On January 23rd, 7x7 welcomed some of San Francisco's most beloved and prominent restaurant and beverage industry leaders to the gorgeous Julia Morgan Ballroom, to celebrate our readers' choices for their best restaurants of the year—the Piggies! This time, 7x7 also bestowed the porcine awards to our editors' choices for the best new restaurants in San Francisco, which all opened in 2011: Boxing Room, Locanda, Nojo, and Park Tavern.
With businesses like sunshiney interiors Room Service and liquid nitrogen Smittens ice cream, Hayes Valley is poised for its heyday. It's time — it's central, small, and adorable. A book exchange/bar/cafe is the perfect new neighbor wouldn't you say?
Come September, a charmer called Two Sisters Bar and Books will open. Conceptualized by Two Sisters, operated by Big Sister, curated by Little Sister, it's currently undergoing construction. Kindle break and read what Big Sister has to share...
I called a friend of mine yesterday and caught him in the middle of making his fantasy football picks. I'm not much for football, but I didn't want to be left out of the fun—so when I got back to my desk I tweeted the following: "If you could snap your fingers and your dream restaurant would be created here in SF, what would it be? Please don't say pizzeria." (By the way, if you're not following our food Twitter feed @7x7bitsbites you are missing some wild times). The imagining of a fantasy San Francisco restaurant is one of my favorite hobbies. I even have a post-it on my computer screen on which I've written (and circled) "The Restaurant of Our Dreams". What would it be? I have some thoughts, but I was pleased to see that many of you like to play my game.
Make no mistake—Miss Saigon isn’t going to revolutionize the dodgy block on which it sits (at the corner of Sixth and Mission streets). It is, however, a good place to get lunch if you’re tired of the options at the Westfield SF Centre. The utilitarian, but spic-and-span, dining room is run by an efficient workforce that bustles about, delivering Vietnamese coffee and fussing (in a good way) over the guests. Menuwise, it’s the usual suspects: We have no complaints about fried squid with scallions and garlic (#14) or the delicate threads of green papaya in the classic salad named after it (get #9, shown here, the version with shrimp and pork). Linger too long and you’ll be subjected to a viewing of violinist André Rieu’s DVD of love songs, shown on three televisions.
Pisco Sour: The new margarita? Photo courtesy of David Fukuda
Between Piqueo’s and Limòn, I thought SF had had its Peruvian moment, but apparently, it’s just begun. La Mar Cebicheria Peruana is set to open today; and Pisco, a bar and lounge by Destino chef-owner James Shenk, opens the first week of October. (Oh, yeah, and there’s Limon’s new rotisserie.)
But I’m to be honest, I think I’ll just let my kids look at the fish while I eat.
Charles Phan stands by the living wall that runs between
his restaurant and Loretta Keller's.
Anjan and Emily Mitra in their first days at Dosa
in the Mission.
Anjan Mitra, co-owner (with his wife Emily) of Dosa, is gearing up to launch Dosa on Fillmore. Located on the corner of Post Street, in the old Goodwill space right across from the Sundance Kabuki theater, it promises to add a good bit of spice to that part of town. The new Dosa will be open until midnight and serve lunch and a weekend brunch too. We’re looking forward following up our next Fillmore concert, movie-night-out or post-Kabuki Springs soak with a little South Indian fix. Anjan gave us the latest.
A bowl of figs at the SFN dinner are worth a million words.
Sunday night I attended a fundraiser kick-off dinner for Slow Food Nation, hosted by Alice Waters, Thomas Keller and Peter Coyote. Held at City Hall in the rotunda (with hors d’oeuvres passed in the impressively thriving Victory Garden which is cranking out 100 pounds of produce a week, which then makes its way to the Food Bank), and catered by Paula LeDuc, it was quite an evening.
The other night I was taken to Oyaji, a sushi spot on Clement Street, so far out in the avenues you might as well get on a plane to Tokyo. I’ve heard a lot about it from my friends that frequent it. They talk about the sushi, sure, but what they really talk about is Hideki-san, the theatrical, ham-of-a-chef and owner who knows his fish and drinks like one too.