Looking for somewhere new to eat? Here’s your monthly cheat sheet of five brand-new places that recently opened around the city.
Brenda Buenviaje has been pleasing legions of fans with her New Orleans-style dishes at Brenda’s on Polk for years, and now she and her partner Libby Truesdell have opened a spin-off on Divisadero in the former Blue Jay Cafe. Don’t look for dishes that are solely from NOLA here—the menu offers a broader, more classic Southern diner experience. There are po’boys, fried chicken, calas fritters, and for dinner, check out the "meat and three," which means you get to choose three sides, including mac and cheese and Buenviaje's amazing creamed biscuits. Nope, you won’t leave hungry, but you may need a nap. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, you are covered. 919 Divisadero (at McAllister); 415-926-8657
This cozy 25-seat spot in the Tenderloin is brought to you by some industry folks who know what they’re doing, which, in part, includes feeding you well and filling your glass with quality wine from Burgundy. Kris Esqueda (Saison, Sons & Daughters) has created a casual neighborhood spot with a rustic menu by consulting chef Brett Cooper (Outerlands, Coi) and executive chef Sara Hauman (formerly a sous at Bar Agricole)—what this means is you'll see a lot of Cali seasonality in the well-edited menu. There’s a bar area where you can come in for a glass of wine and a bite, or try to snag a table; the vintage-inspired interior is charming, with lots of teak wood and pops of color. Dinner only, no reservations. 846 Geary (at Larkin); 415-800-8223
This Peruvian joint left its longtime SoMa digs and opened in a colorful new joint in Potrero Hill. Chef-owner Carlos Altamirano has expanded the menu, and there’s a full bar serving pisco sours and more. Dinner includes classic Peruvian dishes (yes, beef hearts), plenty of ceviches, and chicken stew in aji amarillo sauce with potato, botija olives, and a hard-boiled egg. The space has an artsy-industrial look by Keith Morris of Abueg Morris Architects, with two dining rooms and a bar. Open for dinner nightly. 1469 18th Street (at Connecticut); 415-278-0480
The lines outside Orenchi Beyond are already long with people who want a taste of the cult ramen shop that has its roots in Santa Clara. You can choose from tonkotsu, shoyu, and shio ramen, plus there are appetizers like age takoyaki (fried octopus fritters), corn tempura, and fried chicken wings. Beer and wine, they’ve got that too. Folks are lining up before it opens, so join the long line party. Open Tuesday-Thursday: 6pm–9:30pm; Friday-Saturday: 6pm–11:30pm; and Sunday 5pm–8:30pm (for now). 174 Valencia (at Duboce)
Taking a move from the Mission Chinese Food playbook, Jesse Koide (formerly the chef at MCF) has opened his restaurant inside the no-frills Tao Yin in the Mission. Koide's menu reflects his varied cooking background, which includes Bar Tartine and Farina, so you can’t pigeonhole his cuisine into one type (well, except delicious). Dishes are good to share, ranging from yakitori to savory clams, plus white sea bass with a Sicilian bread salsa. You can also sit at the sushi counter if you want to pony up for a notable omakase experience (ranging from $65–$85) with Ryo Sakai, who will take you on a sensory journey—he’s got some mad skills. Bonus: they have choice vinyl playing. Dinner served Thursday through Monday evenings. 3515 20th Street (at Mission); 415-285-4926