This week at the SFist food and drink desk we selected the 11 best new bars, and with that my main recommendation is to not peruse it too far before cocktail hour. We also learned that Magnolia brewing filed for bankruptcy but claim they won't be changing their customer-facing operations and heard that Souvla is on its way to Divisadero, expanding into the former Herbivore space. Speaking of expansion mode, Peet's bought Keurig and Smitten will be making Ice Cream before your eyes on Valencia near 20th Street. Last, in a crowd-pleasing turn of events, the Elbo Room renewed its lease through 2018. But that was hardly all...
Up in North Beach, Gepetto has reopened to make Italian sandwiches after a yearlong sabbatical. Hoodline announced the return of the offshoot from adjacent Trattoria Pinocchio.
In Hayes Valley, cocktail date hotspot Brass Tacks is taking over next door Flipper's.
Hoodline shares the news, which spells a first foray into food for Brass Tacks.
Itani Ramen will open on January 18th reports Eater. This one's from Hopscotch chef-owner Kyle Itani, who says of his plans for Telegraph Avenue that "Ramen is still under represented in the Bay Area... I want this to be just about ramen."
Starline Social Club is taking a stand and going Burmese. Inside Scoop had the intel on the menu switch at the multi-talented Oakland venue, where co-owner Sam White (Chez Panisse, Ramen Shop) said he and his staff were obsessed with nearby Grocery Café’s run by William Lue. “It’s the kind of thing where when we started talking to him and we realized that this guy isn’t messing around— he gets his own tea leaves and ferments them himself, he makes his own chili sauce," said White, "and the food is out of control, it’s so good,”
David Kinch told San Francisco magazine about opening his New Orleans-inspired the Bywater, his first new restaurant in 13 years, which we talked about here back in July. He's really cranky and has a cold! Good read.
The Yard, Anchor Steam's beer garden by the ballpark, might get a soccer field, Socketsite gathers. That would require paving over a parking lot with artificial turf.
Slurp Ramen will open in Chinatown Hoodline learns through some documents. They describe it as "quirkily named," but I respectfully don't know what they're talking about.
Wildcraft is open on Market, as Hoodline scored the news, right by 16th Street. Try to drink their artisanal bone broth or sheep's milk without laughing and spitting it out!
The Tenderloin’s Vietnamese restaurants like Ha Nam Ninh are jeopardized by rising rents and other factors writes the Chronicle. The paper followed the story to learn that Ha Nam Ninh was dealt another blow when flooding forced a temporary closure.
Starboard will open on 16th Street and Tablehopper takes us inside the spot from Slate Bar's Daniel Hyatt and Patty West plus Suzanne Ray (the Alembic). In the next few weeks you cans top in and get a french dip and a drink.
18 diners at a time will enjoy a Korean tasting menu at Mosu, which will open in the Fillmore as Eater writes. The restaurant comes from chef Sung Anh, an alum of Benu, the French Laundry, and Aziza. "I put all that experience together to try to make the menu more personal, combining the experience and my tradition and my culture,” Anh told Eater. “But I still have a core of French techniques.” Doors open late this month and the kaiseki-style menu will comprise 12 to 15 courses go for around $160.
Off The Grid and Google are launching a food truck incubator, as The Business Times has it. Matt Cohen explains of the new 4-month program, called Instrucktional, that “Often times, people start a food truck business and the first time they'll ever work on a food truck is when they purchase their truck, so there’s limited opportunity to get robust product feedback."
A proposal to regulate wineries has Napa Valley in an uproar ABC7 reports. Among other requirements, Wineries would have to report annual visitation numbers to check them against permits.
Obispo rum bar is planned for 24th Street, Tablehopper tells us. That's from Thad Vogler of Bar Agricole and Trou Normand and it's named for the street in Havana where he lived at one point. Details are scant, but we'll keep an eye on this one because it's most exciting.
Sad news, Jay. Cafe Sophie won’t be reopening in the Castro Hoodline regretfully informs us.
Bite Me is going into Bar Vero space! Hoodline had early word on the excellent sandwich spot's expansion to the Castro.
Ju-Ni, a sushi bar, will replace Candy Bar, a fact that Hoodline discovered. Candy Bar had been on Fulton for eight years, and it's across the street from a sushi restaurant already, so we'll have to wait and see how Ju-Ni can differentiate itself.
Little Gem is opening in Hayes Valley next week, Hoodline writes. The fast-casual "concept" from Eric Lilavois, formerly of the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group, is gluten-, dairy-, and refined sugar- free, but I'm told there are other delicious things in this world.
The Marina's OG Tacolicious is relocating for logistical reasons, Eater writes. "Chestnut has problems. There’s no prep kitchen, there’s no second bathroom, it’s dark. It’s a very cumbersome, crowded space," owner Joe Hargrave said. Two blocks down at at 2250 Chestnut Street will be an improvement, he thinks. "The building has gorgeous period construction with tons of glass and light. The bar’s going to be in the middle of the room, horseshoe-shaped. It should have 75 seats when we’re done, which is about 20 more than the one now."
This Week In Reviews:
Anna Roth hit up Iza Ramen for the Chronicle, and she likes it okay. "Iza is just the sort of place the neighborhood needs," she writes, "casual enough for a spur-of-the-moment weeknight dinner, but nice enough for a date." Yet the Ramen itself isn't perfect. Writes Roth: "It’s hard to recommend a ramen restaurant when the signature ramen doesn’t give me that head-down, tunnel-vision euphoria that comes with a truly great bowl. "
Peter Kane wrote up Del Popolo in the pages of the Weekly. Of the move to a brick and mortar, Kane says that, "While the pizza is good enough to satiate hardcore fans who've followed the Del Popolo truck for years, the salient fact about this restaurant is that it's more than just pizza. The antipasti, some of which would never be eaten in Naples, are anything but afterthoughts." I haven't personally had hush puppies in Naples either, but Kane seems to think you should order those.
Michael Bauer, the Chronicle's longest running food critic (this feels but may not actually be true) stopped by Caputo and recorded the affair for that publication. Even though it’s only a couple months old, it’s clear that Caputo has tapped into this neighborhood, giving diners what they want," he writes, "Not the least of which is the pizza." We officially have tons of good pizza now everyone can shut up forever and eat it. "There’s something comforting about the food produced by [Chef Sam] Ramadan and chef de cuisine Carrie Ann Lopez," Bauer adds, "whether it’s the exemplary meatballs buried in a thick San Marzano tomato sauce and served with thick slabs of grilled bread, or Chuck’s mac-and-cheese ($12), given distinction with blue cheese." The usual number of stars was awarded.