This week, the SFist food bureau broke news of Black Jet Baking Co.'s soft opening in Bernal Heights, had the word on Mersea, a restaurant bound for Treasure Island, and news of another headed to Hayes Valley from the very productive guy behind Starbelly/Beretta and others, Adriano Paganini, to be called A Mano. A chapter is over for Two Sisters Bar & Books, which will close as its owners move to a new venture in downtown Berkeley. Healthy fast-food chain Locol has a West Oakland bakery opening, we learned. There was also news of Theorita, a counter-style pie shop coming to the downstairs space on Divis below the anticipated Che Fico. La Taqueria released its salsa verde recipe, we rounded up our favorite fried chicken sandwiches, and last, caught wind of an April opening for Rich Table's RT Rotisserie spinoff. The rest is here:
Roma Design Group will open a new restaurant in the former Rose Pistola space, per Inside Scoop. "We are looking forward to creating a new sociable gathering place that will build on the identity and traditions of North Beach but takes advantage of the innovations and evolution of the food culture that have occurred since Rose Pistola was first established 20 some years ago," Roma Design Group's Bonnie Fisher tells the Scoop. Hoodline also got a tentative name out of the team: "Cantina Di Liguria."
City Counter, a retro-style luncheonette and wine bar, is headed to the same FiDi building as Blue Bottle and the Treasury. Inside Scoop has it that the project comes from first-time restaurateur Harper Matheson, who brings a decade of experience from the East Coast. Eater had details on the menu, developed by Blue Plate's chef Sean Thomas, and the space, which will sport a modern Art Deco design.
Hoodline had an update on BarnZu, a new name for a still-in-the-works Korean restaurant opening in the Tenderloin. The new name is the Korean term for eating small plates while drinking, and the menu, from the Kokio Republic food truck owner Min Choe, will feature the fried chicken he's known for but expand from there. An opening is targeted for May.
Katsu House is open for poke bowls and a slice of Japan with food like sushi and, you got it, katsu, on Waverly Place in the heart of Chinatown according to Hoodine. They've got a cooler with Japanese fruit drinks and snacks and grab-and-go sushi rolls, but you'll have to wait on the full katsu menu, since they've got to run their fryer by the city health department first.
Celebrity chef Michael Chiarello just quietly opened his humbler version of Eataly in Yountville, called Ottimo, and Eater had the story there: The cafe, market, and mozzeria were originally slated to open earlier, but Chiarello has had plenty on his plate, what with a harassment lawsuit to settle and a DUI arrest to deal with. The whole menu for the new venture is on Eater's site, and includes wood-fired pizzas, panini-like sandwiches they're calling crescentines, and mozzarella made hourly for freshness.
Craftsman and Wolves is opening a doughnut shop and craft market in the Bayview with a ground-floor retail space in a residential building recently acquired by the SF Housing Development Corporation that will be preserved for housing, Hoodline reports. The inventive bakery's commercial kitchen and cafe, the Den, is located a few blocks away, providing baked goods for its which serves its Valencia Street outpost. "The doughnuts will be a nod to the classics, but will feature local and unique flavors," owner William Werner tells Hoodline. "We are focusing on quality ingredients. It definitely won't be your average doughnut."
Nine current and former Mission Beach Cafe workers are suing the popular brunch haunt for alleged labor violations involving late paychecks and improper compensation. The Chronicle had the story, pointing out that news of the suit isn't necessarily a reason for customers to shy away from supporting Mission Beach Cafe. "The workers want people to keep frequenting the business, they want customers to come and support them and the work they do,” Anna Kirsch, an attorney with the Women’s Employment Rights Clinic who is co-counsel for the workers, explains to the Chron. “They don’t want to drive people away.”
KQED was feeling a new Japanese restaurant in Rockridge, Ding, that's opened in the former Claremont diner space. "For a menu that has all the predictable dishes you’d expect to find in a neighborhood Japanese restaurant, Ding offers some artful complexity and sophistication to sauces and stocks—and, most importantly, beautifully sourced and prepared raw fish," they write.
Noe Valley Bakery second location in West Portal with that same name, which we heard about in December, is now open as Hoodline reports. Married couple Mary and Michael Gassen bought their original 24th Street location in 1994, and the new one is now open in a former Noah's Bagels location with seating and a fully stocked cupcake case. A little slice of Noe in West Portal — how quaint.
Linden Street Brewery is reopening in Jack London Square under the new name Oakland United Beerworks, per a report from Eater. The original Linden Street was sold and closed its location recently reopened as Old Kan Beer Co. with former Linden Street brewer Adam Lamoreaux and James Shyabout of Hawker Fare fame partnering up. Oakland United Beerworks wants its operation, headed by owner John Karnay and brewer Shane Aldrich, to open late this summer.
Another Oakland opening on the horizon is The Kebabery which comes from the team behind Camino according to Eater. The casual spot focused — you know it, on meat and veggie kebabs — has been long delayed but will finally be firing things up in the next few weeks. Eater's got a peek inside the distinctive, inviting space, which even had its chairs designed as a special project with the furniture productions students of Californai College of the Arts. Camino chef Traci Matsumoto-Esteban will be in charge of the kitchen at the Kebabery.
The World’s 50 Best list gave Atelier Crenn, Benu, and Saison and Saison atip of the hat, placing them on the bottom 50 of their top 100 list, which Eater likens to the runners-up list. We'll hear who made the top 50 next week with a big reveal.
Eatsea's closure, Eater has learned, was to allow the previously quinoa-focused operation to offer new items like noodles, and they’ve since reopened. The revamp was unrelated to a discrimination lawsuit alleging their unique, automat-style service model was inaccessible to blind customers.
Alessandro Campitelli, whose Chiaroscuro closed after a decade last fall, is back with Contrasto Test Kitchen in Oakland, a pop-up within Kitchen 388. Eater says he's got more on the way and will focus on pasta for the moment, as it's what kept him in business with Chiaroscuro for so long. "“I do want to create an experience and do some kind of tasting," but he thinks he'll shy away from a full-on tasting menu. The first night will be during the second weekend of April.
Mo’z Cafe snagged the recently vacated Corner Store space at Masonic and Geary, per Hoodline. This marks its third location —there's one in SoMa and another in Daly City — and this one will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Le Marais Bakery is opening a Lower Nob Hill/Upper Tenderloin location which will also serve as its production facility for its existing Marina and Ghirarerdelli locations as well as another that's close to opening in the Castro. "It will be a very old-school, Parisian-style bakery in feel and character," said owner Patrick Ascaso tells Hoodline, who had the news of the Lower Nob Hill location. "The Art Deco building already lends itself to that."
This Week In Reviews
Chris Ying gave his thoughts in the Chronicle on Saap Ver and Lers Ros. With the latter getting a bit tired in its original Tenderloin location, Ying writes that "the year-old Saap Ver and its chef, Nutnawat Aukcarapasutanun (a.k.a. Kobe), have taken up the torch of giving San Franciscans a peek behind the pad Thai curtains," but he takes readers through the perils of ordering difficulties to which both spots can fall prey.
Chronicle critic Michael Bauer's midweek update review is of Outerlands which now he says is "a state of mind, a subtle glorification of the beach culture and a warm retreat that buoys the spirits." Chef Yoni Levy, who opened Daniel Patterson's Alta CA, has been at the helm for more than a year, and Bauer's review is short and sweet — the bread's still great, and Levi has crafted a smart menu here. Two-and-a-half stars.
In contrast to "most Cajun/Creole restaurants outside of New Orleans" which are "mediocre imitations," Bauer found Albay Ray's to be different in his Sunday review. "The feel of the interior with its wrought-iron dividers that could have come from Bourbon Street" began to suggest the true spirit of the Big Easy, "But it wasn’t until dessert when the beignets with salted caramel arrived that I was totally convinced that chef Adam Rosenblum and his team could successfully channel the essence of New Orleans." Drinks are impressive — "just the right licorice nuances of absinthe to make the Sazarac." Not everything "passes muster" like a mac and cheese that "tasted more of béchamel than cheese" and a mixed pork, by far the most expensive item on the menu at $49, was under-seasoned and dry. Nevertheless, Bauer sees in this latest spot from the group behind Popsons and Causwells a restaurant "destined to be a destination." Two-and-a-half stars.