This week saw the opening of Iza Ramen in the Lower Haight, and brought news of former Poleng Lounge guy Tim Luym doing the food for a new bar in the Polk, Ho's Bootleg Tavern. And there was the good news that Sausalito's Sushi Ran is expanding to the Castro, in the former Pesce space. But here's what else has been going on.
Barcha, a new Mediterranean spinoff from the Sens team, debuted this week at 28 Fremont Street (in the 425 Market building). Inside Scoop has got the full menu, which blends Turkish, Tunisian and Spanish flavors, at the hands of Sens chef Michael Adams. It's open for lunch and dinner.
There's some big news over in Oakland which is that the couple behind the popular Wood Tavern over in Rockridge, Rich and Rebekah Wood, have inked a deal to take the former, recently shuttered Bay Wolf space on Piedmont Avenue. The Mercury-News reported the news, and the Woods are plotting an "intimate American brasserie" for the space, which incidentally was where they had a couple of their first dates 20 years ago. Summer 2016 is the opening timeframe.
Ichi Kakiya (3369 Mission), the oyster bar offshoot of Ichi Sushi in Bernal, is closing tomorrow (Saturday, October 31) after dinner service. As Inside Scoop and Bernalwood reported, owners Tim and Erin Archuleta are planning to use the space, under the same name, as a venue for a rotating series of pop-up collaborations with culinary friends. This will start after Thanksgiving, with a view toward finding a new restaurant concept for the space that grows out of one of these pop-ups.
BrokeAss Stuart had it that two-story Irish Pub Fiddler's Green, in the North Beach/Fisherman's Wharf vicinity, was slated to close, and Inside Scoop confirmed it. The 24-year-old bar is shuttering after tomorrow night because the building's owner is selling.
A small, casual wine and beer bar called Wine Down SF is headed for Folsom and Third Street, as Hoodline reports. They're aiming to keep wine prices to $10 a glass, and will feature 16 wines and five beers on tap when they open, hopefully by early 2016.
Over in the Lower Haight, there's been a change behind the bar at four-year-old Maven. Opening bar manager Kate Bolton, a new mother of a nine-month-old, is leaving town for greener pastures with her fiancé, and she's handing over the reins to Tim Hagney, who's been working there for two years. She gives a nice exit interview to Hoodline, saying, "This has been the best job I've ever had. As excited as I am to move on, my heart is broken too."
Some local seafood industry folks are opening a new fish place in North Beach, tentatively called Seven Fishes. The people behind it own Water2Table Fish Co., and they already supply fresh fish to Bay Area restaurants. They're taking over the former Original US Restaurant space at 515 Columbus Avenue, and they're planning to highlight some of the smaller, special hauls of fish they get from local fishermen that they can't sell to their restaurant clientele.
Sidenote: Local celebrity chef Tyler Florence announced via a gluten-free mag that he recently discovered that both he and his son are gluten-intolerant. No more fried chicken at Wayfare Tavern for him?
In the Upper Haight, the former Sunrise Deli space is turning Vietnamese with someplace called DragonEats, as Hoodline tells us.
And, finally, in the Castro, there's news of a regime change at 18-year-old Hot Cookie. Owner Dan Glazer has sold the business to a father and son, Tony Roug and Paul Perretta, who don't plan on changing much of anything. But they do plan on doing something Glazer never did which is expanding, first to Boys Town in Chicago, and possibly elsewhere.
This Week in Reviews
For his midweek review, Michael Bauer revisits Town Hall, and he likens to the place to "a once-great athlete who, for unexplained reasons, lost motivation and fell out of shape." In addition to feeling understaffed and overpriced, he's pretty unimpressed with his meal. All told: two stars (and it sounds like they're lucky to get even that).
And for his Sunday review, he finds that Sessions the new spot that has taken over the cursed space in the Presidio formerly home to Dixie and Pres a Vi feels "a bit too slick and corporate," despite all the pieces in place to make a trendy restaurant, adding "A restaurant that works intellectually doesn’t necessarily touch the emotions." He also calls the service "disjointed." In the end, he gives it two stars.
For the cheap eats beat, Anna Roth hits Yemen Kitchen a tiny, authentic Yemeni restaurant in the Tenderloin that's so below the radar (it still bears signage outside from the former restaurant, Brooklyn Pizzeria), Yelpers haven't even found it yet. Roth heard about it though, and she likes a "fenugreek-heavy" stirfry of beef, lamb liver, and lamb heart, as well as a comfort-food dish of fava beans, eggs and beef that's only found on the Arabic-only menu above the register.
Over at the Weekly, Pete Kane does us a solid by eating his way through the mall, Westfield Centre, and reporting on what found. He raves about the dim sum he had at M.Y. China, saying it's " easily the peer of Yank Sing's." Also he says that Ajisen Ramen, with its long lines, is "worth the wait," and the only good thing he found at Lobster ME was the poutine.
And they've got a new food guy, Trevor Felch, who gives us a review of Reverb Kitchen & Bar, the place that replaced the short-lived Verbena on upper Polk. He loves the duck a l'orange, and says that the new incarnation "cares about pushing the envelope is subtle ways but wants to only go so far."