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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.

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

Upcoming meetings on Beach Chalet soccer field renovations

Two public meetings are coming up to discuss the proposed renovation of Golden Gate Park’s Beach Chalet soccer fields.

The Beach Chalet renovation project calls for major facility improvements including converting the fields to synthetic turf, installing lights for night play, new restrooms, parking lot improvements, better walkways and lighting, and the addition of a designated spectator area.

Since the public learned of the renovation plans in late 2009, there has been concern over the environmental impact that the new fields will have on the park, its residents and neighbors. One particular point of contention is the proposed 60 foot lighting towers. Recently, it was announced that the project would not require an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), and this has opponents concerned.

On Wednesday, April 7, the Historic Preservation Commission will discuss the historic characteristics of the western end of Golden Gate Park and the potential impact of the soccer complex on those characteristics. The meeting will take place at City Hall, Room 400 at 12:30pm.

The following week, on Thursday, April 15, Sometime later in April (date TBD), the Recreation and Park Commission will hold a hearing on the soccer fields renovation. Watch this sfgov page for more details.

Sarah B.

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 10:56 am | Posted under Golden Gate Park | 3 comments
Apr-2-2010

Iconic Louis’ Diner fighting to stay open after 73 years

Inside the Outside Lands blog delivered the troubling news today that the venerable Louis’ Diner here in the Richmond District is facing an uphill battle.

Louis’ is located just up the hill from another legend, the Cliff House. Generations of San Franciscans and tourists love this little diner that is perched on the cliff overlooking the ruins of Sutro Baths.

The diner, which has been owned and run by the Hontalas family for 73 years, is currently on a year to year lease with the National Park Service (the diner technically sits on federal land).

The restaurant needs maintenance work and upgrades to be in compliance with accessibility laws, but the family understandably doesn’t want to invest in the repairs with only a year-to-year lease on the property.

Federal law also requires that the restaurant space be put up for bid, and apparently a couple of prospects already toured the place on March 24. Inside the Outside Lands says that “most of the park service personnel out here who know Louis’ want it to stay with the Hontalas family”, but point out that those making the decision will be members of a federal committee that won’t know much about Louis’ histroy and standing in the community.

So that’s where you can help. Show your support for the Hontalas family to continue operating Louis’ Diner by signing the online petition, or emailing a story, memory (even a sentence!) to louisrestaurant1937@gmail.com. If you prefer, mail in your words of support to: Louis’ Restaurant, 902 Point Lobos Road, San Francisco, CA 94121.

And mark you calendars – Louis’ will host a community event on April 17th from 10am–2pm. Come out with your family and friends to show your support – there will be free hot dogs!

Sarah B.


The corner booth at Louis Diner. Photo by roddh

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 12:00 pm | Posted under Business, History | 15 comments
Apr-2-2010

The Haight is that a way

Photo by bagelradio, who tells us “No side door in sight, naturally.”

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 10:49 am | Posted under Photos | Comments Off
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.

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 10:39 am | Posted under Food | Comments Off
Apr-1-2010

Golden Gate Park Concourse fountains going with the flow

Back in September, Rec & Park Dept. chief Phil Ginsburg blogged that they would begin repairing and restoring the Golden Gate Park Concourse fountains.

True to his word, repairs kicked off several weeks ago. Much of the inner concourse is now closed off with cyclone fencing and the center fountains have been completely dismantled (but not destroyed!).

The Examiner reports that the project is costing $1.1 million, and that another $100,000 is being requested to complete the job.

A worker at the site told me they’re targeting June to turn the fountains back on, but he wasn’t sure if they would flow 24 hours a day.

Sarah B.


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 4:04 pm | Posted under Golden Gate Park | 4 comments
Mar-31-2010

Easter brunch, egg hunt and the Easter Bunny at Beach Chalet

If you’re looking for a spot for Easter Brunch this Sunday, check out the Beach Chalet restaurant.

Brunch will be served at 10am followed by an Easter egg hunt. Plus a surprise visit from the Easter Bunny at 11am. Price is listed as $30 and under per person.

Make your Easter Brunch reservations here

Sarah B.


Photo by stevendepolo

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 2:34 pm | Posted under Events, Kids | Comments Off
Mar-31-2010

Public meeting on the Alexandria development, April 14

Mark your calendars for the first public meeting about the proposed development at the old Alexandria Theater property at Geary and 18th Avenue. The meeting is being organized by Supervisor Eric Mar and his staff, who report:

We have been told by the Planning Department that they are almost ready to issue the Mitigated Negative Declaration on the site. This project would still need clearance from the Department of Building Inspection and approval of the Planning Commission and possibly the Board of Supervisors if the Mitigated Negative Declaration is appealed.

A Mitigated Negative Declaration from the Planning Department signals that there are only small changes necessary to overcome any environmental impacts of the proposed development. Usually this signifies that the project is OK under California Environmental Qualities Act (CEQA) provided minor changes are made to the project to mitigate relatively small environmental issues. (Special thanks to Jean B. for this explanation)

To hear more about the Alexandria development and the Planning Department’s report, please attend the meeting on April 14 at 6pm at the YMCA, 360 18th Avenue near Geary.

Sarah B.

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 10:33 am | Posted under Real Estate | 3 comments
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