The longtime home of Scala's Bistro at the hotel formerly known as the Sir Francis Drake will be reborn shortly as a French brasserie from the Left Bank Brasserie team, possibly called Left Bank.
It's been nearly 30 years since chef Roland Passot began expanding his French restaurant empire beyond San Francisco's acclaimed La Folie (RIP). The expansion began with Left Bank Brasserie in Larkspur, an homage to the food of Passot’s hometown of Lyon — and featuring standard bistro/brasserie fare like beef Bourgignon, coq au vin, and trout almondine. A second Left Bank followed in Menlo Park in 1998, and then a third at San Jose’s Santana Row, and then Passot expanded further with a steakhouse concept called LB Steak, with locations now in San Jose and San Ramon, and a Mediterranean concept at Santana Row called Meso.
When Passot announced the closure of La Folie after 32 years in business — just in the nick of time, pre-pandemic, in January 2020 — he said he intended to re-involve himself in the day-to-day of his mini-empire of brasseries. And now we learn that he will have a sixth restaurant to open soon, back in San Francisco, coinciding with the opening of the Beacon Grand, the renovated hotel that’s replacing the Sir Francis Drake at 450 Powell Street.
The Chronicle has the news of Left Bank’s stake in the former Scala’s space, and it seems like a perfect fit — the large, bustling, street-facing Scala’s space with its Parisian-inspired zinc-topped bar will do nicely for a bustling, tourist-friendly brasserie. (We don’t yet have confirmation of the name of the new restaurant.) A seventh restaurant, dubbed Petite Left Bank, is also in the planning stages in Tiburon.
Left Bank’s menus are nearly identical across the three Bay Area locations, with cheese fondue, oysters, mussels, steak tartare, steak frites, and all the brasserie basics. And it seems all but guaranteed that Passot will mess with the formula here — though in an upscale hotel setting, maybe there will be some fancier steak and seafood options added.
Adjacent to the new brasserie will be a renovated lobby bar in the Beacon Grand, as well as a smaller "Library Bar" in what was formerly a ladies' powder room. Reps for the hotel tell the Chronicle that the public will be welcome to come in, order a drink, and pull a book off the shelf if they please.
We’ll update you as we learn more about Left Bank's newest location. The Beacon Grand is set to have its grand opening later this month, and the restaurant must be following closely behind.
In related news, the former Starlight Room is reportedly reverting to its original spelling on the 21st floor of the hotel, reopening sometime soon as the Starlite Room.