This week in the world of San Francisco food, we warned you about cockroaches in your slices, discovered Bernie is a Sightglass guy, learned about a new Mediterranean spot called Tawla coming to Valencia, dived into how best to split a check, and highlighted the best East and North Bay outdoor bars. That's not all that happened, however, so let's get to it.
Popsons, the burger spinoff of Causwells, is headed for 6th and Market and is set to have its grand opening this Monday. Hoodline reports that the restaurant is the result of a collaboration between chef Adam Rosenblum and restaurateur Alvin Garcia, and the new location will be in addition to the temporary Popsons at 4th and Townsend (in the former Marlowe), as that building is slated for demolition next year.
Speaking of collaborations, Inside Scoop reports that Michael Mina and Ayesha Curry (yeah, that Ayesha Curry) are partnering up for a BBQ project in Mina's Marina-based Test Kitchen. It's called International Smoke, and it will open for customers on June 4.
For a different kind of test kitchen, Hoodline tells us about McDonald's "Create Your Taste" concept. The Financial District fast-food location now comes complete with kiosks so you can order your Happy Meals (TM) without having to speak to a human. If you go this route, your food will still apparently be cooked-to-order. It is set to open Monday.
Weekend brunch favorite Starbelly will now be open for brunch on weekdays as well, Hoodline informs us. Monday through Friday you'll be able to get your brunch on from 11:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Also, there will be WiFi.
Clement's Blue Danube reopened this past Sunday, Richmond District Blog tells us. After roughly a yearlong closure following flood damage, the Richmond District coffee shop reopened on Mother's Day.
Also in the world of reopenings, Mason Pacific will open its doors once again with new chef Max Mackinnon, a chef from California who earned a James Beard nomination in 2012 for his restaurant Pistou in Burlington, Vermont, and most recently worked at DC's Rose's Luxury. As Eater reports, the Russian Hill restaurant had closed following a small fire in March, and in the interim chef Sean McTiernan has departed for Florida.
Poki Time will open its second location in a former combination Taco Bell/KFC, although Eater reports it will only call that Marina location home for a few years as the building is set to be demolished to make room for condos. Until that time, however, you can grab Hawaiian-inspired dishes at Lombard and Fillmore Streets.
As we previously mentioned, Mission District's Laszlo's reopened last night, and Eater has the full report. Owner and chef Gayle Pirie is still in charge, but both the food and drink menu have been updated.
The Outer Richmond is getting a new cafe by the name of Orson's Belly. Tablehopper notes that owner Cem Salur will serve up Turkish breakfasts in addition to coffee from De La Paz.
Taiwanese dumpling spot Din Tai Fung opened this week, and Inside Scoop reports that there were very, very long lines. The Santa Clara location is inside Westfield Valley Fair, and the publication notes that the restaurant served around 1,000 people on Tuesday.
Blue Bottle will open a shop in South Park, Hoodline reports, with a hoped-for debut this fall. The business has its eye on a location inside the former Jeremy's.
Mission Cheese, on the other hand, has been forced to look across the Bay in its efforts to expand. Inside Scoop tells us that owners Oliver Dameron, Sarah Dvorak, and Eric Miller couldn't get an affordable lease in SF proper, and as such Maker’s Common, as they're calling the spot, will open in Berkeley instead. It will be a retail store and restaurant.
This Week In Reviews
For his midweek checkup, the Chronicle's Michael Bauer returned to Oro. He finds that chef and owner Jason Fox's restaurant has "matured" with a revamping of the menu, and that in doing away with shared plates the menu's focus has changed but the "bold preparations" have remained. Bauer enjoyed the seasonal crab salad, remarking on its presentation, and observed that the asparagus soup "tastes like essence of the vegetable." He gives the Fifth and Mission restaurant two and a half stars.
Okane (669 Townsend Street), the casual sushi spinoff of the much more formal (and pricy) Omakase, is the subject of Mr. Bauer's Sunday review. He says the menu can be a bit confusing to navigate with "a cafeteria of categories," but he's a fan of a whole small mackerel that recently appeared, served sashimi-style but then the waiter takes the carcass away and brings it back fried, so you can "eat the bones like potato chips." He also enjoys the "excellent" agedashi tofu and a mixed grill plate called The Meat Ippin. All told: two and a half stars.
The Weekly's Peter Lawrence Kane headed to Bar San Pancho. Classifying it as "a sports bar with a cocktail list and better-than-fried-spuds food," he observes that the Mission District bar and restaurant appears to be going for the coveted drunk-person demographic. He and his compatriot went with the tortas, although a con queso burger is also on the menu. While the drinks may be "decent," in Kane's estimation the atmosphere is not — observing that it neither gets dive bar nor cocktail joint quite right. It doesn't read like he'll be returning.
In what sounds like very much a different experience, Kane details his time spent at Waxman's. As the name would suggest, the restaurant is the work of 2016 James Beard Award winner Jonathan Waxman, of New York's Barbuto. Kane right away notes that the large size of the restaurant has perhaps restricted the risks the chef is able to take, and in his mind it "[hews] close to expectations." Regardless of the apparent lack of surprises, he finds a few things to like. The poached eggs are "beautifully composed and executed," and the Dungeness crab main grabbed his attention. Overall, however, Kane suggests Waxman's will succeed in drawing in tourists, but not repeat locals.