Posts for January 8, 2013

Suika Temporarily Closed; A Closer Look at Upcider; and More

Mission: Suika, the little bento box spinoff next door to Ken Ken Ramen (3378 18th Street), didn't actually have proper permits, and they're now closed until they get those. [Eater]
Polk Gulch: Upcider (1160 Polk) gets the full treatment from Thrillist editor Kevin Alexander. [7x7]
Oakland: The restaurant space at 1015 Clay Street, which has seen several tenants the last couple years, is now El Gusano, a taqueria from TropisueƱo partners Erin Brooks and Michael Sopher. [Eater]
Also, a new Off the Grid (Oakland's first) is premiering at the Oakland Museum (100 Oak Street) on January 25 and every Friday thereafter. [Grub Street]
Calistoga: Here's a look at Solbar's new Asian menu, available through March. [FoodGal, Earlier]

Bi-Rite Divisadero Slated to Open By Early March

The Western Addition has officially arrived.

Speaking of the ongoing fancification of Divisadero, Haighteration today updates us on the impending opening of Bi-Rite Market's second store at 550 Divis, due by the first week of March. They're now hiring, which is a good sign that things are on track, and the neighborhood is abuzz with anticipation given that we first learned about this project back in June 2010. Do note: This is the space next door to Nopa. [Haighteration, Earlier]

Schulzies Bread Pudding Seeks a Few More Bucks Before Opening

Sarah Schulz, bread pudding fanatic.

Schulzies Bread Pudding has had quite a few opening dates. Just before the new year we heard they'd passed a final inspection, so that made things sound quite imminent. But, alas, we bring you word today that the opening date is still not firm, and owner Sarah Schulz has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for buying equipment, cover the costs of bringing the historic building up to code, and other opening expenses. They're still hoping to open this month, but as Schulz says, "It is CRAZY hard to build out a new shop in a historic building in San Francisco. No really, CRAZY hard." [SFoodie]

There’s a New Electronic Fork That Will Supposedly Help You Not Get Fat

Not the classiest-looking flatware we've ever seen.Photo: David Becker/Getty Images

A new electronic, Internet-connected fork (yes, you read that right) that vibrates to tell you you're eating too fast or too much just debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The HAPIfork and HAPIspoon use sensors and a Wi-Fi-enabled app to tell people they're raising the utensil to their mouths too fast or that their meal has gone on too long, and it vibrates like a game of Operation when you mess up. Now, we've heard the arguments about how eating slower lets you know you're full sooner, but if you really need an eating utensil to tell you you're binge-eating, you're probably beyond hope. Some problems that are immediately apparent: This isn't going to help if you're stuffing your face with handheld foods like Doritos and hot dogs, and we can also see how this could cause problems for an easily embarrassed dieter who brings one of these things along for a tyrannic, four-hour tasting menu meal at Alinea or Per Se. You'll want to turn the fork's sensor off after the meal's first hour passes by. [All Tech Considered/NPR]

Win a Free Bottle of Whiskey Just By Sampling 40 of Them at Southpaw

Don't blame them if you miss work after a tasting session.

Mission BBQ and Southern food spot, Southpaw (2170 Mission Street at 18th), has just launched a new Whiskey Club for the serious drunks true brown-liquor aficionados among you. It's along the lines of Smuggler's Cove's Rumbustion Society (bonus points if you belong to both), and entails you tasting your way through their 70+ bourbons, ryes, and other whiskeys, like peated American single malts. Once you've completed the sizable task and marked your initials in their book, they'll buy you a bottle of whichever one's your favorite. Not a bad deal, especially if it's a hard-to-find bottle, but your liver may never speak to you again. [Thrillist, Related]

Wine Kitchen Softly Opens Tonight on Divis

Wine KitchenPhoto: Facebook

Divisadero, as you surely know, is on the rise. We first learned about Wine Kitchen (507 Divisadero) last May, and now sources tell us they're readying for a grand opening Friday, and will be softly open starting tonight. It's not just a wine bar, mind you, as the "kitchen" part of the name should suggest. Co-chef-owners Greg Faucette and Jason Limburg have, between them, worked on the line at Commonwealth, Bar Tartine, Contigo, Per Se, and Spruce, and the small-plates menu promises to be far more interesting than just cheese and charcuterie. (We're waiting to get a peek at the menu soon, but some example dishes we had earlier were fried gnocchi with short ribs and horseradish; and sardine escabeche with grilled bread, black garlic aioli, and arugula.) Stay tuned for photos, and more about the food and international wine list. [Grub Street]

Man Hallucinates After Eating World’s Spiciest Curry

Another day, another case of dangerous eating. Ian Rothwell, who is a 55-year-old doctor (!), decided that it was a good idea to eat a curry dish comprised of twenty Naga Infinity chilies at a restaurant in Grantham, England. To give you an idea: One Infinity is 200 times hotter than a jalapeƱo, and can cause mouth burns and blisters. The dish, which is ominously named "the Widower," is so spicy that chefs have to wear goggles and face masks to prepare it. Three hundred masochistic customers prior to Rothwell have attempted to eat it and were unable to finish, and one time, the restaurant even had to call an ambulance. But of course the item remained on the menu because there's no such thing as bad publicity (ugh). Rothwell took an hour to finish the plate, cried a bit, went for a walk, and then started hallucinating. But no biggie: He says he felt fine the next day. The restaurant's owner thinks the doctor is a "legend." We say they're both insane. Is this grounds for Dr. Rothwell losing his license to give health advice? Should be. [This Is Lincolnshire via HuffPo]

South Carolina Restaurant Makes Employees Wear ‘How to Catch an Illegal Immigrant’ T-Shirt

The employee dress code: HatePhoto: CoreyHutchins/Twitter

On Sunday, a South Carolina journalist tweeted a photo of a worker at a local restaurant called Taco Cid that had been taken earlier by a local high-school teacher. The worker is wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with an illustrated, cartoonish "trap" baited with two hard shell tacos. "How to Catch an Illegal Immigrant" is printed at the top in the colors of the Mexican flag, and the restaurant's name and contact information appears below the illustration.

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Naked Lunch Pub & Grill Replaces Txoko

The Txoko/Naked Lunch team of Ryan Maxey and chef Ian Begg shuttered eighteen-month-old Txoko in the former Enrico's space over the holidays, but it turns out they're keeping their lease and will just do something a bit less ambitious. Today they announce the opening of Naked Lunch Pub & Grill (504 Broadway), with a party on Friday, January 11, to celebrate the switch. They're taking what had been a lunchtime, counter-service operation next door with minimal seating, and moving it into the larger space which already has a liquor license. There will still be counter service — via the bar — but they'll operate all day and take credit cards. "It just made sense on so many levels," Maxey tells Grub Street. "Naked Lunch has been going strong for three and a half years, and the neighborhood has responded so positively to it." Also, he tells us, they're adding a couple of pool tables and TVs.

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Slideshow: A Night at Curtis Duffy’s Grace, the Country’s Most Ambitious New Restaurant

In our video series Finding Grace, we showed you the creation of former Alinea chef de cuisine Curtis Duffy's new restaurant, Grace, in Chicago, and the intense dedication of Duffy and his team to creating a truly graceful experience for guests. The irony, of course, is that all that was taking place in the midst of construction — far from an atmosphere of grace in practice. Now the restaurant is open, and our man Huge Galdones followed service one night last week to capture it in full swing as the realization of Duffy and GM Michael Muser's aspirations. We'll show you how Duffy's light, vegetable-flavor-driven dishes come together on the plate, but you'll also see the intensity and precision that goes into creating the total guest experience at perhaps the most exacting and inspiring restaurant opening of the past year. Here is Curtis Duffy's vision — in practice five nights a week, at 652 West Randolph in Chicago.

Persimmon Café Closing Near Union Square

Persimmon Café (582 Sutter Street at Mason), one of several restaurants and bars in the Union Square vicinity owned by Roxanne Sotano, is closing to make way for J Tu Café, as Eater earlier noted. The new restaurant next door to Cantina is helmed by one Johnny Tu, a former cook at the Marriott, but that's about all we know so far. [Eater]

Waitress at Roberta’s Forgets to Wear Clothes, Serves Food

It happened in Bushwick.

Transgressive: A waitress may have commemorated her last shift at Roberta's on Friday night by taking off her clothes and having a friend write "PEACE OUT" with a Sharpie on her back. Gawker writer Max Read, who was there, notes that no one cared a naked lady was waiting on tables in the packed dining room. (Assless fishnet stockings don't count, by the way.) Anyway, there's some documentation of the night, and because health code states "employees who prepare or serve food products, or wash and sanitize equipment and utensils must wear clean outer garments," Suzie Nudie could cost the Bushwick restaurant fines and/or temporary closure. So, is this hot, ho-hum, or just a health hazard? [Gawker via Eater NY]

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