This week marked the debut of our "Still Good" column, which is exactly what it sounds like. This week the still good-y is AL's Place, check it out. We also caught wind of Top Round Roast Beef's move into the Discolandia space, Lucky 13's deathwatch, the dangers of your Moscow Mule mug, The Gangway's disappointing demise, and Ardiana's opening. While we're at it, did you see this robot that charges a healthcare fee, the contents of Alice Waters's fridge, Magnolia Brewing's sale, and these fancy cannabis dinners coming to SF?
We only have one noteworthy closure to report this week: Zapata, the 23-year-old Castro Mexican joint that's had troubles with infamous landlord Les Natali, threw in the towel Friday, Hoodline reports. The announcement was abrupt, so that's about all we know for now.
Onto openings: Former Hog & Rocks chef Robin Song will be opening a live fire-fueled restaurant in the Tenderloin's Hotel Bijou. It's to be called Gibson, Eater reports. The 111 Mason spot is expected to open in "late summer."
Since the ignominious November closure of La Urbana, its 661 Divisadero space has stood empty. But no more, as Adriano Paganini (of A Mano, The Bird, Beretta, Belga, Super Duper, Lolinda, Starbelly, and Flores fame) confirms that he will be opening a restaurant there, concept and name TBA. We first heard that he was eying the space back in January, and now Eater says he's planning a November debut.
Speaking of "concepts," how about some Italian-Japanese Fusion? That's what Pesce E Riso, which just opened at 1224 Grant Avenue in the heart of North Beach, promises Hoodline (and by extension, all of us). Owner Joe Lin once owned a restaurant in Vancouver, and has studied in Tuscany and Shanghai. "I think of SF as a culinary leading city in the US and also worldwide. It's the perfect place for this project," he says.
The Impossible Burger's journey has hit a bit of a speed bump this week, as the FDA said they weren't so sure the meat substitute was safe to eat. In response, their CEO lashed out at media coverage of the issue and told the Chronicle that “The rat tests came back clean as a whistle."
This Week In Reviews
When Jay and I ran into SF Weekly's Pete Kane at Outside Lands this week, he reiterated what he said in this week's review, that Robin is "doing everything right." The city's newest omakase gets a glowing report from Kane, with only one bobble with a A5 Wagyu tartare. Read through his whole review for a good overview of the burgeoning omakase scene, of which Kane says Robin perches atop.
We only got a single review from the Chron's Michael Bauer this week, as I am sure he had to conserve his energy for Outside Lands ha ha ha just kidding. Bauer's at the newly-reopened Alfred's Steakhouse. He says prices have shot up, that the Celery Victor gave him blisters, and the fried chicken was served on wet potatoes. The service also bummed Bauer out, as "the waiters lacked table presence and refined skills." The "Rat Pack" interior gets some praise, though, so we're left with two stars.