This week around the Bay Area food and drink sphere we had news of the Lone Star getting sold in SoMa, 4505 Burgers & BBQ expanding to Oakland, and the mid-week opening of The Bird, the new fried chicken sandwich spot from the Super Duper people. And we saw a dramatic police sting turn into a violent bumper-car situation at the In-N-Out in Millbrae, which resulted in the arrests of four East Bay men. Now here's the rest of what's been going on.
The Morris is finally, officially open as of Wednesday, following some sort of plumbing issues, in the former Slow Club space in Potrero Flats. See the full menu here, and make your reservations here.
Hoodline brought us some updated details about the aforementioned upcoming spinoff of Pizzetta 211, on the corner of the same block at 1601 California Street. The space, a former laundromat, is under construction, and the team says the hope is "to create a cozy corner that provides weekend brunch, weekday morning coffee with pastries, fresh seafood, housemade pastas, family-style shared plates, and (of course) many seasonal dishes." So, just to reiterate: no pizza.
We have word on the replacement for the former Radish on 19th Street, and Eater tells us it will be a Cuban fast-casual spot called Media Noche. It won't be traditional Cuban food, as co-owner Jessie Barker tells the site, but more an homage to Miami-Cuban cuisine, with Cubano sandwiches in a few versions (a Media Noche is a Cubano made with sweet brioche), as well as empanadas, ceviches, and bowls like ropa vieja with black beans, rice, and coconut sauce.
And speaking of replacements, out in the Sunset we have news of the new business moving into the longtime home of Cajun Pacific (4542 Irving Street), which shuttered in July after 17 years. It will be called Hook Fish Co., and it will be a "thoughtfully sourced" seafood market and restaurant, as Hoodline reports. Friends and co-owners Beau Caillouette and Christian Morabito, who had been working for organic produce delivery service The Fruit Guys, say they want to connect consumers with local fisherman, and will only be selling products fished between Fort Bragg to the north and Moss Landing in Monterey County to the south.
Joining The Bird in the downtown fried chicken sandwich game this week is a second location of The Organic Coup. The Pleasanton-based chain already has a location in Rincon Center, and as Hoodline reports, the new spot at 224 Kearny (near Bush) similarly serves a brief menu of sandwiches, wraps, salads, and tater tots.
Over at Marla Bakery (3619 Balboa Street) there's a new fall dinner menu from founding chef Amy Brown, who had until recently been on maternity leave. As Eater reports, there have been some staffing changes as well with the bread and pastry chefs, so you can expect new items there too.
Back in May we heard that the former Custom Burger on 7th Street in SoMa was changing into something called K-OZ Restaurant and Brewery. And now Hoodline reports that the motel-attached micro-brewery and restaurant will, like Custom Burger, be open all day, breakfast to dinner, and will have an eclectic menu of food ranging "from European to Japanese." Also, K-OZ plans to "partner with local homebrewers and companies who want to try their hand at creating a signature beer for the restaurant." The place is aiming for a December opening.
Over in Rockridge in Oakland, Toast Kitchen + Bar's pivot project, a taco spot called Austin, has fallen through for reasons that the owners haven't explained apart from it's a "long, sad story." The space is now for sale, as Inside Scoop explains.
And, lastly, the Chronicle unveiled five new Bar Stars for 2016, and they are: Christina Cabrera of Wildhawk, Keli Rivers of Whitechapel, Anthony Parks of Mourad, Matthew Harrison of Oakland's Penrose, and Andrew Salazar of Napa's Miminashi.
This Week In Reviews
The Weekly's Pete Kane brings us a review of Tartine Manufactory, where he revels in the "Mission-ness" of it all and the $9 apple butter and ricotta toast, but also finds that "it almost feels too clean, like it’s just been staged for a catalog shoot" though it almost always feels cheerful with the sunlight streaming in. A ham, cheese, and pickle sandwich he deems almost too salty, and he finds that the ice cream at the Tartine Cookies and Cream counter, made with buffalo milk, has a richer texture than either of its nearby competitors, Humphry Slocombe or Bi-Rite Creamery.
For the Chronicle's Cheap Eats beat, Anna Roth revisits 98-year-old St. Francis Fountain, and finds it going strong in its 24th Street 'hood. "A lot of things have changed in S.F.," co-owner Peter Hood tells her, "and it’s nice to still have that one place to go and sink your feet into what feels like an older San Francisco." She enjoys amusingly named hangover helpers like the Nebulous Potato Thing (kind of like totchos, but with breakfast potatoes, and an optional egg on top) and the Chef's Mess, which is a loaded scramble with bacon, mushrooms, melted cheese, tomato and sour cream. And she says that while nothing on the menu is "life-altering," the diner remains "warm and comforting as your favorite sweatshirt."
And meanwhile, drinks gal Esther Mobley visits the new Woods Island Club on Treasure Island, and says it's "a perfect expression of [Woods Beer's] beer style and even its business model: idiosyncratic, compulsively fun and marooned on an island."
For his Sunday review, Michael Bauer gives us his thoughts on Nightbird, chef Kim Alter's new and highly personal restaurant in Hayes Valley. He's charmed by the living-room-like dining room, and by the service as a whole. He says the cocktails are "exceptional" and he likes an amuse of quail egg with brown butter aioli and caviar which says "will likely become a signature." He also loves a dish of corn "in different guises" and a dish of matsutake mushrooms and turnips, which he says "is truly magical." A couple of dishes don't come together for him, ingredients-wise, but he says, "There’s no doubt that Alter is immensely talented," and all told, he gives the place three stars out of the gate.