It's Fall. And with Fall, restaurant openings go haywire. Charles Phan's Wo Hing General Store, three new BBQ/Southern-inspired restaurants (in the Mission and the Marina) and the first of three Bay Area Umami Burgers should be opening in the next few months. And that's just off the top of my head. With soft-opening this, and grand opening that, firing off left and right, sometimes it's nice—necessary, even—to step back and relish the gems that've been sitting here, right underneath our noses, for years: the Chez Papas, Canteens, and Outerlands of our city. This post is dedicated to the San Francisco fixtures that haven't just survived for three, five, maybe even 20 years, in our cutthroat restaurant-scape; they've flourished. And you better believe they've got something good in the works for the next few months.
Last night at the CUESA Sunday Supper I learned the following: that Gialina owner Sharon Ardiana is opening a new restaurant (though she doesn't have a space yet), that Mark Dommen's next whole beast meal will be devoted to suckling pig, that Bar Tartine will serve housemade English muffins when they open for breakfast in three weeks (and that chef Chris Kronner isn't sleeping much).
In my five years as a San Francisco resident, all of which I've spent living in the Mission, I've never once wished for a place in lower Pacific Heights. Sure, when SPQR first opened I thought about how nice it might be to live around the corner, to pop by for carbonara and a quartino of wine. When Pizzeria Delfina 2 opened, I simply thought, "How nice for those people! A Pizzeria Delfina of their very own!" while happily considering the stools that would free up at the 18th street location.
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 restaurant openings and closures, jucy rumors, toasty new designs and your usual Yelp idiocy.
Now that Charles Phan is about to open his latest restaurant, Heaven's Dog & Noodle Shop, comparisons between the San Francisco super-star chef and his New York equivalent, Momofuku empire-keeper David Chang, seem inevitable. They both now preside over some of the best-loved restaurants in their respective cities, serving Asian food with a decidedly modern bent. Reservations are hard to come by at both Slanted Door and Momofuku, Ko and Momofuku Ssam bar. Chang's recently opened Momofuku Bakery–Milk Bar is his fourth venture, and Heaven's Dog makes baby number three for Phan.