juicy enough to keep from falling apart." Oh my. Glazed.
Cafe Terminus: 16 California (at Drumm)
And finally, a random selection: Gyro King across the street from the Main Library offers the most savory, simple meat pies. Go eat three of them. The place is phenomenal, cheap.
Gyro King: 25 Grove (between 8th Street St & Hyde); 415-621-8313