This week on the restaurant scene we saw the openings of The Meatball Bar in the Financial District, and Kahnfections bakery in the Mission, and we brought you some last-minute ideas for taking mom out on Mother's Day this weekend. Here's what else has been going on.

One of the bigger news items this week was the closing of the sale of Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, which after announcing it would shutter permanently back in March, has been bought by Hunters Point Brewery, a new company formed by a former beverage distributor, Ces Butner. As Eater reports, Butner plans to reopen the Bayview brewery and taproom ASAP, and the Big Daddy IPA will flow again.

Boxing Room, whose NoLa-born chef Justin Simoneaux moved back to NoLa last year, is going to close and take a turn for the Spanish, as Eater reports, making the switch sometime this summer. This follows on the Absinthe Group's successful opening of the Spanish restaurant Bellota in SoMa last year, and as of now it's not clear if the new restaurant, dubbed Barcino, will follow along similar lines. In any event, yay for more gin and tonics. No closing date for Boxing Room has been announced.

Eater also grabbed the menu for Dumpling Time, the SoMa dumpling spot from the owners of Omakase and Okane which opens next Friday.

Over in the Castro, and following two full years of delays, Castro Fountain is now open, serving up ice cream floats and boozy fountain drinks along the lines of its older sister spot, Ice Cream Bar in Cole Valley. Inside Scoop has the details on the 1930s-inspired soda fountain, noting that with a few exceptions, the new location has an entirely new menu all its own.

Also in the Castro, Le Marais Bakery and cafe is getting set for an opening, as Tablehopper reports, noting the "gleaming rotisserie," as well as the fact that the team is also opening a production facility and bakery in Mill Valley. They're putting their opening date in "a couple of weeks," so, late May.

A Mexico City street food spot called StreetTaco just opened on Ninth Street in SoMa, as Hoodline tells us, and it's actually a second location for the place which originated at 1607 Haight Street. You can expect tacos, burritos, nachos, salads, and tostada bowls, and slightly higher prices than at the Haight location, apparently.

Popular ramen chain Ippudo Ramen, which has an SF location in Yerba Buena taking shape and readying to open sometime this year, is first going to be opening in Berkeley as Eater reports, with a location debuting at 2011 Shattuck Avenue in mid-July. The company has partnered with Panda Express for the expansion, so there's that.

And in other Japanese-related news, the team behind Berkeley's popular yakitori spot Ippuku is opening a soba spot in the former FuseBox space in West Oakland which they are calling Ichi Soba, as Inside Scoop reports. The opening timeframe for that is late August.

This Week in Reviews

For his update review this week, Michael Bauer explains that he didn't make it around to re-reviewing Locanda for the Top 100 this year until it was nearly too late, and he found that they'd had a chef turnover already since the departure of opening chef Anthony Strong last year. Now in place is former Bar Agricole chef Melissa Reitz, whose work he admired at that restaurant, and he says she's putting out a perfect cacio e pepe pasta, as it has always been here, and adding her own touches to the menu like some lamb meatballs he enjoyed. Between the service and the dessert, Bauer was most pleased: three stars.

And in his Sunday review, Bauer gives us his thoughts on China Live after his traditional three visits. He says the space has a "sophisticated feel" and a nice buzz about it, and he's a fan of a number of dishes, including the Peking duck, most of the dumplings, and "anything out of the barbecue station is stellar." He also says the drinks are a high point, saying, "No other modern Chinese restaurant has taken such care with the beverage list," curated by Duggan McDonnell, formerly of Cantina fame. He's less impressed with the wok items, and says the Marco Polo Zhajiangmian Minced Pork Noodles are bland and flat. In the end: the all-too-common two and a half stars.

Over at the Weekly, Pete Kane checks in on Hitachino Beer & Wagyu, the new Tenderloin outpost of Japan’s cult brewery and the first location of its kind in the US. He says the place is pretty "out of whack" so far and "feels like a misalignment between food and drink," and the $78 tasting menu comes with "only occasional slivers of wagyu, which isn’t even proper wagyu but washugyu, a hybrid Japanese-American breed of cattle." He did like the beer OK, though nothing seemed very thoughtfully paired and you only get two real pairings, and he liked the tantanmen (ramen), which was properly al dente.

Kane also dropped in on the Sunday Bird pop-up inside the Fillmore Street Boba Guys location, calling it the "better KFC," meaning Korean Fried Chicken. ANd he checked out the new Irish pub in Oakland's Jack London Square, Sláinte, which is pronounced “SLON-cha,” and which boasts a heart-stopping Irish breakfast that looks pretty darn good.

And Chris Ying at the Chronicle shines a light on one of the hidden gems of the region, and what he calls the "Bay Area's best Mexican food" at El Molino Central in Sonoma County. The tiny spot in Boyes Hot Springs was surprisingly featured on the "long list" of James Beard Award nominees for Best Chef: West this year, honoring the fine work of owner Karen Taylor, who also sells her tortillas and chilaquiles at the Ferry Building farmers' market. Ying especially loves the barbacoa (lamb) tacos, and the fantastic beans. Ying also, amusingly, talks to one of the Mexican women who's worked for and cooked alongside Taylor for 20 years, and says she "knows that Taylor is not like other gabachas dabbling in the Mexican hustle."