Posts for December 4, 2012

Sunrise Deli Opens a New Spot in the Haight; Nabe On Its Way to the Sunset

Upper Haight: Sunrise Deli, famous for their falafel, just opened their fifth location today at 1671 Haight Street, at Cole. [Tablehopper]
Lower Haight: Hapa Ramen pops up again tonight, and the next three Tuesdays, at Wing Wings (422 Haight Street). [Tablehopper, Haighteration]
Tenderloin: In addition to these Repeal Day parties, look for a special Prohibition-themed cocktail at Chambers Eat + Drink: Drink #6 ($11), a twist on the Bee's Knees with Earl Grey-infused gin. [Grub Street]
Inner Sunset: Nabe, a new Japanese spot specializing in nabemono, is coming to 1325 9th Avenue as soon as next week. The name refers to the Japanese word for all types of hot-pot dishes, from ramens to sukiyaki to yosenabe. [Eater]

Hi Lo Aims for Early 2013 Opening With Chef Ryan Ostler

A rendering of the restaurant to be.Illustration: Courtesy of Hi Lo

Hi Lo (3416 19th Street), the latest venture from Scott Youkilis and Dave Esler (Maverick, Hog & Rocks) and partner Eric Rubin (Tres Agaves Products), is not going to make it open before the end of the year as previously hoped. But as Tablehopper tells us today, they are on track for an early 2013 opening (does that mean January?). Eater had previously noted the hiring of chef Ryan Ostler of Broken Record, Gypsy Kitchen, and Bruno's fame. (He's also worked in the kitchens at Boulevard and Range.) The deal, as reported earlier, is meat by the pound — along the lines of Brooklyn's Fette Sau — both off the grill and from the smoker. The name, in fact, refers to the high heat of the grill, and the low heat of the enormous smoker they brought in from Texas and installed in the basement. There'll be a nice beer list, no doubt, as well as barbecue-friendly cocktails by Scott Beattie and Michael Lazar. Stay tuned for an opening date announcement soon. [Tablehopper, Earlier]

What to Eat at Miss Ollie’s, Now Open for Lunch in Oakland

The opening menu.Photo: Facebook

Miss Ollie's, the restaurant that marks a much anticipated return engagement for former Hibiscus chef Sarah Kirnon, debuted today in Old Oakland with limited hours. The location is the former Jesso's space at the corner of Ninth and Washington, in the Swan's market complex. As the Scoop reports, the deal for now lunch only, with a specific lunch platter special each day (today was her famous fried chicken), along with a number of sides and smaller dishes, like a Creole ham and sweet potato salad with capers and olives; Piri Piri pork shoulder with field greens; or the Caribbean staple of rice and peas. See Kirnon's opening menu, with handwritten notes, below.

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Yoshi’s Financial Troubles Continue With Bankruptcy Filing

Right on schedule, as Yoshi's San Francisco was about to face the first payment due on the $7 million loan from the City of San Francisco that helped build the restaurant and nightclub in 2007, they've filed for Chapter 11. As SF Weekly reports, the restaurant's owners insist they're not in peril, and they just need to restructure their debt obligations, but as we'd heard in August, next year was bound to be a rough one no matter what. The club turned its first profit in 2010, but spent most of the last two years in the red, only turning a profit again this past summer, thanks to more R&B and soul bookings in the music venue. It's unclear to what extent the attached, high-end sushi restaurant is weighing on the bottom line, if at all. The original Oakland club, along with its younger S.F. sister, just celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. [SF Weekly, Earlier]

Tacolicious Expanding With Mexican Rotisserie Chicken Joint in Noe Valley

It's one of our favorite Prince songs...

The Tacolicious team of Joe Hargrave and chef Telmo Faria are working on yet another restaurant, in addition to their planned Tacolicious location in Palo Alto. As the Scoop is reporting, they're taking over the Noe Valley location of Hahn's Hibachi (1305 Castro Street) across from Contigo, where they're going to open a Mexican-inspired rotisserie chicken concept called MF Chicken. Hargrave was inspired both by the lack of good takeout meal options he can find for his family in the 'hood, and by the restaurants El Charro in Ensenada, and the original, healthier 1980s incarnation of El Pollo Loco, both of which he grew up with. Whole or half birds will be sold with fresh salsas, sides, and La Palma tortillas. Opening date is TBA, but may be within a couple months. As for the name, they're being a little cagey about the inspiration and leaving it open to interpretation. "Sexy MF," anyone? A more profane version of Goood Frikin Chicken? [Scoop]

Famed Italian Winery Hit by Vandals Destroying $25 Million Worth of Wine

Gianfranco Soldera

A highly respected winery in Tavernelle, Italy, south of Montalcino, was the target of a calculated attack on its cellars this week that may have been an act of revenge by rival winemakers who were tired of being bad-mouthed. Case Basse di Soldera is a top producer of Brunello di Montalcino, with bottles of their last vintage (2006) selling for around $300 apiece, and as the New York Times reports, vandals succeeded in opening up vats containing six years' worth of vintages and dumping the wine out onto the floor. The motive for the crime? Estate proprietor Gianfranco Soldera maybe kinda needed to be put in his place.

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Breaking: Donald Trump Given ‘Highest Rated Sanitary Award’ in New York

The laconic entrepreneur just tweeted some excellent, if unanticipated news: "Just won the highest rated sanitary award in NY—an A--& the food is great also. Trump Grill/ 57th & 5th." That's right, things may still be a little bit stanky in Vegas, but today, a new high bar has been set over on Fifth Avenue, and it all happened during a routine health-department inspection. According to the NYC Department of Health, his restaurant joins a small-but-prestigious list of only 18,824 other spots to receive "A" grades. Remember this day, people, and never stop dreaming. [realDonaldTrump/Twitter, Earlier]

New York Critic Robert Sietsema Loves San Francisco, Calls Out Suzu Noodle House, Flour + Water

Village Voice critic Robert Sietsema just put out a list of nine dishes he loves in San Francisco. "I recently went on a restaurant-hopping expedition there — stopping at both venerable places, middle-age places, and brand-spanking-new places — and I never had a bad bite of food in nearly a week of constant eating," he writes. What are some of his favorites? Cioppino at Sotto Mare; celery root tortelli with brown butter, walnuts, and balsamic at Flour + Water; chicken with explosive chili pepper at Z&Y; and fried chicken ramen at Suzu Noodle House in Japantown. [First We Feast]

Dress as Your Favorite Cocktail and Other Repeal Day Events

Tomorrow night, December 5 at 8 p.m., Cantina will be celebrating Repeal Day with a Dress as Your Favorite Cocktail costume party. Some favorites from years past, as shared by owner Duggan McDonnell, include Sex on the Beach ("Hawaiian shirt, shorts and flip flops, with a two foot dildo flopping out of my crotch."), and Captain and Coke ("pirate hat, a hook on left hand, and white powder smeared all over face"). There will be DJs from OM Records, and the $10 admission fee goes to benefit the Barbary Coast Conservancy of the American Cocktail. See more event details here.

But that's not all...

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We Didn’t Always Have Chardonnay Growing Everywhere

"It was the very first wine that my parents made, and it was also the style that they wanted to make, which had not yet been made in California. It was a new concept. It was 1965. You figure there were probably 200 acres of Chardonnay in the whole state of California. Today there's 100,000." — Schramsberg winemaker Hugh Davies regarding the winery's classic, sparkling Blanc de Blancs, which once again landed on the Chron's Top 100 Wines. [Chron]

Preview Charles Phan’s Hard Water at Special Event, December 14

Charles Phan's newest restaurant, the New Orleans-inspired Hard Water coming to Pier 3, is now slated for an early 2013 opening. But before it opens, 40 people will get to attend a special benefit preview event on December 14. Proceeds will got to OneVietnam Network, a nonprofit that connects everyday donors to grassroots projects in Vietnam using social media, helping to improve education, provide health care, and fight poverty and human trafficking. Tickets start at $250 and will include a four-course dinner, as well as hors d'oeuvres and cocktails from bar director Erik Adkins. Additionally, VIP guests at the $500 level will attend a special reception with a private whiskey tasting with Adkins. Purchase tickets here. [Earlier]

The 2012 Grub Street Gift Guide: 29 Gift Picks for Food Lovers of All Sorts

If you're reading this, your gift-giving list this year probably contains at least a couple of food-loving people you just know would love ... something. But there's so much clutter — and so many useless kitchen tools — that finding a real gem of a present can turn into a chore. Rest easy, though: Grub Street turned to some of the country's best chefs, bartenders, and restaurant owners to see which gifts they'll be giving (or hoping for) this year. From simple $6 stocking stuffers all the way up to the best (and no doubt most expensive) knives imaginable, we've got you covered at every level.

Watch Alinea Take Over Eleven Madison Park, and Vice Versa

We had the good fortune to hang out behind the scenes of the great and ambitious switcheroo between the Chicago restaurant Alinea and New York's Eleven Madison Park earlier this fall, and now here's a companion music video, produced by Alinea to commemorate the occasion. It gives some sense of the logistical hurdles — and a healthy dose of the inherent frenzy — involved when one fine-dining restaurant steps outside of its comfort zone, travels 800 miles, and settles right now into another kitchen.

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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