As we transition into the dark and moody months of the year, ahead of the brief spurt of holiday cheer in early December, things in the local restaurant scene continue looking up, with plenty of new spots to try during your abundant, sunless, evening hours.
A handsome new bar and restaurant has opened in the base of the Beacon Grand Hotel in Union Square — a.k.a. the former Sir Francis Drake. It's called The Post Room, and it takes over the lobby bar and lounge spaces near the hotel entrance, offering a full menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It officially opens Monday, November 13, just in time for APEC attendees to arrive, and brunch will also be served on weekends, featuring a live music program. And off the main lounge, there is also a "secret" library space, tucked by a hidden door by the fireplace, that will offer vintages of bourbon, single malts, ryes, and more served neat, in flights, or crafted as classic three-ingredient cocktails. We are still awaiting word on what's happening with the former Scala's Bistro space.
Korean soju bar and late-night restaurant JooDang is set to open November 14 at 250 Hyde Street in the Tenderloin. As Eater reports, dishes from chef Min Choe will include kimchi shrimp stir-fry with black tiger prawns, truffle bulgogi with soy-marinated ribeye, Korean fried chicken, and crab miso risotto. And the soju-focused cocktail menu will highlight the "flavors of Korea," the team says, with drinks like the Jeju Tanga Fizz featuring tangerine soju, makgeolli (rice wine), black sesame, citrus, and honey. When JooDang opens, it will serve from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., but hours are going to expand later to 1 a.m.
In case you missed it, SFist earlier reported on the reopening of Quince, which is now set for November 28. The restaurant has undergone a significant remodel to make the dining room "lighter and brighter," and it will now only feature ten tables indoors.
A new congee spot is coming to the Mission called Shen's Porridge. As Tablehopper reported this week, it's moving into the former Luna Park space (694 Valencia Street at 18th) and the guy behind it is Jimmy Shen, owner of Hayes Valley's Dumpling Home and Otoro Sushi.
Venezuelan brunch pop-up Andina, which was a hit during a summer residency in the former B-Side space in the SFJAZZ Center, is now going to make the space its permanent home. Chef Victoria Lozano, a La Cocina alum, tells Eater this week, "It makes me really happy," following her signing the deal with SFJAZZ, and "I never imagined owning a restaurant." Expect arepas, of course, as well as rice bowls, and a new set of heartier dinner items like cochino frito, a Spanish-Portuguese fried pork dish. Lunch and brunch will be served Wednesday to Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and dinner will be served 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
A beloved Santa Monica cheese and charcuterie shop Lady & Larder, known for their Oprah-approved, wildly colorful cheese and charcuterie boards bedecked with fruit, is opening a new location in Carmel Valley, at 9 Del Fino Place. As the Chronicle reports, twin sisters and co-owners Sarah and Boo Simms are aiming for a Spring 2024 opening.
Kaiyo, the Nikkei (Peruvian-Japanese) restaurant with locations in Cow Hollow and SoMa, has just brought on a new sushi chef, Kenji Sawada. As a result, both restaurants are debuting new Nikkei sushi menus next week.
And, sadly this week we learned that one of the post-pandemic newcomers to the Castro neighborhood, Vico Cavone, is already closed. As Hoodline reported, the closure is apparently related to a legal conflict between two co-owners. So, maybe it will reopen when that is resolved?
Top image: The Post Room main bar, photo by Brian Molyneaux