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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Apr-17-2010

Strong show of support for Louis’ Diner

I stopped by the “Friends of Louis’ Diner” event today. The restaurant, which has been run by three generations of the Hontalas family for 73 years, is facing possible closure as their lease is up for renewal.

According to federal law, the business, which sits on federal land, is open to other bidders. The diner will submit a bid to the National Park Service, which includes improvements to the property and a request for a multi-year lease.

The diner invited supporters to come out to show their support and enjoy free hot dogs, IT’S IT ice cream, and Louis’ Coney Island clam chowder. They also held a free raffle for diner t-shirts and sweatshirts.

A couple of hundred people dropped by, many of them patrons that have been going to Louis’ Diner for many years, some for decades.

I met one married couple who have been eating at Louis’ since the 1940s. They remembered ice skating at Sutro Baths down the block and then coming to Louis’ afterwards.

Sutro Baths historian Tom Bratton, who eats there about once a week, was there to show his support. He said his father was a manager at Sutro Baths and when the Hontalas family first opened the diner, his father used to come to the restaurant to help them with their English lessons.

I asked Tom what the best strategy was for securing the prized corner booth at Louis’, which overlooks the ruins of the Sutro Baths and the blue Pacific. He laughed and said “Good luck!” But then he told me they open at 6:30am so perhaps if I was first in line, I’d get it one day. ;)

If you’d like to show your support for Louis’ Diner to stay in business, you can sign the online petition, or email a story, memory (even a sentence!) to louisrestaurant1937@gmail.com which they will include with their bid to the National Park Service. If you prefer, mail in your words of support to: Louis’ Restaurant, 902 Point Lobos Road, San Francisco, CA 94121.

The Chronicle also had a nice article today about Louis’.

Sarah B.


6:13 pm | Posted under Food, History | 5 comments
Apr-12-2010

Morph opens today

After waiting for his prized Rosenthal and Steelite plates to arrive, the owner is finally ready to debut Morph to the neighborhood.

Morph is a new Japanese-Thai fusion bistro at 5344 Geary (between 17th and 18th Avenues). Grub Street SF reports that it will finally open tonight (5:30pm, closing time 10pm).

The restaurant has been transformed from its former life as a noodle house into a 49-seat, clubby Thai fusion bistro, serving wine, beer and maybe soju cocktails. Check out the photos of the interior – very spiffy!

If you’re one of the first to eat there, leave your review in the comments!

Sarah B.


10:01 am | Posted under Food | 2 comments
Apr-5-2010

Reviews for Nibs Bakery, Brother’s Korean

Recently, outer Richmond resident Brian McGowan decided to forego his usual stop at Simply Pleasures Cafe on Balboa and instead tried Nibs Bakery & Cafe, located a few blocks down at 3717 Balboa (near 38th).

Brian writes that Nibs “has excellent scones, pastries, and coffee” and that “the scones are usually fresh and warm right out of the oven.”

He also praised the coffee, which is from a local artisan roastery. “The coffee that they sell is from Due Torri Coffee. They have 4-5 different flavours (blends, whatever) from which to choose. I had the Ethiopian today. It is a medium-roast, but was actually very strong and full of flavour.”

Brian says that Nibs is also dog-friendly but you’ll have to catch their tasty scones in the AM only. Nibs is only open for breakfast seven days a week.

Last Wednesday night, SFWeekly was wet from the rain and in the mood for Korean BBQ, so they headed to Brother’s Korean at 4014 Geary near 5th Avenue. They passed on the grill-it-yourself options and instead ordered up a variety of menu items.

“…short ribs, or kalbi ($23.95), spicy crab soup with tofu and glass noodles ($11.95), and rice sizzled in a stone pot with beef, vegetables, and raw egg ($17.95). Between lettuce-wrapped morsels of grilled beef, alternately chewy and tender, we sucked down nibbles from the eagerly anticipated banchan array ? including kimchi of cucumbers, cabbage, and radish, miso paste, tiny dried fish, seaweed, and limp fried tofu.”

But the evening’s topper was an entrée of seared squid with green onion spears, mushrooms, and zucchini half-circles slicked with a robust red sauce heavy on chile paste and sesame, which the reviewer says “was sweet, slightly smoky, with just enough bite.”

Sarah B.

6:30 am | Posted under Food | 4 comments
Apr-2-2010

Hakka wows SFWeekly

A few weeks ago, the newly opened Hakka Restaurant at Cabrillo and 45th got high marks from the Examiner. This week, SFWeekly food critic Jonathan Kauffman filed his own review, “Hakka Restaurant: Inexpensive Chinese done right”.

Despite “floors decorated by Carpet Outlet and an “Opening special: 10% off” sign in the window”, Kauffman says Hakka chef Jin Hua Li is doing a lot of things right. Li is “bringing out simple, transparent flavors” and “using formal culinary technique to refine peasant food while staying true to the dish.”

Kauffman was particularly enthused about a stir-fry vegetable dish (“captured all the vegetables at their brightest”) and the house special braised pork belly dish. “A solid block of pork belly had been braised in a sweet soy sauce for a few hours — half a day at least — until the lean layers barely held together, the fat softened to the texture of whipped frosting, and the porous skin swelled with braising liquid.”

He also sampled Hakka’s pumpkin strips which are dipped “in a saffron-hued batter made with egg yolk and fried until puffed and crisped”. Chef Li doesn’t take shortcuts according to Kauffman, who offers a mouthwatering description of Li’s signature salt-baked chicken dish: “rubbing the bird in wine and seasonings, covering it in hot rock salt, and roasting it slowly. The method drives all the chicken’s juices back into the meat, until it tastes like chicken squared; chicken cubed, even, if you swab a piece of the golden-skinned meat through the grainy brown dipping sauce Li sends out alongside, a blend of meat drippings and sesame oil.”

Kauffman’s review is long and full of tantalizing descriptions that will make you want to add Hakka to your “must try” list. You’re bound to find something you like, as Kauffman reports, “Hakka Restaurant has one of the largest, most varied selections of authentic dishes I’ve yet seen.”

Hakka Restaurant is located at 4401-A Cabrillo Street at 45th Avenue (876-6898) and are open 11am-9:30pm Monday through Thursday, and 11am-10pm Friday through Sunday.

Sarah B.

10:39 am | Posted under Food | Comments Off
Mar-30-2010

Former Chapeau location becoming “Belle Epoque”

It looks like the former Chapeau space at 1406 Clement near 15th Avenue is readying to re-open as Belle Epoque. The rumor is that Chapeau’s owner, Philippe Gardelle, will re-open the space as a small wine bar. They applied for a liquor license this week.

Grub Street SF reports that “via Zagat’s reports from last fall, we know that Gardelle will be serving an international list of wines along with French small plates, with just five tables and a few seats at the bar.”

As you may recall, Gardelle moved Chapeau to 126 Clement last year, where it quickly regained its 3 out of 4 stars from the Chronicle.

Sarah B.

12:24 pm | Posted under Food | 1 comment
Mar-22-2010

Joe’s Ice Cream moving after 50 years

Since 1959, Joe’s Ice Cream has sat on the corner of 18th Avenue and Geary. Its black and white sign is like a beacon in the Richmond, drawing in drooling kids and nostalgic parents. Joe’s is one of the few places in San Francisco that serves homemade ice cream.

Starting in late May, Joe’s Ice Cream will move just a half block down Geary to a new location that used to be Posh Bagel at 5420 Geary. It’s under plywood at the moment while Joe’s converts the former bakery to another ice cream mecca.

I’m told the move is due to rising rent in their current location. I’m thrilled Joe’s will remain a Richmond District tradition but will be a little saddened to see them lose their coveted corner location and eye-catching signage.

Thank to RichmondSFBlog reader Stacy for the tip!

Sarah B.

6:22 am | Posted under Business, Food | 18 comments
Mar-21-2010

Free pastry day at Starbucks on Tuesday, March 23

If Starbucks is part of your daily ritual, enjoy a free pastry on them next Tuesday. From 5am to 10:30am get a free pastry of your choice (croissant, muffin, morning buns, etc..) with the purchase of any handcrafted, brewed or iced beverage.

To get your free pastry, print out the coupon (also included below) and present it to your barista. Or save a tree and show it to them on your smartphone.

Starbucks in and around the Richmond District:

Geary near 19th Avenue | 5am – 9pm
California near Spruce | open 24 hours
Masonic at Fulton | 5am – 8:30pm

Sarah B.

[via FuncheapSF]

7:58 am | Posted under Food, Free stuff | 1 comment
Mar-15-2010

John Campbell’s Irish Bakery expanding to Pac Heights

I wasn’t able to snap a pic while driving by it this weekend, but John Cambell’s Irish Bakery will be opening a new location in Pacific Heights on the corner of Fillmore and Filbert. They already have a location here in the Richmond at 5625 Geary near 21st Avenue.

Known for their Belfast Bap sandwiches and to-die for scones, the bakery should fit in well with neighboring Real Foods and the many coffee shops along Fillmore.

Here’s hoping their new location has the same luck of the Irish!

Sarah B.

6:57 pm | Posted under Food | 2 comments
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