This week at SFist, we covered news that the Hall on Market Street would close in September, had word of Laundré, a café and laundromat in the works for the Mission, and discovered that you could make nachos from bugs, if you really wanted to. There was more food news elsewhere, and now, it's here:
In North Beach, The Boardroom is planning to move across the street to the former Capp’s Corner space, Hoodline writes. The longtime Italian restaurant left the Powell Street storefront vacant in 2015 when it closed after more than 50 years in business. The Boardroom won't move until after an earthquake retrofit is completed in the fall.
Oprah admitted to a particular indulgence this week: Flying in English muffins from Napa Valley's The Model Bakery. "My greatest extravagance is flying in English muffins from Napa Valley,” Winfrey told PEOPLE. "There’s a specific English muffin made by these two women at this wonderful bakery in Napa Valley. I know it’s not a good carbon footprint to fly in your English muffins but ” The muffins were on her holiday "Favorite Things" list in 2016, as the Chronicle recalls.
Sunflower has finally reopened its larger Valencia Street side, Capp Street Capp reports, and in fact it's been the case for a few weeks, I can confirm. The Vietnamese restaurant closed its Mission location, which has dining rooms on both Valencia and 16th, completely and abruptly in 2014. The 16th Street dining room has been open for more than a year.
Blue Bottle, which is still trying to move into the Lower Haight space formerly occupied by Bean There cafe, has obtained a continuance on a Conditional Use Authorization hearing, Hoodline reports, and even that has neighbors complaining about the growing local chain that's now considered formula retail in San Francisco.
Hoodline has the early word on a Southeast Asian-inspired pork slider restaurant, The Pork Exchange, that's on the way to the Tenderloin (the former Thai 4 You space on Ellis). Are sloppy joes like the ones they'll serve the next SF food trend? We'll wait and see — no opening date set.
The Castro Fountain, a long-delayed sibling to Cole Valley's Ice Cream Bar, is softly open according to Tablehopper. So far the retro-style ice cream parlor from owner Juliet Pries is selling its housemade ice cream and some bakes goods, and it's applied for a liquor license for boozy concoctions down the line. Check their Facebook for their soft opening hours.
The FiDi's International Food Court has a new player in Pushkin, a Russian, Ukrainian, and Central Asian food purveyor. Hoodline reports that Pushkin opened last month and is serving borscht, chicken dumplings, and pirojkis.
Eater reports that chef Dominique Crenn has hired former Quince chef de cuisine Jonny Black as executive chef at Atelier Crenn, giving up the reins to her personal, two-Michelin starred restaurant for the first time. "We need someone at the management level, someone that I can trust to really focus on bringing Atelier Crenn to the next level,” Crenn told Eater. “It’s not that we are becoming more corporate.” Meanwhile, the Chronicle took a look at the new Atelier Crenn interior and sampled a new 10-course dessert menu from pastry chef Juan Contreras.
Tablehopper has a pop-up rundown that includes a Barcelona-inspired menu headed to the bar Bloodhound. Champaneria Kharma, as the affair from chef Samantha Kharma will be called, is based on La Champaneria, a busy, standing-room-only Barcelona bar that serves free champagne with food.
Tablehopper also had news of Streamline, a coffee shop that's open in the Outer Sunset/Parkside. The corner space was formerly a restaurant and the new owner-partners have built it out with seating and a gallery space. They're pouring Nomadic ground coffee and making scones, muffins, and tartines.
Big Fish Little Fish, another poke place with one location in SoCal, has designs to open two San Francisco branches, one in Rincon Center, and one in the Westfield Center. Eater had the expansion news, and writes that their menu is focused on bowls such as "Shake Dat Tail,” yellowtail with fixings and ponzu sauce. And look out, Sushirrito — Big Fish Little Fish serves "pokerritos," which appear to be similar.
Del Encanto, a Puerto Rican rooftop restaurant that opened recently with the SoMa Nightclub Calle 11, has closed per the Chronicle. The nightclub owner, Leticia Luna, and the chef, Christopher Caraballo, who previously ran the Puerto Rican food stand Borinquen Soul in Oakland, are parting ways, and Luna will reopen the restaurant with dishes from her former Castro Mexican restaurant, Leticia's.
The 1919-founded Italian food chain A.G. Ferrari is closing all its Bay Area stores.The Chronicle reports that the chain will close its four remaining locations — that number down from a high of 13. They'll continue to import Italian food products, but they'll emphasize national distribution instead of retail stores. "The environment today makes it incredibly difficult to operate a retail food establishment profitably,” CEO Jarett Peppard told the Chronicle.“Specialty food is just much more accessible than it ever has been.”
Citing graffiti and vandalism, Genova shuttered its ravioli factory in Oakland — this after closing its popular Temescal deli last year. Inside Scoop had the story, which ends a 91-year chapter of Genova in Oakland.
Now open in the former Cafe Rouge space is Pompette: Inside Scoop says it's aesthetic is similar to Cafe Rouge, the butcher shop and restaurant hybrid of 20 years, and a key influence is Chez Panisse, where co-owner David Visick has cooked. The other co-owner, his wife Carmia Visick, is an alum of Stars and Zuni.
La La Land is taking over Le Colonial for a one-night-only promotion as "Seb's" on April 25 according to Eater. Seb's is a pop-up styled after a fictional business in the Academy Award-winning film, and it takes over Le Colonial's upstairs lounge only. The same promo is happening in other cities like LA, Chicago, and DC. Also, just looked over the press release and did not see any mention of chicken on a stick, so that's too bad.
Chef Carlos Altamirano is launching his, count 'em, seventh Peruvian restaurant, bringing this one to Lafayette. Altamirano hopes to openBarranco by summer according to Inside Scoop. His last opening was Paradita, a fast-casual restaurant, in Emeryville. At Barranco, expect Pisco and Peruvian rotisserie chicken, pollo a la brass.
Korean restaurant Fusebox is closing on Sunday per Inside Scoop. The five-year-old West Oakland warehouse district spot was particularly popular for its fried chicken, and had expanded last year into space next door.
Prosper, a restaurant inside the fourth floor of 747 Market Street, which houses an Equinox Gym, has closed in under 9 months. Hoodline describes the restaurant as high-end and health-conscious, and reporting the closure, relates it to other high-profile restaurants that couldn't make it work in the mid-Market area.
Takuya Japanese Style Hotdog and Bowl, a Japanese-style hot dog place in the Inner Sunset that the Chronicle explored last week, has closed according to Hoodline, although it looks like its San Mateo location is still up and running. The Inner Sunset storefront is now a poke place called Poke Origins, just as quick as that.
Eater jumped at news that chef Ron Siegel would be striking out on his own with Madcap. Siegel, an alum of Michael Mina, impressed most recently with a stint at Rancho Nicasio, where he ran the 47-seat Western room, a restaurant within a restaurant. The location for Madcap is San Anselmo, Eater reports.
The new Mosso apartment complex at 5th and Folsom will be home to Les Gourmands, reports Hoodline. A family bakery, Sylvain Chaillout will run it with his parents: expect brioches, pastry puffs, croissants, etc.
This Week In Reviews:
The Weekly's Pete Kane reviewed Media Noche, a Miami-Cuban fast-casual spot in the Mission. "Unless you’re a joyless scold who hates being alive, you pretty much have to love all the tile work," he writes of the colorful place. "Media Noche earns four '100' emoji for evoking South Florida without going full Miami Vice pastel. Get the media noche sandwich or the ropa vieja bowl, he seems to suggest. "I would strongly recommend eating there at a time of day other than dinner," Kane concludes, as there isn't enough seating. "One of fast-casual’s choke points tends to be that, when combined with alcohol and people’s natural inclination to linger at the table in parties larger than two, you might find yourself in suspended animation, holding food but without anywhere to eat it and trying hard not to hover passive-aggressively."
Kane also tried Old Kan Beer Co., the former Linden Street Brewing space. There, it's a balancing act: "To succeed at luring more people to a dead-end street in West Oakland that’s flush against the train tracks, Old Kan has to achieve some semblance of destination status yet remain casual enough to merit repeat visits." As far as food, which is from James Syhabout , a “chicken fried” portobello mushroom sandwich is "killer." In the end, "Old Kan is a lovely spot, only a little rougher around the edges than Uptown Oakland’s Drake’s Dealership, and a bit more modest than Smokestack at Magnolia Brewing in the Dogpatch."
The Chronicle's Esther Mobley has a nuanced review of Parallel 37 in the Ritz-Carlton, which, by "playing it safe" for the hotel bar crowd, has kept itself "from becoming a cocktail destination." Camber Lay, who heads up the cocktail program, is boxed in by what Mobley pitches as a delicate balancing act, or hotel bar dilemma.
Chronicle food critic Michael Bauer reviewed Le Colonial, which "evokes a tropical French oasis in Vietnam during the 1920s" and has now been in the former Trader Vic's space for 19 years. "Le Colonial is a restaurant that is able to bridge the age divide, and it deserves to be as popular today as it was when it was new and trendy nearly 20 years ago," Bauer writes, noting that it was conspicuously empty despite improved food and service. Two-and-a-half stars.
Bauer's new restaurant review this week was of Rooh, which "follows in the steps of the recently opened Babu Ji and August 1 Five in offering highly personal interpretations of [Indian] cuisine." Chef Sujan Sarkar menu reflects the cookbook Modernist Cuisine — "He dehydrates butter into powder to garnish butter chicken, places edible bubbles filled with spiced passion fruit into pani puri shells, and punches up tuna tartare with tamarind gel and puffed black rice." Bauer is a fan, counseling diners to "go to Rooh to discover contemporary Indian cuisine at the hands of a master." Three stars.