This week we brought you the sad news that Liverpool Lil's is gone and never coming back, we learned there's a campaign to "Impeach Michael Bauer" that may or may not go anywhere, and I tried Wise Sons Bagel and gave a quick review on opening day. Here's what else has been going on.
Tablehopper brought us the news of the Thursday opening of Brasserie Saint James, the brewpub that's just landed in the former Abbot's Cellar space, via a successful flagship location in Reno. They've added some whimsy to the decor in the space, as well as a full bar and cocktail program, and you can check out the full menu here.
Up in the Castro, the original Samovar Tea Lounge location at 18th and Sanchez is closing for good by mid-March or April, as Hoodline reports, and in its place will be a new Le Marais Bakery. The timeline for that opening is unclear.
Also in the neighborhood, coming to the former Chile Pies location on Church Street will be a fast Asian street-food takeout concept called Poke Bar, with sushi burritos, rice bowls, and, of course, poke. Hoodline has the news, but the opening date is still TBA.
Mission Bay continues on the road to being a real neighborhood with a new coffee option, as Reveille Coffee Co. opens their fourth location at 610 Long Bridge Street. In addition to the coffee bar, though, as Eater tells us, this location also has a Café Reveille, with full lunch and dinner service starting Monday, February 29, and brunch starting on March 5.
There's a New Brunch Alert over near South Park, where six-month-old cocktail and oyster bar Lord George (555 Second Street) has started offering up things like open-faced tartines, brunch cocktails, and breakfast boards like one with smoked salmon, smoked white fish, whipped dill cream cheese, rye bread, red onion, and caperberries, as Inside Scoop reports with the full menu. The chef there, by the way, is the same guy behind the popular brunch at The Corner Store, Nick Adams.
The new tasting-menu-only sushi restaurant Ju-Ni has just opened on Fulton Street in the former Candy Bar location. As Hoodline tells us, it's "headed up by chef Geoffrey Lee, who was the Head Chef at Akiko's on Bush Street, sous-chef at Sushi-Ran in Sausalito and at Ame in SoMa."
Up in Larkspur, Picco Picco has had a chef shuffle, as the Scoop tells us, as executive/founding chef Bruce Hill steps back into the kitchen following the departure of Jared Rogers, who'd been there a decade. For his part, Hill has already been Instagramming his excitement.
And over in Berkeley, Comal sister restaurant The Advocate, which just opened seven months ago, has lost opening chef John Griffiths. But the good news, as Berkeleyside reports, is that once Michelin-starred former Cavallo Point and Dixie chef Joseph Humphrey is stepping in to replace him.
This Week in Reviews
There apparently was no update review this week, and Mr. Bauer took an uncommon trip to Palo Alto to check out a new spot there, Bird Dog, which he's fairly impressed with though as with many of his reviews of spots on the Peninsula or out in the far East Bay, he sounds a bit like he's trying to be kind given the dearth of better options there. The chef is Robbie Wilson, who most recently worked for Nobu Matsuhisa at his Aspen restaurant Matsuhisa, and Bauer says everything from the "stunning" interior of the space to the "strikingly presented crudos" on the beginning of the menu scream sophistication, which the Peninsula isn't always known for, food-wise. He finds a few things to be a bit too minimal, and calls the service "painfully enthusiastic," and all told, the place gets a respectable two and a half stars.
Pete Kane went to check out Nachoria, the new nacho restaurant in Burlingame that has even landed in New York Magazine's "Approval Matrix" for it's low-brow brilliance, as a concept. But, fundamentally, he found the same thing wrong with that we at SFist did in not including it our most recent nacho roundup: the cheese, which he calls "an inbred first cousin of Cheez Whiz."