San Francisco raked in a few awards from the James Beard Foundation this week, so first, congrats all around on those. We also heard an update on Bon Marché Brasserie from AQ restaurateur Matt Semmelhack and chef-partner Mark Liberman, which is headed to the Twitter building come June, and scored some shots from inside Belga, the Belgian brasserie that comes from restaurateur Adriano Paganini and hard-opens Tuesday. In SoMa there was news that DNA Lounge would expand their operations with a club to be called Codeword and, earlier today, we learned that Circa's decade run in the Marina had come to a close, leaving Marinaites with one fewer mimosa brunch spot.
The shocker of the week award goes to acclaimed chef Suvir Saran, formerly of NYC's Dévi, the first US Indian restaurant to earn a Michelin star. Here, his American Masala was to be a massive restaurant in the deluxe NEMA building, but as it turns out, it won't open after all, as Inside Scoop reports. We'd even listed it among our most anticipated openings, but alas, “Unanticipated complications and endless delays have made it impossible for us to go forward with this project. We really enjoyed working with the people at NEMA but despite best efforts could not overcome the obstacles." What happened there? Anyway, Saran will be looking for another spot in SF, he says.
Over at the 8 Octavia development True Cup Sake Bar has been announced, representing an expansion from Hayes Street's True Sake bottle shop where devotee Beau Timken has been advocating the stuff since 2003. Hoodline has it that we can look forward to "experimental Western" bar bites served in sake-style cups.
As Inside Scoop reports, down by the Ferry Plaza Blue Bottle is bowing out of the market where it's been a fixture. Owner James Freeman wrote in a blog post that "We are at the point in our trajectory where our ambitions just don’t fit outside the Ferry Building on Saturdays." He means it's for younger, more untested operations — not an established player that's, say, opening a new joint in the Twitter building and one in the FiDi, as the Business Times reports Blue Bottle is planning to do.
The Grant & Green owners are planning something for a building that's San Francisco Landmark 127 and used to hold the Old Spaghetti Factory. They're calling it Barbary Coast Gastropub, as Hoodline tells us.
But — not to be outdone — nearby Tupelo will be taking over the Dell’Uva space in North Beach to create Belle Cora. Hoodline reports that the spot, named for the famed Gold Rush madame, will serve cheese and charcuterie and feature extensive outdoor seating.
Max Snyder — an alum of Saison, Coi, Eleven Madison Park, and most recently executive chef of Le Marais Bistro — will be in charge of the kitchen at Old Bus Tavern. Inside Scoop reports that the spot, which bills itself as focused on “Craft Beer and Scratch Chili” will arrive in Bernal Heights this June.
Vive La Tarte is opening for european treats, Sightglass Coffee, and Happy Moose juice in an old printing house in SoMa. As Eater reports, it's from Belgian husband-and-wife team Arnaud Goethals and Julie Vandermeersch, and it's set to open on the 20th.
Divisadero's Ziryab has closed, and as we remarked a little while back, Horsefeather will take over the space. Now Hoodline reports that the forthcoming bar, although it comes from Futurebars (Bourbon & Branch, Rickhouse, Local Edition, Tradition) alums Ian Scalzo and Justin Lew, will be their own venture and not associated with that group.
The new Fish and Farm opened yesterday in the Financial District, a href="http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/2015/05/07/new-fish-farm-location-opens-today-breakfast-lunch-and-happy-hour-only/">we hear from Inside Scoop notes. That's after the it closed at its Taylor Street location, and the new spot is in the former Elephant & Castle space on Clay Street. So far it's breakfast, lunch and happy hour only with dinner coming shortly with Chef George Morrone (previously of Aqua, Fifth Floor, San Carlos' Gusto) in the kitchen.
The sommeliers behind Barrel Room have opened their doors in the former Georges space, Inside Scoop writes, representing a move from their original digs in the Fitzgerald hotel for a bigger, 60-seat space.
This Week In Reviews
Michael Bauer of the Chronicle toasted to Berkeley's Lalime's this week on the occasion of his check-up review and their 30th anniversary. With smiling and familiar faces among the staff and a new chef, Anthony Paon, cooking California-Mediterranean food in the kitchen, Lalime's is "part of the fabric of Berkeley" and, despite some mistakes that started with receiving the wrong menu, dessert on the house showed off the "genuine conviviality the restaurant exudes." Two-and-a-half star service and two star food added up to two stars overall.
For his Sunday review, Sir Michael headed to a "rustic French oasis in the Mission" also known as Sous Beurre, which "feels a little like a quartz rock that has been cracked open to release a sparkly interior." A roasted Cornish game hen is a "must-order" and "the best dish is the stuffed whole trout for two, which had a crisp skin and an exceptionally moist interior." With waiters the likes of five-star hotel staff and a '90s interior (Bauer would know) updated by an open kitchen, the critic was charmed, charmed indeed. Two-and-a-half stars.
Pete Kane at the Weekly is calling ICHI Kakiya from Tim and Erin Archuleta a full-on "smash". The menu is "pared-down, omitting fish almost entirely to focus on crustaceans" and Kane didn't seem to mind despite leaving a little hungry. "You kinda-sorta have to start with oysters," he says, but a "'secret' Alaskan uni special made with yuba, shiso, and roe — plus tofu noodles that looked like tagliatelle — was by far the most decadent dish." Happy hour is recommended if it's more for less you're after.
Over at AT&T Park, The Examiner's Alex Hochman went to bat for stadium food. He tested out Tony's Slice House which was "up to par with Gemignani's North Beach flagship.... no small feat considering the mass production going on," and also, despite initially grimacing "at the notion of eating anything remotely healthy at a baseball game," enjoyed a gluten-free flatbread with house-made fennel sausage. To atone for that, he split a "gargantuan order of nachos stuffed into a full-size plastic batting helmet" and watched the game.