A lot happened this week in the world of San Francisco food — some good, and some definitely not so good. We told you about what looks to be the permanent closure of Powell Street pizza spot Blondie's Pizza after it shuttered earlier this month due to a cockroach infestation. On a significantly less repulsive note, we also learned that the popular San Rafael doughnut spot Johnny Doughnuts will soon be coming to Hayes Valley. Here's what else went down:
Perhaps inspired by the above mentioned Blondie's Pizza news, the kind folks over at the Chronicle did a roundup of some of the restaurants with the lowest health scores in the city (there's a slideshow). Slide through and see if your favorite downtown lunch spot is in the mix.
Hoodline lets us know that Forbes Island, a floating restaurant near Sea Lion Harbor, has returned to its home after two months of repairs. You can only get to the french restaurant within via boat, and it reopens on June 15.
Meanwhile, Eater tells us about a new bar in the Mission that opened yesterday called Evil Eye. Helmed by husband and wife team Matt and Piper Norris, the bar tries to hit that sweet spot between dive bar and craft cocktail spot. Oh, and they have a toast menu that offers $10 toast though that could be plural toasts.
Speaking of openings, Hoodline reports that, despite what people may have heard, the new Mama's and Lil' Mama's Community Market in North Beach is still happening — just slowly. There is no fixed opening date.
According to Inside Scoop, Andrea Petrini and Alexandra Swenden are bringing their "global culinary collective" Gelinaz to SF this July. What exactly does that mean? Well, it means a 16-course tasting menu put together by 16 different prominent chefs for an event titled “Walk with Us San Francisco”. It also means a $600 price tag (per person).
The award-winning La Folie has been the work of chef Roland Passot for decades. Inside Scoop tells us that he's now trying to make sure some of those who support his work get a chance to shine as well. Termed "Rising Stars of La Folie," various chefs of his will team up to create specialty meals — the first is a five-course meal by chef de partie Greg Lucero and chef de cuisine Jeremy Wayne on June 27.
Berkeley is getting a new spot to eat with the forthcoming Berkeley Social Club, reports Inside Scoop. Formerly Perdition Smokehouse, the new restaurant will be "a classic breakfast-lunch eatery by day and contemporary Korean restaurant by [night]." Steven Choi of Kitchen Story and Sweet Maple is behind the project.
The Castro's Manos Nouveau has abandoned efforts to be tipless, reports Inside Scoop, with owner Manuel Montalban saying he thinks the higher listed menu prices kept new customers away.
Hahn's Hibachi, the hibachi spot in Noe Valley, is closing its doors after almost 40 years in business. Noe Valley SF tells us that the owners gave "the rising cost of everything" as the reason for the closure.
Hog & Rocks owner Scott Youkilis is teaming up with his retired Red Sox player brother Kevin Youkilis to open Loma Brewing Company in Los Gatos, reports Eater. It will be a brewpub with comfort food from former Maverick chef Aubree Arndt. Of the 14 beers on tap, seven will be made in-house.
That robot place Eatsa is now serving breakfast, reports Eater, with a focus on quinoa breakfast. If you don't like talking to people early in the morning (or just don't like talking to people), then the machine-only interactions of this place are for you.
Mid-Market gets in on the poke rush, with Eater telling us that Poke Bar will soon be opening in The Market inside of the Twitter building.
Manor Coffee Shop reopened yesterday, Inside Scoop reports, with new owner Michael Gonzalez reportedly a long-time fan of the West Portal place. The new menu keeps comfort foods on the menu, but the French-trained chef adds interesting touches such as frogs legs.
On a totally different note, downtown San Leandro is hosting their annual Cherry Festival tomorrow. With live entertainment, food, beer, and plenty of cherries, roughly 10,000 people attend the event each year.
Week In Reviews
For his mid-week update, the Chronicle's Michael Bauer returns to newish izakaya Rintaro, which earned raves from other critics last year. In Bauer's estimation, Chef Mishima Brackett has only improved the food since the restaurant opened two years ago — with gyoza and udon noodles standing out. Also, as an added bonus, the service is deemed "expert." He now gives it three stars.
For his Sunday review, Bauer trucks north to Nicasio's Rancho Nicasio for what he deems to be "the best and most modern food in Marin County." Helmed by chef Ron Siegel, the 47-seat restaurant's "execution is as precise as any four-star restaurant" with the tortelloni of braised rabbit really grabbing the critic's attention. Bauer really, really likes food, and eagerly writes of returning. Rancho Nicasio also gets three stars.
The Weekly's Peter Lawrence Kane is not obsessed with ramen — something he makes clear right off the bat in his review of Oakland's Itani Ramen. He finds things to like, however, after first noting that the wait wasn't too bad. A three-way egg dish grabs his attention, as does a hollowed out grapefruit cocktail. The price also catches his eye, although not in a good way (paying $36 for lunch for one person is a bit much). In the end, he seems to give it a lukewarm endorsement. But then again, as he is quick to remind you, he doesn't "entirely get" why people are so excited about ramen in the first place.