Posts for April 13, 2012

Hapa on Deck for Summer; the East Bay’s Cocktail Boom; and More

The Thai beef salad with potato chips from Hapa.Photo: Hapa

Lower Fillmore: Hapa (1527 Fillmore), the brick-and-mortar restaurant from Richie Nakano and his two-year-old Hapa Ramen pop-up, is now due in summer. Nakano just posted a bunch of preview pics of dishes in development from the preview pop-up they did the other night. [Grub Street]
Mid-Market: The Show Dogs folks (who are also the Foreign Cinema folks) are opening a tiny café next door at 1020 Market Street which might be called Machine Coffee. [Scoop]
Hayes Valley: Jardinière is welcoming back one of their own on April 30 as onetime chef Michael Hung (most recently at Bushi-Tei) does a guest spot with a Silk Road Chinese-American menu. It's four courses for $49 (including pairings), and it will mark the launch of an upcoming pop-up series called Red Sparrow. [Eater]
East Bay: Local booze scribe Camper English pens a piece for the Chron today celebrating the cocktail boom across the Bay with the openings of the Night Light, Honor Bar, Prizefighter, and the New Easy. [Chron]

Meanwhile, at Coachella...

Concert-goers at Coachella, at least those with some sort of VIP access, are being treated to some nice SF-style cocktails from Beretta's Ryan Fitzgerald and former Rickhouse guy Erick Castro this weekend. See the menu here, which is sponsored by Absolut, but in true SF fashion they've only got one vodka drink on there. [Castrodisiac/Twitter]

Everybody Who’s Anybody Is in Pebble Beach Right Now

So pretty...

Pebble Beach Food & Wine kicked off yesterday with a few opening events, including the annual celebrity chef golf tournament on the world-renowned golf course there and the first tasting event at the Inn at Spanish Bay. Today, chef Christopher Kostow and Daniel Boulud cooked a lunch together for some of the variously wealthy guests at the fest, Michael Chiarello is doing a demo in about an hour, and tonight there's a major tribute dinner for Thomas Keller that's $1,250 a plate, co-cheffed by the all-star team of Boulud, Nancy Oakes, Ron Siegel, Michael White, and Francois Payard.

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At Least One Old Person Not Happy With Buca di Beppo

Old people on the internet: They're a source of endless joy and humor. Thus we were delighted to learn this week of a new Tumblr blog called Old People Writing on a Restaurant's Facebook Page. You have everything from people mistakenly posting a picture of their dog on the Red Robin page, to a lady announcing to the Red Lobster franchise that she'll "be right there." Oh, how we laughed. Below, one adorable snippet from the local scene, in which a customer by the name of Janice Riordan tries to file a complaint with below-average Italian chain Buca di Beppo (the Palo Alto location), but she can't seem to figure out the whole email thing.

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Get Lei’d Next Week at the Tonga Room Luau

That fake thunderstorm won't feel so novel after last night's real one...Photo: Pargon/Flickr

The grandaddy of S.F. tiki bars, The Tonga Room, which was saved from a developer's wrecking ball last year and may just be around forever, is hosting one of their annual luaus next week, on April 19. The price is slightly steep at $55 seeing as it doesn't include drinks, but there will be lots of food (including Huli Huli chicken, Tongan fried rice, and dumplings) and entertainment, and you will get lei'd. Cocktails will be available at happy hour prices, we're told, and the fun goes from 6:30 to 10 p.m. You'll need to RSVP at 415.772.5278, or email this guy. Oh, and try to keep your drink order simple if you don't want to end up with a record-shattering headache the next day. (And if you get inspired to go over there tonight, you shouldn't; they're closed for a private event.)

First Look Inside Local Edition, Now Open

The newest bar from the Bourbon & Branch/Rickhouse boys just swung open its doors last night, in the middle of a rainstorm, and there was immediately a line down the block. It's called Local Edition, and it's an awesome, underground space in what was formerly the printing room for William Randolph Hearst's Examiner, in the basement of the Hearst Building at Third and Market. It's also a massive space, way larger than the other bars in the Future Bars/Destination Bars empire, and thus only one section of seating (twelve tables) will be reservable, B&B-style.

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Neil Patrick Harris Announces His Food-Porn-Only Twitter Feed

Foodstuff via NPH.

Call it: How I Met Your ... Marinara or Foodie Howser, but the great Neil Patrick Harris has opened our eyes to @NPHFoodPorn, an Ulterior Epicureish endeavor for his food-savvy fans. Per NPH, "I love tweeting food pics, but some don't enjoy. So I now bring you: @NPHFoodPorn (thanks @arnoldcam). Follow if you like deliciousness." Be warned, some things aren't available to the public; his latest Food Porn post was ... David Burtka. ("Dessert: My dapper dining companion, @Davidburtka. Sweeter than the tastiest confection.") [Neil Patrick Harris/Twitter]

Tax Day: Credo Offering 99-Cent Pizzas for the 99 Percent

Also, cheekily, they'll be offering one-dollar pizzas for the one percent. Since Credo (360 Pine Street) has some political ties (it's owned by local political power broker Clint Reilly), it's only fitting that they're doing this "Occupy Credo" promotion next week. The deal is good for anyone who purchases a cocktail or glass of wine all day Monday, April 16, and during happy hour (2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.) the rest of the week. And, they'll be doing a special Tax Day happy hour in their downstairs dining room on Tuesday. And whether or not you get charged 99 cents or a dollar is at the bartenders' discretion. As they say in the announcement, "One Percenters will be identified based on a set of highly scientific criteria posted at the Credo bar throughout the week."

Nopalito Part Dos Opens in the Sunset April 23

She gets a new sister in ten days.Photo: Scott Beale

A little bit behind schedule but better late than never, Nopalito's second location is now set to open on April 23 at 1224 9th Avenue at Lincoln (the former Bistro 9). As reported earlier, the new location is going to have much the same menu as the first one, with slightly dressed up Mexican fare and hopefully equally excellent carnitas. The new place has a much larger kitchen that's going to allow them to expand their whole-animal program to service both restaurants.

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Grant Achatz Tweets Preview Image From Next Childhood E-book

GI Grant and Kung-Fu Grip BeranPhoto: Christian Seel, courtesy Grant Achatz via Twitter

The Next Thailand e-book should still be on its way (an image was tweeted back in January), but in the meantime Grant Achatz tweeted this hilarious image that suggests the tone of the Next Childhood e-book will be as playful as the dinner was. Now, to take them over by the goldfish tank to play Achatz threatening to drop Dave Beran into an immersion circulator full of piranhas. [Twitter]

Polk Street Bar Gets Liquor License Suspended for Not Serving Food

Blur (1121 Polk Street at Hemlock) got shut down by the ABC this week because they were in violation of the terms of their liquor license, which requires them to serve food. The Type 47 liquor license requires an establishment to have a full-service kitchen, and it's not clear when, if ever, Blur had one. (They've got $2 beers before 6 p.m. though!) The suspension will last at least ten days, but the owners will have to prove that they do, in fact, have a food menu in order to reopen. [Examiner]

Daniel Patterson’s NYC Expansion Plans Hit a Snag

Things are moving at a sloth-like pace.

Last fall, news broke that the much-celebrated Bay Area chef Daniel Patterson would be coming to New York, with a 'crowdsourced' restaurant that would be financed by 2,000 donors, each contributing $500 apiece. Well, that idea's not working out so well: Diner's Journal follows up on the story and finds that only 154 people have signed up as donors, and that the owners are now working with a more traditional investment model in hopes of opening in September or October. And if that doesn't work, there's always Kickstarter. [Diner's Journal/NYT]

Earlier: Daniel Patterson Heads to New York With the Elevens, a ‘Crowdsourced’ Restaurant in Tribeca

Manresa Welcomes Famed Australian Chef Ben Shewry for Guest Chef Dinners

Manresa chef David Kinch is bringing in friend and colleague Ben Shewry of Attica restaurant in Melbourne, Australia for his Cooking with Friends series on May 12 and 13. Attica was ranked number 53 on S. Pellegrino's list of the best restaurants in the world — a few notches higher, in fact, than Manresa and The French Laundry. And Shewry's aesthetic and penchant for foraging (as you can see in the video below) are very much in line with Kinch's own, so it should be an interesting collaborative menu. Also, Kinch will continue the series with some as-yet-unannounced guests in July to celebrate Manresa's tenth anniversary.

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George Zimmerman Loading Up on Junk Food in Jail

You'll recall Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea got an unexpected, and unwanted, sales bump from the Trayvon Martin tragedy, and now the Daily News lets the world know that shooter George Zimmerman went on a candy-buying binge at the Seminole County Jail. He "bought plenty of junk food in the commissary — including Tostitos tortilla chips, beef sticks, white cheddar popcorn, chocolate creme cookies, Jolly Ranchers, root beer and fruit punch." All told, his commissary bill tallied $79.84. Crucial details, people. [NYDN]

Earlier: People Are Kinda Upset That Skittles Is Making Money Off Trayvon Martin’s Death

Watch the David Chang vs. Questlove Fried-Chicken Showdown on Jimmy Fallon

Last night on Late Night, David Chang and Questlove went face to face (drumstick to drumstick?) in their much-hyped fried-chicken showdown. And the stakes were high: Chang's loss would reward Quest a spread in the next issue of Lucky Peach and the serving of the winning chicken at his New York Momofuku joints; Questlove, upon losing, would wash dishes, don a cardboard lunch ad in front of Momofuku, and give shout-outs to Chang on Twitter for a week. Jimmy Fallon's celebrity guests, Tina Fey and Mad Men's Roger Sterling John Slattery, had the plumb luck of judging their chicken. "It's like old-school shake-and-bake a little bit," commented Fey mid-chew. Spoiler alert: It was a unanimous decision for Chang. As a gesture of goodwill, Chang will still put Quest's chicken on his menu and donate all proceeds to the Food Bank of New York City. Watch it all go down, straight ahead.

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Recent reader reviews on MenuPages

  • Lucca Food Store See the menu

    “Billy's Philly”

    Billy is only there after 5 pm but if you are around go there and ask for his billy philly, the best philly you'll find this side of the Mississippi.

  • Le P'tit Laurent See the menu

    “Elegant Sauces & Fabulous Bread”

    It is the place me and my love go for every intimate moment.

  • Hidive See the menu

    “Are you kidding?”

    You have to be totally drunk to think that this is even acceptable as a public watering hole.


Jay Barmann
NY Mag