This week at SFist, we informed ravenous food news readers of the coming transformation of Les Clos in SoMa, which will be closing and taken over by the Marlowe/Park Tavern Team after two years in business on Townsend to become Petit Marlowe. Then we gave you a peek at Coin-Op Game Room, a new arcade bar and restaurant originating in San Diego that's opening next week in a two-story SoMa space. Finally, we clued you in to an EDM-themed bubble tea bar looking to open in the Richmond in a class unto itself. And, as far as bar recommendations, have a look at our 13 best new SF Bars of 2016 — there are lots of good places to try, if you haven't already hit them up. In other food news:
Ichi Sushi is moving back to its old, much smaller, original space in the new year after having expanded down the street. At issue, Bernalwood reports, is chef Tim Archuleta's health — he, along with wife/partner Erin Archuleta, have decided, following a serious health scare for him, to scale back from the larger space into the original one, which had opened as an oyster bar operation briefly but had then closed to become a private events space. Ichi will be at its current bigger digs until the 31st, and then back into its smaller spot early in the new year, as the couple also raises funds to assist with their medical bills.
Una Pizza Napoletana is now open for lunch, Inside Scoop reports, and their hours will be 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Normal evening hours will remain: 5 p.m. until pizza maker Anthony Mangieri runs out of dough. As an added holiday treat, Mangieri is bringing back his yearly spin on aNeapolitan-style winter-seasonal pizza with escarole, black olives, capers, pine nuts, and raisins.
Alameda Butcher Shop Baron's Meats is moving in to the space in Noe Valley previously occupied by the longstanding Drewes Meats, which closed in August following the death of its proprietor Josh Epple. Eater delivered the news, writing that Baron's, which has operated since 2005, is named for owner David Samiljan great-grandfather's Brooklyn butcher shop of yore. Expect humanely raised, hormone free, yadayada meats at Baron's following their targeted February opening.
New school Jewish deli guys Wise Sons are taking a road trip to LA, where they'll be doing a one-day brunch pop-up tomorrow (Saturday) at authentic New York-style Chinese restaurant Genghis Cohen tomorrow morning. As our Angelino counterparts at LAist write, it would be a shondeh to miss it, so tell your friends down south if you're so inclined (although LA's jewish food scene is way more robust than our own).
Ristobar is temporarily closing and will reopen in late winter, shooting for the end of February. Inside Scoop reports that proprietor Gary Ruill is putting his stylish Italian spot at the corner of Chestnut and Scott on pause while the building that houses it is retrofitted during the first few weeks of the new year.
Starline Social Club, the hip and happening Oakland bar, restaurant, and venue, can add a new descriptor to the bunch. With West Oakland-based Steep Tea Company in tow, they've launched Oakland Tea Parlor, a daytime tea and lunch menu at Starline Social Club, as Eater writes. During the day, the parlor area will show vintage movies. Cool.
Japan-trained sushi chef Jiro Lin, who worked at Hamano in Noe Valley for nearly 15 years before he took up with chef Joshua Skenes at Saison, has returned to his roots according to Eater, scrapping his planned partnership with Saison. He's back at Hamano, where he's now the owner. "“I’ve been here since 2003, so this is kind of my home," he told Eater. "I’m very glad to come back and start seeing all these people again.” Expect business as usual for now and then some changes including a remodel starting next year.
After taking over the Rancho Nicasio Western Room earlier this year and receiving three stars from Chronicle food critic Michael Bauer, chef Ron Siegel is leaving his post there according to Inside Scoop. His modern California tasting menu, a compliment to standard bar and grill food next door, will remain until the 31st , and Inside Scoop says he'll pursue pop ups in Marin thereafter with aims to find his own permanent spot, also in Marin.
Noe Valley is gets a new french bistro starting today, Chez Marius in the space of another, the neighborhood mainstay Le Zinc. The good news, Hoodline writes, is that Marius comes from Laurent Legendre of Glen Park's well-liked Le P'tit Laurent. Expect classic Provencal cooking and an expanded, dog-friendly back patio space.
Divisadero's Stelladoro Pizza is shuttered,per Hoodline. A sign on the door said it would remain closed "until further notice."
On Bush Street in Lower Pac Heights, Akira, a new Japanese restaurant, is now open from chef/owner Minh Son and wife Judy Young, who tells Hoodline that "We saw this location as having good proximity between Japantown and downtown in an area with rents that are still affordable." Young points to a specialty in dobin mushi, a "combination of seafood, tofu and the (matsutake) mushroom, which are steeped in a broth within a small Japanese teapot.”
A kosher Israeli bakery, Taboon, is softly open but doing a steady business at Sixth and Minna according to Inside Scoop. The business comes from three Israeli friends: Isaac Yosef, Avi Edri, and head baker Yanni, who isn't giving his last name to the press and gets his recipes from his great grandfather Mosheh. “All of my life, I was dreaming to open my own bakery. It’s a dream come true,” says Edri, whom Inside Scoop reports was previously a diamond merchant.
Downtown Berkeley has a new Neapolitan pizza spot in Lucia's according to Eater. A Stefano Ferrara oven shipped from Naples, the same, Eater explains, used at Del Popolo's brick and mortar in San Francisco, is behind the bubbly crust, and the restaurant is getting vegetables from its own Oakland garden.
Rintaro is launching lunch service from Thursday through Saturday in what Inside Scoop reports is the first significant service shift for the spot since its 2014 opening.That means you can swing by between 11:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. for items like chef Sylvan Brackett's teishoku lunch sets.
SFO is getting the garlic fries it deserves in a Giants-themed restaurant on which construction will begin this spring according to Inside Scoop. The spot from the team is headed to Terminal Three and will be called San Francisco Giants Clubhouse, we're told. Guess what they'll be playing on a wrap around TV? It's sports: The answer is sports.
Gastropig is the actual name that a culinary duo has chosen for their forthcoming Uptown Oakland spot per Inside Scoop. It's fast casual and focused on breakfast sandwiches include the "#Baconslut" and "Not Your Momma’s PB&J." Help us jesus. No opening date is given.
Last, Eater had word on a few changes to the Oakland dining scene. First, alaMar Kitchen and Bar is abandoning its sit-down service format for a faster one presumably requiring fewer staff starting tomorrow. “We sincerely hope that the City of Oakland will assess the true impact of local mandates and generate programs to help small businesses flourish in this City because we are hurting” a statement from the business said. And, second and thirdActual Cafe and its related business Victory Burger will close effective December 23. They, too, cite the high cost of doing business.
This Week In Reviews
Michael Bauer of the Chronicle has listed his top 10 new restaurants of 2016. His top pick is In Situ, the Corey Lee museum restaurant in SFMOMA. Among his other picks in San Francisco are Bellotta for its strong paella game, Kim Alter's new Nightbird in Hayes Valley, Corridor for its quality-to-quantity ratio at Van Ness and Fell, and Ju-ni for its 17-course Omakase at a 12-person counter on Fulton Street. Bauer has, count 'em, zero picks in Oakland, but nods to Los Gatos with The Bywater from David Kinch, Mill Valley with Playa, and Napa with Miminashi. The longtime critic also writes a bit about the prospects for 2017, how 2016 wasn't quite the bumper crop of 2015, and so on.
Finally, in a move that shows the times really are a-changin', Bauer releases a disclosure regarding his longtime partner Michael Murphy's role in ifOnly, a company from local money-haver Trevor Traina, son of Dede Wilsey. That service grants special treats — drinks with famous people, etc. — and was the subject of a critique in San Francisco magazine earlier this year pointing to a potential conflict of interest it might have for Bauer. "Full disclosure," Bauer appends his year-end list, "My partner is involved with the IfOnly website featuring chefs from In Situ, the Bywater, Leo’s and Playa." Not only are they good spots, Bauer means to say, but you can sometimes book special shit from them or their chefs if you pay enough money to the company his partner works with.
Pete Kane of SF Weekly dove into Motze, the temporary project of Bar Tartine chefs Nick Balla and Cortney Burns. Shit sounds kinda bonkers and cool: "The vibe is global," writes Kane, "with a strong connection to Japan. Although it’s highly probable that no two menus will be much alike, I suspect that narezushi will show up a lot, night after night." That, Kane nicely explains, is "A method of preserving fish through fermented rice, it fell out of practice in 19th-century Japan." Oh. Right, of course. Narezushi. Lest that scare you off, Kane's assessment is that "Motze is a delight, never veering into weird for weird’s sake or intimidating anybody with long lists of obscure ingredients." His overarching recommendation: Go for the $58 Motze menu, which includes gratuity and consists of seven small courses, rather than ordering a la carte.
Last, as we enter eggnog season, drinks writer Lou Bustamante has a cool piece in the Chronicle about the wave of milk cocktails you may or may not enjoy, depending on your lactose tolerance. "Nearly every Bay Area cocktail bar has some version of a dairy drink at this time of year," Bustamante writes, delving into the chemistry of milk and booze to explain why "incorporating dairy into a cocktail isn’t as simple as adding cream to your favorite drink."