This week, first up, SFist broke the news of Chino's closure. We also wrote up a new 24-hour pizza joint and club called Codeword. In other pizza news: Del Popolo. Nob Hill. Next week. We talked Joe's Crab Shack, the first national chain to go tipless, and noted a few more details on the Sushi ran spinoff, headed for the Castro. That, we now know, will be called Nomica. Lastly, the Fillmore will get its Black Bark Barbecue fix on December 3rd, and Cafe Gratitude is closing its last Bay Area location in Berkeley. On to the other morsels from elsewhere:
Valencia and Kebab has opened in the former Gajalee space, Hoodline tells us. Fans of the casual Mediterranean fare formerly at Hayes and Octavia will be pleased, haters will not. There were a lot of those, if I'm not mistaken.
El Rancho Grande is to open on Haight in the former El Faro space, Hoodline writes. Yes, this is from the people of the one at the Divis and Fulton of the same name.
Barbarossa softly opened this week, Inside Scoop says. You may recall that this is the champagne bar with a tasteful prison theme complete with doors from San Quentin. See you there?
Michael Tusk and the team behind Quince will take over Barrique according to Inside Scoop. Mums the word so far, but Tusk says he's been inspired by his travels, so we're eager to know more.
Hoodline speculates that an ice cream sandwich shop by the name of the Baked Bear might replace North Beach's former Giordano Bros spot. Long story short: It's like CREAM, and also a chain, but under the limit for number of stores (that would be 11).
Hoodline has it that Wine Not, a wine bar, is planned for Valencia Street at the former V-105 spot, right near Market and such. I would suggest punctuating with a question mark at the end of the name, as in "Wine Not?" since I prefer that to a pun on "whining," but look at me doing just that.
Out of necessity, Half Moon Bay is rebranding its crab fest in wake of the suspended season, CBS SF says. But this is good. It's going to be "SOS Seafood Fest: Sustaining Our Seas.” Expect food trucks and, beer, wine, and cocktail tents. Don't expect crabs.
the Business Times reports that Off the Grid organizers have struck a massive food truck deal with Google. In fact it's the first of many potential clients for Matt Cohen's mobile eating mafia, and the project, called The Whole Cart, is "customizable for corporate campuses."
Common Sage Cafe & Market has opened on Polk. Hoodline reports that the place is a Japanese deli replete with rice balls and ramen.
A spot called Elephant Sushi will open on Geary Avenue. Hoodline writes. It's actually the third of its ilk, and the inspiration for the style and service is Swan Oyster Depot. Opening date: December 1.
ATwater TAvern (infuriating capitalization theirs) is going into the Jelly's space in Mission Bay for ballpark views according to Inside Scoop. The multi-story building will house a Hidive sibling, so fans of that bar, this is your cue to get excited.
A little something called Urban Remedy is coming to the Ferry Building. Inside Scoop reports that the plant-based organic food company has so far been peddling its juices, cleanses, and prepared foods online.
High Treason wine bar (a project which, funnily enough, was formerly known as Pivot but had to, you know, change course) is headed for the Inner Richmond. Eater reports that sommeliers Michael Ireland and John Vuong want to open their casual wine bar sometime after the Thanksgiving holiday. "We just want good wine for good people and to make things a little more inclusive than exclusive,” Ireland said.
This Week In Reviews
Pet Kane hit RN74, the "cornerstone" in his words of Michael Mina's operations, for the Weekly empire. To get analytical, Kane says it "epitomizes the intersection between casual and upscale that characterizes mid-2010s San Francisco." High-end, expensive, not stuffy. Kane found everything "meticulous" and admired the precision in the kitchen.
Anna Roth and Esther Mobley were not into the Fine Mousse, writing in conversation for the Chronicle that the champagne and fries experience left "much to be desired." There's good insight and critique in here, and yes, this is how food and drink writers really sound when they talk to each other. If you followed along, congratulations on your job in the food and drink industry slash food and drink media industry.
Here we go again with Michael Bauer. His Chronicle mid-week check-in was at Bar Cesar in Oakland. "From the start Cesar made one of the best paellas ($27.75) to be found anywhere," he writes, "and it’s just as good today." There is a however. "However, any joy found in the food is undermined by the service, which at times bordered on hostile." It's up to you, he says. "Does food trump service?" Same number of stars as always: two-and-a-half.
Exploring the new, Bauer found a lack of polish at Mint Plaza's Oro. From chef Jason Fox (Commonwealth), get the chicken for two, the gnocchi maybe the squid, Bauer writes. But "As much as I loved most of the food at Oro — Jason Fox is one of my favorite chefs — this type of inconsistency (Bauer is talking generally, but here he's latching onto the detail of odd pricing) foreshadowed other incongruous aspects of the dining experience, particularly the interior." Guess how many stars.