Posts for December 3, 2012

Gung Ho Opens for Lunch in SoMa

Gung Ho, the new Korean-influenced restaurant from former Serpentine and Seoul Patch chef Eric Ehler, is now open at 680 Eighth Street (between Brannan and Townsend). Ehler's doing weekday lunch only, to start, beginning at 11:30 a.m., and the menu's online. Stay tuned for expanded hours in the coming months. [Scoop, Earlier]

What to Eat at Stuffed, the New Midwestern-Style Pierogi Bar Heading to the Mission

Sacco's pierogis.

Grub Street spoke today with Dana Sacco, one half of the team planning to open Stuffed in the former Mission Sub space (2788 Mission between 23rd and 24th) in January. We broke the news about the new pierogi shop last week, and today Sacco gives a bit more background. "My partner [Andy Schoengrund] and I are both from the Midwest, so we grew up eating tons of pierogies and making them," Sacco says. "I'm from Cleveland and Andy is from Minneapolis, and we are kind of going for a Midwestern theme with this, rather than traditional Slavic/Polish-style pierogis." See the full draft menu below.

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Actually Pretty Awesome: Smoked Pulled Goat at Southpaw BBQ

The smoked pulled goat from chef Max Hussey, served with fry bread that's not pictured.Photo: J. Barmann/Grub Street

Since they opened in late 2011, Southpaw (2170 Mission Street at 18th) has flown a bit under the radar, having been one of several in a wave of Southern restaurants to open within months of each other last year. Southpaw serves barbecue from several different regional traditions as well as a selection of whimsical share plates like a BBQ version of nachos dubbed Natchez (warm potato chips topped with pulled pork, black-eyed peas, hot sauce, and pimiento bechemel), and fried green tomatoes stuffed with mozzarella and topped with remoulade. In May they hired chef Max Hussey, most recently in the kitchens at Epic Roasthouse and 25 Lusk, and he's increased the scope of the menu a bit — they've even added to the restaurant name, since Hussey brings some New Orleans flair to certain dishes, so it's now Southpaw BBQ & Southern Cooking. Among his finer new additions is a dish of smoked pulled goat served with a pineapple salsa, salsa verde, pickled onions and cucumbers, and fry bread.

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Bauer Raves About Hopscotch, Says It Deserves a ‘Huge Following’

The First Base Burger, with griddled beef tongue, pickled onions, and sesame-miso aioli.Photo: Courtesy of Hopscotch

Michael Bauer filed his Sunday review of Oakland's five-month-old Hopscotch (1915 San Pablo Avenue), and it's an all-out, three-star rave. He loves the Yonsei oyster, which comes with sea urchin, salmon roe, and a citrus-soy sauce; the super-rich gumbo with snapper, bacon, okra, and an onion and scallop fritter; their two different burger options; the fried chicken served over a Japanese-inspired chopped salad; and their variation on his favorite cocktail (and his test for any new bar), the Corpse Reviver II. He also appreciates the all-out Japanese dishes, like fried and pickled sardines with tiny sea grapes. And though he doesn't say anything specific about the service, he gives them three stars in that category too. Overall he says that it's "an experience that's both familiar and exciting" and the restaurant "deserves a huge following." [Chron]

Watch the Trailer for A Film About Coffee

"There's so much about coffee that we don't understand," says a subject filmed for A Film About Coffee, a forthcoming documentary from Brandon Loper, a San Francisco–based director. From the looks of things, Loper talked to the experts, obsessives, and some philosopher-baristas on his way to understanding the forces that shape coffee culture around the world. Here's his behind-the-scenes production blog, and check out the teaser trailer, straight ahead.

Espresso served in porcelian, arabica poured through a sock. »

British Restaurant Offers Dim Sum With a Side of Condoms

Seal the deal at their safe-sex lounge.Photo: Daily Mail

Here's one restaurant Kate Middleton probably won't frequent once she recovers from morning sickness hyperemesis gravidarum: Cabbages and Condoms. The Oxford restaurant has the distinction of being the first in the U.K. to offer "leaflets on protective sex when your meal ends," plus other safe-sex-themed goods. The restaurant, a chainlet that's really big in Thailand, reminds customers that "our food is guaranteed not to cause pregnancy" and that purchasing condoms should be as routine as, you know, buying cabbage. After wooing over "fascinating" dim sum and "wonderfully herbaceous" shrimp soup, diners can linger over condom-themed mugs, keyrings, and books, purchases that might seem presumptuous before a third or so date. It still sounds better than Modern Toilet restaurant. [Daily Mail, Earlier]

Your Tap Water Might Be Giving You Food Allergies

Noooo. First peanuts, then gluten, and now tap water is killing us, too. According to research from New York's Albert Einstein College of Medicine, pesticides lurking in our perfectly tasty, really rather cheap tap water can be linked to food and environmental allergies that might cause tongue-tingling, hives, and even death. Oh, and there's nothing you can do about it.

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Sunday Morning Flood Hits 18th Street Gourmet Ghetto

The scene outside Tartine Bakery on Sunday morning around 8 a.m.Photo: Elisabeth Prueitt/Facebook

The little valley of 18th Street in the Mission, which catches rain runoff from Dolores Park and Dolores Street, was deluged with several inches of rain during the storm Sunday morning, and pretty much all the food businesses between Dolores and Guerrero were affected in some way. Most escaped significant damage, though Tartine Bakery had to quickly drain and bleach the bakery floor and may ultimately need to replace it. Pizzeria Delfina was able to open on time Sunday after a little Monday morning mopping ("It's built like a shower stall, so it wasn't much of a problem," says Delfina rep Ashley Bellview). The storm did knock out Delfina's water heater, however, so they were not able to open the restaurant Sunday night. We understand Bi-Rite Market lost some inventory (they posted this dramatic Instagram photo on Sunday with the caption "Row, row, row your boat to Bi-Rite"), though it was not a huge loss, and they were able to open. All told, in what will hopefully turn out to be the season's biggest rain storm, everyone got pretty lucky. But if climate change means more winter rain like this, 18th Street may be needing some more sandbags. [Grub Street]

Reminder: Hakkasan Also Opens Today

After a weekend of opening parties, Hakkasan debuts today for lunch and dinner. We showed you the swanky new space at the One Kearny building last week. Now you need to try the dim sum (and the black truffle duck) and report back. Also, the PDF menu is here, if you want to peruse.

First Look at Hi Tops, S.F.’s First Gay Sports Bar, Now Open in the Castro

On Saturday night, the Castro welcomed its first new bar in several years: Hi Tops (2247 Market Street). The new spot is being billed as the Castro's, and San Francisco's, first dedicated sports bar for the LGBT set, and that is mostly true, even though bars like The Pilsner Inn, the Lookout, and Moby Dick have been known to show certain games and have softball teams of their own. Put it this way: Hi Tops is the first gay sports bar to commit fully to the sports theme, with reclaimed lockers and tables made from bleachers, and the tagline "Cold Pitchers, Hot Catchers." And unlike those other bars, they have sixteen flat-screen TVs which will be broadcasting sports round the clock (including less often seen sporting events like college wrestling), except after midnight on weekends when things turn a little drunker and cruisier. Grub Street broke the news about the place a few months back, and as we've reported they've got a food menu that was created by chef Jamie Lauren of Top Chef All Stars fame. She's lately been living in L.A., but Lauren was around overseeing the food for Friday's soft opening, and we can attest that the fried chicken sandwich, the wings, and the bacon burger are all winners.

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Momi Toby’s In Hayes Valley Closing for Remodel

Fifteen-year-old Momi Toby's Revolution Café and Art Bar (528 Laguna) just changed hands and will be closed the first couple weeks of December for a remodel and new paint job. New owner Shu-ju Lan tells Hayeswire that she and her husband want to tweak the menu a bit, make the food more "seasonal and homemade," and bring in a new coffee vendor. But there won't be any drastic changes and it doesn't sound like they're changing the name either. They're aiming for a December 17 reopening, but stay tuned as that may change. [Hayeswire]

Step Inside M.Y. China, Opening Today for Lunch

Does everyone remember Martin Yan? No? Well, he was a fixture on public television in the early 1980s with shows like Yan Can Cook and Wok With Yan ("If Yan can cook, so can you!"), and the man has some spunk. Today, he opens his big, somewhat flashy new restaurant — his first in the United States — on the fourth floor of the Westfield, and it's called M.Y. China. The restaurant's been on our radar for about two years now, and originally had the name Martin Yan's Noodle Revolution, because center stage in the restaurant will be a champion noodle puller, Yong Dong Wu, a.k.a. Tony Wu, adding some visual flair along with a huge, 1,800-pound bell from a Chinese monastery over the bar. Take a look at the opening lunch and dinner menus, and see our opening slideshow, which includes a couple of signature dishes, like vegetarian Longevity Noodle Soup, and Bang Bang Chicken Wings.

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Jake’s On Market Closes With Final Shout-Out to Haters on Yelp

After just nine and a half months in business, Jake's on Market is calling it quits. First-time restaurateurs Tim Travelstead and Brad Becker, who named the Castro restaurant after their college-age son, took over the former 2223 space in January and remade it as a somewhat more spare bistro with a focus on comfort foods. It never quite found its rhythm or identity, and closed as of Friday with a note on the door from Travelstead and Becker thanking their customers ("[we] just wish there had been more of you") and pointing some blame for their failure on unscrupulous Yelpers and those "people who rooted for our failure before we ever opened our doors because we weren't the same restaurant that had previously occupied the space." See it all below.

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Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Spotted Pig’ Is a Project With David Beckham

Really, we can't wait.Photo: Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

Make it stop: Just before taking the field for his final game with the L.A. Galaxy, David Beckham was quoted as saying his next career moves involve business plans with Gordon Ramsay, including a restaurant. "It will be a business thing but owning a restaurant is going to be fun as well," Beckham told the Sun. When we last heard about Ramsay's business plans, of course, they included a preemptive U.K. trademark filing for the name of the Spotted Pig, the New York restaurant owned by Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield. There's been speculation that Ramsay moved to trademark the name of a restaurant he does not own to snipe at onetime sparring partner Mario Batali, a Spotted Pig investor, but we're pretty sure the Gordo-Becks project is the Spotted Pig U.K., or some such attempt. Here's why.

Would you buy a hamburger from these men? »


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