As we noted in last weekend's Week in Food, our most anticipated restaurant of the new year, Liholiho Yacht Club, is very close to its debut, and we now have confirmation that opening night is tomorrow, Wednesday, January 28. We don't have a menu to show you yet, but chef Ravi Kapur and partners Allyson Jossel and Jeff Hanak (Nopa) let us in for a peek at the Nob Hill/Polk Gulch adjacent space, which is cool and spare, with plenty of exposed brick and lots of bare wood.
Coming in off Sutter Street there's a bar area with some high tables and booths along one wall, as well as a cool black and white photo of a smiling woman with wind-blown hair (Kapur's mom ca. 1975) that sets the tone for Kapur's island-themed venture. Continuing back through the space is the open kitchen and main dining room, as you can see in our gallery. Eventually there will be a private dining room downstairs as well, in addition to an open back patio at some point. The design was done by the same guy, Brett Terpeluk, who designed Farina in the Mission.
The restaurant, like the pop-up Kapur ran for two years under the same name, takes inspiration from Hawaii, where Kapur is from, the mashup of Asian cuisines you find there, and from Kapur's extensive training in high-end California food, having risen through the ranks to become chef de cuisine at Boulevard, and opening executive chef at Prospect back in 2010. You can expect dishes like you can find on his Instagram, like Kona kampachi with grapes, pumpkin seeds, and white soy; a smoked octopus salad with watermelon radish; and five-spice pork belly with yellow watermelon, fennel, and sunflower seeds.
As Kapur explains:
Back in Hawaii in the early 80's The Kealoha uncles would race Hobie Cats. They threw parties ("pop ups") to pay for their supplies. They would go to the beach and throw a party, fire up the grill, ice down the beer, and get a band to play. They would charge a modest price with the intention to make enough money to allow them to do what they loved. They realized they needed a name for their 'organization' and the brothers who lived on Liholiho street decided to name it Liholiho Yacht Club. This is how the modern day LYC was born.
Liholiho Yacht Club - 871 Sutter Street between Jones and Leavenworth - 415-440-5446 - Hours TBA, opening January 28