With our list of The 12 Best New Bars Of 2014 out and a respite from rain, who knows what could happen this weekend.
While we're looking forward, you can take an early peek at the stunning new State Bird Provisions spin-off, The Progress. Since Conan O'Brien tried State Bird this week according to reporting from Tablehopper, will he be back when the sister restaurant opens next week?
Another exciting new spot, this one downtown, from Mourad Lahlou of Aziza, is nearly done, says Inside Scoop, though still nameless. Aziza will close briefly in the new year for renovation and reopen to continue as usual.
Farther off is a new project from 1300 on Fillmore’s David Lawrence, right across the street from his restaurant, also according to Inside Scoop. It appears small-ish, and the concept is still being finalized.
Last, Canada's rebuttal to the hamburger which would be poutine has arrived in Berkeley in the form of a location from the popular chain Smoke's Poutinerie, announces Berkeleyside. (We first brought you news of this here.)
Week in Reviews
Learning that Hawker Fare will open a new location in the Mission, Michael Bauer naturally revisited what we'll have to start calling the Oakland location. On his second visit, he found that the food at Hawker Fare is "more fully realized," with chef James Syhabout more confident. In the end, Bauer became "a member of the clean-plate club," awarding three stars.
He also went back to Outerlands post-expansion and found that the place, now twice as big, is serving one of the "most memorable dishes in recent memory," the clam stew. The place has "grown up and become more polished," but still held onto "its unique character" for 2.5 stars.
Luke Tsai in Oakland checked out POP, which "rocks." Yes, it's a sandwich shop set up in the back of a convenience store where "loosely banh mi-inspired" creations are served on crusty baguettes from a Vietnamese bakery in East Oakland.
Josh Sens found zen at Pink Zebra, he wrote in SFMag, with "inspired mongrel dishes" that "brought to mind visions of a food fight at the U.N." Sens also notes the five-seat sushi bar inside the place, a "Russian-doll-like restaurant-within-a-restaurant," and overall gave 2.5 stars.
Meanwhile, the Weekly's Anna Roth found out that Tap(415) is in a spot that "is definitely still a mall," though she didn't mind the tap list. For The Examiner, Alex Hochman found a Bernal Heights map-maker in Red Hill Station, a "community" seafood spot with a "perky mignonette" and "chubby mussels...bathed in a puddle of lime rema, serrano chilies and cilantro." For him, it's a "neighborhood gem."