Posts for December 17, 2012

Monk’s Kettle Turns Five; Luisa’s Now Closed

Mission: Monk's Kettle (3141 16th Street) is turning five year's old this week and they're celebrating with a special beer and food pairings menu on Wednesday, December 19th. [Grub Street]
Cow Hollow: Luisa's (1851 Union Street) and its bar Notte has closed. [Eater, Earlier]
Duboce Triangle: Not surprisingly, neighbors are unenthusiastic about a new Starbucks set to open on the corner of Market and Sanchez. [Haighteration, Earlier]

Bar Bambino to Close on December 31

Bye, Bambino.Photo: Courtesy of Aidlin Darling Architects

The end of the year is always full of unexpected closures and today comes the news that Bar Bambino will serve its last suppers on December 31. After six years on the scene, a menu overhaul in 2011 that took the restaurant in the direction of northeastern, German-influenced Italy, and numerous positive reviews, owner Christopher Losa has written a heartfelt letter thanking the community and his suppliers. The news comes four months after the announcement that chef Lizzie Binder was leaving the restaurant — first announced as a hiatus which later was revealed to be permanent, as Binder landed on the cast of Top Chef: Seattle. Losa says he plans to spend more time with his wife and four year old daughter and asks fans to join him for a meal over the course of the next two weeks. The restaurant will be open on New Year's Eve with room for 100 or so guests and it will offer the regular menu in order to highlight some favorite dishes. [Earlier]

Bauer Unimpressed With Food at Company, but Enjoys Warm Atmosphere

In yesterday's print edition of the Chron, Michael Bauer checked out the Mission's Company (1000 Guerrero Street) and finds a warm and nostalgic space rich with culinary legacy. Owner Thuy Nguyen generously greets diners, but Bauer says the rest of the service is "amateurish." The food is wishy-washy: the confit chicken wing starter deserves "a more elaborate presentation," while other appetizers like the grilled Monterey squid "were generally well prepared, but often contained too many ingredients."

Read more »

Game of Thrones Is Getting Its Own Craft Beer

Ale for what ails you.

Winter is coming, sure, but at the end of that, it'll thaw a bit and you'll be able to sip some cool, Belgian-style, Game of Thrones–branded beer. The Cooperstown, New York, brewery Ommegang will roll out its Westeros-inspired Iron Throne Blonde Ale, the New York Times reports, on March 31, to coincide with the HBO show's season-three premiere. And if you're not feeling King Joffrey in that actual Game of Thrones throne, don't worry: There are, em, three more official George R. R. Martin–approved brews in the pipeline. Now where is Tom Colicchio with some slow-roasted venison haunch when you need him the most? Best pairing ever. [NYT, Earlier]

Curry Up Now Coming to Valencia Street

Despite the merchants grumblings reported earlier today, more restaurants are continuing to pop up on Valencia Street. The latest to hit the scene? Curry Up Now. The food truck famous for its tikka masala burritos plans to open its first brick and mortar San Francisco location in the old Pizzeria spot on 18th and Valencia. This is the second of three Curry Up Now locations; the first opened in Palo Alto last spring and owner Akash Kapoor hopes to open a third spot in SF in early 2013. The Valencia Street restaurant will begin service in mid-January with a beer and wine license and 60-70 seats. [Scoop, Earlier]

A Jazz Lounge and More on Franck LeClerc's Empire Building


Claude Lane's Franck LeClerc has released more details about his upcoming projects to Eater. First, he'll be closing his gallery between Café Claude and Claudine and plans to replace it with a 1100-square-foot extension of Cafe Claude. The new space will house a lounge area and bar where a jazz quartet will play 5 nights a week until midnight. LeClerc hopes to have this open sometime next May or June.

Read more »

Valencia Merchants Press Harder for Year-Long Restaurant Freeze

Dandelion Chocolate recently opened on Valencia.

With over sixteen new restaurants open in the past eighteen months — amounting to 1,000 new restaurants seats in two years, as the Chron earlier pointed out — Valencia Street in the Mission has quickly become the city's hottest spot for hyped about openings. However, the Chron now reports that merchants in the neighborhood are worried that too much has opened too soon. The Valencia Corridor Merchants Association has voted to request a year long freeze on new full-service eateries on Valencia between 16th and 24th Streets. Small shop owners are overwhelmed by the large restaurant presence and worry that residents can't afford the pricey food items offered at these places.

Read more »

Gold Dust Lounge Pours First Drink at New Space

Last Friday morning, the upcoming Fisherman's Wharf location of the Gold Dust Lounge was officially christened with a special ceremony. The first drink to be poured in the space, which is three times the size of the former Gold Dust that closed in Union Square, was the classic SF concoction, the Irish Coffee. Although it's still under construction, the Gold Dust folks hope to have the bar up and running by mid-January. [Scoop, Earlier]

Raw-Milk Enthusiasts Sue FDA for Ignoring Requests to Legalize It


Food Safety News reports that Organic Pastures, the nation’s largest raw-milk dairy, is suing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for ignoring its request to change the 1987 law banning the sale of raw milk across state lines. The raw-milk cult sure is feisty: It's endured armed raids, paranoia, jail time, and diarrhea. Raw milk is legal in 30 states that include California, Arizona, Maine, New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Utah, and it's explicitly banned in twenty states. Organic Pastures farmer Mark McAfee, who’s basically the food world’s L. Ron Hubbard, wants to legalize interstate commerce of raw milk between states in which the FDA already allows it to be produced and sold. It boils down to this problem: Demand is high for raw milk in Arizona, but the state only has two raw-milk dairies. McAfee wants to send a shipment of raw milk from California, where it’s so ubiquitous that it’s sold in retail chains.

But raw milk could be fatal. »

The Bureau 510, a Burger Bistro, Now Open in Emeryville

An interesting new burger place recently opened in downtown Emeryville. The Bureau 510 comes from James Sansangasakun, of Summer Summer Thai, which is conveniently located across the street from The Bureau, and chef Edward Higgins of the Four Seasons Hotel in Silicon Valley. The menu features an assortment of burgers, like the B-B-B with fried bacon, caramelized onion butter, and blue cheese, and sandwich alternatives, such as bánh mi and breaded catfish po'boy.

Read more »

Lunch Lady Who Fed Hungry Kid Gets Her Job Back

Dianne Brame, the Missouri elementary-school lunch lady who was allegedly fired from her job last week because she gave a fourth-grade boy two months' worth of free lunches, is now back on the job, KSDK reports. Brame told the television news station she had been confronted by Chartwells, the food-service company that has a cafeteria contract with the school district, after her co-worker reported that she had been giving away free food. Brame acknowledged breaking the rules but said she was just trying to prevent other students from bullying the unnamed boy, whose enrollment in the school's program had lapsed. Chartwells tells the TV station that Brame hadn't been fired and she was back on the job at Hudson Elementary School, adding in a statement that the company was "pleased to have resolved this misunderstanding." [KSDK, Earlier]

Domino’s Founder Sues Government Over Mandatory Contraceptive Rule

MonaghanPhoto: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Tom Monaghan, the 75-year-old Domino's founder who supplemented his pizza empire by establishing a number of conservative and Catholic-affiliated organizations, is now suing the federal government for requiring his company to provide mandatory contraceptive coverage for employees at Domino's Farms Corporation, an office space complex in Michigan. Lawyers from the Thomas More Law Center, a nonprofit that "defends and promotes America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and moral values, including the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life," filed the 40-page lawsuit in Michigan Federal District Court on Friday.

"The Government forces Christians to choose between violating their religious beliefs and violating the law." »


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