This week SFist had news of SpoonRocket's closure, which coincided with the launch UberEats' standalone app, word on the opening of quinoa automat Eatsa's second SF location, and photos from inside WesBurger 'N' More, the new, permanent home for the popular cast-iron skillet-grilled burger pop-up. We also heard that RickyBobby's Lower Haight replacement would be the Lodge on Haight from the former Greenburger's guy. Scandalous news came across our food desk as well: Celebrity chef Michael Chiarello, who may someday regret naming his restaurant Coqueta (or "flirt" in Spanish), was accused of sexually harassing his female and gay male employees. Liholiho Yacht Club topped the list of SF Finalists for the 2016 James Beard Awards, at last getting some of the awards attention it was basically due for. And finally from us, we asked you politely to not shittalk Frisco bagels without trying these 11 Bay Area offerings in the category.
If your appetite for food news is unsatisfied, then read on, because that wasn't the half of it, you gluttonous monster.
The St. Vincent space went up for grabs in December and has now been snagged by former Adriano Paganini operations director Marko Sotto per Inside Scoop. His place, Barzotto, expected in late summer, will be pasta-focused, and Michelle Minori, the executive sous chef for Thomas McNaughton’s Ne Timeas Restaurant Group, will be in the kitchen.
Nopa, the much celebrated restaurant on Divisadero, has turned a decade old. The Chronicle has a retrospective on the neighborhood-changing spot, and truly, the place has been a huge success, not to mention an influence on dining all over town. Partners Jeff Hanak, Allyson Jossel, and Laurence Jossel are rightly proud.
American Grilled Cheese Kitchen is closing its Mission Location, Hoodline writes, while maintaining its two downtown branches and focusing on growth there. Why leave? "Short answer: I received an offer I couldn’t refuse," co-owner Nate Pollak wrote in a HuffPo piece.
Balboa Sushi House has closed, Richmond District Blog reports, as the husband in the couple who owns and operates the restaurant passed away. A note to customers thanked them for their patronage.
With a Bloody Mary theme, Michael Mina's Test Kitchen is launching brunch that will likely do dynamite business in the Marina. Diane Mina, whose husband is Michael, is taking her popular cocktail from his Levi's Stadium restaurant and building a meal around it in "Diane's Bloody Mary Brunch" as Inside Scoop tells us. Yes, there will be plenty of classic brunch fare from chef Adam Sobel, but who needs to order anything else when you've got thick-cut bacon or olives and jerky in your beverage?
The "food as medicine" sister team behind As Quoted have opened their dairy-, gluten-, nut- and soy-free cafe in Presidio Heights. Eater had word, noting that Andytown Coffee Roasters is supplying the coffee. Pete Kane for the Weekly said he really liked this place, by the by.
What was once Melt!, the fondue place, is now under new ownership and to become Peppercorn, Hoodline's North Beach chapter reports. Let's hope the beer and wine license transfers over and the live music plays on.
Not much on this yet, but stay tuned, as a new, unnamed Daniel Patterson restaurant will open in the Dogpatch on Minnesota Street according to Eater. As you may recall, the lauded chef Patterson has been expanding his horizons, stepping out of the kitchen at his flagship restaurant Coi in order to work on a variety of new projects.
After the Market, which is experiencing some changes in the Twitter building, dropped out of a major development project, Marin’s Woodlands Market will open in Rincon Hill instead. The Registry SF had the news of the specialty grocer's addition to the LUMINA building, while Eater remarked on its origins. Founded in 1986 in Kentfield, Woodlands has since expanded with locations in Tiburon and Ross.
Elite Cafe has changed hands, and this could, but hopefully won't signal big changes for the restaurant with the lovely wooden booths and lively jazz on Fillmore Street. Inside Scoop has it that Andy Chun, who you may remember revamped historic german spot Schroeder’s in the Financial District, has taken over. The name and the New Orleanian inspiration will live on, Chun promises.
Food truck Hella Vegan Eats is opening an Oakland brick-and-mortar spot this week, which according to Eater is located at Classic Cars West within its beer garden slash car show room operation. Swing by for oyster mushroom poutine and keep in mind that monthly Art Murmur events occur here.
Laughing Monk Brewery has opened in the Bayview, everybody. Eater writes that home brew bros Andrew Casteel and Aaron Hicks are debuting four beers including a coffee stout and a chamomile golden in their 32-seat space with a sweet mural.
Ha Nam Ninh has closed yet again, due to water damage, as Inside Scoop reports. The "beleaguered" spot has stood for some as a testament to the trials — and tenacity — of Tenderloin Vietnamese restaurants.
Capp Street Crap strolled by the old Lexington Club and noticed that a new sign adorns the building. Wildhawk, as SFist wrote in January, is the name of the spot from the PlumpJack group that's taken over the space vacated by the lesbian bar of yesteryear. Now we learn it's opening on March 23rd.
This Week In Reviews
For the Chronicle, Anna Roth checked out Cocina-alum Nite Yun's "newish" Cambodian pop-up, Nyum Bai, at Gashead Tavern. There, Roth treats us to a bit of history along with her recommendation that you order the Kuy tio noodles, "a noodle soup often eaten for breakfast" with "a light pork-seafood broth, thin rice noodles, minced pork, shrimp, fried garlic, Thai basil, cilantro and bean sprouts."
The Chronicle's Jonathan Kauffman also had a healthy helping of political and historical anecdotes for us at Chili House, where he walks us through a nearly 12-course meal but doesn't provide a straight-up review or any rating. Tong Gang Wan is the newish (2015) chef in the kitchen at Chili House, but he's got quite a fascinating past, having at 18 years old cooked for Richard Nixon in 1972 at a Beijing hotel in the declining days of Mao Zedong.
In something like an update review but without stars and not in print, the Chronicle's chief food eater, Michael Bauer says Amber India ain’t what it used to be in its new location in Los Altos. "After checking it out, I realized that while there is still a lot to love the food has, at least on my visit, lost its edge."
Pete Kane for the Weekly ate at Brasserie St. James, where "not since Loló moved into the former Lot 7 space and AL's Place extended the bustle a few blocks south has the future looked this bright" for Valencia. He's very into it this "sexy" spot for beer and meats galore.
Bauer also dined at The Perennial this week, which he calls at times “painfully politically correct” As he writes, "In the end, I love the idea of what (Anthony) Myint and (Karen) Leibowitz (who are behind Mission Chinese Food and Commonwealth) are trying to do at the Perennial. Yet the restaurant can only be truly successful if the food stands on its own. It feels as if Kiyuna is finding his groove and standing tall." Two-and-a-half stars.