Archive for the ‘Restaurants’ Category

Hayes Valley Munchies Update

After eight years, Frjtz on Hayes St. has closed down, for the building’s landlord has bigger and better plans. But not to fear! They will be re-opening right next door in a few months. For now, Frjtz fans will have to venture to the Mission or Ghirardelli locations to get their fix.

Click to embiggen the note from Frjtz’s owner, Santiago:
Frjtz in HV Closed

Just down the block on Hayes Street at Octavia, the former location of Oxenrose Salon (now located on Grove St.), the building has turned green!

New Cafe/Bakery in HV

Coming soon? A cafe/bakery named “La Boulange de Hayes”. I assume this is along the same lines of Boulange de Polk, Boulange de Cole Valley et al (subsets of the Bay Bread group)? I can’t wait to follow the scent of fresh baked bread wafting through the neighborhood, ultimately to purchase a fresh baguette.

Closing Time at You’s

Spare the Air day means that the 30-Stockton through Chinatown is even more intense. The driver had a good attitude, she was laughing and joking with folks. I asked her if it was any different than pay-days. She said it was all the same. She can’t keep track of who comes on without a fare anyways. I stepped off before the tunnel to hit You’s Dim Sum. The shark fin dumpling and pot sticker were barely a dollar, and they threw in a meatball dumpling. Dinner for under a dollar, in such an expensive city.

Locals 2, tourists 0

A co-worker who lives in Half Moon Bay told me this story. She was at the Three-Zero Cafe at the little airport there — evidently a hangout even for non-aviating locals. A couple of tourists were loudly talking with each other — “broadcasting,” as my co-worker put it — in negative tones, all the usual stereotypes about northern California — the liberals, the gays, and so on, as if someone had suddenly turned on one of those conservative radio talk stations. After everyone in the place had endured this for a time, the owner came over to their table and asked, “You’re not from around here, are you??” and when they proudly said no, he slapped the bill on their table and said he was sorry they weren’t comfortable there but hoped they’d soon find someplace more to their liking.

Access report: Sparky’s, Chow, Sugarlump

phare de la baleine

Originally uploaded by bourget_82

Cranky disabled person report on San Francisco stuff! Warning!

Accessibility for Sugarlump on 24th St. is fantabulous. No stairs, low counter, couches, tables you can wheel up to, and a big bathroom with grab bars and with its door not blocked by junk or narrow passageways. A+ on their access! It is a nice neighborhood to wheel around in. The only criticism I have is that some of the curb cuts are not well maintained. They are steep and have enormous potholes.

The LGBT Center is great. A+ for wide corridors everywhere, very accessible bathrooms, big signs set high up near the ceiling so that people low to the ground can navigate. I like hanging out in the 3DB Cafe there, the only problem is I run into too many people I know and don’t get any work done!

Philz Coffee on 4th and Berry is another A+. I’m loving anywhere that has big spaces. It’s like the wide open prairie, don’t fence me in. There is something great about that section of town, the smooth sidewalks, the tall buildings and bridges, that had me high as a kite. That plus coffee meant that I hung out on the sidewalk outside Philz popping wheelies and spinning around at high speed. A good place to skateboard too, I bet. The wireless, breezy open feeling, interesting coffee, good music, and nice people didn’t hurt.


Annals of gentrification: new restaurant on a sketchy block

bottles.jpgI was getting my car washed this afternoon at the big car wash on 16th and SVN and decided to find someplace to have a late lunch. When I walked past a brand new luxe restaurant on 16th St., I did a double-take. Here was a prettily designed bistro with tasteful lighting on one of the sketchiest corners in the Mission — just off Capp, across 16th St. from Theatre Rhinocerous — for the first time I can remember in my 25-plus years in the city, a decent restaurant on the block.

The place was called Bar Bambino. It was bereft of customers at 1:30 pm, but a friendly waiter named Jeremy invited me in, showed me around, and got me some lunch. My lunch was simple so I don’t have a big gourmet review to give, but the bruschetta was exquisite, and the pasta was perfectly cooked. The place is nice — just opened a few days ago.

Dine Out For Life Tomorrow

Water This Thursday is Dine Out For Life, with participating restaurants. It’s not like the average San Franciscan needs prompting to dine out, but if you do end up needing a little, perhaps the knowledge that 25% of the check will be donated to AIDS research and prevention programs will help in the effort to bag the homemade dinner for a little white tablecloth and vintage wine.

I’m dining with 7 others, at Tangerine, and here are my suggested picks for your dinner:

2223 on Market, Moose’s, Rubicon, Zazie, Catch

I’m intrigued by: Lingba & Avenue G (formerly named La Felce & Shag).

Finding Food: Takoyaki

Tanpopo Takoyaki

Mmm, Takoyaki.

Ever since I took a trip to Japan in 2002, I craved these tasty snacks sold by street vendors in Tokyo and beyond.

Takoyaki is a popular Japanese dumpling that boasts chopped octopus/squid as its main ingredient. It’s mixed into a batter that also contains ginger and green onion, and cooked in a special pan to form its round shape. It’s then topped with okonomiyaki sauce (a savory sauce that is usually served with the popular dish okonomiyaki, another favorite of mine!), then finished off with bonito (fish) flakes. It may sound strange and unusual, but it’s darned tasty!

The only place I’ve been able to find takoyaki in SF is at Tanpopo, located in Japantown on Buchanan Street. From what I recall, it was very affordable (I think $3-4 for six pieces). Finally, I’ve found the place to satisfy this craving!

Events Brewing To Celebrate 74th Anniversary of Repeal of Prohibition

This month, as spring begins it’s mighty reign over hill & dale, local hopped beverage lovers have additional reasons to rejoice including the 24th Annual San Francisco International Beer Festival at Fort Mason on April 28th . Ye need not wait that long though, as a week long repeal of prohibition anniversary bash is ongoing at North Beach’s Rogue Ales Public House now through Sunday.

Indeed many frothy quaffs await yer presence all over the region with details after the jump. In addition to the 27 ales Rogue has on tap, they now have their own spirits line including a hazelnut spiced rum, and on Tuesday debuted the first pours of their Spruce gin. They also have grub including Kobe beef burgers, and on Friday they will feature a pig roast.

Things really get rolling this weekend with Saturday’s Rogue Olympics where entrants celebrate the repeal of prohibition by competing in activities like the Washington Sq tricycle obstacle course, beer pong and a root beer chug off. Sunday Rogue wraps up their weeklong anniversary bash with a pajama party bloody mary brunch and the swearing in for dogs into the thirsty & esteemed Rogue Nation, an honor once reserved only for people.

Other info on brew related local events coming up this month, including the Meet The Brewers dinner at Edlo’s for the occasionally hungry & unusually organized beer enthusiast after the jump…

Beard Awards

Me, Happy with an Au Lait
The James Beard food awards came out, and Tartine scored quite well: “Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson of Tartine in San Francisco for Outstanding Pastry Chef.” Chron has kind of Chron-istic focus on the awards in their write-up. I love Tartine, that is until I had an insanely rich ham and cheese croissant that was.. well, too rich (for me).

Other notes: super big fan of Albona lately, the Croatian (well currently, prior to borders moving it was Northern Italian/Istrian) the “Michelin Recommended” restaurant in Fisherman’s Wharf-North Beach area. Not that expensive, for the quality, and the place has this comfy, unpretentious yet intimate atmosphere.
Hang, Gesturing Wildly

Also, got a notice today in the real old-fashioned mail – you, too, can contribute to Zagat-

Pictures of me & my friend Hang enjoying au laits one winter morning.

The end of Medicine

According to a bunch of people on Yelp, which, yeah I know may not be the most accurate source of information, Mecine Eatstation is closing its doors and wrapping itself in a cocoon of renovation. What emergers will be woefully different.

Medicine is perhaps my favorite vegetarian restaurant. Did I say is? I meant was.

Medicine served a modern take on Shojin cuisine, which is sort of like super healthy vegetarian monastery food. It’s unique, to be sure. They had wonderfully odd tasting courses and sake pairings. They had a black sesame tofu that curled my toes. They had the richest and most savory miso in town.

But that will be no more.

When Medicine Eatstation shrugs off its cocoon it will no longer be a vegetarian restaurant based on 5,000 years of tradition. Instead, it will sell . . . fish and bento boxes. To the business lunch crowd. How utterly original, eh?

(Photo from Artcode on Flickr)

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