In case you missed it, one of the biggest headlines of the week was the announcement that Baker & Banker is closing later this month, after being in business for five years. Then there was the sad news that Cuco's, the beloved plantain-burrito spot in the Lower Haight, is giving up their eviction fight and closing on Monday. Also, in big vegan news, Weird Fish is closing at the end of the year.
In other closure news a restaurant you may not have heard much about, Company (1000 Guerrero at 22nd) is giving up the ghost right before Halloween, on October 28, after two years. In its place will be something called Hoffman's Grill & Rotisserie, from chef-owner Karen Hoffmann. As Inside Scoop reports, Hoffman was one of the original partners of Company, but she split, and is now back as sole owner. Hoffman's should be open on October 29.
Otherwise this week came with several openings. First off, Traci Des Jardins' new upscale Mexican spot in the newly renovated Presidio Officers' Club, Arguello, opened its doors. This is the second Des Jardins-helmed project in the Presidio, after the May opening of The Commissary, and this time the cuisine is something near and dear to Jardins' heart. The huge, bright restaurant seats 118, and Eater's got a full set of pretty photos. The menu is more sophisticated and complex than Jardins' fast-casual Mexican operation Mijita, and you can see it all here. They're open for lunch and dinner, but the lunch service is way more casual, in order to serve museum tourists.
Klyde Cafe and Wine Bar just opened at Geary and Mason, near Union Square. Eater has photos and notes that it's a three-meal-a-day spot with pretty reasonable prices considering the neighborhood.
As promised back in August, Mission Chinese Food vet Jesse Koide has just opened Pink Zebra his Mediterranean-Japanese spot that is a restaurant-within-a-restaurant, kind of like Mission Chinese used to be. Pink Zebra will operate five nights a week starting tonight inside sushi spot Tao Yin (3515 20th Street), and as the Chron reports, it will offer "a short menu of shareable plates, almost in the vein of an izakaya format." Tao Yin, meanwhile, remains open and serving their sushi.
And over in Oakland's Jack London Square, a massive new bowling alley/arcade/beer hall just opened in the former Barnes & Noble space called Plank. As Eater reports, they've got 18 lanes, 60 arcade games, three 60-foot bocce courts, and 42 taps. And, on Saturdays, there will be live bands.
In other big news, following the July fire that partially destroyed Manresa in Los Gatos, chef David Kinch just gave a lengthy interview to Grub Street in which he says they're hoping to reopen Manresa, and gain back most of their staff (and momentum) by the end of the year. He also talks about opening a bakery called the Manresa Bread Project, and he says that the time off has given him the space to consider another project, possibly the casual concept he's been hinting at for several years. In any event, if and when that comes to fruition, it will probably be in Los Gatos.
The Week In Reviews
Michael Bauer gave a very respectable two-and-a-half star review to Plin before taking off on vacation. Bauer says chef Alexander Alioto is "cooking his own brand of Italian cuisine," with some creative starters, excellent pastas, and some modern entrees as well. But, for the negatives, "portion size is all over the board" and the service is "amateurish."
And over at the Weekly, Anna Roth pays a visit to new Outer Richmond sushi spot Wako. She writes, "It may never have the flair and indie cred of Ichi, the prestige and solemnity of Maruya, or the refinement and backing of Pabu," but it's still quite good and affordable. She recommends the the four- or seven-course omakase menus, with the former starting at $43.