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Foodie Updates: A New Top Chef Comes to Town, Box and Bells Debuts in Oakland, and More

Suvir Saran on the Martha Stewart show. Photo: Rob Tannenbaum

The big food news item of the week is that Top Chef Masters contender Suvir Saran is opening his first West Coast restaurant in San Francisco, on Mid-Market, sometime next spring or summer. But we also have news of the opening of James Syhabout's latest project in Rockridge, and a new Greek spot headed to Hayes Valley.

First off, the Chronicle reported Thursday that Indian-American chef Suvir Saran has inked a deal for a big, unnamed, 120-seat restaurant on the ground floor of the NeMa building on Market at 10th. The new luxury rental tower is across from Twitter HQ, and Saran is their first signed retail tenant. He says he wants to open a farm-to-table restaurant that may not be Indian, per se, but will reflect "the food of the planet, through my Indian eyes." Saran holds the distinction of having won the first American Michelin star for an Indian restaurant, Devi in New York, from which he departed in 2012. [Chron]

Over in Oakland, the big news of the week is the debut of the long anticipated new Rockridge project from Commis and Hawker Fare chef-owner James Syhabout, Box & Bells. Menu inspirations come, in part, from staff meals at Commis, and heading things up in the kitchen is former Commis chef de partie Benjamin Coe. The full menu is here, which includes things like oysters, country ham, blood pudding poutine, spiced lamb leg tartare, and fried chicken with raw oyster mayonnaise. Also, there are cocktails, courtesy of bar manager Christ Aivaliotis. For now, the place is open Wednesday to Sunday nights, with limited hours (closing at 9:30) on Sunday evenings. [Eater]

The recently vacated Sebo space (517 Hayes Street) in Hayes Valley already has a taker, and that would be the flagship location of a new Greek sandwich spot called Souvla. Tablehopper noted the development of the concept last year from Greek-American chef Charles Bililies, and he finally found a location. The idea is basically gyros and souvlaki, with freshly spit-roasted meats and fresh, local ingredients. The opening is coming in "early 2014." [Hayeswire]

Also, up in Rohnert Park, a couple of local heavyweights have restaurant projects in the newly opened Graton Resort and Casino. Top Chef Masters champion and former Cyrus chef Douglas Keane has opened the ultra-casual DK Wings at the casino, featuring "creative" chicken wings as well as an assortment of pickles, salads, wraps, and fries. There's also a new location of M.Y. China there from chef Martin Yan, and another offshoot of Tony's Pizzeria, Tony's of North Beach, from chef Tony Gemignani