This week in the food scene we learned more about Jason Fox's Oro, headed to Mint Plaza, and caught the name of the bar replacing Truck, which will be called The Wooden Nickel. And we learned that the Woodward's Garden ladies are opening Gardenias in Pacific Heights, and that chef Yoni Levy, formerly of Alta CA, has relocated to Outerlands. But here's what else has been going on...
First off, Eater brings us some nice photos and a menu from the brand new Russian Hill spot Lord Stanley (2065 Polk Street), an airy new restaurant from chef couple Rupert and Carrrie Blease (Central Kitchen, Commonwealth, Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons in England). There's a concise menu of high-end seeming, seasonal food, like poached hen with radishes and barley; English peas with fresh curds, carrot, and dill; and a slow cooked grilled lamb shoulder with warm allium salad. There's also beer and wine, and tipping is included in the price.
Then there's the big news that local celeb chef Hubert Keller is resurfacing, following the 2014 closure of his grand Nob Hill spot Fleur de Lys, for a Bastille Day pop-up at Gaspar Brasserie. As Inside Scoop informs us, it's a one-night affair on July 14 that will run you $225 a person for a four-course menu as well as a cocktail reception with passed hors d'oeuvres. Reserve your spot here, and do note that Keller will be showing off his other passion, DJing, at an afterparty that night at Hawthorn.
Tom Colicchio's fast-casual sandwich spot ‘wichcraft, which opened alongside Bloomingdale's at the Westfield Centre ten years ago, is now closed, as the Scoop reports. In its place, maybe later this year, will be a still unnamed brasserie from the Perbacco team of Umberto Gibin and Staffan Terje, which we heard about last year.
Tablehopper brought us a preview of B. on the Go (2794 California at Divisadero), the expansion of nearby b. patisserie. The place will double as a sandwich shop and cafe as well as an expanded production space for the patisserie's croissants and other treats. And it's got a rotisserie, so you can expect yummy stuff like porchetta sandwiches, Cubanos, and more. They open next week, on June 18.
The Lower Haight's funky beer bar Noc Noc is expanding to North Beach with Noc Noc on Broadway, in what's currently Antologia Vinoteca, which is closing later this month, as Hoodline reports.
Over in the Castro, things are changing with the menu at nine-month-old Hecho, where new executive chef Cory Armenta is revamping things from the original menu set by consulting chef Jamie Lauren, who also designed the Hi Tops menu. "We're really elevating the menu at HECHO," Armenta tells Eater. "I'm trying to steer away from Tex-Mex options and focusing on authentic Mexican flavors." Look for more vegetables and vegetarian options, too.
Also this week, near Union Square, we get the official word that Kaley Laird has been named the new executive chef at Aveline, the restaurant at the Warwick Hotel that opened under Top Chef alum Casey Thompson last year only to see Thompson abruptly depart five months later. Laird was the opening pastry chef and then a sous chef at the restaurant, and Eater has her full new menu, which is being billed as having "allergen-friendly options."
Some interesting Mission bar news: Amnesia is being taken over by the team behind City Beer Store in SoMa, as Uptown Almanac reports, so you can expect the beer selection there to get a lot fancier.
There's an update on Horsefeather, the bar slated for the former Ziryab space on Divis from former Bourbon & Branch guys Justin Lew and Ian Scalzo. As Hoodline tells us, until they can get the full bar off the ground, they're opening a temporary "dive bar" at the space that they've dubbed Tsk/Tsk, which should be open later this month.
And ballpark adjacent Nova, on Second Street, is getting taken over by Ezra Berman and Miles Palliser of Corner Store and San Francisco Athletic Club fame, as the Scoop reports. The new project is still unnamed.
Across the Bay, SF brewer 21st Amendment is opening a huge new brewery operation in San Leandro. The brewery operated for years at the micro level at their SoMa brewpub before outsourcing their beer production to a partner in Minnesota in 2008, as the Chron reports. Now, their signature canned favorites like Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer and Brew Free Or Die IPA will be getting made locally again, and they've now entered the "varsity" league of Bay Area brewers alongside Anchor and Speakeasy.
This Week In Reviews
Michael Bauer circled back a year later to see what's changed at Alta CA, following the departure of chef Yoni Levy and the promotion of chef David Goody. He finds things have been refined, overall, and he likes a number of the new appetizers, and the deconstructed beef stroganoff dish. The "reinvention [schtick] went a little too far" he says with the chicken schnitzel, "which was too deeply fried and smoky, cut into chunks and then piled on the plate with carrot puree, peas and pea shoots." All in all, though, three stars.
Bauer has less kind words about another Daniel Patterson property featured as the subject of his Sunday review, and that would be Aster. He starts off criticizing the decor, which a note introducing the review says has already been changed since he wrote this, bemoaning the fact that new restaurants like this and AL's Place have done little to create a nice atmosphere and "The chef’s stage [these days] is what’s on the plate, not what’s in the room." He's also disappointed with the service, and enjoys some of the food but says it "often teeters on being too acidic," and the portions are a bit tiny. He gives it two and a half stars, but allows that chef Brett Cooper is still "such an interesting chef to follow."
And once again Pete Kane goes kind of far afield for his review, taking on Seaside Metal, the one-year-old spinoff of Bar Crudo up in Guerneville. He says the place "certainly has a nice luster," and has kind words for the menu, which kind of like Bar Crudo doesn't offer a lot in the way of entrees. He likes the big fat octopus leg, and a chickpea and spring onion dish, but recommends skipping the soft shell crab.