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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Dec-8-2014

Biz updates: Troya becomes Kitchen Istanbul; Jade Chocolates now open


Inside the new Jade Chocolates on Geary

TROYA ON CLEMENT IS NOW KITCHEN ISTANBUL
In 2012, Troya opened its second location on Fillmore Street near California. Now, Troya is “leading a revamp of the Pacific Heights location, which is going to take a turn away from its current Turkish leanings towards more of a general Mediterranean bent,” according to EaterSF.

That means curtains for the Clement Street location, but it has already changed into Kitchen Istanbul. Kitchen Istanbul is being run by a a former Troya partner/manager, Emrah Kilicoglu, who’d been working there for the past two years. So even though it’s no longer called Troya, it sounds like the concept and cuisine will be really similar. Check out the website for more info and menus.

JADE CHOCOLATES OPENS FOR BUSINESS
After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Jade Chocolates is now open at 4207 Geary near 6th Avenue. Owner Mindy Fong invites Kickstarter supporters to come in and pick up their rewards, and reminds us that “Monday is National Brownie Day. Come and get a sample of our Dragon’s Breath brownies.” They have one final inspection this morning and anticipate being open by 11am.

Sarah B.

11:17 am | Posted under Business, Food | 2 comments
Dec-4-2014

Local links: Purple Skunk closing, BART to the beach?, MAFIA online, reclaimed furniture & more


Reindeer are back at the Academy of Sciences for the holidays. Photo by @calacademy

  • Lizzie, the owner of Purple Skunk Skateboard Shop at 6037 Geary wrote us to say they are closing their doors after the Christmas holidays. “After 21 years the Purple Skunk doors will be closing. Christmas week is our last retail hoorah. It’s time to retire, but on a good note. We will miss ALL of our customers that we have been serving throughout the years. We will always remember our little groms that got their first skateboard here.” The business is for sale so if you’re interested, contact the shop for more details. We’ll miss you Purple Skunk!
  • BART to the Beach? Don’t get too excited, but BART is “investigating” service expansions over the next decade that would include a second transbay tube and a new line out to the western part of the city. You can download the proposal here, which was presented to the San Francisco County Transportation Authority Board committee recently.
  • Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto. The Examiner reports that “Next spring, Washington High School in the Richmond is poised to produce one of approximately 3,000 teams to compete in an international robotics competition after students recently created the school’s first robotics club.” The 60 students who have already signed up will be broken into teams of four to focus on different aspects, including building the robot, developing its software, calculating the business and handling public relations. The program was supported by a $20,000 grant from Facebook.
  • Izakaya Ju-Ku on the corner of 19th Avenue and Clement closed a couple of weeks ago. That’s a nice corner spot but has always been challenging for restaurants. We’ll have to see what opens there next…
  • Arion Press, just inside the 14th Avenue Presidio gate, is hosting a free, holiday open house this Saturday from 11am until 6pm. Go on a tour, check out their gallery, and experience the historic bookmaking and letterpress workshop. See where their books are made, including their historic printing presses, 100-year-old machinery, and one of the largest collections of metal type in North America. Free tours of the typefoundry, press room, and book bindery take place at 12noon and 2pm.
  • Two Richmond District residents have started a new furniture business using reclaimed materials. “We started out small but then we quickly realized we have a love for working with reclaimed materials. We have now begun expanding our collection in hopes of sharing it with the community. We’re starting small with a few select pieces but will be expanding in the coming months.” You can check out their products on Etsy – we like that bathtub shelf!
  • Remember MAFIA Bags, a new business that set up a manufacuturing space in the Richmond District, making bags and accessories from recycled sails? Their online store is now up, just in time for the holidays.
4:30 am | Posted under Business, Food, Golden Gate Park, Museums, Schools, Shopping | 29 comments
Nov-11-2014

Food news: De Place will be Dragon Beaux, Mescolanza closing, more on Pivot

DE PLACE IS UNDER DE CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP
“De place! De place!” Reader @cassfung tells us that something is happening at the former Big Heart Video Cafe / De Place space at 5700 Geary. As you may remember, it was under construction for over a year, then finally opened as De Place, only to close a few weeks later. According to a sign on the door, “De Place” is going to become “Dragon Beaux”. We couldn’t find any info online about Dragon Beaux other than that their beer and wine liquor license is pending. “Hope the food is better than its name,” @cassfung said.

MESCOLANZA CLOSING ITS DOORS AFTER 26 YEARS
Cozy Italian restaurant Mescolanza, located on Clement near 23rd Avenue, is closing its doors after 26 years in business. On their website, restaurant owner Ruben Macedo says that the business has to relocate, and that its last day of business will be December 31. Let’s hope they find another home soon in the neighborhood.

MORE DETAILS ON NEW WINE BAR PIVOT
More details have emerged about Pivot, the new wine bar opening at 443 Clement Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. According to EaterSF, the venture is spearheaded by veteran sommeliers Michael Ireland (Restaurant at Meadowood, Quince) and John Vuong (Ame, Gary Danko). Expect an “elected group of 30 wines by the glass, from $6 a glass from the keg to rare and pricey finds from the proprietors’ personal collections.” The 47 seat space will also feature a menu focused on “super high-quality snacks and light meals that pair with their wines”. They anticipate opening in Spring 2015.

Sarah B.

2:27 pm | Posted under Business, Food | 18 comments
Nov-5-2014

Droolworthy: Award-winning Jade Chocolates to open store on Geary & 6th

If you’ve spent any time at the Clement Street Farmer’s Market, and you like chocolate (who doesn’t?), then you have probably sampled some Jade Chocolates. And if you haven’t, you’re missing out.

Jade Chocolates has been around for 8 years, and has won awards for its chocolates and confections that blend teas and spices from Asia and the Pacific Islands. The popular Genmai bar blends in roasted brown rice mixed with jasmine tea (and also comes as little chocolate Buddhas!), and the Dragon’s Breath bar features smokey lapsang souchang tea, roasted sesame, and red chili. Their Terracotta Bar (tamari soy sauce almonds and sea salt) won in the Best New Product category at the San Francisco Chocolate Salon.

But it’s just now that owner Mindy Fong has embarked on opening her first storefront which will be located here in the Richmond District.

The shop will be on Geary near 6th Avenue, next to the Coco Cafe. As Fong says in her Kickstarter video, she chose the space because of its central location and proximity to other businesses. And perhaps most importantly, because it will be the only artisan chocolate shop on the west side of San Francisco.

Fong’s entrepreneurial spirit came from her grandfather, who owned several businesses in San Francisco after immigrating from China. A self-taught chocolatier, Fong weaves her family’s history, heritage and influences into her confections.

In addition to selling award-winning chocolates in the new shop, Fong has plans to add a line of hot chocolates, pastries and baked goods also with Asian and Pacific Island influences.

Jade Chocolates hopes to open by the holidays but needs to raise some more funds to finish construction on the space. Check out their Kickstarter to learn more and lend your support.

So far the campaign has raised about $7,500 of its $20,000 goal. Rewards for backers range from boxes of handmade truffles to various gift baskets of Jade’s bars, confections and new hot chocolate products.

In the meantime, be sure to stop by the Jade Chocolates booth at the Clement Street Farmer’s Market every Sunday. It’s a delicious stop and I for one can’t wait to have fine chocolates just around the corner every day. :)

Sarah B.

4:15 am | Posted under Business, Food | 1 comment
Oct-28-2014

Grinders Pizzeria to open on Balboa near 6th Avenue


Photo by @kllymills

We heard from a couple of readers yesterday about Grinders Pizzeria, a new restaurant that is getting ready to open at 448 Balboa Street near the corner of 6th Avenue (between Melisa’s Chinese and Cinderella Bakery).

According to their website, Grinders will offer “Chicago Deep Dish and California Thin Crust pizzas in a refined format. Our Chicago Deep Dish pizzas feature our signature carmelized-cheese crust that heightens the flavor profile and crispness of the crust. The California Thin Crust pizzas are where our name derives from. We have deconstructed popular grinder sandwiches and cleverly re-located their ingredients onto a pizza crust.”

Grinders will provide online ordering and their delivery area will include the entire Richmond District.

The people behind Grinders are husband and wife team Joe Irick and Amanda Petrowski. Joe is the former pizza critic for the Chicago Tribune, and the two are aiming to “change the way you think about pizza in SF!” They just got married in April after meeting at a convention in 2008 (you too can stalk their wedding website).

In addition to pizza, the menu offers side salads, buffalo wings, mac and cheese, and a skillet cookie: one massive chocolate chip cookie baked to order.

Grinders’ space still has brown paper on the windows and they tell us they’re in their final inspection so they could be opening within the next couple of weeks. When they do, they’ll be open 7 days a week. But don’t rush over there just yet!

Welcome to the neighborhood, Grinders! Let’s hope this is the beginning of an uptick in occupancies for the Inner Balboa commercial district.

Sarah B.

4:25 am | Posted under Business, Food | 22 comments
Oct-24-2014

Local links: Mar’s water usage, Bib Gourmand winners, Mt Lake fish & more


The pipeline on the North Shore of Hawaii. Photo by Fred Larson

Here are some local links to take you into the weekend – have a great one!

  • While come California officials have increased their water consumption during the drought, our own Supervisor Eric Mar has proven to the biggest water conservationist, according to The Desert Sun. “The most miserly official in California was Eric Mar of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, who lives in a condominium in the Inner Richmond district, part of the city’s fog belt. He used 45 gallons per day in 2013 — about enough to fill a bathtub.” We asked Mar’s office for water-saving tips from the Supe, but they declined to comment. Could it be that he’s spending even more time at his beloved YMCA jacuzzi?
  • Michelin recently announced the 2015 Bib Gourmand winners, their award for the best moderately-priced restaurants. Several Richmond District restaurants made the list: Chapeau!, Hong Kong Lounge II, Kappou Gomi, Sichuan Home, and Troya. [EaterSF]
  • Remember all those creepy, prehistoric-looking fish that the Presidio Trust was trying to evict from Mountain Lake? After three years of unsuccessful eradication, the Trust announced recently that they will be using rotenone in the lake to finish the job. Rotenone is a short-lived chemical that only kills animals with gills, e.g. the fish in Mountain Lake. Workers will apply 47 gallons of the product in a 5 percent solution in liquid form at Mountain Lake during a single day in mid-November. Expect the lake to be closed a couple of days prior to the treatment, and for up to three weeks afterwards.
  • Photojournalist Fred Larson will be at the Richmond District branch library (351 9th Avenue) on October 28 at 6:30pm to share work from his latest trip to Hawaii “where he hung out with the surfers”. Watch his latest slideshow and get tips from this seasoned photographer. Free admission.
  • Looking for a new ‘do? Check out Kinship Salon & Barber, a new salon that opened on the corner of Clement Street and 4th Avenue. We love what they did with the interior of the space, and so far Yelpers are big fans of the Aveda salon. Owner Ashley tells us, “We have really been enjoying meeting all the neighbors of this amazing neighborhood.” Word on the street is that it’s a family affair – Ashley is married to the owner of Blue Danube cafe.
  • Good news for riders of the Muni 31AX bus. Peter Lauterborn, aide to Supervisor Mar, sent out an email recently about some planned improvements. “The good news is that Muni is hiring around 40 new drivers a month. This should have an immediate improvement in service City wide. Second, in the Spring of 2015 Muni will embark on the first round of service increases around the City. Based on your testimony and our pushing, the MTA has agreed to change their plan and include a service bump for the 31AX.”
  • There’s a new “small” business on Clement called Wee Scotty. Team member Dana tells us “We’re a fashion school and retail store and we just moved in at 609 Clement. We offer sewing classes for all ages and skill levels and have been working on getting to know the community.”
12:05 pm | Posted under Classes, Eric Mar, Events, Food, Muni, Parks | 4 comments
Oct-17-2014

Academy of Sciences opens “The Terrace” cafe for garden dining

Today, the Academy of Sciences opens a new restaurant called The Terrace, located in the west garden of the museum.

The Terrace features a menu of small, shareable plates that range in price from $6 to $18. Some of the menu items we sampled at the media preview included a delicious orange elderberry mock tail, a toasted farro, wild rice, roasted beet and fennel salad, and a local goat cheese, red pepper and artichoke bruschetta. We didn’t get to try it but heard others cooing over the prosciutto, arugula, and fig jam sandwich.

The Terrace’s setting is lovely, designed for al fresco dining in the garden. But any restaurateur in San Francisco knows outdoor dining is a mixed bag, so the cafe’s retractable, floor to ceiling window panels can be closed when it gets chilly. The cafe also has radiant, in-floor heating.

The space used to be occupied by a bird aviary, and some of its concrete and fencing was re-purposed for the Terrace’s construction.

The opening of the Terrace also marks the start of a new food partnership the Academy established with Sodexo, who will also manage the Academy Cafe. The Moss Room has closed for renovation and will reopen in spring 2015 as a dedicated space for special events.

The Terrace cafe is open during regular museum hours, as well as during the Academy’s Nightlife events on Thursday nights.

Sarah B.


Would you like a mock-tini?


The retractable glass panels

8:57 am | Posted under Food, Golden Gate Park | 12 comments
Sep-24-2014

Local Bites: Draught House opens, Taste of Russia fest, Sichuan Home #2

The new Richmond Republic Draught House on Clement. Photo by Ender Markal

Here are a few tidbits on the food scene to whet your appetite. Bon appetit!

  • The new Richmond Republic Draught House, located in the old Haig’s Delicatessen at 642 Clement Street, will have a soft opening this Thursday through Sunday from 5pm until 2am. They will be offering a small food and large beer menu. Reader Jeffrey stopped in during a soft opening last week and told us “Pretty nice place, had 23 beers on tap. Had a good atmosphere.” It’s the second establishment from the owners of Chomp N’ Swig.
  • In other restaurant news, Sichuan Home has opened a second location on the corner of 45th Avenue and Balboa called Sichuan Table. Reader Marc W. tells us “It’s way tasty. Sichuan and dim sum.” Even the real critics love them some Sichuan Home. Back in 2011, Patricia Unterman called their first location “the best Chinese restaurant to open in San Francisco since Hakka Restaurant appeared on the outer edge of the Richmond.”
  • This Sunday, September 28 from 11am until 6pm, check out the Taste of Russia Festival at the Holy Virgin Cathedral (6210 Geary). The annual festival features Russian food (piroshki!), entertainment, tours of the church, icon painting demonstrations, choir performances, gift items and more. Admission is $5.00 per person.
5:15 am | Posted under Events, Food | 4 comments
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