Posts for November 26, 2012

Terrific Thai Debuts in the Lower Haight; Claudine Loses a Chef

Lower Haight: Terrific Thai (494 Haight) is now open in the former Chilli Cha Cha space. [Haighteration, Earlier]
Hayes Valley: 'The One' Sushi just opened at Gough and Ivy, in the former Crepe House space. [Hayeswire]
Financial District: Over at Claudine on Claude Lane, chef de cuisine Caleb Jones has taken his leave and will be starting immediately at Bin 38 in the Marina as executive chef. [Scoop]

Katsu Opens in Los Gatos, Will Cater to Silicon Valley Millionaires With Pricey Fish

The 1980s just called. They want their caviar and gold leaf back.Photo: Courtesy of Katsu

A new, high-end Japanese spot just debuted Friday in Los Gatos called Katsu, and they're already touting the ultimate in high-roller menu items: The Decadence Staircase (pictured). As the Scoop reports, it's a literal staircase of dishes delivered to your table featuring the finest of caviars, Japanese Wagyu shabu shabu, and spiny lobster sashimi topped with gold leaf, and it will run you an average of $1,200. There's also a nine-course omakase menu for $295 from 20-year Nobu vet Katsuhiko Hanamure, and a Wagyu sampler for $400. So, suffice it to say they're giving The Sea by Alexander's Steakhouse a run for their money in the bougie Peninsula seafood house realm. See the full menu here. [Scoop]

Katsu - 160 West Main Street, Los Gatos - 408-222-1212 - Open Tuesday to Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., and until 1:30 a.m. on weekends.

The Ambassador to Close With Big Farewell Bash Thursday; Redford Is the Name of Its Replacement

The previously announced closure of The Ambassador (673 Geary) is scheduled for Thursday, and it will include a big sendoff party with the Vintage 415 crew of Demetrius Chapin-Rienzo, Nate Valentine, Todd Palmerton, and Larry Vavra, as Eater reports. Coming in its place in the coming months is Redford, a new bar concept from owners Adam Snyder and Justin Roja about which we don't know anything yet. But those old-timey phones in the booths aren't likely to stick around. [Eater]

Camino Does a Dungeness Prix Fixe; Jardinière Hosts a Porchetta Dinner

Looking for a dinner option tonight to get you over this first day back at work after a four-day weekend? We have a couple of ideas. First off, over in Oakland, Camino is kicking off Dungeness crab season with one of their Monday prix fixes tonight. It features a half crab cooked in the fireplace with roasted cauliflower and farro, as well as an avocado and kabocha squash salad, and Barhi dates with candied orange peel and sbrisolana cookies for dessert. It's all $34 per person, pre-tax and tip, and you can add another half crab for $12. Reserve here.

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Of Course European Dairy Farmers Riot With Milk-Filled Hoses

Dangerous for the lactose intolerant, and possibly Cap'n Crunch.Photo: Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP

If you're like us, you've always wondered what it'd be like to wield a fire hose full of Belgian cow milk against a squad of cops in riot gear. Well, the European Milk Board "unleashed torrents of milk" today outside the European Parliament in Brussels in protest of quotas and unfair pricing schematics, which they say are putting small farmers out of business. Hundreds of tractors were moved into the city center during the protests, and hay bales and tires have been set on fire. Dairy producers sprayed hundreds of gallons of the full-fat stuff at the government building complex, splashing police and passersby in the process. If you happen to be in Brussels, the farmers plan on protesting outside of Parliament until tomorrow afternoon. Bring chocolate syrup. [NBCNews, Related]

Timothy Hollingsworth Plots Casual Taqueria Chain, Post-French Laundry

Hollingsworth at work.Photo: via Gilt City

Over the weekend, The French Laundry released news that Timothy Hollingsworth would be stepping down as chef de cuisine after more than three years in the role, and after a decade in Thomas Keller's Yountville kitchen. The 2010 James Beard Rising Star will remain on board for a careful transition, with Per Se sous chef David Breeden on his way over from New York in January. By mid- to late-spring, Hollingsworth is ready to break out on his own, and he tells Grub Street today that though he may take on a couple of consulting gigs, he actually knows what he wants to do next, and it won't be in another three-star Michelin kitchen. Actually, it involves tacos. See our conversation below.

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Bacon Bacon Truck Catches Fire

Just before the Thanksgiving holiday the popular Bacon Bacon truck suffered a serious engine fire just a few blocks from their Cole Valley headquarters. No one was hurt, but the truck was totaled. Owner Jim Angelus says that he is insured, but look out for a Kickstarter campaign to help get them back on the road. [Facebook via Zagat]

Bowien Contemplating a Mission Burrito Spot in NY?

Bowien in the kitchen at Mission Chinese Food in New York.

The apotheosis of Danny Bowien continues unabated this week with a lengthy profile about him and Mission Chinese Food in the newest issue of New York Magazine, which you can read at Grub Street New York. In it, Bowien hints that in addition to a possible Paris invasion, he's got "a couple of awesome leads" for new ventures and locations, including, quite possibly, Mission Burrito, since New Yorkers are sorely lacking in the burrito department and always have been. He won't confirm what's next, however, since there are still too many balls in the air. [Earlier]

The Third Rail, a New Bar From Range’s Phil West and Jeff Lyon, Coming to Dogpatch

One of Lyon's brighter creations from recent years: The Spring Fling, featuring gin, lime, and tarragon-mint syrup.Photo: Brian Smeets/Grub Street

Over the long weekend the Scoop caught a liquor license going in for something called The Third Rail, a new bar project from Range chef-owner Phil West and longtime bar manager Jeff Lyon. It's described as a cocktail bar, though West won't talk about the details just yet, and it's moving into the space that's currently home to Retox at 20th and Third. Lyon, and before him Brooke Arthur, has maintained a highly regarded bar program at Range over the past few years, often highlighting seasonal fruit and unusual house-made syrups. Look for The Third Rail to open sometime next year. [Scoop]

Hi Tops, San Francisco’s First Gay Sports Bar, Opens This Week [Updated]

The Castro readies this week for its first new bar opening in a couple of years, and that bar would be Hi Tops (2247 Market Street). It's the city's first gay bar fully dedicated to sports, in the former Lime space, and the decor includes reclaimed lockers, gymnasium bleachers, and a whopping sixteen flat-screen TVs. Owner Jesse Woodward says he wanted the space to feel grown-up and neighborhood-feeling, but also to "walk the fine line between modern sports bar and retro-nostalgic gay bar." There's also a food menu, which as we mentioned before is being put together by former Absinthe chef and Top Chef All-Star Jamie Lauren. It includes things like a pork chop on a stick, and stadium-inspired dishes like a homemade corndog. And there will be drink specials inspired by Bay Area athletes, as well as a big beer selection. Stay tuned for pictures and a menu prior to the bar's planned opening on Thursday, November 29. [Earlier] Update: The opening has been pushed to Saturday, December 1.

Homestead Coming to Piedmont Avenue in Oakland

Coming next year to Oakland's Piedmont Avenue, in the space currently occupied by Turkish restaurant Zatis (4029 Piedmont), is something called Homestead. It's a new project from chef Fred Sassen, most recently executive chef at Waterfront in San Francisco, and previously in the kitchen at Farallon, and Sassen is opening Homestead along with his wife Elizabeth. We'll bring you more details as we learn them. [Grub Street]

Top Chef Seattle Recap: David Rees on Cheese Ball Sophistication and Undercooked Kale

Emeril is not nearly so excited about that turkey.Photo: Bravo

Can we talk about cheese balls? When I was a kid, cheese balls were a gooey talisman of sophistication, a sure sign that I was at a grown-up party featuring classical music and debates about Rite I Eucharist versus Rite II Eucharist. So naturally, this Thanksgiving, I brought a cheese ball to the table in order to class up the proceedings. It had been years since I’d partaken of a cheese ball’s pleasures; I was excited!

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Timothy Hollingsworth Leaving the French Laundry; Per Se Sous-Chef Taking Over

Hollingsworth and Thomas Keller.

Representatives for Thomas Keller announced over the weekend that chef de cuisine Timothy Hollingsworth will soon step off the line at the French Laundry. Going forward, Hollingsworth, who has served in his position for three years, will become a "culinary consultant" and leave the restaurant group.*

And his replacement is ... »


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