On top of the sad, sad news of the closures of Bar Jules, The Orbit Room and Capp's Corner, this week saw the opening of Aster in the Mission, as well as updates on Belga and Octavia. And of course there was the drama about Hapa Ramen, which looks like it will morph into something else entirely in the coming weeks.

But in other food news, the saga of Sinbad's continues with the restaurant owners, as promised, not going quietly despite the expiration of their lease and subsequent extensions. As of now, as the Examiner reports, Sinbad's is staying put and they have a lawyer now trying to argue for their right to stick around until the actual construction of the new ferry terminal on their pier begins, which is reportedly next year.

Mijita is no more at AT&T Park, as Eater reports. The offshoot of Traci Des Jardins' Mexican concept that was attached to Public House was forced to close because the Giants Dugout store next door needs to expand. That brings us back to just one location of Mijita, at the Ferry Building.

In the Castro, we have an update on Lark (4068 18th Street), the new American restaurant coming to the former Brandy Ho's space. The remodel is complete (barreled ceiling is gone), and hiring was going on this week, with a hope to be open possibly by the end of next week, pending final inspections.

Also around the corner it looks like two-year-old Dante's Table (544 Castro) may be throwing in the towel soon as Tablehopper catches a liquor license transfer application for Iza Ramen. Iza has been doing pop-ups in the Mission, and the move to a brick-and-mortar in the Castro could be good, given that the only other ramen in the neighborhood is at Slurp. And another Asian spot, Mandu, just opened in the former Barracuda Sushi space on Market, as SF Weekly reports.

Over in Bernal Heights a couple of Japanese things are happening. First off, ICHI Sushi is expanding with a 21-seat oyster and sake bar down the street called ICHI Kakiya (3369 Mission Street). They're hoping to be open by next week.

And also, as Bernalwood reports, Fumi Curry House is taking shape at 3303 Mission, which will be a spot for Japanese-style curry. Along with the recently open Coco Ramen, and Crazy Sushi, there is a definite trend happening in Bernal.

Meanwhile, there's some good news for Hayes Valley wine lovers: Birba, a modest little wine bar, just opened at 458 Grove Street. Owner Angela Valgiusti tells Hoodline she's "bringing back the $8 glass of wine," which is definitely welcome news, and glasses on her list will be priced between $8 and $17.

And Buttermilk Southern Kitchen is arriving shortly at 22nd and Bryant, as Inside Scoop reports. Chef-partner Jaime Chavez and owner Miguel de Ocampo are first-time restaurateurs taking a former laundromat and making it into a "little bit high-end Southern" restaurant with house-cured bacon and lots of house-made pickles.

One last bit: Inside Scoop tells us that there's a chef shuffle happening at Alta CA, and opening chef Yoni Levy is on his way out. What that will mean for the menu remains unclear, though they say things won't be changing much under sous chef David Goody.

This Week in Reviews

First off, this won't be all Bauer all the time anymore since SF Weekly just announced that Pete Kane has been named as Anna Roth's replacement as critic for the paper and editor of the SFoodie blog.

But back to Mr. Bauer: His midweek update review is of Comal in Berkeley, which he's been a big fan of since it opened. He finds things just as delicious as before, calling out the wood-oven roasted turkey in particular (even though they weren't serving it the night he was there), and the menus ever changing surprises including tripe guisado, and quesadillas with rabbit tinga, mole, and pea shoots. In the end, he renews the restaurant's three stars.

And for his Sunday review, now online, he showers praise on chef Ravi Kapur and the new Liholiho Yacht Club. He says that "Kapur creates dishes that won’t be found on any other menu," and he especially loves the lamb ribs, the roasted octopus, and the delicious golden beet salad with shiso ranch and sunchoke chips. All told: a big three stars.