Posts for January 7, 2013

Glaze Teriyaki Possibly Moving In to Shuttered Johnny Rockets on Upper Fillmore

After over twenty years in their Pacific Heights location, Johnny Rockets (1946 Fillmore Street) closed as of last weekend. As the Scoop notes, this brings the diner franchise's S.F. locations down to one, on Fisherman's Wharf, following the closure of the Marina location that was replaced last year by Super Duper. There's a rumor that New York-based Glaze Teriyaki Grill, which serves a lighter, Korean-influenced variety of terayaki (pictorial menu here), may be opening their first S.F. location at the address. Stay tuned for more on that. [Scoop]

Maverick Unveils a Swift and Quiet Remodel

New map wallpaper.Photo: Courtesy of Maverick

Maverick (3316 17th Street), which celebrated it's seventh anniversary last summer, just got a facelift without having to close at all. During days off and after dinner shifts were over in the first week of the new year, staff gave the place a refreshed look, without doing anything too drastic. The sprucing involved a fresh coat of paint in a cool gray, refinished floors and tables, new sound baffling, and some wall-papering with vintage maps of the U.S. — in keeping with the theme of chef Emmanuel Eng's modern twists on regional American cuisine.

Michael Bauer Nearly Died, Twice, Over His Holiday Break

So, S.F.'s own critic of record, Michael Bauer, had not one but two very close calls involving small planes in the Midwest during his annual holiday trip to visit family (in case you were wondering where his Sunday review has been). He tells the harrowing tales on the blog today, and he sounds a bit shaken up by the pair of near-death experiences — one involving a small plane taking off out of Dallas that was on a "collision course" with a larger plane trying to land, and another as he was flying out of Guthrie airport in Oklahoma when his plane had mechanical problems and had to make an emergency landing. In both cases he survived to tell the tale, and he says, "Thoughts of what I might like for my last meal definitely did not come into my consciousness as we hovered 3,500 feet above the ground." [Between Meals/Scoop]

Step Inside Duende, Opening (Hopefully) This Weekend in Oakland’s Uptown

Another delayed opening about which there has been many months worth of e-ink spilled is making its debut next week in Oakland, and that's Duende from former Oliveto executive chef Paul Canales. As Canales tells Grub Street today, it's kind of all East Bay MUD's fault — the water utility showed up just today for their mid-October appointment, and Canales jokes, "We told them their lunch was cold." The Spanish restaurant/music venue/gallery space will, if all goes well, make it open by Saturday, January 11, however there are still some contingencies with city sign-offs before that's a guarantee. In the meantime, please check out our slideshow of the new space at 19th and Telegraph.

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Bisou Temporarily Closed After Death in the Family

Bisou Bistro (2367 Market Street) in the Castro is closed through January 9 for renovations and a brief vacation. The sudden closure was announced only on Facebook, and seems to stem in part from a death — the post refers to "prayers for a little angel that just left us." We're still awaiting clarification on that, but it's sad in any case. The staff is taking a week off, and renovations were in fact occurring as of last night. They will reopen on Friday, January 10.

Canadian Chef Jonathan Gushue Is Missing

Gushue, at the restaurant.Photo: Courtesy Langdon Hall

The 41-year-old executive chef of the Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa in Cambridge, Ontario, has been missing for more than a week, police say, and they're turning to the public for help in locating him. Jonathan Gushue was last seen on New Year's Eve in downtown Toronto. Authorities tell the Waterloo Record that the chef, who is five foot ten and 180 pounds with short, dark hair and blue eyes, may be using the surname Herder, which is actually his middle name.

Last seen one week ago. »

Rosamunde Debuts in Old Oakland Wednesday

More Oakland opening news, kids: Rosamunde Sausage Grill will open their first East Bay location at 911 Washington Street on Wednesday, January 9, at 5 p.m. Mission Local brings us the word, and as of a few days ago the team had not yet finalized the regular hours for the new spot. The expansion follows on last summer's opening of a location all the way on the East Coast, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and their expansion three years ago to the Mission, bringing their total sausage empire to four locations. [Mission Local, Earlier]

Massive Bluefin Tuna Sells for $1.76 Million at Tokyo Auction

Saturday was the first tuna auction of the year at Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, and a single, 489-pound bluefin tuna sold to a sushi restaurant magnate for a staggering 155 million yen — that would be $1.76 million, or $3,600 per pound. The buyer, as multiple outlets have reported, was Kiyoshi Kimura, owner of the Sushi-Zanmai restaurant chain; and some customers at one of his restaurants Saturday night got to sample slices of the prized, gargantuan fish.

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Trappist Provisions Brings Specialty Beer to Rockridge

Rockridge is totally popping, ladies and gentlemen, what with Friday's opening of Ramen Shop, and the upcoming Box & Bells and A16. And today we learn that Trappist Provisions (6309 College Avenue) quietly opened last week as well. It's the offshoot of The Trappist in Old Oakland, and we'd heard about this new location last year. It's basically a small bottle shop and beer bar, modeled after owner Chuck Stilphen's other beer spot in Walnut Creek, ØL Beercafe & Bottle Shop. See the current featured beer list here, which includes a special holiday brew from Belgium called De Dolle Stille Nacht, and an aged Japanese beer made with Sorachi Ace hops. [Facebook via Eater, Earlier]

Singer of Chili’s Baby Back Ribs Jingle Remembered on Best Funeral Ever

TLC's new reality show Best Funeral Ever chronicles extravagant services for the dearly departed. They're more like grotesque celebrations of death (did nobody take The Hunger Games seriously?). One of the episodes features the barbecue-themed funeral of Willie McCoy, the voice of the catchiest jingle ever. There's a fountain of sauce, ribs to feed the mourners, and live pigs. And his coffin looks like a smoker.

A sneak peek ahead, if you can stomach it. »

Anthony Mangieri Talks Dedication, Slow Nights, and Why He Won’t Serve a Salad

Mangieri back in his NY days.

Una Pizza Napoletana burst onto the S.F. scene two years ago, after renowned New York pizzaiolo Anthony Mangieri decided to move his entire operation out here to start a family and improve his life. He's a passionate, ascetic, Zen-like master of the form, having started perfecting his craft in New Jersey over two decades ago, at a time when Americans still didn't know a Neapolitan pie from Pizza Hut. The Chron just published a new profile of him, two years in, and he admits that the buzz and long lines have died down somewhat since his first year here, despite his still making arguably the best pizza in the city. "Dude, there are nights in here now when we're just standing here doing nothing and people call, all in a panic and ask how long is the wait. And we're like, there's two customers!" Mangieri has notoriously stubborn about his operation, insisting on a pizza-only menu and only opening four nights a week, Wednesday to Saturday, but he says it simply isn't worth it to him to complicate things by adding, say, a salad or dessert to the mix. "I'm not doing it, because it's not the right thing," he insists. [Chron, Earlier]

First Look at Trick Dog, Opening Tonight in the Mission [Updated]

At long last, the Bon Vivants team of Josh Harris and Scott Baird (who also own Rio Grande downtown) are opening their dream bar, and it's called Trick Dog. The project has been two years in the making, and is opening in a former industrial space next door to Central Kitchen and Salumeria at 3010 20th Street, and both the decor and cocktail menu represent a culmination of years of the partners' work together — in mixology, design, and estate-sale treasure hunting. The name, in fact, comes from an antique cast-iron piggy bank, featured in the bar's logo, that was a gift from Harris's dad when he was a kid.

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Queen Elizabeth Needs a New Dishwasher

Dust off your résumé: The Queen of England is advertising for a catering assistant. Sounds like a cool gig at first blush. Posh surroundings! Face time with Kate Middleton! Maybe a few pints with Harry! Really, the only down side is that the palace pays rather hideously. According to an ad placed by the Official Website of the British Monarchy, the royals need someone to "maintain the cleanliness of the staff restaurant." The General Catering Assistant must possess the usual qualifications — punctuality, reliability, willingness to travel to various other palaces across the rolling British countryside — and the chosen applicant mustn't require much money. LondonNet points out that the £14,200 salary (about $23,000) for what basically appears to be a dishwashing job works out to a meager £6.83 an hour, which is less than the London living wage of £8.55 an hour. Of course, the palace does throw in "accommodation," which softens the blow a little. And who can blame the Queen for budgeting a bit? She has to pay someone to pre-wear her shoes, after all. [Telegraph UK, British Monarchy Official Site, LondonNet, Earlier]

Chez Papa Shuttering After Five Years at Mint Plaza

Another one bites the dust at Mint Plaza as Chez Papa Resto announces it will close on Sunday after five years and some fairly solid reviews. The news comes a year after Thermidor similarly called it quits next door, leaving only 54 Mint to keep the alley alive. As the Scoop reports, Chez Papa will be serving only a tasting menu throughout the week, featuring a "complimentary" foie gras course, just for old time's sake. And it should be noted that Chez Papa Bistrot in Potrero Hill remains open and has not been affiliated with the resto for several years. [Scoop]

New Study: Binge Eaters Combine Strange Foods, Then Hate Themselves

Okay, so maybe Taco Bell is onto something with those Doritos tacos. According to a new study from the University of Alabama, the growing practice of secretive "food concocting" — that is, mixing gross shit with other gross shit and eating it — is common among binge eaters. The study, soon to appear in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, states that bingers often secretly create "concoctions" like frozen vegetables mixed with mayonnaise and mashed potatoes layered with Oreo cookies, then feel shame and "disgust."

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A Brief History of Milkshake-Related Mayhem

Not always as delicious as you might think.Photo: Lew Robertson/Corbis

The other week, after her parents imposed a like, totally life-ruining 10 p.m. Internet curfew, a Sacramento teen decided there was only one thing left to do: Drug her parents by slipping a friend's prescription sleep medicine into milkshakes. Chocolate and vanilla, to be exact, though the parents only drank about half of each because the drinks tasted crunchy and bad. These unassuming folks weren’t the first, however, to be duped by the seemingly sweet treats. Here’s a look at other frozen-dairy-product-related crime throughout the century, broken down by flavor.

It's actually really sad. »

Man Arrested After Revisiting McDonald’s He Had Robbed

"They always return to the scene of the crime."

Somewhere, the Hamburglar is taking a short break from dollar menu reverie to face-palm: A man who robbed a McDonald's restaurant in Pontiac, Michigan, last October 5 returned to the same restaurant this past Saturday, three months after the crime was committed. An employee recognized him while he was in the drive-through and called the cops, who arrested him. It's one thing that the guy was stupid enough to return to the scene, but another that employees at the suburban Detroit McDonald's recognized him. Who says fast-food workers don't pay enough attention on the job? [AP]


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