It's about time we revived this weekly roundup of food and restaurant news from SF and around the Bay — now that there's a real, steady flow of restaurant news coming down the pike once again.
Oof it's been a rough couple years in the local food scene. And while we probably shouldn't complain given the sheer number of semi-miraculous survival stories there have been — and since this is a pretty affluent place that loves its restaurants pretty hard, maybe it was more about GoFundMe than miracles — there have certainly been some losses. Just last week we learned that AL's Place is closing, not for pandemic reasons but maybe chalk it up to the Great Resignation; and this week it was Manresa, with chef David Kinch saying he's just doesn't have any more fine dining energy left in him.
But below is some mostly good news to get you through your weekend:
Bar Piccino, the new next-door offshoot of Dogpatch stalwart Piccino, opens tonight at 1003 Minnesota Street. As the team tells Eater, it's not exactly Piccino, but a sister concept with a smaller food menu, couple with a new drink menu from bar manager Andi Miller, formerly of Arguello and Third Rail. The drinks are anchored by multiple Negroni variations, as well as some tequila- and mezcal creations, and Miller is creating "a superhero aperitif" in the form of a red bitter that will be a house concoction used in multiple drinks. And the food menu is snack-focused, with some whipped mortadella, a potato tostone with salmon roe, and some tempura-fried maitake mushrooms. Bar Piccino is going to be open 4 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays, and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday.
The new, somewhat divisive NFT-backed Japanese restaurant and private club, SHO, had a groundbreaking ceremony last week at Salesforce Park. SFGate skewered the event and the whole restaurant pitch, which is, admittedly, kind of silly/douchey as so much NFT stuff is. Questions remain about how much vetting is going to get done on the membership itself, particularly as the NFTs that bestow membership get resold — as writer Alex Shultz puts it, "In other words: What happens when a genuine piece of shit snags a secondary market membership?" But SHO Group CEO Josh Sigel assured reporters that there would be "terms and conditions" all members had to abide by. Base memberships are going for $7,500.
Reem's California, the acclaimed Mission District bakery/cafe from chef Reem Assil, is opening a new location in the Ferry Building. As the Chronicle reports, Reem's will take over the former Cowgirl Creamery stall in the food hall by late September. You can expect cardamom cold brew, pita with muhammara, and some new dishes as well.
Hi Felicia owner Imana made what seems to have been a premature announcement this week about opening Sluts, a wine bar, in the former Destino space on Mint Hill. Fast-forward a few days and it turns out lease negotiations fell through, so she's back on the hunt for a space in SF or Oakland for the queer-friendly, natural wine bar with food.
Over at the Chronicle food desk, Soleil Ho has filed their review of Shuggie's Trash Pie & Natural Wine (3349 23rd Street), and it's not quite a rave. It maybe "an imperfect restaurant" Ho writes — citing some less-than-terrific square pies with soggy middles, and appetizers meant more for Instagram than your mouth. But it's nonetheless "a success as a branding exercise," and it's both "a very visually stimulating restaurant and a working demonstration of how to creatively handle food waste."
The one and only Iron Chef, Masaharu Morimoto, is about to open Momosan Santana Row in San Jose, the latest outpost of his sake and ramen chain which has locations in New York City, Seattle, Waikiki, and a few other cities. As Hoodline reports, Morimoto's second Bay Area restaurant after Morimoto Napa is set to open September 3 in the former Pasta Pomodoro space at the corner of Olsen Drive and Santana Row.
And, a famed ramen chain from Japan, Taishoken, just opened its second U.S. location in SF's Mission District at 665 Valencia Street (the former MAU). The restaurant, known for $35 bowls of lobster ramen and tsukemen, the Tokyo-style ramen with broth on the side, opened last night (August 25), as the Chronicle reports.
Photo by Erin Ng via Shuggie's Trash Pie & Natural Wine