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The Eater Wrap: Early Beard Nominations, Mission Plywood, the Ubuntu Burger and MORE!

Welcome to our exciting new partnership with Eater. For this weekly Friday column, Eater editor Paolo Lucchesi gives his opinionated report on all the restaurant news that's fit to print, including upcoming restaurants, novel eatery concepts, douchiest bars, and Ubuntu's "blood sausage" burger.

1) It's awards season for the restaurant industry too, and this morning saw the announcement of the semi-finalists for the annual James Beard Awards (aka the Oscars of the food world). Plenty of Bay Area personalities were represented in the first round of nominations, including A16's Nate Appleman for Rising Star Chef, Michael Mina and Charles Phan for Outstanding Chef, and Bottega and Camino for Best New Restaurant. See Eater SF for the full list of the semi-finalists for all the main categories, including Best Chef in the Pacific Region.

2) This week, we took a big sneak peek at the latest Italian restaiurant slated to hit the Mission, Flour + Water. The project from David White (last seen nabbing three stars at Nua) is due in April and—bonus!—the renderings have been revealed and everything. Brace yourselves.

3) Ubuntu's Jeremy Fox will be participating in the star-studded Burger Bash in the South Beach Wine and Food Festival. So what does an acclaimed veggiechef serve at a meat contest? Vegetarian "blood sausage" burgers, naturally.

4) The old Frisson space in Jackson Square is just about ready to reemerge from its hibernation with new owners, a new concept, and of course, a new name. Yes, it's safe to say that A5 Steak Lounge will probably be the city's first "steak lounge" ... but hopefully not its last.

5) Medjool—glorious winner of the Eater's Douchiest Bar Contest—has the only rooftop bar in town, but turns out the picturesque venue might be illegal. You do hate to see that.

6) Upon reflection, Jamie Lauren is just fine with being eliminated from that reality cooking show.

7) With all due apologies to Bruno's (and, ahem, its guacamole/steak pizza), the title for the week's biggest opening belongs to Mayfield Bakery and Cafe. Down in Palo Alto, it's Bacchus Management's first new project since they unleashed megahit Spruce on San Francisco back in '07. Next up for the restaurant group: Cafe des Amis on Union Street.