This week saw the opening of the huge Whole Foods simulacrum known as The Market on Market, as well as the opening of an Ike's in Emeryville and news that Ike is plotting a pizza-and-burger joint in the Mission. We also learned the sad news that two vegan/vegetarian spots are closed or heading for closure, Source and Millennium, and got the big news that restaurateur Adriano Paganini has some big plans for the former Cafe Des Amis in Cow Hollow. But there's more!
At the top of the list is Liholiho Yacht Club (871 Sutter Street), which I named the most hotly anticipated opening of (early) 2015, and which Eater reports is now possibly just a week away from its debut. To refresh your memory: This is the first solo restaurant for the talented former Prospect/Boulevard chef Ravi Kapur, who's partnered with Allyson Jossel and Jeff Hanak of Nopa fame. Though the previously announced bar manager Kevin Diedrich has split from the project, Nopa's cocktail guy Yanni Kehagiaras has taken his place. In keeping with the island theme of Kapur's former Hawaiian-fusion pop-up, the colors in the new space will be bright, and in addition to a front bar and main dining room with open kitchen, we're told there's also a private dining room and private bar in the basement. They're not committing to an opening date pending last-minute who-knows-what, but look for this place to spring open on or around the 30th.
Another cool piece of news: Commonwealth chef Jason Fox, who's been there since the beginning in 2010, is opening a new restaurant at Mint Plaza, in the space previously known as Thermidor back in the corner over there. The unnamed new spot comes with a full liquor license, and as Inside Scoop reports, Fox plans to play around with more large-format dishes, casual Mediterranean and Asian fare, and whole-animal butchery than he's able to at Commonwealth. He will remain, however, chef-partner at Commonwealth, and plans to split his time between both kitchens. Along with partner Tim Felkner (formerly a GM at Zero Zero), he's aiming for a summer opening.
And speaking of restaurateur Adriano Paganini, Beretta now has a new "secret" cocktail menu, which was basically the new bar manager's way of creating a new drink list without getting rid of the bar's popular favorites.
In smaller-scale news, popular Tenderloin spot Burmese Kitchen, which called it quits in the fall, has been reincarnated in the Richmond. You can now find them in the former To Hyang space at 3815 Geary Boulevard, as the Bold Italic reports.
And, alas, city employees will be losing their McDonald's fix. Micky-D's on Van Ness is closing after 36 years, per Hoodline.
Over in Oakland, Haven has reopened after a brief closure, and Oakland Local got some details from owner Daniel Patterson and chef Charlie Parker. They've switched over to an all-prix fixe, family-style menu, akin to the chef's tasting option that Kim Alter launched with at Haven but now without a la carte options. It's three courses, with a vegetarian option, and it's $60 per person. See daily changing menu here.
Week In Reviews
Once again proving no one can ever find anything on SFGate or the Chronicle's website and nothing publishes on time, Michael Bauer couldn't find a link to his own update review today. But here it is! And it's a re-review of the Mission's sole vegan Mexican spot, Gracias Madre. The mole's on the bland side, he says, and tacos can be "a little one-note," but overall he says the place has steadily improved, and he gives them two stars.
I'll let you know when I find Bauer's Sunday review and don't miss his scathing pan of Crystal Jade from last weekend.
And meanwhile Anna Roth finally gets to see what all the fuss is about at Lazy Bear. She notes that the upstairs cocktail lounge area "could have been designed by Wes Anderson," and adds "I wanted to roll my eyes when a waiter with a topknot offered me an oyster on a bed of polished river stones." But, she says, the place is mostly unpretentious, the oyster was fantastic, and "the rest of the meal was similarly great, playful and surprising, utterly delicious."