The Five Coolest Pop-Ups in San Francisco
True foodinistas may be quick to say that pop-ups are so 2009, but the fact of the matter is that the nonstaurant scene in San Francisco is still going strong. Pop-ups are the most viable way for young chefs to flex their muscles for a new audience without worrying about overhead, and in a fickle food culture that's constantly chasing after anything new, they're still pretty popular, too. We recently gave you three pop-ups to add to your list. Here are five more of our favorites, not including underground dining outfits or trucks.
This quirky monthly pop-up, typically on Wednesdays, at Truck (1900 Folsom Street) in the Mission is the brainchild of Humphry Slocombe ice cream guy Jake Godby. Godby has a lot of fun with his menus, serving things like made-to-order duck fat Chex mix, and lately he's been using the theme of death row inmates' last meals for inspiration. As Godby puts it, "If you are open to trashy good food, cheap drinks and glitter you might just have a good time." Check Facebook for upcoming dates and menus.
Many people know about chef Ravi Kapur's Hawaiian-Asian-by-way-of-California pop-up, which has been playing to sold-out crowds at several locations since early 2012. Kapur, formerly executive chef at Prospect and chef de cuisine at Boulevard before that, combines classical training and modern technique with the flavors of his youth in Hawaii, producing some fantastic and original dishes like manilla clams with mapo tofu and chrysanthemum; pork riblets with fish sauce and scallion-ginger glaze; and his award-winning Korean Fried Quail (KFQ). He's on a temporary hiatus, and ultimately wants to open in a permanent space, but look for upcoming dates via Facebook and Twitter.
Truck Stop Cafe's take on Ethel Rosenberg's last meal on death row: brisket.
Malaysian-born Azalina Eusope, a La Cocina alum, has been selling her spreads and sauces at Whole Foods for a couple of years now. Lately she's been one of the chosen chefs to do a weekly Friday pop-up as part of Off the Grid Fort Mason's prix fixe dining section. Her weekly changing menu includes things like cardamom mac and cheese, and spring garlic-beet pulled noodles with coconut milk, poached egg, and roasted turmeric salad. Reserve a seat here.
Down to Grub
This monthly pop-up at The Lookout in the Castro by Chef Domenique Garcia (who actually consulted on the Lookout's own menu of sliders, tacos, and such) is only a few months old, and it's all about comfort food. Garcia's masterful spicy fried chicken, dubbed Mama's Firebird Chicken, is Tennessee-style and uses her own pepper dredge. And she also serves solid barbecue, like brisket and rib tips. Check Twitter for upcoming dates. 3600 16th Street at Market
Chef Chris Kronner's deep Mission pop-up, in the side bar area of Bruno's every night but Saturday (when Bruno's needs the space), may not be around for long because Kronner has plans to open his primary, permanent location in Oakland. But you should definitely check it out while you still can if you're a fan of rare, salty, ultra-greasy burgers and some hands-down amazing poutine with beef cheek gravy. 2379 Mission Street
Honorable Mention: Sneaky's BBQ, which has been popping up lately at Vinyl (Divis and Oak) .